THE THIRD ANGEL’S MESSAGE. —NO. 1.
ELDER A. T. JONES.
As we begin our Bible study I think it would be well to spend this hour, at any rate, in considering what we came for, and how we are to come to get any good. I suppose that every one came expecting to hear things we never thought of before; and not only expecting to hear things we never thought of before, but expecting to learn things we never thought of before. It is very easy to hear things we never thought of before, but we do not always learn what we hear; but I suppose we have come expecting to learn things we never thought of before. It is simply saying we have come expecting the Lord to give us new revelations of himself, of his word, and of his way altogether. I have come for this.
This text is good advice for us all: “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.” Mark 10:15. Thus we have come to learn of the kingdom of God, to receive things of the kingdom of God, things new and old, old things in a new way, and new things in a new way; whosoever shall not receive it as a little child, shall not enter therein; cannot have it. Hence, we are all to come here and to sit down at the feet of Christ, looking to him as our teacher, expecting to receive what he has to tell us, coming as a little child. Because, not only is this text here which speaks thus about those who would receive the kingdom of God, but in Matthew it is put in such a way as to cover all the time after we receive the kingdom of God from the first. “At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matt. 18:1-3.
Now if any one should say that the other text refers to any who are receiving the kingdom of God for the first time and admit the truth that they can receive it only as a little child, confessing that they know nothing of it themselves, and cannot bring themselves to a knowledge of it, this verse shows that it goes beyond that, and that the idea goes with it even after we have received the kingdom of God; for in order to be converted we are to be as a little child, receive the kingdom of God as a little child, allowing that we know nothing of ourselves, no wisdom of our own. It is not our own wisdom that can make it plain to us, can open the way by which we can understand it all right as it is. We must leave all our wisdom out in order to gain it, and by being converted become as a little child. “Except ye be converted and become as a little child, ye shall not enter the kingdom of God.” What kind of children is mentioned? —Little children. Little children have not much pride of opinion of their own. Grown up ones are not so ready to learn. Then this is spoken as giving us a model and example as to how we are to come to the word of God to learn.
There is another verse that tells us the same thing and perhaps in a more forcible manner. “And if any man think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know it.” 1 Cor. 8:2. How many people does that cover? “Any man,” all of us that have come here. Any one then who has come here, will it refer to us as personally as that? Every one. Any one of us then who have come here, that thinks he knows anything, how much does that cover? Thinks he knows how much? Thinks he knows what? — “Anything.” Does that cover all things then? Yes sir. Then the text covers all people and all things that may be known. Then if any one of us thinks he knows anything, what does he know? How much does he know? He knows nothing yet as he ought to.
Well then, we will all assent that that is true, shall we? Just set that down for yourself. If you came here thinking you knew something, you must decide you do not know that as you ought to know it. Then shall we come to this study in that way? Shall we all come to this study to-morrow, next day, each time we come here, and just settle it in our minds that we do not know anything as we ought to know it? I do not care if it is the oldest minister in our ranks; he must come and say, “I do not know anything yet as I ought to know it; teach thou me.” And we will learn; every one that comes to this house that way will learn something every lesson he hears. And this includes that same oldest minister in the ranks; he will learn more than any of the rest of us, if he sits down like that. But how long a time does that text cover? How long will it remain there? Will we go beyond that time during this institute, think you? No sir. Very good then, we have that settled, for the whole institute, if we thought we knew anything.
There are some things we thought we knew pretty well. If there is one thing we thought we knew, just put it down, we don’t know anything. We are always learning the most out of those texts that we already know best. Don’t forget that. We are always learning the most out of the texts with which we are already the most familiar. Then don’t you see that any one who takes any text or thought, and studies upon it for a long time, and thinks he has got all the thought out of it that is in it, he just shuts himself off there? When he says, “Now I know it,” he shuts himself off from learning what is really in that text.
