Lesson 2 April 1 - 7

The Authority of the Bible and the 2nd Coming

Memory Text: (Rom 15:4 NKJV) For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

"Scripture from the NEW KINGS JAMES VERSION" Copyright © 1982: "Used by permission"

Sabbath Afternoon


The Authority Of The Bible

Ellen G. White Comments, SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, pp. 945 - 946

Simplicity and plain utterance are comprehended by the illiterate, by the peasant, and the child as well as by the full-grown man or the giant in intellect. If the individual is possessed of large talents of mental powers, he will find in the Oracles of God treasures of truth, beautiful and valuable, which he can appropriate. He will also find difficulties, and secrets and wonders which will give him the highest satisfaction to study during a long lifetime, and yet there is an infinity beyond. {7BC 945.1}

Men of humble acquirements, possessing but limited capabilities and opportunities to become conversant in the Scriptures, find in the Living Oracles comfort, guidance, counsel, and the plan of salvation as clear as a sunbeam. No one need be lost for want of knowledge unless he is willfully blind. {7BC 945.2}

We thank God that the Bible is prepared for the poor man as well as for the learned man. It is fitted for all ages and all classes (MS 16, 1888). {7BC 945.3}

The writers of the Bible had to express their ideas in human language. It was written by human men. These men were inspired of the Holy Spirit. Because of the imperfections of human understanding of language, or the perversity of the human mind, ingenious in evading truth, many read and understand the Bible to please themselves. It is not that the difficulty is in the Bible. Opposing politicians argue points of law in the statute book, and take opposite views in their application and in these laws. {7BC 945.4}

The Scriptures were given to men, not in a continuous chain of unbroken utterances, but piece by piece through successive generations, as God in His providence saw a fitting opportunity to impress man at sundry times and divers places. Men wrote as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost. There is "first the bud, then the blossom, and next the fruit," "first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear." This is exactly what the Bible utterances are to us. {7BC 945.5}

There is not always perfect order or apparent unity in the Scriptures. The miracles of Christ are not given in exact order, but are given just as the circumstances occurred, which called for this divine revealing of the power of Christ. The truths of the Bible are as pearls hidden. They must be searched, dug out by painstaking effort. Those who take only a surface view of the Scriptures, will, with their superficial knowledge, which they think is very deep, talk of the contradictions of the Bible, and question the authority of the Scriptures.

Ellen G. White Comments, SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, pp. 945 - 946 (continued)

But those whose hearts are in harmony with truth and duty will search the Scriptures with a heart prepared to receive divine impressions. The illuminated soul sees a spiritual unity, one grand golden thread running through the whole, but it requires patience, thought, and prayer to trace out the precious golden thread. Sharp contentions over the Bible have led to investigation and revealed the precious jewels of truth. Many tears have been shed, many prayers offered, that the Lord would open the understanding to His Word. {7BC 945.6}

The Bible is not given to us in grand superhuman language. Jesus, in order to reach man where he is, took humanity. The Bible must be given in the language of men. Everything that is human is imperfect. Different meanings are expressed by the same word; there is not one word for each distinct idea. The Bible was given for practical purposes. {7BC 945.7}

The stamps of minds are different. All do not understand expressions and statements alike. Some understand the statements of the Scriptures to suit their own particular minds and cases. Prepossessions, prejudices, and passions have a strong influence to darken the understanding and confuse the mind even in reading the words of Holy Writ. . . . {7BC 945.8}

The Bible is written by inspired men, but it is not God's mode of thought and expression. It is that of humanity. God, as a writer, is not represented. Men will often say such an expression is not like God. But God has not put Himself in words, in logic, in rhetoric, on trial in the Bible. The writers of the Bible were God's penmen, not His pen. Look at the different writers. {7BC 945.9}

It is not the words of the Bible that are inspired, but the men that were inspired. Inspiration acts not on the man's words or (p. 946) his expressions but on the man himself, who, under the influence of the Holy Ghost, is imbued with thoughts. But the words receive the impress of the individual mind. The divine mind is diffused. The divine mind and will is combined with the human mind and will; thus the utterances of the man are the Word of God (MS 24, 1886). {7BC 945.10}

