Inspiration and the Word of God

by Pastor Louis Torres | 24 Jun 2015

J esus used the Scriptures to correct wrongs and/or ideologies, cultural or otherwise (see Matthew chapters 4-7), to establish a truth, or to encourage faithfulness and obedience (see all the references below on pages 3, 4). He also pronounced the Word as the only source of power over temptation (Matthew 4:1-10). He cited from Moses’ writings, specifically from the book of Deuteronomy as the means of using divine thoughts to destroy satanic suggested temptations. (See Deut 8:3, Deut 6:16, Deut 6:13). He unequivocally stated it to be that which proceeded out of the mouth of God. Because God is the source of the Word, and the source of life, Jesus confirms that “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). It is through the “exceeding great and precious promises” of the Word that we “might be partakers of the divine nature,” and escape “the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4). And it is “by taking heed to the Word that a young man can cleanse his way,” and by hearing it faith awakens” (Psalm 119:9; Romans 10:17 respectively). Christ never made the Scriptures subject to dissecting. On the contrary, it was to be the dissector. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). Having such an element as this at our reach, I would certainly be afraid of any attempts to cut out any part as culturally uninspired. For the Scriptures are filled with many stories saturated with cultural issues (such as the contention between the wife and concubine of Abraham) purposely not occluded by God from its pages. Since Christ declared all Scriptures to be the Word of God, it would be more than blasphemous for anyone to assume the impossible task of determining what piece is inspired and which is not. Paul and Peter explicitly wrote about inspiration of the Scriptures. Paul wrote: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). The word inspiration in the Greek is, theopneustos, which literally means, “God-breathed,” “God-inspired.”[1] Peter contributed by explaining how this “inspiration” was accomplished. He wrote, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” 2 Peter 1:20, 21. Given that they both believed the Bible was God-inspired, lends to the reason why they ardently defended and commended it. Paul’s writings were based upon his understanding and dependence upon the Bible as being the irrefutable Word of God. To the Romans he wrote: “Which He had promised afore by his prophets in the Holy Scriptures.” “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” “But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith” (Romans 1:2; 10:17; 15:4; 16:26, respectively). It was to the Scriptures that he also pointed to, to convince the Jews that Christ was the sent of God (Acts 13:16-41). “And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:2, 11). “And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening” (Acts 28:23). For the gentile Corinthian believers, it was essential that he provide anchoring in the only source of divine inspiration upon which they could turn to for clarity of faith and belief. He wrote, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Inspiration is “God’s method of influencing and directing the minds of men in the process of making them channels of divine revelation. “Inspiration” is found twice in the KJV: (1) Job 32:8, where “inspiration” is literally “breath,” and (2) 2 Ti 3:16, where the phrase, “all scripture is given by inspiration of God,” is literally, “all scripture is God-breathed.” “The prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Pe 1:20, 21; cf. Mt 22:43; Mk 12:36; 1 Cor. 2:13; Heb 3:7; etc.). Many of the OT authors asserted the inspiration of their message by prefacing or closing their statements with such words as, “saith the Lord” (Is 1:24; Jer. 17:24; Amos 2:1; Zep 1:3; Zec 1:4; Mal 1:2; etc.), “the Lord spake thus” (Is 8:11), “the word of the Lord came unto me” (Eze 6:1; 7:1; Eze 14:2; cf. Jon 1:1 etc.) “the Lord said” (Hos 1:2), “the Lord hath spoken it” (Ob 18), etc.[2] Since man’s hope of salvation depended solely on the promised seed (Genesis 3:15; 13:15; Gal 3:16), it was imperative that God would provide a way to guarantee or ironclad that the true seed could be positively traced through the Scriptures. Thus, he registered the apparently chauvinistic and cultural genealogies with the intent, not to be sexist as some assert, but to positively trace the authenticity of that seed. This guarded against a supplanter or decoy to be taken for the genuine. He also filled the Bible with prophecies, stories, illustrations, counsels, and types and symbols that only One could fulfill. That one was Christ. Christ attested to the inspiration of the Old Testament by making reference to it as the word and record of God (Mt 1:22, 23; 3:2, 3; 5:18; 21:42; Mk 1:2, 3; Lk 20:17, 18; Jn 2:15-17). Jesus also “affirmed its authority by stating that “the scripture cannot be broken” (Jn 10:34, 35). Paul claimed that what he taught was not “by human wisdom but…by the Spirit” (1 Cor 2:13, RSV; cf. ch 7:40; 1 Th 2:13; 4:2), and Peter acknowledged Paul’s writings as on a par with “other scriptures” (2 Pe 3:15, 16). The Revelator claims that his message had its source in God and came to him through an angel (Rev 1:1)”[3] That Christ, nor his disciples, ever quoted from the Apocrypha writings such as the Maccabees, or Baruch, etc., is significant. Their absences from the lack of referencing them give evidence to their uninspired origin. On the other hand, Christ used the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, the Psalms and Proverbs, and the rest of the Old Testament Canon to convince his followers that everything that had taken place in his life were direct fulfillments of that which had been written in Moses and all the prophets. Following are a few examples of Christ’s attitude toward the inspiration of the Scriptures. Matthew 23:2, 3 “Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.” Mark 1:44 “And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.” Mark 7:10 “For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death.” Mark 12:26 “And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?” Luke 16:29-31 “Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And He said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” Luke 20:37 “Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Luke 24:27, 44 “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. 