Brother Porter here in the lesson of the previous hour spoke to us of God’s purpose in making known to us these things. What kind of purpose was that spoken of? An “eternal purpose.” And the Scripture is God’s expression to us of his thoughts in that eternal purpose. The Scripture is the expression of God’s thoughts on that purpose, in carrying out and setting forth and making known that purpose. Well then, what kind of purpose is it? Eternal. How deep then are his thoughts? How far-reaching is that purpose? Eternal. How deep then are the thoughts expressed in the Scriptures? Eternal. In how many expressions in the Scriptures, and in how many scriptures is the thought of eternal depth? In how many passages? Every one. Then it does take all the Scriptures that are written for the Lord to express to us what he wants to tell us, of his eternal purpose? Yes sir. Then how deep is the thought in each passage of Scripture and the words that are used to tell it? Eternal. Then just as soon as any man catches one of these thoughts and thinks, I know it now and have got it, how far short is he? How far short is he from having the thought that is really there, from having the thought that is in that passage? (Voices: As far as his mind is from God’s mind). When he says, I have the truth; I have the thought, he has shut up his own mind from the wisdom of the knowledge of God; putting himself and his own mind in the place of God and his thoughts. The man that does that cannot learn any more. Don’t you see, that at that instant he shuts himself out forever from learning? And the man who does that, of course can learn nothing beyond himself, and of course will never have the knowledge of God.
The expressions of thought conveyed in the statements of the Scriptures are as eternal depths. Then what limit can we set to ourselves in the study of these? No limit at all. Then does not that present the splendid picture, and the grand prospect that the eternal and the whole mind of God is wide open before us for us to study upon? Well then, let us not forget that that is the field of study upon which we are to enter.
We have been in it a good while and let us be careful that we do not think we know something; let us be sure that we have not been inveigled into the idea of thinking that we know something as we are to know it. Let us just settle it now by the word of God that we do not know that thing at all. There is knowledge in each line of thought for us to catch. And until all the depths and eternities are past we will never get to the place where we will have the right to think we know that thing and are done with it. Shall we? Well then, I am glad to know that we have such a subject as that to study upon, and such a length of time as that (eternity) in which to study it. Well then let us be glad to start with. That text is going to remain with us as long as we are in the world at least; and it won’t go then; it will go in this shape of course; the Bible, the word of God as put up in this shape, will go. No doubt these Bibles will be burned up just as any other book of paper and leather. But the word of God will not be burned up. That text in this shape (in print) will last as long as the world does; but after that it will still exist in this shape (the body). Then that text will still remain with us all the time, even eternally. “And if any man think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.” No; no man knows it. Are not you glad, brethren, are not you glad?
But we must not linger too long upon any one of these texts, for there are several texts we want to bring up to-night. Taking the thought we had a moment ago, we have come here expecting to learn many things that are new and many new things about what we have learned formerly. We have not come though, to learn anything but the truth. That is what we want: The only thing there is any power in, the only thing there is any good in, the only thing there is any sanctifying force in, is the truth, the truth as it is in Jesus of course, because there is no truth in any other way. Then coming with that purpose, to know only the truth, that is all we are to study, that is all we are to ask about. It is none of your business or mine, whether a thing be old or new, or who says it in this institute, or whether it is for us to study, or for any one else, is it? The thing for us to ask, is, Is it true? If it be true, then take the Lord’s word as he has given it to us, no difference by whom he says it, no difference in what way it comes, no difference if it comes in exactly the opposite way in which way we expected it to come — and the probabilities are that it will, “for your ways are not my ways, saith the Lord.” Then when we have a way fixed up, we may expect it to come another way.
The Lord will not allow any one to dictate to him or to lay out plans for him. We may take the Lord in that text, “0 God, verily thou art a God that hidest thyself.” But we can see him; he will hide himself; we cannot fix the ways in which he is going to do things always; but the best of it is we will let him have his own way to do things, and we will be in a position to do it all the time. Then we will be perfectly safe. Then we will never need to have any anxieties, need never have any thing to do with the management of it ourselves. He is all wise; everything goes straight with him, and we simply keep ourselves ready to see him do it at any time. And we have nothing to do but to enjoy ourselves in seeing him do things. I have been greatly blessed in the study of the Bible and in watching the Lord do things. And when it is the darkest, the most mysterious, then it is the best study, because it takes us clear out of ourselves to see him do it. If we could see just how it was coming out always it would not seem interesting. When it is the darkest, we can watch the more intently and with more interest, to see the Lord straighten it out.
