The Signs of the Times


February 6, 1893

Blessings of Bible Study


Those who boast of wisdom beyond the teaching of the word of God, need to drink deeper of the fountain of knowledge, that they may learn their real ignorance. Men boast of their wisdom when it is foolishness in the sight of God. Let no man deceive himself. “If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, he taketh the wise in their own craftiness.” The greatest ignorance that now curses the human race is in regard to the binding claims of the law of God; and this ignorance is the result of neglecting the study of the word of God. It is Satan's plan to so engage the mind that men shall neglect the great guidebook, and thus be led into the path of transgression and destruction. ST February 6, 1893, par. 1

The Bible is not exalted to its place among the books of the world, although its study is of infinite importance to the souls of men. In searching its pages the imagination beholds scenes majestic and eternal. We behold Jesus, the Son of God, coming to our world, and engaging in the mysterious conflict that discomfited the powers of darkness. Oh, how wonderful, how almost incredible it is, that the infinite God would consent to the humiliation of his own Son that we might be elevated to a place with him upon his throne! Let every student of the Scriptures contemplate this great fact, and he will not come from a study of the Bible without being purified, elevated, and ennobled. The truth will be opened to the mind, and applied to the heart by the Spirit of God. Through connection with God the Christian will have clearer and broader views, unbiased by his own preconceived opinions. His discernment will be more penetrating, his judgment be better balanced and far seeing. His understanding, exercised in contemplation of exalted truths, will be expanded, and in obtaining heavenly knowledge, he will better understand his own weakness and grow in faith and humility. When there is little attention given to the word of God, divine counsels are not heeded, admonitions are in vain, grace and heavenly wisdom are not sought that past sins may be avoided, and every stain of corruption may be cleansed from the character. David prayed: “Make me to understand the way of thy precepts; so shall I talk of thy wondrous works.” “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” ST February 6, 1893, par. 2

There is a great work to be done by earnest Bible students, for gems of truth are to be gathered up, and separated from the companionship of error. Though the Bible is a revelation from heaven, yet many do not comprehend its divine teaching. We are to discover new aspects of truth in both Old and New Testaments, to behold the exceeding breadth and compass of truths which we imagine we understand, but of which we have only a superficial knowledge. He who earnestly searches the Scriptures will see that harmony exists between the various parts of the Bible, will discover the bearing of one passage upon another, and the reward of his toil will be exceedingly precious. ST February 6, 1893, par. 3

All over the field of revelation are scattered glad springs of heavenly truth, of peace and joy. These glad springs of truth are within the reach of every seeker. The words of inspiration, pondered in the heart, will be as living streams flowing from the river of the water of life. Our Saviour prayed that the mind of his followers might be opened to understand the Scriptures. Whenever we study the Bible with a prayerful heart, the Holy Spirit is near to open us the meaning of the words we read. The man whose mind is enlightened by the opening of God's word to his understanding, will not only feel that he must more diligently seek to understand the word of God, but that he must have a better understanding of the sciences. He will feel that he is called to a high calling in Christ Jesus. The more closely connected man is with the Source of all knowledge and wisdom, the more he will be convinced that he must advance in intellectual and spiritual attainment. The opening of God's word is always followed by a remarkable opening and strengthening of man's faculties; for the entrance of God's words giveth light. By contemplation of great truths the mind is elevated, the affections purified and refined; for the Spirit of God through the truth of God quickens the lifeless spiritual faculties, and attracts the soul heavenward. ST February 6, 1893, par. 4

Then take your Bible and present yourself before your Heavenly Father, saying, “Enlighten me; teach me what is truth.” The Lord will regard your prayer, and the Holy Spirit will impress the truth upon your soul. In searching the Scriptures for yourself, you will become established in the faith. It is of the greatest importance that you continually search the Scriptures, storing the mind with the word of God, for you may be separated from the companionship of Christians, and placed where you will not have the privilege of meeting with the children of God. You need the treasures of God's word hidden in your heart, that when opposition comes upon you, you may bring everything to the Scriptures. ST February 6, 1893, par. 5

Truth is eternal, and conflict with error will only make manifest its strength. We should never refuse to examine the Scriptures with those who we have a reason to believe desire to know what is truth as much as we do. Suppose a brother holds a view that differs from yours, and he comes to you, proposing that you sit down with him and investigate that point in the Scriptures; should you rise up filled with prejudice, and condemn his ideas, while refusing to give him a candid hearing? The only right way would be to sit down as Christians and investigate the position presented in the light of God's word, which will reveal truth and unmask error. To ridicule his ideas would not weaken his position, though it were false, or strengthen your position, though it were true. If the pillars of our faith will not stand the test of investigation, it is time that we knew it, for it is foolish to become set in our ideas, and think that no one should interfere with our opinions. Let everything be brought to the Bible; for it is the only rule of faith and doctrine. ST February 6, 1893, par. 6

We must study the truth for ourselves; no living man should be relied upon to think for us, no matter who he may be or in what position he may be placed. We are not to look upon any man as a perfect criterion for us. We are to counsel together, and be subject one to another, but at the same time we are to exercise the ability God has given us to learn what is truth. Each one of us must look to God for divine enlightenment, that we may individually develop a character that will stand the test in the day of God. ST February 6, 1893, par. 7

We are living in the last days, when error of a most deceptive character is accepted and believed, while truth is discarded. Many are drifting into darkness and infidelity, picking flaws with the Bible, bringing in superstitious inventions, unscriptural theories, and speculations of vain philosophy; but it is the duty of everyone to seek a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. The importance and benefit of Bible study cannot be overestimated. In searching the Scriptures our minds are caused to dwell upon the infinite sacrifice of Christ, on his mediation in our behalf. As we see his love, as we meditate upon his humiliation and sufferings, the same spirit of self-denial and sacrifice for the good of others will be kindled in our hearts. As we behold Jesus by the eye of faith, we shall be “changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” ST February 6, 1893, par. 8