Finite Vehicles of Thought.--The Lord speaks to human beings in imperfect speech, in order that the degenerate senses, the dull, earthly perception, of earthly beings may comprehend His words. Thus is shown God's condescension. He meets fallen human beings where they are. The Bible, perfect as it is in its simplicity, does not answer to the great ideas of God; for infinite ideas cannot be perfectly embodied in finite vehicles of thought. Instead of the expressions of the Bible being exaggerated, as many people suppose, the strong expressions break down before the magnificence of the thought, though the penman selected the most expressive language through which to convey the truths of higher education. Sinful beings can only bear to look upon a shadow of the brightness of heaven's glory (Letter 121, 1901). {7BC 946.1}

The Boundary of Divine Forbearance.--God is long-suffering, not willing that any should perish; but His forbearance has a limit, and when the boundary is past, there is no second probation. His wrath will go forth and He will destroy without remedy. {7BC 946.5}

When men, being in power, oppress and spoil their fellow men, and no earthly tribunal can be found to do justice, God will interpose in behalf of those who cannot defend themselves. He will punish for every act of oppression. No earthly wisdom can secure wrongdoers against the judgments of heaven. And when men put their trust in earthly powers instead of their Maker, when they become lifted up in pride and self-confidence, God will in His own time make them to be despised (Letter 122, 1900). {7BC 946.6}

10 (Ps. 27:5; 91:9, 10; Isa. 2:17-21; see EGW on Gen. 6:17; Rev. 20:9, 10, 14). God the Refuge of His People.--Before the Son of man appears in the clouds of heaven, everything in nature will be convulsed. Lightning from heaven uniting with the fire in the earth, will cause the mountains to burn like a furnace, and pour out their floods of lava over villages and cities. Molten masses of rock, thrown into the water by the upheaval of things hidden in the earth, will cause the water to boil and send forth rocks and earth. There will be mighty earthquakes and great destruction of human life. But as in the days of the great Deluge Noah was preserved in the ark that God had prepared for him, so in these days of destruction and calamity, God will be the refuge of His believing ones . . . [Ps. 91:9, 10; 27:5 quoted] (Letter 258, 1907). {7BC 946.7}

Ellen G. White Comments, SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, pp. 945 - 946 (continued)

Destruction From Earth and Sky.--The hand of Omnipotence is at no loss for ways and means to accomplish His purposes. He could reach into the bowels of the earth and call forth His weapons, waters there concealed, to aid in the destruction of the corrupt inhabitants of the old world. . . . {7BC 946.8}

Water will never destroy the earth again, but the weapons of God are concealed in the bowels of the earth, which He will draw forth to unite with the fire from heaven to accomplish His purpose in the destruction of all those who would not receive the message of warning and purify their souls in obeying the truth and being obedient to the laws of God (ST Jan. 3, 1878). {7BC 946.9}

(Ps. 144:5, 6; Nahum 1:5, 6.) Destruction by Water and Fire.--In the bowels of the earth God has in reserve the weapons that He will use to destroy the sinful race. Since the Flood, God has used, to destroy wicked cities, both the water and the fire that are concealed in the earth. In the final conflagration God will in His wrath send lightning from heaven that will unite with the fire in the earth. The mountains will burn like a furnace, and pour forth (p. 947) streams of lava [Nahum 1:5, 6; Ps. 144:5, 6 quoted] (MS 21, 1902). {7BC 946.10}

(2 Pet 1:19-21 NKJV) And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; {20} knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, {21} for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

(2 Tim 3:15-17 NKJV) and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. {16} All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, {17} that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

(2 Pet 3:2-16 NKJV) that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, {3} knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, {4} and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." {5} For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, {6} by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. {7} But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. {8} But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. {9} The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. {10} But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. {11} Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, {12} looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? {13} Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. {14} Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; {15} and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, {16} as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.

(1 Cor 10:11 NKJV) Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

(1 Cor 15:19 NKJV) If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.


God Is Known In His Self-Revelation

(Deu 29:29 NKJV) "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

(1 Sam 3:21 NKJV) Then the LORD appeared again in Shiloh. For the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.

(Mat 11:27 NKJV) "All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.

(1 Cor 2:6-10 NKJV) However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. {7} But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, {8} which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. {9} But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." {10} But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

(Rom 1:21-22 NKJV) because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. {22} Professing to be wise, they became fools,

(Rom 10:14 NKJV) How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?