So then we are to learn the truth only, no difference who speaks it,—the Lord will speak it, of course — no difference by whom it is spoken, or the way it comes; if we knew it before, thank God somebody else knows it now: If we did not know it before, then thank the Lord we now know it. The only thing to ask is, Is it true? You all know those verses in 2 Thess. 2: 9, 10: “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” Why is it he does all that for this people? Because they received not the love of the truth. Any one who loves the truth, and will receive the love of the truth, Satan will never have any chance to work in with all signs and lying wonders, and all deceivableness of unrighteousness. No sir. Because Jesus has said it (John 8:32): “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Then every one who receives the love of the truth, this will make them free. Then the one in whom Satan is to work all signs and lying wonders, is he free? No; he is a fearful slave. As long as we have it settled in our minds that the only thing we shall ever seek or expect is the truth, and love it because it is the truth, and take it because it is the truth, then we need not be uneasy about whether Satan is going to deceive us, or not.
Notice the last half of the verse; the effect of the truth is to make us free. The first half is the best promise in the Bible, if we could measure promises. But we cannot do that because one is just as important as another. All are the thoughts of God, and his thoughts are eternal. But this is an excellent promise, “Ye shall know the truth.” That, it seems to me, is a most wonderful promise. “Ye shall know the truth.” Think you know it? Wonder if you know it? Wonder whether such and such a thing is true? No sir. “Ye shall know the truth.” That is the promise of Jesus Christ to you and to me, that when we trust in him and follow him, we shall know the truth. And as certain as we yield to him and follow him he will take care that we know the truth, and we trust him for it.
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed. And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” How are we to know the truth? Continue in his word, be his disciples indeed, and ye shall know the truth. Then his word is the word of truth. “Ye shall know the truth.” We want to stick to that promise. It seems to me that if that promise were the only one in the Bible it would be all we would need. “Ye shall know the truth.” Because Christ has promised that, this is for you and for me, when we follow him, and when we yield to him. And because this is so it seems to me that we ought to be the gladdest people on earth, for that promise given, “Ye shall know the truth.”
There will be plenty of opportunities, assuredly; there have been some already no doubt in just the first lessons which have been given, --some opportunities already for persons in the classes to say, Well, now, is that so? Probably some opportunity has already been offered for some to say, “Well now, I do not know about that.” There will be countless instances doubtless, before the six weeks are past, that the Lord has given us to study his word and ways, numberless times in which we will be called upon to say, Well now is that so? What is the promise? “Ye shall know the truth.” Now the Lord does not want us to take things because some one says them. God does not want us to say when any one says a thing, Well, that is so, because he says it. That is not the thing. We are to know it is true, because God says it. And I say that there is the promise, “Ye shall know.” There will be the opportunity for the query to arise, Is that so? How about that? There is the query, but there is the promise with it. Do not forget it. Jesus has said to you every time that query arises, “Ye shall know the truth.” Then, when that query arises from some thought in the lesson, what is the answer to you and me? What are we then to consider? What is the place for us to occupy just then? Here is some brother who will be speaking some day, and he will make a statement perhaps, reading a passage, or two or three passages, and catch a thought there that is new to me, make an expression here that is new to me, and the query comes, Well now is that so? What is the answer to me? “Ye shall know the truth.” Then what am I to do just then with that new thought, with that query? Am I now just to hold that query, that new thought, that which is to me a new thought? Am I not to hold that right before Christ, and ask him the truth? Or wouldn’t I better go to some of the brethren and ask,” What do you think about that? Brother A. says so and so. What do you think about that? That is new to me, and I kind of half doubt it.” “Well, I doubt it too,” says the other brother. Well then, of course it cannot be so; that settles it; it is not so. It is none of your business what I think about it.
I remember once in a camp-meeting a brother read some scriptures right straight through—it was about all he did do; it was a Bible reading; — but the thoughts he brought out in the Bible reading were new to a large number in the audience. About half a dozen came in a flock to me and asked, “Well, now, Brother Jones, what do you think about that?” I said, “It is none of your business what I think about it; what do you think about it yourself?” “Well, we do not know what to think about it,” they replied. Then I said, “Find out.” Suppose I had said I do not believe it; then they would have gone off and said, “I do not believe that, because Brother Jones said he did not.” Suppose I had said it was so; they would have said, “That is so; Brother Jones says that is so.” So I propose to tell you nothing about what I think. It is none of your business: you know for yourselves what is the truth. That is the position I propose to occupy in this institute. I expect to find some things coming out here that are new. I have never found a meeting yet where we have studied the Bible that the Lord did not give us something that was new, beautiful, grand, and glorious. But the place I propose to occupy is right upon that promise, “Ye shall know the truth.”
