The Signs of the Times


December 22, 1898

“Search the Scriptures”


It is God's plan that old and young shall study His Word. This is necessary for intellectual and spiritual growth. Christ has given us the Scriptures as our rule of life. This book contains His teaching, and is worthy of the closest study. “The words that I speak unto you,” He declared, “they are spirit, and they are life.” These words, falling from the lips of Christ with divine authority, were to the disciples as a new revelation. They were not new, but they seemed so to the disciples, because their eyes were opened to see wonderful things in God's Word. ST December 22, 1898, par. 1

Should the angel Gabriel or one of the seraphs be sent to this world to take upon himself human nature, and to teach men the mysteries of science and the knowledge of God, how eagerly men would listen to his instruction! Supposing that he were able to set us a perfect example of purity and holiness, sympathizing with us in all our sorrows, bereavements, and afflictions, and suffering the punishment of our sins, how eagerly we would follow him! What exaltation he would receive! Men would desire to place him on the throne of David, and gather the nations under his banner. ST December 22, 1898, par. 2

If, when the heavenly being returned to his home, he left behind a book containing the history of his mission, with revelations regarding the history and destiny of the world, how eagerly would its seal be broken! How anxiously would men seek to obtain a copy! Thinking men would grasp the precious instruction, for the benefit of future generations. Thousands from all parts of the world would copy the words of this book. With intense interest they would read and reread its pages. For a time all other interests would be subordinated to this. ST December 22, 1898, par. 3

But One surpassing all that supposition can present, came to this world. Nearly two thousand years ago a voice of strange and mysterious import was heard from the throne of God: “Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a body hast Thou prepared Me.... Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of Me), to do Thy will, O God.” ST December 22, 1898, par. 4

The prophet Isaiah bears striking testimony to Christ: “Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” ST December 22, 1898, par. 5

Of Himself Christ declares: “Before Abraham was, I AM.” “I and My Father are one.” “For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom He will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.” ST December 22, 1898, par. 6

Christ reproached His disciples with their slowness of comprehension. They were influenced by maxims and traditionary lore, so that the truths spoken by the greatest Teacher the world has ever known were often lost truths to them. Christ led them to realize that He had put them in possession of truth of which they little suspected the value. After His resurrection, as He was walking to Emmaus with two of the disciples, He opened their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, so explaining the Old Testament to them that they saw in its teaching a meaning that the writers themselves had not seen. ST December 22, 1898, par. 7

Christ's words are represented as being bread from heaven. As the disciples ate the words of Christ, their understanding was quickened. As they diligently sought for the truth as for hidden treasure, they understood better the value of the grace and righteousness of Christ. In their comprehension of His teaching, they stepped from the obscurity of dawn to the radiance of noon. ST December 22, 1898, par. 8

The work of no human author is perfect. The depth of human intellect may be measured. The richest mines of human production are not inexhaustible. But the highest, deepest, broadest flight of the imagination can not find out God. There is infinity beyond all that we in our own strength can comprehend; the Holy Spirit must reveal Him to us. Many are too well satisfied with the surface truths of revelation. Precious gems of truth are passed by because their value is not seen. Let the Bible student tax his mind as he studies God's Word; for the meaning often lies hidden beneath the surface. The knowledge thus gained will be like heavenly seed planted by the divine Sower. ST December 22, 1898, par. 9

Mrs. E. G. White