(1 Cor 1:21 NKJV) For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

(Isa 44:9-19 NKJV) Those who make an image, all of them are useless, And their precious things shall not profit; They are their own witnesses; They neither see nor know, that they may be ashamed. {10} Who would form a god or mold an image That profits him nothing? {11} Surely all his companions would be ashamed; And the workmen, they are mere men. Let them all be gathered together, Let them stand up; Yet they shall fear, They shall be ashamed together. {12} The blacksmith with the tongs works one in the coals, Fashions it with hammers, And works it with the strength of his arms. Even so, he is hungry, and his strength fails; He drinks no water and is faint. {13} The craftsman stretches out his rule, He marks one out with chalk; He fashions it with a plane, He marks it out with the compass, And makes it like the figure of a man, According to the beauty of a man, that it may remain in the house. {14} He cuts down cedars for himself, And takes the cypress and the oak; He secures it for himself among the trees of the forest. He plants a pine, and the rain nourishes it.

{Isa 44:15-19} Then it shall be for a man to burn, For he will take some of it and warm himself; Yes, he kindles it and bakes bread; Indeed he makes a god and worships it; He makes it a carved image, and falls down to it. {16} He burns half of it in the fire; With this half he eats meat; He roasts a roast, and is satisfied. He even warms himself and says, "Ah! I am warm, I have seen the fire." {17} And the rest of it he makes into a god, His carved image. He falls down before it and worships it, Prays to it and says, "Deliver me, for you are my god!"

{Isa 44:18-19} They do not know nor understand; For He has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, And their hearts, so that they cannot understand. {19} And no one considers in his heart, Nor is there knowledge nor understanding to say, "I have burned half of it in the fire, Yes, I have also baked bread on its coals; I have roasted meat and eaten it; And shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?"

Medical Ministry, p. 95

What we most need is an experimental knowledge of God as He is revealed in His word. Such knowledge would enable us to see our imperfection of character and our ignorance of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. . . . {MM 95.1}

Conjectures Regarding God Human talents and human conjecture have tried by searching to find out God. Many have trodden this pathway. The highest intellect may tax itself until it is wearied out, in conjectures regarding God, but the effort will be fruitless, and the fact will remain that man by searching cannot find out God. This problem has not been given us to solve. All that man needs to know and can know of God has been revealed in the life and character of His Son, the Great Teacher. As we learn more and more of what man is, of what we ourselves are, in God's sight, we shall fear and tremble before Him. {MM 95.2}

Is Man Born a King? To those who would represent every man as born a king, to those who would make no distinction between the converted and the unconverted, to those who are losing their appreciation of their need of Christ as their Saviour, I would say, Think of yourselves as you have been during the period of your existence! Would it be pleasant or agreeable for you to contemplate feature after feature of your lifework, in the sight of Him who knows every thought of man and before whose eyes all man's doings are as an open book? {MM 95.3}

Peril in Vanity I call upon all who are engaged in the service of God to place themselves fully on Christ's side. There are dangers on the right hand and on the left. Our greatest danger will come from men who have lifted up their souls unto vanity, who have not heeded the words of warning and reproof sent them by God. As such men choose their own will and way, the tempter, clothed in angel robes, is close beside them ready to unite his influence with theirs, He opens to them delusions of a most attractive character, which they present to the people of God. Some of those who listen to them will de deceived and will work in dangerous lines. (p. 96) {MM 95.4}

The Ministry of Healing, p. 438

"These things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." 1 Corinthians 10:11.

"The Lord is in His holy temple: Let all the earth keep silence before Him." "The Lord reigneth; let the people tremble: He sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved. The Lord is great in Zion;

And He is high above all the people. Let them praise Thy great and terrible name; For it is holy."

"The Lord's throne is in heaven: His eyes behold, His eyelids try, the children of men."

"From the height of His sanctuary" "He hath looked down;" "From the place of His habitation He looketh Upon all the inhabitants of the earth. He fashioneth their hearts alike; He considereth all their works." "Let all the earth fear the Lord: Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him."

Habakkuk 2:20; Psalms 99:1-3; 11:4; 102:19; 33:14, 15, 8. {MH 438.1}

The Ministry of Healing, p. 438 (continued)

Man cannot by searching find out God. Let none seek with presumptuous hand to lift the veil that conceals His glory. "Unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out." Romans 11:33. It is a proof of His mercy that there is the hiding of His power; for to lift the veil that conceals the divine presence is death. No mortal mind can penetrate the secrecy in which the Mighty One dwells and works. Only that which He sees fit to reveal can we comprehend of Him. Reason must acknowledge an authority superior to itself. Heart and intellect must bow to the great I AM. {MH 438.2}

(John 1:1-10 NKJV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. {2} He was in the beginning with God. {3} All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. {4} In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. {5} And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. {6} There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. {7} This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. {8} He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. {9} That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. {10} He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.