But I find people, and doubtless you have too, who seem to get upon the idea that the only sure way to know the truth is to raise all the objections they can and have them answered. But when I have raised and presented all the objections I know against a point, and they are all answered, then am I sure what is truth? Am I sure of it? No; because there are objections I never thought of. Don’t you see? On that line can I ever be sure that it is the truth, until every objection that is possible is brought against it by every mind in the universe -- can I be sure of it until then? When these are all answered would that make me sure it was so? If it would, how can I live long enough to hear all the objections answered? Can we get at the truth in that way? Is there any possibility of getting at the truth by raising objections and having them answered? No sir. What is the use of starting on a road of which you will never reach the end -- a wrong road of course? Better not start on it at all.
Another word. Can there be any objection against the truth? Think of that closely. Well, when something is presented, are you and I to say, “I see an objection against that?” Is that the position we are to take? No; we are to ask whether it is the truth, and if it is, there is no objection, there can be no objection against it. Our objection is a fraud. Don’t you see? The thing we are to ask is, Is it the truth? And then another way the people have of getting at the truth is to hear both sides of it. You have heard that thing yourself. “That is one side,” they say, “but now I want to hear the other side before I decide.” What is one side of the truth? Well, here is one side of the truth, and there is the other side of the truth; then where is the truth? You get on the either side of the truth and it is error. I have heard one side, and I want to hear another side of it! Then how can I tell what is the truth, any how? But suppose I have heard actual truth (and that is the need of it), and I am not satisfied until I hear the other side. What is the other side? Taking this one side to be the truth, what is the other side? Error. Then we can decide best what is truth by hearing a lot of lies, can we? “Well,” says one, “I have heard your side of it, and it looks to me as though it were true, but I want to hear the other side!” The truth is the word of God. Then he proposes by waiting to hear the other side, to know whether it is true, or not, by comparing it with a lot of lies, and thus make a lot of lies a test of the truth.
We do not want to hear the other side. All we want is the truth. Here is one side of the truth, and there is the other side of the truth. He hears both sides according to his own plan; then how does he arrive at the truth? In his own way. He has heard this and that. Where is the truth? He must find it out some way. Does he not compare one side with the other, and weigh one against the other, and strike the balance and judge where the truth is? Well, when he has done that, can he know he has the truth? Is he sure that is the truth? Is my mind, my judgment, my ability to weigh arguments and decide upon the truth, — is that the infallible test of truth? Is a man’s judgment, his faculties, the test of truth at all? When we want to test the truth so as to know it is the truth, the test must be an infallible one. Is not that so? It must be one that will never fail. To discern the truth and declare it, it must be one that will never miss under any circumstances amid ten thousand arguments and errors. The one by which we must test the truth must be such a one as will strike the truth among ten million diverse opinions and strike it without fail in succession--every thought that may be raised among men. Is not that so? Man’s mind we know is not the test of truth. It is only his own idea of the truth that he settles upon. “But your thoughts are not my thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord.”
Now brethren, in the time in which we are, there are two reasons why that thing could not be worked, even if it were correct. One is, that the truth of God is developing so rapidly that we have not time to hunt out all the objections and listen to the arguments on both sides, because we would be everlastingly behind while we were listening to a lot of arguments and objections. But we do not want to stand in that place when probation closes. The time is too short for that; and we would be left out when we get there. But there is the promise, “Ye shall know the truth.”
Turn again to John 14:16, 17: “I will pray the Father and he shall give you another Comforter that he may abide with you forever, even the Spirit of truth.” Spirit of what? Truth. Oh! Thank the Lord for the promise, “I will pray the Father.” What is Christ doing to-night for us, who are here in this institute? —Praying the Father. He will send us the Comforter? —The Spirit of truth. What is the position to occupy, before we come to the class each day? Taking part in that prayer, that we may have the Spirit of truth, isn’t it?
So then Jesus is praying, and by the way, as Jesus is doing it are not we in good company when we do it? Let us spend a good deal of time at it then during this institute. Let us spend a good deal of time in his company during this institute. What do you say? (Audience, Amen). I will pray the Father and he will give you. He does not say I will pray the Father that he may do it, as though it was to be decided after he had prayed; but I will pray the Father and he shall give you. Of course his prayer is heard, for he makes intercession for us. He presents our prayers according to the will of God. And so then he prayed and we pray that he may give us this Comforter, and he does. When we ask we know we receive, for he says so. If we ask anything according to his will, what then? He hears us. And this is the confidence we have in him to-night. This is the confidence we have in him that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. Then if we have that confidence in the Lord, we can have a good time throughout this institute. Ask anything according to his will and he hears us. Then it is his will that we should have the Holy Spirit. Then we can go to him every day, and every hour of the day, asking him for that Spirit of truth and know that we shall receive it, know he hears us; and if we know he hears us, we know we have the petitions we desired of him.
