Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 8, 1898

The Necessity of Studying the Word


January 16, 1898

This manuscript is published in entirety in 20MR 178-181.

The Lord has given to the world a message of wonderful mercy. God has sent to men the light of heaven, but they have rejected the truth and followed in the path of the Pharisees of Christ’s day. In the world today the rejection of the mercies, the warnings, and invitations of Christ has been repeated. The great salvation offered to humanity in these last days in the “bright and morning Star,” has not been received. [Revelation 22:16.] His counsels have been despised. His temple courts have been converted into desecrated shrines, places of unholy traffic. Unrighteousness, selfishness, the love of gain, envy, pride, passion, and malice have been entertained. Men have blinded their eyes and stumbled along in darkness, living on in guilty unconsciousness of their aggravating sins, and turning God’s agents from their rights. They have despised reproof and warnings; they have treated the ambassadors of God with scorn and His messages as idle tales. In their stubbornness they have refused to humble their hearts and repent. 13LtMs, Ms 8, 1898, par. 1

From the crest of Olivet Christ’s prophetic eye looked down the stream of time to these last days. He saw the actions of saints and sinners, and the tears He shed were for them, for those who are whispering, “Fanaticism! enthusiasm!” as the voice of God’s people is uplifted in earnestness and strength. God bids His servants not to be afraid: “Say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!” [Isaiah 40:9.] 13LtMs, Ms 8, 1898, par. 2

Jesus is to be looked to as the bright and morning Star. His sayings should be our textbook. The instruction given in our schools should be in distinct lines, and should differ materially from the instruction of every other school in our land. These are not new truths, not a new revelation. Those whose eyes have been opened by the heavenly anointing behold wondrous things out of God’s Word. The doctrine of the grace of Christ is to be gradually developed, represented by the advancement from dawn unto noonday. 13LtMs, Ms 8, 1898, par. 3

To His disciples the Saviour promised the Holy Spirit, that He might recall His lessons to their minds. These would come to them as a new revelation if they would remain humble and contrite in spirit. “For thus saith the High and Holy One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place; with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” [Isaiah 57:15.] Christ told His disciples that He had many things to say to them, but they could not bear them yet. He left them in possession of truth, the value of which they had but a faint appreciation. 13LtMs, Ms 8, 1898, par. 4

After His resurrection, unrecognized by His disciples, He opened to them the Scriptures relating to Himself. When He revealed Himself to them in the breaking of bread, they said, “Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked with us by the way, [and] when he opened to us the Scriptures?” [Luke 24:32.] It was the truth, all full of riches, and precious, far more precious than the gold of Ophir, but their understanding had not been keen and unobstructed, so that they could take it in, and assimilate it to their spiritual needs. 13LtMs, Ms 8, 1898, par. 5

Many who have had the truth kept before them continually do not appreciate the Word. They do not regard it as the bread of life, upon which they are to feed day by day. They need the work of grace in their hearts, represented in the words, “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures.” [Verse 45.] The heart must be opened, softened, subdued. Idols that have been cherished must be dethroned. Through their perceptive powers men must take hold of the Word, and appropriate the same to their spiritual necessities, eating of the bread of life, and drinking of the waters of salvation. Then they will grow spiritually. In its development, the truth will give evidence of constant expansion and new developments. 13LtMs, Ms 8, 1898, par. 6

The humble and contrite in heart will ever seek for truth as for hidden treasure. With such the high and lofty One designs to dwell, to revive the spirit of the humble, to revive the heart of the contrite ones. These will reach the standard in perfection of Christian character. They will follow on to know the Lord. 13LtMs, Ms 8, 1898, par. 7

I wish I had the power with pen or voice to present before the teachers of our youth and all who preach the truth to others what they have lost by trusting in human wisdom. It has led them to close the door of their hearts to the bright and morning Star. I wish I could teach those who feel superior in their own wisdom, those who are self-sufficient, that in order to be wise they must step down from their loftiness and become fools in their own estimation, that they must become learners if they would drink in wisdom. 13LtMs, Ms 8, 1898, par. 8

Those who think themselves full of wisdom and knowledge do not hunger and thirst after righteousness. They look with a sort of pity and disgust upon those who are earnestly seeking to know the way of the Lord more perfectly. They feel so well supplied by their human understanding that there is no room in their vessels for a supply of heavenly grace. These will awake from their slumbers to find their lamps going out. With all their knowledge and wisdom they have neglected the one thing that would give them an entrance to the marriage supper of the Lamb. 13LtMs, Ms 8, 1898, par. 9

When the teachings of Christ are but dimly comprehended, the whole life and character will testify to the fact. The teachings of Christ will be seen in a far different aspect when the soul falls upon the Rock and is broken. When the soul is filled with self-esteem and self-importance there is no place for the Word to find entrance. The teachings of Christ are very nice, he thinks, but not necessary to practice. Christ’s lessons will bear close study. One truth comprehended in its simplicity will prove a key to a whole treasure house of truth. Christ is the great mystery of godliness. He is as the Master scattering the golden grains of truth, which require tact, skill, and deep laborious search to pick up and link together in the chain of truth. The Word is the treasure house of truth. It puts in our possession all things essential for our preparation for entrance into the city of God. 13LtMs, Ms 8, 1898, par. 10

By some the truth has been preached for a lifetime, but the understanding, darkened by defects of character which are not overcome, prevents them from discovering truth in its matchless loveliness. There yet remain many things for the teachers of present truth to discover. They need to understand some truths in a new aspect—their breadth and their harmony and bearing in relation to other truths that are now dim to the comprehension. If we will search with a humble, contrite spirit, revived by the lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, we will see with the same sight by which Moses endured the seeing of the Invisible. The oil of grace in the vessel with the lamp will enable us to discover wondrous things out of God’s Word. A vigorous search will reward the Bible student and make him a man after the similitude of God. It is the ignorance of minds that are supposed to be wise that makes them so well satisfied with their knowledge of God’s Word. 13LtMs, Ms 8, 1898, par. 11

On the part of teachers and ministers and students there is altogether too great indifference and slothfulness in searching the Scriptures. They are content to grasp the surface truths. But there is a mine of truth to be worked. We are to dig until we find the veins of rich and precious ore. The earth itself with its golden loads is not more promising than is the Word, the great garden of revealed truth; but its rich treasure will reward only the humble and contrite ones who search for it. The Holy Spirit will direct the searcher. A vast field, yet undiscovered, is to be worked, that precious truth may be found to enrich the receiver, that he may impart his treasure to others. 13LtMs, Ms 8, 1898, par. 12

The Holy Spirit is to be presented in every discourse. What wonderful statements Christ has made concerning His representative to the world. This is the theme of encouragement to be kept before the people. In comprehending the office of the Holy Spirit, we shall bring all blessings to ourselves. He will make us complete in Christ. 13LtMs, Ms 8, 1898, par. 13