(Rom 1:18-28 NKJV) For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, {19} because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. {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, {21} because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. {22} Professing to be wise, they became fools, {23} and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man; and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. {24} Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, {25} who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. {26} For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. {27} Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. {28} And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;

(Rom 1:16-17 NKJV) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. {17} For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."


The Bible Alone The Battle Cry Of The Reformation

(Eph 2:20 NKJV) having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone,

(Mat 21:42 NKJV) Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: 'The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord's doing, And it is marvelous in our eyes'?

(Mat 26:54-56 NKJV) "How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?" {55} In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, "Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me. {56} "But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled." Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.

(Luke 24:25-27 NKJV) Then He said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! {26} "Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?" {27} And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

(John 5:39 NKJV) "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.

The Great Controversy, p. 193

Counterfeit holiness, spurious sanctification, is still doing its work of deception. Under various forms it exhibits the same spirit as in the days of Luther, diverting minds from the Scriptures and leading men to follow their own feelings and impressions rather than to yield obedience to the law of God. This is one of Satan's most successful devices to cast reproach upon purity and truth. {GC 193.1}

Fearlessly did Luther defend the gospel from the attacks which came from every quarter. The word of God proved itself a weapon mighty in every conflict. With that word he warred against the usurped authority of the pope, and the rationalistic philosophy of the schoolmen, while he stood firm as a rock against the fanaticism that sought to ally itself with the Reformation. {GC 193.2}

Each of these opposing elements was in its own way setting aside the Holy Scriptures and exalting human wisdom as the source of religious truth and knowledge. Rationalism idolizes reason and makes this the criterion for religion. Romanism, claiming for her sovereign pontiff an inspiration descended in unbroken line from the apostles, and unchangeable through all time, gives ample opportunity for every species of extravagance and corruption to be concealed under the sanctity of the apostolic commission. The inspiration claimed by Munzer and his associates proceeded from no higher source than the vagaries of the imagination, and its influence was subversive of all authority, human or divine. True Christianity receives the word of God as the great treasure house of inspired truth and the test of all inspiration. {GC 193.3}

Upon his return from the Wartburg, Luther completed his translation of the New Testament, and the gospel was soon after given to the people of Germany in their own (p. 194) language. This translation was received with great joy by all who loved the truth; but it was scornfully rejected by those who chose human traditions and the commandments of men. {GC 193.4}


The Bible And Human Studies

(Jer 8:9 NKJV) The wise men are ashamed, They are dismayed and taken. Behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD; So what wisdom do they have?

(1 Tim 6:20 NKJV) O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge;

(Mat 7:24-29 NKJV) "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: {25} "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. {26} "But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: {27} "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall." {28} And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, {29} for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

(Mat 7:26 NKJV) "But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:

(John 14:6 NKJV) Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

(Col 2:3-4 NKJV) in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. {4} Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words.

(Psa 111:10 NKJV) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.


The Authority Of The Bible And Its Interpretation

(2 Cor 4:2 NKJV) But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

(2 Tim 2:15 NKJV) Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

(2 Cor 4:3-6 NKJV) But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, {4} whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. {5} For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus' sake. {6} For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, July 26, 1892, vol. 2, p. 585

July 26, 1892 Search the Scriptures. By Mrs. E. G. White. Christ has said: "Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me." The duty of searching the Scriptures is enjoined upon every son and daughter of Adam. Jesus says, "And they are they which testify of me." The Father was revealed in the Son, and in studying Christ we shall learn of the Father. Then let us come to search the word of God with softened, subdued hearts, and read the testimony concerning our Lord and Master. Shall we not with intense interest seek to catch his spirit, copy his example, and breathe in the atmosphere of his presence, which is light and love? How eagerly should we study every lesson that fell from his divine lips! How we should cherish his instruction!

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, July 26, 1892, vol. 2, p. 585 (continued)

How ardently we should seek to imitate his character and life, and press on to know more and more of the heavenly truths he taught. If we would but practice the truths he has given, we should perfect an experience that would be of the highest value to us, and to the world. {RH, July 26, 1892 par. 1}

Jesus presented new views of truth to his disciples, and how much deeper was the meaning of his utterances than the meaning of any lesson ever taught by human lips! "God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." {RH, July 26, 1892 par. 2}

