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How to Study the Bible

1.  Our Stability and Education  (see Is. 33:6) may save us from Common Errors

2.  The Larger Context and its Natural Reading are Important for Understanding “Hard” Passages

2Pe 3:16  As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

 

3.  Weak-minded Persons may Understand the Truth

Isa 35:8  And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the  wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. {but…: or, for he shall be with them}

 

4.  Unconverted Persons can not Understand the Truth

Da 12:10  Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall  understand; but the wise shall understand.

I Co 2:13  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

 

5.  Scholarly Language Tends to Produce Dependence on Scholarship for Understanding; It is not Best

I Co 2:2  For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

3  And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 4  And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: {enticing: or, persuasible} 5  That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. {stand: Gr. be}

 

6.  Signs are not God’s Chosen Method of Teaching Truth

7.  Acclaimed Scholarship is not God’s Chosen Method of Teaching Truth

8.  God uses the Weak and Apparently Unqualified and Makes Jesus to be Their Wisdom

I Corinthians 1:17 ¶ For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. 18  For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 19  For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20  Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 22  For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23  But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24  But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 25  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26  For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29  That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30  But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Is 2913  Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: 14  Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. {proceed: Heb. add}

 

9.  A Willingness to Turn from Wrong and to Do Right is Required to Know God’s Doctrine

Joh 7:17  If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

2 Th 2:11  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

 

10.  By Prayer we Gain Wisdom

11.  If We Desire to Justify our Course of Action We will not Receive the Wisdom We Ask

Jas 1:5  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. . . . 4:3  Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. {lusts: or, pleasures}

 

12.  You are not Authorized to Make Your Prophetic Opinion Privately

2 Pt. 1:19 ¶ We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20  Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. {in old time: or, at any time} 2:1 ¶ But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2  And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. {pernicious ways: or, lascivious ways, as some copies read}

 

13.  Only by Careful Study can we Understand Aright

14.  Heresies Reveal Who have not been Approved by Study

2Ti 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

1Co 11:19  For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. {heresies: or, sects}

 

15.  Where Science or Questions Oppose Scripture They Should be Avoided

1Ti 6:20  O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely  so called: {science: Gr. knowledge}

 

16.  Truth is Simple; Error Complex

2Co 11:3  But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

17.  By His Own Chosen Messengers He Will Teach

18.  By Comparing Various Passages He Will Teach

Is. 28:9 ¶ Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. {doctrine: Heb. the hearing?} 10  For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: {must be: or, hath been} 11  For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. {stammering…: Heb. stammerings of lip} {will…: or, he hath spoken}

19.  Things that are not Revealed are not for us to Understand

De 29:29  The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our  children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.

Isa 50:11  Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks  that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.

 

How Churches Fall from the Truth

Human reasoning has ever sought to evade or set aside the simple, direct instructions of the Word of God. In every age a majority of the professed followers of Christ have disregarded those precepts which enjoin self-denial and humility, which require modesty and simplicity of conversation, deportment, and apparel. The result has ever been the same–departure from the teachings of the gospel leads to the adoption of the fashions, customs, and principles of the world. Vital godliness gives place to a dead formalism. The presence and power of God, withdrawn from those world-loving circles, are found with a class of humble worshipers, who are willing to obey the teachings of the Sacred Word. Through successive generations this course has been pursued. One after another different denominations have risen and yielding their simplicity, have lost, in a great measure, their early power.  {CG 430.1}

 

Miller on Interpretation

Endeavoring to lay aside all preconceived opinions, and dispensing with commentaries, he compared scripture with scripture by the aid of the marginal references and the concordance. He pursued his study in a regular and methodical manner; beginning with Genesis, and reading verse by verse, he proceeded no faster than the meaning of the several passages so unfolded as to leave him free from all embarrassment. When he found anything obscure, it was his custom to compare it with every other text which seemed to have any reference to the matter under consideration. Every word was permitted to have its proper bearing upon the subject of the text, and if his view of it harmonized with every collateral passage, it ceased to be a difficulty. Thus whenever he met with a passage hard to be understood he found an explanation in some other portion of the Scriptures. As he studied with earnest prayer for divine enlightenment, that which had before appeared dark to his understanding was made clear. He experienced the truth of the psalmist’s words: “The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” Psalm 119:130.  {GC 320.1}

