Sermons and Talks, vol. 2


Chapter 12—Search the Scriptures

Manuscript 11, 1893

[Sermon by Mrs. G. E. White, at the Pavilion, Napier, New Zealand, Tuesday, March 28, 1893, 6:00 a.m.]

Our blessed Saviour said “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me” (John 5:39). Our Saviour knew just what the disciples would pass through. They witnessed the body of the Lord hanging between the heavens and the earth, treated as a sinner, though undeserving. They had taken His body down and laid it in Joseph's new tomb. Never had they realized so much the worth of a living Saviour as in their great trial. They had not appreciated the value of the Saviour. In this, their great sorrow, was just when they needed Him. 2SAT 99.1

A report came that the Saviour had risen, but they did not believe it. If they had searched the Scriptures, their hopes would not have been buried in the tomb with Jesus. Their minds had hardly grasped the idea of a Saviour suffering. 2SAT 99.2

Afterward, as two of His big disciples journeyed toward Emmaus, they were telling of their troubles, instead of searching the Scriptures to see if these things were so. They were talking with one another, and were sad. Jesus drew near. Their faith was so small they had not expected Him, and did not recognize Him. He said “What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad” (Luke 24:17)? They turned to Him and said “Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? And He said unto them, What things? And they said unto Him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and have crucified Him” (Luke 24:18-20). 2SAT 99.3

While treading the rough way with them, He was opening the prophecies to them. They did not understand the Scriptures. It drew toward evening, and as Jesus was about to pass on farther than their abiding place, how tenderly they invited Him to abide with them, “for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent” (verse 29). 2SAT 99.4

How tenderly they felt toward the One who was reviving their hopes. In His conversation with them He said “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory” (verses 25, 26)? “All,” not a little here and there. 2SAT 99.5

These disciples could not endure to be separated from Him who had instructed them, but they wanted more, so they constrained Him to abide with them. As He sat at meat with them, and took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them, He raised His hands. They noticed it was the motions of Christ, and in His hands they saw the signs of the crucifixion. “And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him; and he vanished out of their sight” (verse 31). 2SAT 100.1

Now they knew for themselves that their Lord had risen, and they did not remain in their home to rejoice over it themselves; the good news must be carried to His disciples. They started the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem. They did not mind the roughness of the way nor the darkness of the night, for now they knew their Lord had risen, and they were infused with a spirit of hope, and they could give the trumpet a certain sound. They knew just where to go to find the disciples. 2SAT 100.2

They were in an upper chamber, and alone for secrecy, and they had the door closed. The two disciples soon found access, and they communicated to the assembled company the wonderful news that Christ had risen. But the disciples did not believe their report. They had not believed the women who had brought them the same report, that Christ had risen. But lo, Jesus enters, the door being closed, and He is now in their midst, and He ate before them, and then He went on explaining and opening the Scriptures before them, beginning at what was written in the law of Moses and the prophets. 2SAT 100.3

Why did He not work a miracle before them instead of opening the Scriptures to their minds? “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 Psalm, concerning Me. Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, “And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (verses 46, 47). How precious was the presence of Jesus to them! He was with them forty days and forty nights before His ascension. 2SAT 100.4

We do not study the Scriptures as much as we should. Instead of spending our time in studying the various themes of the day, we need to devote that time to the study of the Scriptures. We want to come with our Bibles on our knees before God and ask for wisdom from God to comprehend the treasures of truth. We cannot have root in ourselves unless we do this, for everything is to be shaken that can be shaken. The devil is working in a special manner with the popular churches to pick flaws with the Bible and with those who are working in Christ's lines, and infidelity prevails everywhere. It is the mystery of iniquity, the superhuman working of Satan, bewitching human minds with his power. 2SAT 100.5