How shall we search the Scriptures? Shall we drive our stakes of doctrine one after another, and then try to make all Scripture meet our established opinions, or shall we take our ideas and views to the Scriptures, and measure our theories on every side by the Scriptures of truth? Many who read and even teach the Bible, do not comprehend the precious truth they are teaching or studying. Men entertain errors, when the truth is clearly marked out, and if they would but bring their doctrines to the word of God, and not read the word of God in the light of their doctrines, to prove their ideas right, they would not walk in darkness and blindness, or cherish error. Many give the words of Scripture a meaning that suits their own opinions, and they mislead themselves and deceive others by their misinterpretations of God's word. As we take up the study of God's word, we should do so with humble hearts. All selfishness, all love of originality, should be laid aside. Long-cherished opinions must not be regarded as infallible. It was the unwillingness of the Jews to give up their long established traditions that proved their ruin. They were determined not to see any flaw in their own opinions or in their expositions of the Scriptures; but however long men may have entertained certain views, if they are not clearly sustained by the written word, they should be discarded. {RH, July 26, 1892 par. 3}

Those who sincerely desire truth will not be reluctant to lay open their positions for investigation and criticism, and will not be annoyed if their opinions and ideas are crossed. This was the spirit cherished among us forty years ago. We would come together burdened in soul, praying that we might be one in faith and doctrine; for we knew that Christ is not divided. One point at a time was made the subject of investigation. Solemnity characterized these councils of investigation. The Scriptures were opened with a sense of awe. Often we fasted, that we might be better fitted to understand the truth. After earnest prayer, if any point was not understood, it was discussed, and each one expressed his opinion freely; then we would again bow in prayer, and earnest supplications went up to heaven that God would help us to see eye to eye, that we might be one, as Christ and the Father are one. Many tears were shed. If one brother rebuked another for his dullness of comprehension in not understanding a passage as he understood it, the one rebuked would afterward take his brother by the hand, and say, "Let us not grieve the Holy Spirit of God. Jesus is with us; let us keep a humble and teachable spirit;" and the brother addressed would say, "Forgive me, brother, I have done you an injustice." Then we would bow down in another season of prayer. We spent many hours in this way. We did not generally study together more than four hours at a time, yet sometimes the entire night was spent in solemn investigation of the Scriptures, that we might understand the truth for our time. On some occasions the Spirit of God would come upon me, and difficult portions were made clear through God's appointed way, and then there was perfect harmony. We were all of one mind and one Spirit. {RH, July 26, 1892 par. 4}

We sought most earnestly that the Scriptures should not be wrested to suit any man's opinions. We tried to make our differences as slight as possible by not dwelling on points that were of minor importance, upon which there were varying opinions. But the burden of every soul was to bring about a condition among the brethren which would answer the prayer of Christ that his disciples might be one as he and the Father are one. Sometimes one or two of the brethren would stubbornly set themselves against the view presented, and would act out the natural feelings of the heart; but when this disposition appeared, we suspended our investigations and adjourned our meeting, that each one might have an opportunity to go to God in prayer, and without conversation with others, study the point of difference, asking light from heaven. With expressions of friendliness we parted, to meet again as soon as possible for further investigation.

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, July 26, 1892, vol. 2, p. 585 (continued)

At times the power of God came upon us in a marked manner, and when clear light revealed the points of truth, we would weep and rejoice together. We loved Jesus; we loved one another. {RH, July 26, 1892 par. 5}

In those days God wrought for us, and the truth was precious to our souls. It is necessary that our unity today be of a character that will bear the test of trial. We are in the school of the Master here, that we may be trained for the school above. We must learn to bear disappointment in a Christ-like manner, and the lesson taught by this will be of great importance to us. {RH, July 26, 1892 par. 6}

We have many lessons to learn, and many, many to unlearn. God and heaven alone are infallible. Those who think that they will never have to give up a cherished view, never have occasion to change an opinion, will be disappointed. As long as we hold to our own ideas and opinions with determined persistency, we cannot have the unity for which Christ prayed. {RH, July 26, 1892 par. 7}