With intense interest he studied the books of Daniel and the Revelation, employing the same principles of interpretation as in the other scriptures, and found, to his great joy, that the prophetic symbols could be understood. He saw that the prophecies, so far as they had been fulfilled, had been fulfilled literally; that all the various figures, metaphors, parables, similitudes, etc., were either explained in their immediate connection, or the terms in which they were expressed were defined in other scriptures, and when thus explained, were to be literally understood. “I was thus satisfied,” he says, “that the Bible is a system of revealed truths, so clearly and simply given that the wayfaring man, though a fool, need not err therein.”–Bliss, page 70. Link after link of the chain of truth rewarded his efforts, as step by step he traced down the great lines of prophecy. Angels of heaven were guiding his mind and opening the Scriptures to his understanding.  {GC 320.2}

God permitted Satan to carry forward his work until the spirit of disaffection ripened into active revolt. It was necessary for his plans to be fully developed, that their true nature and tendency might be seen by all. . . . His power to deceive was very great. By disguising himself in a cloak of falsehood, he had gained an advantage. All his acts were so clothed with mystery, that it was difficult to disclose to the angels the true nature of his work. . . . It was his policy to perplex with subtle arguments concerning the purposes of God. Everything that was simple he shrouded in mystery, and by artful perversion cast doubt upon the plainest statements of Jehovah.  {FLB 69.2}

The underworking was so subtle that it could not be made to appear before the heavenly host as the thing that it really was; and so there was war in heaven, and Satan was expelled with all who would not stand on the side of loyalty to God’s government.  {FLB 69.3}

I am bidden to warn all who make untruthful statements that they are serving him who has been a liar from the beginning. Let us be on our guard against untruthfulness, which grows upon him who practices it. I say to all, Make truth your girdle. . . . Put away all prevarication and exaggeration; never make a false statement.  {FLB 69.4}

An intention to deceive is what constitutes falsehood. By a glance of the eye, a motion of the hand, an expression of the countenance, a falsehood may be told as effectually as by words. All intentional overstatement, every hint or insinuation calculated to convey an erroneous or exaggerated impression, even the statement of facts in such a manner as to mislead, is falsehood.  {FLB 69.5}

 

Historical Context and Inspiration

 

Minneapolis and Cheese

Oh, how it has hurt me to have blocks thrown in my way in regard to this subject. Some have said, “Sister White eats cheese, and therefore we are at liberty to eat cheese.” I have tasted cheese once or twice, but that is a different thing from making it an article of diet. Once when at Minneapolis, I sat down at a table on which there was some cheese. I was quite sick at the time, and some of my brethren told me that they thought if I ate a little cheese, it might do me good. I ate a small piece, and from then it has been reported in large assemblies that Sister White eats cheese.  {13MR 202.1}

I have not had meat in my house for years. But do not give up the use of meat because Sister White does not eat it. I would not give a farthing for your health reform if that is what it is based upon. I want you to stand in your individual dignity and in your individual consecration before God, the whole being dedicated to Him. “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”

 

Minneapolis and the Judgement of the Living

Several times during the past winter [1888-89] I have met the report that, during the Conference at Minneapolis, “Sister White was shown that the judgment, which since 1844 had been passing upon the righteous dead, had now begun upon the living.” This report is not true. A similar rumor, which has been afloat for about two years, originated in this wise: In a letter written from Basel, Switzerland, to a minister in California I made a remark substantially as follows: “The judgment has been over forty years in progress on the cases of the dead, and we know not how soon it will pass to the cases of the living.” The letter was read to different persons, and careless hearers reported what they thought they heard. Thus the matter started. The report from Minneapolis arose from someone’s misunderstanding of a statement to the same effect as the one quoted from the letter. There is no other foundation for either report than this.  {1888 326.1}