Now put these things together. We ask anything according to his will, and he hears us. Every time we ask, he hears. Then when he hears, then what? —We know we may have it? shall have it? Have it. Then what are we to do? When we have asked according to his will we know he hears us. And we have what we ask for; then what are we to do? Let us thank him for it. Then before we come to the institute each morning let us ask the Lord for the Holy Spirit according to his will; then when we have asked, yield wholly to the Lord, and thank him that it is done, and come expecting him to teach, and that he will teach the teacher, and through him teach us.
“That I may abide with you.”— How long? Forever. Good. The Spirit of truth is able to take the truth and make known the truth at any moment amid ten thousand times ten thousand phases of error. How long? — Forever. Isn’t that good? Is not that a good promise that he shall give to us the Spirit of truth, and he will stay there forever? “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you and shall be in you.”
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you.” What will he do? — Guide you. He will do it; that is positive. When he comes, he will do that. Well, brethren, can’t we trust him, then? Let us put the three things together, — “Ye shall know the truth;” “I will pray the Father,” and “He shall guide you.” Then can’t we trust him? Can’t we surrender everything to him right off without a single hesitation about anything? “Ye shall know the truth.” “The Father shall give you the Spirit of truth, and he will guide you.” Then shall we not yield everything to him and trust him and expect him to guide us in every study we have here?
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will shew you things to come.” Will he? He will show us things to come. Good. Doesn’t the Lord want us to see things that are coming before they overtake us? Hasn’t he told us that the people who will now see what is coming upon us by what is being transacted before us, will trust no longer to human inventions, but will feel that the Holy Spirit must be recognized and received? How will we see what is coming upon us? — By what is being transacted before us. Jesus will show us things to come. He does not want us to be taken by surprise in any of these things. He wants us to know what is coming beforehand, to be fully armed, and not to be surprised and overtaken.
“He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine and shall show it unto you.” And what is he? “I am the truth, and the Spirit of truth.” He takes what is his and shows it to us. Then when the Spirit of truth takes only that which is the Lord’s (and that is all he will ever show to us, he does not stand out independently and do great things of himself; just as Jesus did not do that, but yielded everything that the Father might move and work in him. So the Holy Spirit in his place does the same things as Jesus did exactly. He does not show of himself, but finds what God told to Jesus and tells that to you and me. So he gives us the truth of God as it is in Jesus. He is the God of truth? “All things that the Father hath, are mine. Therefore, said I, that he shall take of mine and shall show it unto you.” Then we have the scripture, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, the things which God bath prepared for them that love him.” There is the eternal purpose, and the depths of it. That is where we are to stand, asking, taking part in that prayer of Jesus every day, that we may have the Spirit of truth here in our studies and all our work, guiding us into truth.
Note the following from “Steps to Christ,” pp. 105, 129, 130: —
“Never should the Bible be studied without prayer. Before opening its pages we should ask for the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, and it will be given. When Nathaniel came to Jesus, the Saviour exclaimed, ‘Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile.’ Nathaniel said, ‘Whence knowest thou me?’ Jesus answered, ‘Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee.’ And Jesus will see us also in the secret places of prayer, if we will seek him for light, that we may know what is truth. Angels from the world of light will be with those who in humility of heart seek for divine guidance.
“The Holy Spirit exalts and glorifies the Saviour. It is his office to present Christ, the purity of his righteousness, and the great salvation that we have through him. Jesus says, ‘He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.’ The Spirit of truth is the only effectual teacher of divine truth. How must God esteem the human race, since he gave his Son to die for them, and appoints his Spirit to be man’s teacher and continual guide.”
“God intends that even in this life the truths of his word shall be ever unfolding to his people. There is only one way in which this knowledge can be obtained. We call attention to an understanding of God’s word only through the illumination of that Spirit by which the word was given. ‘The things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God;’ ‘for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.’ And the Saviour’s promise to his followers was, ‘When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth. . . . For he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.”
