Ellen G. White Writings

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SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 (EGW), Page 920

We call on you to take your Bible, but do not put a sacrilegious hand upon it, and say, “That is not inspired,” simply because somebody else has said so. Not a jot or tittle is ever to be taken from that Word. Hands off, brethren! Do not touch the ark. Do not lay your hand upon it, but let God move. It is with His own power, and He will work in such a manner that He will compass our salvation. We want God to have some room to work. We do not want man's ideas to bind Him about.

I know something of the glory of the future life. Once a sister wrote to me and asked if I would not tell her something about the city of our God, further than we have in the Word. She asked me if I could not draw something of its plans. I wrote her that I would have to say to her, “Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” “No,” said I, “you cannot paint, you cannot picture, and the martyr tongue cannot begin to give any description of the glory of the future life; but I will tell you what you can do: you can ‘press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ You can die to self; you can seek to grow up to the perfection of Christian character in Christ Jesus.” That is our work; but when men begin to meddle with God's Word, I want to tell them to take their hands off, for they do not know what they are doing (Manuscript 13, 1888).

Chapter 4

1-5 (ch. 2:14-18, 23-26; Romans 1:25; Colossians 2:8). Turning the Truth Into a Lie—No one is to put truth to the torture by cheap imaginings, by putting a forced, mystical construction upon the Word. Thus they are in danger of turning the truth of God into a lie. There are those who need in their hearts the touch of the divine Spirit. Then the message for this time will be their burden. They will not search for human tests, for something new and strange. The Sabbath of the fourth commandment is the test for this time....

There is among young men a burning desire to get hold of something new, even though it be of the cheapest quality. The Lord would not have the mind dwell on unprofitable nothings, seeking for what it will never find. He desires us to seek for a pure, clean soul, a soul washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. It is the white robe of Christ's righteousness that gives the sinner admittance into the presence of the heavenly angels. Not the color of his hair, but his perfect obedience to all God's commandments, opens to him the gates of the Holy City (Letter 207, 1899).

1-7 (ch. 2:1-4). Faithfulness in Ministry—Paul has almost finished his course, and he desires Timothy to take his place, guarding the churches from the fables and heresies with which Satan and his agents would endeavor to lead them from the truth. He admonishes him to shun temporal pursuits and entanglements, which would prevent him from giving himself wholly to God's work. He is to endure with cheerfulness the opposition, reproach, and persecution to which his faithfulness would expose him. He is to make full proof to his ministry, employing every means of doing good to his fellow men (The Youth's Instructor, July 10, 1902).

3, 4. See EGW on Acts 20:30; Colossians 2:8; 1 John 4:1.

6-9. See EGW on ch. 1:1, 2.

7, 8. See EGW on Revelation 14:13.

13, 14 (Acts 19:33). Alexander Effects Paul's Final Arrest—At the house of a disciple in the city of Troas, Paul was again seized, and from this place he was hurried away to his final imprisonment.

The arrest was effected by the efforts of Alexander the coppersmith, who had so unsuccessfully opposed the apostle's work at Ephesus, and who now seized the opportunity to be revenged on one whom he could not defeat (Sketches from the Life of Paul, 305).

13, 16-21. Paul Faces Death Courageously—Paul concludes his letter with various personal messages, and again and again repeats the urgent request that Timothy use all diligence to come to him soon, and if possible to come before winter. He describes his loneliness from the desertion of some friends and the necessary absence of others, and lest Timothy should still hesitate, fearing that the church at Ephesus demanded his labors, he states that he has already dispatched Tychicus to fill the place of Timothy in his absence. And

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