The Great Hope (Condensed)


Chapter 7—Our Only Safeguard

The people of God are directed to the Scriptures as their safeguard against the delusive power of spirits of darkness. Satan employs every possible device to prevent men from obtaining a knowledge of the Bible. At every revival of God's work, he arouses to more intense activity. A final struggle against Christ and His followers is soon to open before us. So closely will the counterfeit resemble the true that it will be impossible to distinguish between them except by the Scriptures. GrH_c 31.1

Those who endeavor to obey all the commandments of God will be opposed and derided. To endure the trial, they must understand the will of God as revealed in His Word. They can honor Him only as they have a right conception of His character, government, and purposes, and act in accordance with them. None but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict. GrH_c 31.2

Before His crucifixion the Saviour explained to His disciples that He was to be put to death and rise again. Angels were present to impress His words on minds and hearts. But the words were banished from the disciples' minds. When the trial came, the death of Jesus as fully destroyed their hopes as if He had not forewarned them. So in the prophecies the future is opened before us as plainly as it was opened to the disciples by Christ. But multitudes have no more understanding of these important truths than if they had never been revealed. GrH_c 31.3

When God sends warnings, He requires every person endowed with reason to heed the message. The fearful judgments against the worship of the beast and his image (see Revelation 14:9-11) should lead all to learn what the mark of the beast is and how to avoid receiving it.* But the masses of the people do not want Bible truth, because it interferes with the desires of the sinful heart. Satan supplies the deceptions they love. GrH_c 31.4

But God will have a people to maintain the Bible, and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrines and the basis of all reforms. The opinions of learned men, the deductions of science, the decisions of ecclesiastical councils, the voice of the majority—not one of these should be regarded as evidence for or against any doctrine. We should demand a plain “Thus saith the Lord.” Satan leads the people to look to pastors, to professors of theology as their guides, instead of searching the Scriptures for themselves. By controlling these leaders, he can influence the multitudes. GrH_c 31.5

When Christ came, the common people heard Him gladly. But the chief of the priesthood and leading men incased themselves in prejudice; they rejected the evidence of His Messiahship. “How is it,” the people asked, “that our rulers and learned scribes do not believe on Jesus?” Such teachers led the Jewish nation to reject their Redeemer. GrH_c 31.6