44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.” Matthew 21:42 “Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?” Mat. 22:29 “Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” Matt. 26:54-56 “But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me. But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.” Mark 12:24 “And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? Mark 14:49 “I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled.” Luke 24:27-32, 45 “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though He would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And He went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as He sat at meat with them, He took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and He vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the scriptures? Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.” John 5:39 “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” John 5:46 “For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.” John 7:19-23 “Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me? The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee? Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel. Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man. If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?” Acts 18:24, 28 “And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.” It is obvious that the authors of the Scriptures considered themselves inspired by God. It is also crystal clear that Jesus never even intimated that the Bible had any portion of it that was not inspired. Being the source himself, how could He cast even an inkling of a shadow of doubt concerning its origin or legitimacy? When seeking to understand the meaning of events or circumstances surrounding life, they either quoted the Scriptures, or they studied them. Daniel studied the writings of Jeremiah (see Daniel 9: 1-3). The prophets studied the writings to understand God’s will. “Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into” (1 Peter 1:10-12). Because it is through the Bible that mankind learns divine truths, and is led to the God of their salvation, it would stand to reason that the enemy of souls would attempt in someway to destroy confidence in it. Or, he would suggest sufficient doubt, twist its meaning, or lead to disregard it completely. Following are statements that reveal the various ways that the enemy attempts to destroy its influence. This is a compilation of several statements relative to the question of the inspiration of the Bible.
  “There are some that may think they are fully capable with their finite judgment to take the Word of God, and to state what are the words of inspiration, and what are not the words of inspiration. I want to warn you off that ground, my brethren in the ministry. “Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” There is no finite man that lives, I care not who he is or whatever is his position, that God has authorized to pick and choose in His Word.” 7BC p919.2
  “Although we may try to reason in regard to our Creator, how long He has had existence, where evil first entered into our world, and all these things, we may reason about them until we fall down faint and exhausted with the research when there is yet an infinity beyond. We cannot grasp it, so what man is there that dares to take that Bible and say this part is inspired and that part is not inspired? I would have both my arms taken off at my shoulders before I would ever make the statement or set my judgment upon the Word of God as to what is inspired and what is not inspired.” 7BC p919.5
“Those who think to make the supposed difficulties of Scripture plain, in measuring by their finite rule that which is inspired and that which is not inspired, had better cover their faces, as Elijah when the still small voice spoke to him; for they are in the presence of God and holy angels, who for ages have communicated to men light and knowledge, telling them what to do and what not to do, unfolding before them scenes of thrilling interest, waymark by waymark in symbols and signs and illustrations. And He [God] has not, while presenting the perils clustering about the last days, qualified any finite man to unravel hidden mysteries or inspired one man or any class of men to pronounce judgment as to that which is inspired or is not. When men, in their finite judgment, find it necessary to go into an examination of scriptures to define that which is inspired and that which is not, they have stepped before Jesus to show Him a better way than He has led us. I take the Bible just as it is, as the Inspired Word. I believe its utterances in an entire Bible. Men arise who think they find something to criticize in God’s Word. They lay it bare before others as evidence of superior wisdom. These men are, many of them, smart men, learned men, they have eloquence and talent, the whole lifework [of whom] is to unsettle minds in regard to the inspiration of the Scriptures. They influence many to see as they do. And the same work is passed on from one to another, just as Satan designed it should be, until we may see the full meaning of the words of Christ, ‘When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?’ (Luke 18:8).”