Secondly, report has it that a minister now living has been seen by me in vision as saved in the kingdom of God, thus representing that his final salvation is assured. There is no truth whatever in this statement. The word of God lays down the conditions of our salvation, and it rests wholly with ourselves whether or not we will comply with them.  {1888 326.2}

Says the Revelator: “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels.”  {1888 326.3}

“Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.” “And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: to the end He may stablish your hearts unblamable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.” “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, My soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition, but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”  {1888 326.4}

Here we have the Bible election plainly stated. Here are specified who shall be crowned in the city of God and who shall have no part with the just. “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”  {1888 327.1}

 

Minneapolis and Ellen White’s Mistaken Words and Attitude

The third report states that, in the Conference at Minneapolis, “Sister White confessed that in some of her remarks at that meeting she had been in error and had manifested a wrong spirit.” This report also is wholly without foundation. I could not forbear giving to the Conference the light that God had given me. This I presented both in messages of warning and reproof and in words of hope and faith. But nothing spoken by me at that meeting has been taken back or confessed to be wrong. I still view matters from the same standpoint, and am of the same mind, as when at Minneapolis. All the dangers which I then saw, and which brought such a burden upon me, have been more clearly developed since that meeting. As I become more fully acquainted with the condition of our churches I see that every warning given at Minneapolis was needed.  {1888 327.2}

The influence of this report from Minneapolis, tended to destroy confidence in all reproofs and warnings given by me to the people. One example of this I will here relate.{1888 327.3}

A sister connected with one of our missions had been reproved for her wrong influence over the young people with whom she was associated. She had encouraged a spirit of lightness, trifling, and frivolity, which grieved away the Spirit of God and which was demoralizing to the workers. When the report came by letter from Minneapolis concerning Sister White’s wrong course which called for a confession there, the relatives of Sister T at once remarked: “Well, if Sister White was wrong in regard to matters in the Conference at Minneapolis, and had to confess this, she may have made a mistake as to the message she gave my sister and may have to confess that also.” And they justified the wrongdoer in her course. Since that time, however, Sister T has acknowledged the wrong for which she was reproved. Those who originated and spread the report have exerted an influence to embolden wrongdoers in rejecting reproof, and souls have thus been imperiled. Let all who have engaged in this work beware lest the blood of these souls be found upon them in the great day of final judgment.  {1888 328.1}

The cases mentioned will serve to show how little reliance can be placed upon reports concerning what I have done or taught. During my labors in connection with the work of the Lord I have not made it a practice to vindicate my own cause or to contradict reports that have been put in circulation in regard to myself. To do this would occupy my time to the neglect of the work which God has appointed me. These matters I have left to Him who has a care for His servants and His cause.  {1888 328.2}

But I would say to my brethren: Beware how you give credence to such reports. The Saviour bade His disciples: “Take heed therefore how ye hear.” And He speaks of a certain class that hear and will not understand lest they should be converted and be healed. Again He said: “Take heed what ye hear.”He that is of God heareth God’s words.”  {1888 328.3}

Those who listened to the words of Christ heard and reported. His teaching just according to the spirit that was in them. It is ever thus with those who hear God’s word. The manner in which they understand and receive it depends upon the spirit which dwells in their hearts.  {1888 328.4}

There are many who put their own construction upon what they hear, making the thought appear altogether different from that which the speaker endeavored to express. Some, hearing through the medium of their own prejudices or pre-possessions, understand the matter as they desire it to be,–as will best suit their purpose,–and so report it. Following the promptings of an unsanctified heart, they construe into evil that which, rightly understood, might be a means of great good.  {1888 329.1}

