Ellen G. White Writings

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The Signs of the Times

March 28, 1906

Our Great Treasure-House

By Mrs. E. G. White

What Saith the Scriptures?—Part 2

When a question was brought to Christ, His answer was, “Have ye not read?” “What saith the Scriptures?” Christ could have answered every perplexing question brought to Him, but He did not do this. He directed His questioners to the great store-house of knowledge. He knew that He could not always be with them in human form, and He desired to teach them to make the Word their dependence. “Search the Scriptures,” He said. He referred them to His own inspired Word, that when tempted by the enemy they might meet him as He had done, saying “It is written.” Thus the enemy could be repulsed; for he has no power over the one who relies on the testimony of God's Word.

Of the Word of God, the psalmist writes, “The entrance of Thy words ‘giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple.” It is a light shining in a dark place. As we search its pages, light enters the heart, illuminating the mind. By this light we see what we ought to be.

Our Counsel and Guide

We see in the Word, warnings and promises, with God behind them all. We are invited to search this Word for aid when brought into difficult places. If we do not consult the Guidebook at every step, inquiring, Is this the way of the Lord? our words and acts will be tainted by selfishness. We shall forget God, and walk in paths that He has not chosen for us.

God's Word is full of precious promises and helpful counsel. It is infallible; for God can not err. It has help for every circumstance and condition of life, and God looks on with sadness when His children turn from it to human aid.

He who through the Scriptures holds communion with God will be ennobled and sanctified. As he reads the inspired record of the Saviour's love, his heart will melt in tenderness and contrition. He will be filled with a desire to be like his Master, to live a life of loving service.

Great light shone forth from the patriarchs and prophets. Glorious things were spoken of Zion, the city of God. Thus the Lord designs that the light shall shine forth through His followers today. If the saints of the Old Testament bore such a bright testimony of loyalty, should we not today, upon whom is shining the accumulated light of centuries, arise and shine? The glory of the prophecies shed their light on our pathway. Type has met antitype in the death of God's Son. Christ has risen from the dead, proclaiming over the rent sepulcher, “I am the resurrection and the life.” He has sent His Spirit into our world to bring all things to our remembrance. By a miracle of His power He has preserved His written Word through the ages. Shall we not, then, make this Word our constant study, learning from it God's purpose for us.

Why “More Noble”

The Bereans were commended as being more noble than those of Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily. They did not search the Bible from curiosity, but that they might learn in regard to Christ. Daily, they compared scripture with scripture; and as they searched, heavenly intelligences were beside them, enlightening their minds and impressing their hearts.

We are to open the Word of God with reverence, and with a sincere desire to know the will of God concerning us. Then the heavenly angels will direct our search. God speaks to us in His Word. We are in the audience-chamber of the Most High, in the very presence of God. Christ enters the heart. The Holy Spirit takes of the things of God, and shows them to us. We see more clearly the greatness of God's love and the fullness of His salvation. We appreciate more fully His gracious design to make us partakers in the heavenly firm. We are drawn into full sympathy with the plans of God. His secret is with us, and He shows us His covenant.

The life of Christ, that gives life to the world, is in His word. It was by His word that Jesus healed disease and cast out demons; by His word He stilled the sea and raised the dead; and the people bore witness that His word was with power. He spoke the word of God, as He had spoken through all the prophets and teachers of the Old Testament. The whole Bible is a manifestation of Christ, and the Saviour desires to fix the faith of His followers on the Word. When His visible presence should be withdrawn, the Word must be their source of power. Like their Master, they were to live by “every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

The Word Our Food

As our physical life is sustained by food, so our spiritual life is sustained by the word of God. As we must eat for ourselves in order to obtain nourishment, so we must receive the word for ourselves. We are not to obtain it merely through the medium of another's mind. We should carefully study the Bible, asking God for the aid of the Holy Spirit, that we may understand His Word. We should take one verse, and concentrate the mind on the task of ascertaining the thought that God has in that verse for us. We should dwell upon the thought until it becomes our own, and we know “what saith the Lord.”

In the Bible we have in clear lines the revelation of God's character, of His dealings with men, and the great work of redemption. Here is open before us the history of patriarchs and prophets, and other holy men of old. They were men “subject to like passions as we are.” We see how they struggled through discouragements like our own, how they fell under temptation as we have done, and yet took heart again and conquered through the grace of God; and, beholding, we are encouraged in our striving after righteousness. As we read of the precious experiences granted them, of the light and love and blessing it was theirs to enjoy, and of the work they wrought through the grace given them, the Spirit that inspired them kindles a flame of holy emulation in our hearts, and a desire to be like them in character,—like them, to walk with God.

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