  Brethren, let not a mind or hand be engaged in criticizing the Bible. It is a work that Satan delights to have any of you do, but it is not a work the Lord has pointed out for you to do.” 1SM p.17
  “Both in the [Battle Creek] Tabernacle and in the college the subject of inspiration has been taught, and finite men have taken it upon themselves to say that some things in the Scriptures were inspired and some were not. I was shown that the Lord did not inspire the articles on inspiration published in the Review, [REFERENCE HERE IS TO A SERIES OF ARTICLES THE WRITER OF WHICH ADVOCATED THAT THERE WERE “DIFFERENCES IN DEGREES” OF INSPIRATION. SEE THE REVIEW AND HERALD, JAN. 15, 1884.–COMPILERS.] neither did He approve their endorsement before our youth in the college. When men venture to criticize the Word of God, they venture on sacred, holy ground, and had better fear and tremble and hide their wisdom as foolishness. God sets no man to pronounce judgment on His Word, selecting some things as inspired and discrediting others as uninspired. The testimonies have been treated in the same way; but God is not in this.   –Letter 22, 1889. 1SM p23.1
  “It is wonderful what an amount of evidence is required on the side of truth by the mind trained to doubt, and what weak, thread-like suppositions will be readily fastened upon to support skepticism. In the language of the apostle Paul it might be asked, O skeptic, “who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth?” The interpretation often heard that “All scripture given by inspiration of God,” means that some Scripture is not inspired, is a very slender peg to hang a doubt upon. The apostle means simply, “I present to you the Living Oracles, the Scriptures, all given by inspiration of God, and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.'” Then comes the charge to Timothy: “Preach the word.” “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” {}   BEcho, August 26, 1895 par. 2
  “In almost every case where persons become unsettled in regard to the inspiration of the word of God, it is on account of their unsanctified lives, which that word condemns. They will not receive its reproofs and threatenings because these reflect upon their wrong course of action. They do not love those who would convert and restrain them. Difficulties and doubts which perplex the vicious heart will be cleared away before the one practicing the pure principles of truth.”   1Tp.440
  “How would finite man know anything about that matter? He is to take the Word of God as it reads, and then to appreciate it as it is, and to bring it into the life and to weave it into the character. There is everything plainly revealed in God’s Word which concerns the salvation of men, and if we will take that Word and comprehend it to the very best of our ability, God will help us in its comprehension.”   1SAT p.65
  “The Holy Scriptures are to be accepted as an authoritative, infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the revealer of doctrines, and the test of experience. Spiritual darkness has covered the earth and gross darkness the people. . . . Many, very many, are questioning the verity and truth of the Scriptures. Human reasoning and the imaginings of the human heart are undermining the inspiration of the Word of God, and that which should be received as granted, is surrounded with a cloud of mysticism. Nothing stands out in clear and distinct lines, upon rock bottom. This is one of the marked signs of the last days. . . . There are men who strive to be original, who are wise above what is written; therefore, their wisdom is foolishness. . . . In seeking to make plain or to unravel mysteries hid from ages from mortal man, they are like a man floundering about in the mud, unable to extricate himself and yet telling others how to get out of the muddy sea they themselves are in. This is a fit representation of the men who set themselves to correct the errors of the Bible. No man can improve the Bible by suggesting what the Lord meant to say or ought to have said. . . . I take the Bible just as it is, as the Inspired Word. I believe its utterances in an entire Bible. This Holy Book has withstood the assaults of Satan, who has united with evil men to make everything of divine character shrouded in clouds and darkness. But the Lord has preserved this Holy Book by His own miraculous power in its present shape–a chart or guidebook to the human family to show them the way to heaven. . . . 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.”   FLB, p.13
  “Those who are truly converted to Christ [must] keep on constant guard lest they shall accept error in place of truth. Those who think that it matters not what they believe in doctrine, so long as they believe in Jesus Christ, are on dangerous ground. There are some who think that they will be just as acceptable to God by obeying some other law than the law of God—by meeting some other conditions than those He has specified in the gospel—as if they obeyed His commandments and complied with His requirements. But they are under a fatal delusion, and unless they renounce this heresy and come into harmony with His requirements, they cannot become members of the royal family.”   CTr, p.235