“God desires man to exercise his reasoning powers; and the study of the Bible will strengthen and elevate the mind as no other study can. Yet we are to beware of deifying reason, which is subject to the weakness and infirmity of humanity. If we would not have the Scriptures clouded to our understanding, so that the plainest truths shall not be comprehended, we must have the simplicity and faith of a little child, ready to learn, and beseeching the aid of the Holy Spirit. A sense of the power and wisdom of God, and of our inability to comprehend his greatness, should inspire us with humility, and we should open his word, as we would enter his presence, with holy awe. When we come to the Bible, reason must acknowledge an authority superior to itself, and heart and intellect must bow to the great I AM.”
From this time forth as long as we live, when we read his word just as it is, let us never set up an “if” against it. Is there any “if” about it? Can there be any “if”? There is no “if” in it at all. It is just what it says. Thank God it is so, and let him tell us what it means, and how it is to.
I read again from “Gospel Workers,” p. 126: — “God desires us to receive the truth upon its own merits—because it is truth. The Bible must not be interpreted to suit the ideas of men, however long they may have held these ideas to be true.”
That means that I must not interpret the Bible to suit this man (speaker pointing to himself). It means you, too. “The spirit in which we come to the investigation of the Scriptures, will determine the character of the assistant at your side.”—Idem, p. 127.
There is an important thing. We are coming in here every day for the investigation of the Scriptures. Now the word is, The spirit in which you come will determine the character of the assistant at your side.
“Angels from the world of light will be with those who in humility of heart seek for divine guidance. But if the Bible is opened with irreverence, with a feeling of self-sufficiency, if the heart is filled with prejudice, Satan is beside you, and he will set the plain statements of God’s word in a perverted light.” —Idem.
Let us not have Satan for an assistant. Then let us be certain we join with Jesus in that prayer, before we come, and remain in it while we stay. “We should study the Bible for ourselves. No man should be relied upon to think for us.” That does not say we are not to be led by a man, if God is leading the man; or by a woman either, if God is leading the woman. You know too, that a certain man once would have done well to have consented to be led by an ass. But he proposed to be led by the Lord alone; he didn’t propose to have any body lead him, but he got into mischief. Let us not choose who shall lead us, except that God shall lead us.
A man was once talking against the Spirit of prophecy, and telling how easy Seventh-day Adventists were deceived; how deluded they were; that their teachers got up and told them certain things, and they just swallowed them down whole. I said to myself; that I wished he would try it; try to get things down there in that way. It is a fact that Seventh-day Adventists are hard to lead. I am glad of it in one way. I want every Seventh-day Adventist to be so hard to lead that nobody in the universe can lead him but Jesus Christ. Yes sir. But oh, brethren, let us get where it will not be nearly so hard for him to lead us. But I am glad they are so hard to lead that nobody can do it but him. Let us get into that place as soon as possible, and then let us just be led as easy as a lamb by him, by the Lamb of God that he is.
“We must not become set in our ideas, and think that no one should interfere with our opinions. When a point of doctrine that you do not understand comes to your attention, go to God on your knees, that you may understand what is true, and not be found as were the Jews, fighting against God. . . . It is impossible for any mind to comprehend all the richness and greatness of even one promise of God. One catches the glory of one point of view, and another the beauty and grace from another point, and the soul is filled with the heavenly light. If we saw all the glory, the spirit would faint. But we can bear far greater revelations from God’s abundant promises than we now enjoy. It makes my heart sad to think how we lose sight of the fullness of blessing designed for us. We content ourselves with momentary flashes of spiritual illumination, when we might walk day after day in the light of his presence. . . . He whose office it is to bring all things to the remembrance of God’s people, and to guide them into all truth, may be with us in the investigation of his holy word.”— Idem, pp. 129-181.
Oh, what a promise that is, that we shall know the truth! Then he gives us the Spirit of truth to guide into the truth. And that Spirit is such a perfect guide, such an infallible one that it will silence every other voice when every wind of doctrine is blowing. It silences every other voice than that which comes from him who is truth and life. Well, then, brethren, let us enter upon the study in this spirit, and remain in this spirit, and God will teach us. And as it was said in the days of Job, and in the book, “Who teaches like him?”
REVIEW AND HERALD EXTRA.
Vol. 5. Battle Creek, Mich., Friday, January 27, 1893. No. 1.