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The Glad Tidings

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    Conferring with Flesh and Blood

    “Immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood.” This statement is made for the purpose of showing that the apostle did not receive the Gospel from any human being. He saw Christ, and accepted Him, then he went to Arabia, and came back to Damascus, and not till three years after his conversion did he go up to Jerusalem, where he stayed only fifteen days, and saw only two of the apostles. Moreover, the brethren were afraid of him, and would not at first believe that he was a disciple; so it is evident that he did not receive the Gospel from any man.GTI 44.2

    But there is much to learn from Paul’s not conferring with flesh and blood. To be sure, he had no need to, since he had the Lord’s own word; but such a course as his is by no means common. For instance, a man reads a thing in the Bible, and then must ask some other man’s opinion before he dare believe it. If none of his friends believe it, he is fearful of accepting it. If his pastor, or some commentary, explains the text away, then away it goes; flesh and blood gain the day against the Spirit and the Word.GTI 44.3

    Or, it may be that the commandment is so plain that there is no reasonable excuse for asking anybody what it means. Then the question is, Can I afford to do it? Will it not cost too much sacrifice? The most dangerous flesh and blood that one can confer with is one’s own. It is not enough to be independent of others; in matters of truth one needs to be independent of one’s self. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5. “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool.” Proverbs 28:26.GTI 45.1

    A pope is one who presumes to occupy the place in counsel which rightfully belongs to God alone. The man who makes himself pope, by following his own counsel, is just as bad as the man who dictates to another, and is more likely to be led astray than is the man who follows some pope other than himself. If one is to follow a pope at all, it would be more consistent to accept the pope of Rome, because he has had more experience in popery than any other. But none is necessary, since we have the Word of God. When God speaks, the part of wisdom is to obey at once, without taking counsel even of one’s own heart. The Lord’s name is “Counselor” (Isaiah 9:6), and He is “wonderful in counsel.” Hear Him! “He will be our Guide forevermore.”GTI 45.2

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