  “The Scriptures are the great agency in this transformation of character. Christ prayed, ‘Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17). If studied and obeyed, the Word of God works in the heart, subduing every unholy attribute. The Holy Spirit comes to convict of sin, and the faith that springs up in the heart works by love to Christ, conforming us, body, soul, and spirit, to His will. A man sees his danger. He sees that he needs a change of character, a change of heart. He is stirred; his fears are aroused. The Spirit of God is working in him, and with fear and trembling he works for himself, seeking to find out his defects of character and to see what he can do to bring about the needed change in his life. . . . He confesses his sins to God, and if he has injured anyone, he confesses the wrong to the one he has injured. . . . He acts in harmony with the Spirit’s working, and his conversion is genuine.”   HP p.21
  To divest the Scriptures of its inspiration is to remove from it the life giving power inherent in the Word through the Holy Spirit. The attack on the Word of God is to rob the Scriptures of its power for people to be sanctified. “There is no Bible sanctification for those who cast a part of the truth behind them. There is light enough given in the word of God, so that none need err.” Mar, p. 89   Mar p.89
  “We must cling to our Bibles. If Satan can make you believe that there are things in the Word of God that are not inspired, he will then be prepared to ensnare your soul. We shall have no assurance, no certainty, at the very time we need to know what is truth.”   Review and Herald,Dec. 18, 1888. Ev 249.2
  “The gospel is a system of practical truths destined to work great changes in human character. If it does not work the transformation in life, in habits, and practice, it is no truth to those who claim to believe it. Man must be sanctified through the truth. And said Jesus, “Thy word is truth” (John 17:17). Unless the truth of God shall lift up man out of his depravity, his intemperate and profligate habits, and make him reflect the image of God, he is lost.”   TDG p.81
  “Jesus prayed for his disciples, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.” [John 17:21.] Just before, He said, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” [John 17:17.] And He had given them the promise, “When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.” [John 16:13.] Through the Holy Spirit, Christ will open more clearly to those who will believe on him that which He has inspired holy men to write concerning the truth. And it is thus that the unity for which Christ prayed is to be effected. We are to receive sanctification through obedience to the word and the Spirit of truth. We cannot surrender the truth in order to accomplish this union; for the very means by which it is to be gained is sanctification through the truth. Human wisdom would change all this, thinking this basis of union too narrow. Men would effect a union through conformity to popular opinions, through a compromise with the world. But truth is God’s basis for the unity of his people.”   GW92p.391
  “The good-ground hearer receives the word “not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God’ (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Only he who receives the Scriptures as the voice of God speaking to himself is a true learner. He trembles at the word; for to him it is a living reality. He opens his understanding and his heart to receive it.” COL, p. 59   COL p.59
  “Our part is to receive God’s word and to hold it fast, yielding ourselves fully to its control, and its purpose in us will be accomplished.”   COL p.61
  “In our day, as of old, the vital truths of God’s word are set aside for human theories and speculations. Many professed ministers of the gospel do not accept the whole Bible as the inspired word. One wise man rejects one portion; another questions another part. They set up their judgment as superior to the word; and the Scripture which they do teach rests upon their own authority. Its divine authenticity is destroyed. Thus the seeds of infidelity are sown broadcast; for the people become confused and know not what to believe. Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him. 6Add thou not unto his words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. Proverbs 30:5, 6. The word of God is made to appear mysterious and obscure in order to excuse transgression of His law. Christ rebuked these practices in His day. He taught that the word of God was to be understood by all. He pointed to the Scriptures as of unquestionable authority, and we should do the same. The Bible is to be presented as the word of the infinite God, as the end of all controversy and the foundation of all faith.”   COL p.39
  “Christ’s favorite theme was the paternal tenderness and abundant grace of God; He dwelt much upon the holiness of His character and His law; He presented Himself to the people as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Let these be the themes of Christ’s ministers. Present the truth as it is in Jesus. Make plain the requirements of the law and the gospel. Tell the people of Christ’s life of self-denial and sacrifice; of His humiliation and death; of His resurrection and ascension; of His intercession for them in the courts of God; of His promise, ‘I will come again, and receive you unto Myself’ (John 14:3).”   COL p.40.2
