The Review and Herald


April 3, 1888

“Search the Scriptures”


Text: “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” John 5:39. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20. RH April 3, 1888, par. 1

We are thankful that we have a sure word of prophecy, so that none of us need be deceived. We know that there are heresies and fables in our world at the present time, and we want to know what is truth. It becomes us to search carefully for ourselves that we may gain this knowledge. We cannot do this with a mere reading of the Scriptures, but we must compare scripture with scripture. We must search the Scriptures for ourselves, so that we shall not be led astray; and while many may be led astray because there are all kinds of doctrines in our world, there is one truth. Many may come to you and tell you that they have the truth, but it is your privilege to search the Scriptures for yourself. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” We must be acquainted with the Scriptures ourselves, that we may understand the true reason of the hope that is within us. RH April 3, 1888, par. 2

The apostle tells us that we are to give to every man that asks us a reason of the hope that is within us, with meekness and fear. “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” It is not enough to merely read, but the word of God must enter into our hearts and our understanding, in order that we may be established in the blessed truth. If we should neglect to search the Scriptures for ourselves, that we may know what is truth, then if we are led astray, we are accountable for it. We must search the Scriptures carefully, so that we will know every condition that the Lord has given us; and if we have minds of limited capacity, by diligently searching the word of God we may become mighty in the Scriptures, and may explain them to others. RH April 3, 1888, par. 3

Every church that shall be raised up in this kingdom should be educated in regard to this truth. “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few.” The teachers that shall present the truth, cannot stand by you to see that you do not embrace the errors that are flooding our land; but if you are established in the Scriptures, you will feel the responsibility and will search the Scriptures, for yourselves, so that you may be a help to others. Now, the small churches, although they are but few, may be a power for the truth. Every one should feel that a solemn responsibility rests upon him to build up his little church in the most holy faith. The very fact that there are only a few, should cause every individual member to seek most earnestly for a living connection with God; because the giving of the truth to those around you depends upon the influence that you exert. RH April 3, 1888, par. 4

Christ has said, “Ye are the light of the world;” therefore you must put forth every effort to let that light shine. The only way for you to know that you have the true light from heaven, is to compare the light you have received with the Scriptures. Joshua 1:8, 9. Now, Joshua was to take the position of Moses and lead the children of Israel in council. And there was a warfare before them, if they were to drive the intruders out of the land. Joshua was to carry the Spirit of the Lord with him in all he should do. And he was to carry this Spirit with him by being obedient to all of God's requirements. He was to meditate day and night, that he might know that he was doing God's will. You will meet, as I have, with people who profess to be sanctified, holy. Now, there is a bewitching influence carried with this doctrine. They will state to you wonderful exercises of mind, to show you that the Lord is leading them and teaching them. Then how can you tell but that the Lord is leading them? Well, there is a test: “To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” RH April 3, 1888, par. 5

If it stirs up the enmity of the human heart when the Lord, the great Jehovah, is mentioned, you may know the person has no connection with God. People may claim that they have great faith in Jesus, and that there is nothing you can do but that Christ will do for you. Now, when Christ shall call forth the dead, it depends wholly upon your course of action whether you have a resurrection to life eternal, or a resurrection to damnation. Thus they get these truths all mixed with error, and they cannot tell what is truth; and if asked to sit down and search the Scriptures with you, to see what saith the Lord, I never knew a case but the answer was that they had no need to search the Scriptures, for the Lord told them what to do. RH April 3, 1888, par. 6

The voice of God is speaking to us through his word, and there are many voices that we will hear; but Christ has said we should beware of them who will say, Here is Christ or there is Christ. Then how shall we know that they have not the truth, unless we bring everything to the Scriptures? Christ has warned us to beware of false prophets who will come to us in his name, saying that they are Christ. Now, if you should take the position that it is not important for you to understand the Scriptures for yourselves, you will be in danger of being led away with these doctrines. Christ has said that there will be a company who in the day of retributive judgment will say, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” But Christ will say, “Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” RH April 3, 1888, par. 7

Now, we want to understand what sin is; that it is the transgression of God's law. This is the only definition given in the Scriptures. Therefore we see that those who claim to be led of God, and go right away from him and his law, do not search the Scriptures. But the Lord will lead his people; for he says that his sheep will follow if they hear his voice, but a stranger will they not follow. Then it becomes us to thoroughly understand the Scriptures. And we will not have to inquire whether others have the truth; for it will be seen in their characters. RH April 3, 1888, par. 8

The time is coming when Satan will work miracles right in your sight, claiming that he is Christ; and if your feet are not firmly established upon the truth of God, then you will be led away from your foundation. The only safety for you is to search for the truth as for hid treasures. Dig for the truth as you would for treasures in the earth, and present the word of God, the Bible, before your Heavenly Father, and say, Enlighten me; teach me what is truth. And when his Holy Spirit shall come into your hearts, to impress the truth into your souls, you will not let it go easily. You have gained such an experience in searching the Scriptures, that every point is established. And it is important that you continually search the Scriptures. You should store the mind with the word of God; for you may be separated, and placed where you will not have the privilege of meeting with the children of God. Then you will want the treasures of God's word hidden in your hearts, and when opposition comes around you, you will need to bring everything to the Scriptures. RH April 3, 1888, par. 9

You are not to be discouraged or faint-hearted. The word was given to Joshua, “Be strong, and of a good courage;” for there is a great work before you. And his success depended upon his obedience to God. When the tempter comes in to distract you, if your mind is filled with the Scriptures, you will say, I cannot do this evil and sin against the Lord. Joseph was enabled to resist temptation because he made God his refuge. He exclaimed, “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” He trusted in God, and his soul was protected; and this is the only safety for us. Whoever of you shall enter a missionary field to do something for the Master, should be thoroughly conversant with the Scriptures. If you understand them yourselves, then you can lead others to a knowledge of them. There is more to do than just to give discourses in the desk. Every one of you should draw nigh to God, that he may draw nigh to you. And you may believe that you will have success and victory, if you take hold of the work humbly and in the fear of God. But there is no safety for you unless you understand what saith the Scriptures, and carry this out, and weave it into your daily life and experience. Carry it with you wherever you go. Thus you will be fortified against the delusions that are filling the world at the present time, and will obtain the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord. RH April 3, 1888, par. 10