Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 19 (1904)


Ms 42, 1904

The Power of the Word of God


May 22, 1904

Portions of this manuscript are published in MM 88-89; OHC 132; RH 11/10/1904.

As a people, we have had great light and many advantages. In the Word of God, studied and obeyed as our guide book, we possess a spiritual guide and instructor by which the worst forms of evil in ourselves may be brought under the discipline of God’s law. If the teachings of this Word were made the controlling influence in our lives, if mind and heart were brought under its restraining power, the evils that now exist in churches and in families would find no place. Upon converted households the purest blessings would descend, and from these households an influence would go forth that would make them a power on the side of truth and righteousness. 19LtMs, Ms 42, 1904, par. 1

The work of reformation that is needed must begin in the home. There rests upon parents the most solemn obligation to train their children in the fear and love of God. In the home the purest morals are to be preserved. Strict obedience to Bible requirements is to be taught. The Word of God is to control mind and heart, that the home life may demonstrate the power of the revelation of God. Each member of the family is to be “polished after the similitude of a palace” by the divine principles and precepts. [Psalm 144:12.] 19LtMs, Ms 42, 1904, par. 2

Parents need to awake from their deathlike slumber and no longer neglect the Lord’s specified instructions. As members of the church, and for the benefit of those with whom they may be associated, their characters are to be cast in a Bible mold. Their course of action is to be a constant declaration that instead of bearing the stamp and mold of the world, they have put on the image of the heavenly. 19LtMs, Ms 42, 1904, par. 3

In the Bible the will of God is revealed. Through all time this book is to stand as a revelation of Jehovah. To human beings the holy oracles have been committed to be the power of God. The truths of the Word of God are not mere sentiments, but the utterances of the Most High. He who makes these truths a part of His life becomes in every sense a new creature. He is not given new mental powers, but the darkness, that through ignorance and sin have clouded the understanding, is removed. 19LtMs, Ms 42, 1904, par. 4

The words, “A new heart will I give you,” mean, “A new mind will I give you.” [Ezekiel 36:26.] This change of heart is always attended by a clear conception of Christian duty, an understanding of truth. The clearness of our view of truth will be proportionate to our understanding of the Word of God. He who gives the Scriptures close, prayerful attention will gain clear comprehension and sound judgment, as if in turning to God he had reached a higher grade of intelligence. 19LtMs, Ms 42, 1904, par. 5

The Word of God, regarded and studied as it should be, will give light and knowledge. Its perusal will strengthen the understanding. By contact with the purest, most lofty truths, the mind will be enlarged, the taste refined. 19LtMs, Ms 42, 1904, par. 6

We are dependent on the Bible for a knowledge of the early history of our world, of the creation of man, and of his fall. Remove the Word of God, and what can we expect than to be left to fables and conjectures, and to that enfeebling of the intellect which is the sure result of entertaining error. We need the authentic history of the origin of the earth, of the fall of the covering cherub, and of the introduction of sin into our world. Without the Bible, we should be bewildered by false theories. The mind would be subjected to the tyranny of superstition and falsehood. But having in our possession an authentic history of the beginning of our world, we need not hamper ourselves with human conjectures and unreliable theories. 19LtMs, Ms 42, 1904, par. 7

Wherever Christians are, they may hold communion with God. And they may enjoy the intelligence of sanctified science. Their minds may be strengthened even as Daniel’s was. God gave him “knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom.” Among all the youth examined by Nebuchadnezzar, there “was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore stood they before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.” [Daniel 1:17, 19, 20.] 19LtMs, Ms 42, 1904, par. 8

The habits and understanding of the youth who were not instructed by God were in accord with the knowledge that comes from idolatrous practices and leaves God out of the reckoning. Daniel and his companions, from the first of their experience in the king’s court, were gaining a clearer comprehension and sounder, more accurate judgment than all the wise men in the kingdom of Babylon. They placed themselves where God could bless them. They ate only that food which would not becloud their minds. They followed rules of life which would help to give them strength of intellect, that they might gain the greatest possible benefit from their study of God’s Word. 19LtMs, Ms 42, 1904, par. 9

It was to Daniel that Nebuchadnezzar, unable to get help from his wise men, turned for an account of his forgotten dream and for an interpretation of it. Daniel and his companions sought the Lord in prayer, and He revealed to them the dream and its interpretation. And when they had related to the king what God had shown them, Nebuchadnezzar said, “Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldst reveal this secret.” [Daniel 2:47.] 19LtMs, Ms 42, 1904, par. 10

The mind in which error has once taken possession can never expand freely to after-investigation. The old theories will claim recognition. The understanding of things that are true and elevated and sanctifying will be confused. Superstitious ideas will enter the mind to mingle with the true, and these ideas are always debasing in their influence. Christian knowledge bears its own stamp of unmeasured superiority in all that concerns the preparation for the future, immortal life. It distinguishes the Bible reader and believer who has been receiving the precious treasures of truth from the skeptic and the believer in pagan philosophy. 19LtMs, Ms 42, 1904, par. 11

Cleave to the Word, “It is written.” Cast out of the mind the dangerous, obtrusive theories which, if entertained, will hold the mind in bondage, so that the man shall not become a new creature in Christ. The mind must be constantly restrained and guarded. It must be given as food that only which will strengthen the religious experience. 19LtMs, Ms 42, 1904, par. 12

The Bible teaches every soul to turn to the lands where the cross has not been uplifted and the name of Jesus exalted above every other name. The Bible contains the principles which lie at the foundation of civil and religious liberty. The nation that gives free room for the circulation of the Scriptures opens the way for the minds of the people to work with greater vigor. The reading of the Scriptures causes light to shine into the darkness. As the Word of God is searched, life-giving truths are found. 19LtMs, Ms 42, 1904, par. 13

In the cities and nations of our world, there will be found among unbelievers a remnant who will appreciate the blessed Word and who will receive the Saviour. Christ will give men and women power to become the sons and daughters of God. 19LtMs, Ms 42, 1904, par. 14

I appeal to our churches, where there are schools, to appoint as teachers of the children and youth those who love the Lord Jesus Christ and who will make the Word of God the foundation of education. And they should teach the youth to keep themselves in the most favorable condition physically by strict temperance in eating and drinking to receive help from God. Teachers and pupils will derive mental and spiritual help from self-denial by practicing the principles of health reform. They will surely find, as did Daniel and his companions, the blessings which come from conforming the life to God’s Word. “Watch and pray” is an injunction often repeated in the Scriptures. In the lives of those who obey this injunction there will be an undercurrent of happiness that will bless all with whom they are brought in contact. Those who are sour and cross in disposition will become sweet and gentle; those who are proud will become meek and lowly. 19LtMs, Ms 42, 1904, par. 15

“Learn of Me,” said the Great Teacher; “for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Matthew 11:29.] He who is not taught of God cannot be a safe teacher. He who is willing to be controlled by the law of God is prepared to stand as a wise teacher, kindly but firmly requiring obedience. From the study of God’s Word he gathers strength for the performance of his work. 19LtMs, Ms 42, 1904, par. 16