  “When faith in God’s word is lost, the soul has no guide, no safeguard. To this cause may in great degree be attributed the widespread iniquity in our world today. When the word of God is set aside, its power to restrain the evil passions of the natural heart is rejected. Men sow to the flesh, and of the flesh they reap corruption. And here, too, is the great cause of mental weakness and inefficiency. In turning from God’s word to feed on the writings of uninspired men, the mind becomes dwarfed and cheapened. It is not brought in contact with deep, broad principles of eternal truth. The understanding adapts itself to the comprehension of the things with which it is familiar, and in this devotion to finite things it is weakened, its power is contracted, and after a time it becomes unable to expand. All this is false education.”   COL p.41
Ellen White was called upon by God to give certain messages to those God wished to encourage in their Christian walk. She relates that she had been
“shown faults and wrongs of individuals who professed perfect confidence in the visions, but found fault with the instrument. The natural feelings of their heart rise up in rebellion against the visions which had exposed their errors and evil. Instead of humbly acknowledging they had erred, they found fault with the manner in which it was delivered. They took the position that a part of it was correct, and a part of it was a mistake….Has God placed his work in such a careless manner that man could fashion it to suit his own inclinations, receive that which was agreeable to him, and reject a portion? Would God give visions to correct his people of their errors, and then trust to the erring one’s judgment to receive or reject what portion of them he pleased? …This is not the way God works. If God reproves his people through an individual He does not leave the one corrected to guess at matters, and the message become corrupt in reaching the person it is designed to correct. God gives the message and then takes especial care that it is not corrupted.” PHO16 p.22,23
If this was true with what was not canonical, how much more important would be that which was given us to take His children from the earth created to the earth recreated! “O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. Psalm 43:3.
The Holy Spirit must work on the hearts of the teachers of God’s Word, that they may give the truth to the people in the clear, pure way that Christ Himself gave the truth. He revealed it, not only in His words, but in His life. . . . Men in this age of the world act as if they were at liberty to question the words of the Infinite, to review His decisions and statutes, endorsing, revising, reshaping, and annulling, at their pleasure. If they cannot misconstrue, misinterpret, or alter God’s plain decision, or bend it to please the multitude and themselves, they break it. We are never safe while we are guided by human opinions; but we are safe when we are guided by a “Thus saith the Lord.” We cannot trust the salvation of our souls to any lower standard than the decision of an infallible Judge. Those who make God their guide, and His Word their counselor, follow the lamp of life. God’s living oracles guide their feet in straight paths. Those who are thus led do not dare judge the Word of God, but ever hold that His Word judges them. They get their faith and religion from His Word. It is the guide that directs their path. It is a light to their feet, and a lamp to their path. They walk under the direction of the Father of light, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. He whose tender mercies are over all His works, makes the path of the just as a shining light, which shines more and more unto the perfect day.   Review and Herald Feb. 21, 1899
  We have light on the Scriptures, and we shall be held accountable for all the light not cherished. The works of many do not harmonize with the truth they have received. There is far too much of the human element brought into our plans. We do not depend upon the Holy Spirit to work with its transforming energy upon the heart and life. We are deficient in faith, which is invincible and mysterious. The efficacy of truth is weakened by the course of those who do not purify their souls by obeying the truth. The secrets of the Lord are with them that fear Him and keep His covenant. We need faith in God, that under the sanctifying power of God’s Word, the principles of human brotherhood may be manifested. We need the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Its power upon mind and heart will enable us to present the truths of God’s Holy Word. Sound doctrines brought into actual contact with human souls will result in sound and elevating practices. The truth as it is in Jesus must be cherished. Then Christians will not be Christians in name only. The love of Christ will pervade their lives.–Ibid., Feb. 28, 1899.”   Reflecting Christ p. 113.
  “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.”   1SM p.19.4
  “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. 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.”   1SM p.20.1

Unsanctified Ministers Will Be Weeded Out

  “Many a star that we have admired for its brilliance will then go out in darkness. –PK 188 c. 1914
Men whom He has greatly honored will, in the closing scenes of this earth’s history, pattern after ancient Israel. . . . A departure from the great principles Christ has laid down in His teachings, a working out of human projects, using the Scriptures to justify a wrong course of action under the perverse working of Lucifer, will confirm men in misunderstanding, and the truth that they need to keep them from wrong practices will leak out of the soul like water from a leaky vessel.   13MR 379, 381 (1904)LDE, p. 178.