Could those who are self-sufficient see how the universe of God regards them; could they see themselves as God sees them; they would behold such weakness, such manifest want of wisdom, that they would cry to the Lord to be their righteousness; they would want to hide from his sight. The apostle says, "Ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." When our schemes and our plans have been broken; when men who have depended upon our judgment conclude the Lord would lead them to act and judge for themselves, we should not feel like censuring, and like exercising arbitrary authority to compel them to receive our ideas. Those who are placed in authority should constantly cultivate self-control. I am thankful that God is a wise ruler, and every one who is a true disciple of Christ will be humble, lift his cross, and meekly follow where the self-denying, self-sacrificing Jesus leads the way. Disappointment may prove to be the greatest of blessings to us. We must learn that others have rights as well as we have, and when any of our brethren receive new light upon the Scriptures, he should frankly explain his position, and every minister should search the Scriptures with the spirit of candor to see if the points presented on a new subject can be substantiated by the inspired word. "The servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient; in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth." Every soul must look to God with contrition and humility, that God may guide and lead and bless. We must not trust to others to search the Scriptures for us. Some of our leading brethren have frequently taken positions on the wrong side, and if God would send a message and wait for these older brethren to open the way for its advance, it would never reach the people. These brethren will be found in this position until they become partakers of the divine nature to a greater extent than ever they have been in the past. There is sadness in heaven over the spiritual blindness of many of our brethren. Our younger ministers who fill less important positions must make decided efforts to come to the light, to sink the shaft deeper and still deeper into the mine of truth. {RH, July 26, 1892 par. 8}

The rebuke of the Lord will be upon those who would be guardians of the doctrine, who would bar the way that greater light shall not come to the people. A great work is to be done, and God sees that our leading men have need of greater light, that they may unite with the messengers whom he shall send harmoniously to accomplish the work that he designs they should. The Lord has raised up messengers and endued them with his Spirit, and has said, "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins." Let no one run the risk of interposing himself between the people and the message of heaven. The message of God will come to the people; and if there were no voice among men to give it, the very stones would cry out. I call upon every minister to seek the Lord, to put away pride, to put away strife after supremacy, and humble the heart before God. It is the coldness of heart, the unbelief of those who ought to have faith, that keeps the churches in feebleness. {RH, July 26, 1892 par. 9}

I would rejoice with all my heart to see all who have been connected with the work, take their places to hold high the banner of Jesus, that when their work shall be done, they may say as did Paul, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day:

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, July 26, 1892, vol. 2, p. 585 (continued)

and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." {RH, July 26, 1892 par. 10}


(Exo 14:18 NKJV) "Then the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gained honor for Myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen."

(Josh 3:10 NKJV) And Joshua said, "By this you shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Hivites and the Perizzites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Jebusites:

(Psa 119:98-100 NKJV) You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; For they are ever with me. {99} I have more understanding than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation. {100} I understand more than the ancients, Because I keep Your precepts.

(Psa 119:105 NKJV) Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.

(Psa 119:130 NKJV) The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.

(Isa 1:1 NKJV) The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

(Isa 40:12-28 NKJV) Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, Measured heaven with a span And calculated the dust of the earth in a measure? Weighed the mountains in scales And the hills in a balance? {13} Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, Or as His counselor has taught Him? {14} With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him, And taught Him in the path of justice? Who taught Him knowledge, And showed Him the way of understanding? {15} Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket, And are counted as the small dust on the scales; Look, He lifts up the isles as a very little thing. {16} And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, Nor its beasts sufficient for a burnt offering. {17} All nations before Him are as nothing, And they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless. {18} To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare to Him? {19} The workman molds an image, The goldsmith overspreads it with gold, And the silversmith casts silver chains. {20} Whoever is too impoverished for such a contribution Chooses a tree that will not rot; He seeks for himself a skillful workman To prepare a carved image that will not totter. {21} Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? {22} It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. {23} He brings the princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth useless. {24} Scarcely shall they be planted, Scarcely shall they be sown, Scarcely shall their stock take root in the earth, When He will also blow on them, And they will wither, And the whirlwind will take them away like stubble. {25} "To whom then will you liken Me, Or to whom shall I be equal?" says the Holy One. {26} Lift up your eyes on high, And see who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, By the greatness of His might And the strength of His power; Not one is missing. {27} Why do you say, O Jacob, And speak, O Israel: "My way is hidden from the LORD, And my just claim is passed over by my God"? {28} Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.

(Isa 54:13 NKJV) All your children shall be taught by the LORD, And great shall be the peace of your children.

(Dan 11:32 NKJV) "Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.

(Zep 1:1 NKJV) The word of the LORD which came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah.

(John 10:35-36 NKJV) "If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), {36} "do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'?

(John 14:6-11 NKJV) Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. {7} "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him." {8} Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us." {9} Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?

{John 14:10-11} "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. {11} "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.

(Rom 1:20 NKJV) 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,

(1 John 1:1-3 NKJV) That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life; {2} the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us; {3} that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.

(1 John 2:5 NKJV) But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.

The Great Controversy, pp. 593 - 602(not included with lesson help)

(1 Tim 4:6 NKJV) If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed.

(2 Tim 4:3 NKJV) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;

(Titus 1:9 NKJV) holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.