The heavenly angels are also at work to take hold of reasoning minds, and their power is mightier than the hosts of darkness. There are minds that are dealing with sacred things who are not in close connection with God and who do not discern the Spirit of God. Unless His grace transforms them into the image of Christ's likeness, His Spirit will leave them as water leaves a leaky vessel. Their only hope is to seek God with all their mind, heart, and soul. Then they will lawfully strive for the mastery. Satan will steal the imagination and affections if you give him a chance. 2SAT 101.1

Among the ten virgins only half were wise. We must not trust to mere theory, but [use] the oil of grace that our lamps may shine so that the world will take knowledge of us that we have been with Jesus and learned of Him. Satan is watching that he may find the mind in an unguarded moment and so get possession of it. We do not want to be ignorant of his devices, neither do we want to be overpowered by his devices. He is pleased with the pictures that represent him as having horns and hoofs, for he has intelligence; he was once an angel of light. To these that trust in their intelligence he will make believe that they can correct the Scriptures. You are going to meet this infidelity in high places. You need the Holy Spirit of God, the divine power to cooperate with you to discern the track that the devil is preparing, and escape it. He is going to lead the religious world captive (2 Thessalonians 2:11). How dare they to lay their sacrilegious hands upon the Scriptures! We must bring the Sabbath of the Lord to the front. 2SAT 101.2

It is so plain, and so decided. It is a sign between the children of God and the children of the world. Please read Exodus 31:17: “It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed.” 2SAT 101.3

When Christ delivered His memorial Sermon on the Mount, He gave the exposition of His own law. The Pharisees thought He was dishonoring the law, for their traditions so covered the law that it could not be kept. Christ was bringing right principles before them, and these words fell upon their astonished ears: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:17, 18). 2SAT 101.4

If men with reasoning faculties pass over what the Lord Jesus Christ says, it becomes us to stand where we can defend the honor of the law of the Lord God of Israel. We can do so by presenting the truth as it is in Jesus. The enemy has ever labored to disconnect the law and the gospel. They go hand in hand. 2SAT 102.1

We know not how soon we shall be singled out as not being law-abiding citizens, because the prince of the power of the air is getting possession of the minds of men. We can choose between obeying the powers that be and dishonoring God, or disobeying the powers that be and honoring God. If we obey God, His Holy Spirit is resting upon us, and we are not fighting with our own assertions, but with “It is written.” All we have to do is to go back to the fourth commandment. Read the testimony of Jesus Christ that not even a little dot was to be altered, but it is just as written by the finger of God on the tables of stone. We should love the truth because it is truth. 2SAT 102.2

It makes every difference whether we are on God's side of the question or not. You may be summoned to the courts, and in these emergencies think on the Saviour's promise “that I am there.” We cannot stand on sliding sand, but we can [stand] on Christ Jesus. And we can stand there though the whole world may be arrayed against us. 2SAT 102.3

Don't bring your suppositions to the Bible, but lay your ideas at the door of investigation of the Scriptures. Take the mighty assertions that God has given and you are safe. A certain man who kept the Sabbath, but did not believe in the second coming of Christ, said, “I made a center that it was not so, and then the Scriptures proved to my mind that the second coming of Christ was not near.” Are you going to make a center of Sunday as the Sabbath, and then come with unmitigation to the Scriptures? If you do, you will surely hear a voice, “Believe not in the fourth commandment as it reads.” 2SAT 102.4

But I tell you to build your holy faith on it, because it is the everlasting word of Jehovah. As John has a view of the people of God, he says “Here are they that keep the commandments of God.” “And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament” [Revelation 11:19]. Everyone has his eye directed to the sanctuary where the commandments of God are. Right over the ark of His testament is the mercy seat. Written over the throne of God is His bow of promise. Why, the commandment keeping people, they shall not perish, but have everlasting life. Here is the bow of promise. God has covenanted and He will be with His people. How dare any give the trumpet an uncertain sound, as they do when they say Sunday is the Sabbath, when God has not given them one syllable to say so? But He says, “I will not alter nor change the thing that has gone out of My mouth.”—Ms. 11, 1893. 2SAT 102.5