  “Many will show that they are not one with Christ, that they are not dead to the world, that they may live with Him; and frequent will be the apostasies of men who have occupied responsible positions. RH Sept. 11, 1888.  
The great issue so near at hand [enforcement of Sunday laws] will weed out those whom God has not appointed and He will have a pure, true, sanctified ministry prepared for the latter rain. 3SM p.385
Many will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled from the hellish torch of Satan. Some will go out from among us who will bear the ark no longer. But these can not make walls to obstruct the truth; for it will go onward and upward to the end. TM p.409,411
Ministers and doctors may depart from the faith, as the Word declares they will, and as the messages that God has given His servant declare they will.–7MR 192 (1906).” LDE, p. 179.   7MRp.192 LDE p.179

The Church May Appear as About to Fall

  “The shaking of God blows away multitudes like dry leaves. 4T p.86
Chaff like a cloud will be borne away on the wind, even from places where we see only floors of rich wheat. 5T p.81
Soon God’s people will be tested by fiery trials, and the great proportion of those who now appear to be genuine and true will prove to be base metal. . . . When the religion of Christ is most held in contempt, when His law is most despised, then should our zeal be the warmest and our courage and firmness the most unflinching. To stand in defense of truth and righteousness when the majority forsake us, to fight the battles of the Lord when champions are few–this will be our test. At this time we must gather warmth from the coldness of others, courage from their cowardice, and loyalty from their treason. 5T p.136
The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out–the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place. 2SM p.380
As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the third angel’s message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition.   GC p.608 LDE, p. 180
  “Standard after standard was left to trail in the dust as company after company from the Lord’s army joined the foe and tribe after tribe from the ranks of the enemy united with the commandment-keeping people of God.   8T p.41 LDE p.182
  “We are living in the last days of this earth’s history, and we may be surprised at nothing in the line of apostasies and denials of the truth. Unbelief has now come to be a fine art which men work at to the destruction of their souls. There is constant danger of there being shams in pulpit preachers, whose lives contradict the words they speak; but the voice of warning and of admonition will be heard as long as time shall last.”   2 SM p.147
  “Apostasies have occurred and the Lord has permitted matters of this nature to develop in the past in order to show how easily His people will be misled when they depend upon the words of men instead of searching the Scriptures for themselves, as did the noble Bereans, to see if these things are so. And the Lord has permitted things of this kind to occur that warnings may be given that such things will take place.”   2SM p.394.3
  “Rebellion and apostasy are in the very air we breathe. We shall be affected by them unless we by faith hang our helpless souls upon Christ. If men are so easily misled now, how will they stand when Satan shall personate Christ, and work miracles? Who will be unmoved by his misrepresentations then–professing to be Christ when it is only Satan assuming the person of Christ, and apparently working the works of Christ? What will hold God’s people from giving their allegiance to false christs? “Go not after them” (Luke 17:23). The doctrines must be plainly understood. The men accepted to preach the truth must be anchored; then their vessel will hold against storm and tempest, because the anchor holds them firmly. The deceptions will increase, and we are to call rebellion by its right name. We are to stand with the whole armor on. In this conflict we do not meet men only, but principalities and powers. We wrestle not against flesh and blood. Let Ephesians 6:10-18 be read carefully and impressively in our churches. Those who apostatize are voicing the words of the dragon. We have to meet the satanic agencies who went to make war with the saints. “The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17). Those who apostatize leave the true and faithful people of God, and fraternize with those who represent Barabbas. “By their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20). I write this because many in the church are represented to me as seeing men like trees walking. They must have another and deeper experience before they discern the snares spread to take them in the net of the deceiver. There must be no halfway work done now. The Lord calls for stanch, decided, whole-souled men and women to stand in the gap, and make up the hedge. [Isaiah 58:12-14 quoted.] There is a decided testimony to be borne by all our ministers in all our churches. God has permitted apostasies to take place in order to show how little dependence can be placed in man. We are always to look to God; His word is not Yea and Nay, but Yea and Amen.   Undated Manuscript 148 2SM p.394,395
[1]Nichol, Francis D., The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association) 1978. [2]Horn, Siegfried H., Seventh-day Adventist Bible Dictionary, (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association) 1979.