Again, an expression perfectly true and right in itself, may be wholly distorted by transmission through several curious, careless, or caviling minds. Well-meaning persons are often careless and make grievous mistakes, and it is not likely that others will report more correctly. One who has himself not fully understood a speaker’s meaning repeats a remark or assertion, giving to it his own coloring. It makes an impression on the hearer just according to his prejudices and imaginings. He reports it to a third, who in turn adds a little more and sends it forward; and before any of them are aware of what they are doing, they have accomplished the purpose of Satan in planting the seeds of doubt, jealousy, and suspicion in many minds.  {1888 329.2}

If persons listen to God’s message of reproof, warning, or encouragement while their hearts are filled with prejudice, they will not understand the true import of that which was sent them to be a savor of life unto life. Satan stands by to present everything to their understanding in a false light. But the souls that are hungering and thirsting for divine knowledge will hear aright, and will obtain the precious blessings that God designs to convey to them. Their minds are under the influence of His Holy Spirit, and they hear aright.  {1888 329.3}

When hearts are purified from selfishness and egotism, they are in harmony with the message God sends them. The perceptions are quickened, the sensibilities refined. Like appreciates like. “He that is of God heareth God’s words.”  {1888 329.4}

And now to all who have a desire for truth I would say: Do not give credence to unauthenticated reports as to what Sister White has done or said or written. If you desire to know what the Lord has revealed through her, read her published works. Are there any points of interest concerning which she has not written, do not eagerly catch up and report rumors as to what she has said.  {1888 329.5}

 

Ellen White and Ana Phillips

As the report has been quite widely circulated that Sister White has endorsed what has been written and circulated as revelations from God through Miss Anna Phillips, I feel that it is my duty to speak. I have not endorsed these productions. Warnings have been given to me in reference to them, that they will most certainly mislead. Woven in them will be statements that will lead to extremes and to wrong action on the part of those who accept them. It would be well for our brethren and sisters to move more cautiously, in accordance with the light given them. They should test these so-called visions before accepting them and presenting them in connection with the light God has given me. I see that our people are in danger of making grave blunders and premature movements. God says of these prophets that are springing up, “I have not sent them, yet they ran. Believe them not.”  {PC 127.1}

But that which grieves me is that some of our brethren have associated the exercises of Annie Phillips with the testimonies of Sister White, and have presented the two to the people as one and the same thing. Many have accepted the whole as proceeding from me. And when the result of such productions shall be seen in the true character, when falsehoods are presented as truths from God, and individuals act upon these things, believing them to be a message from the Lord, movements will be made that bear not the divine credentials, doubt will be cast on the true work of the Spirit of prophecy, and the testimonies that God sends to the people will bear the stigma of these false utterances. These revelations are largely a repetition of that which has been before the people in publications for years; and yet mingled with this are some things that will lead astray.  {PC 127.2}

I cannot endorse the course Brother_____has pursued. He has not written one word to me, to see if God has given any light in these matters; yet he has presented them in public, making manifest his confidence in them. The fact that Brother _____has been presenting precious light to the people, leads them to regard all he says as if inspired of God, else Brother_____would not present them as he has done, I cannot see wisdom in this course. More clearly than do my Brethren I discern the inwardness of this thing, and the results that will follow. I have already made decided statements in reference to this matter, and I am sorry it has been brought in as it has, to do a work which will cast reflections upon the testimonies God has given. Where these so-called revelations are accepted, they will surely lead many into erroneous, precipitate action. I am burdened over these things.  {PC 127.3}

Recently a letter was published in the Melbourne Age, from a New York correspondent, giving an account of the wonderful meeting held in Battle Creek on the occasion when so much jewelry was donated. And the work was said to have been done after the reading of a vision given by Mrs. White, a prophetess, urging the people to sell and give away their property. How can you think I feel, to be at work here in this new field, and just as the interest is ripening off, souls deciding for the truth, to have some of the productions of Anna Phillips brought in, to be received and to go out as my testimony? Will my brethren please make no reference to the testimonies of Sister White in connection with Anna Phillips? In the name of the Lord I protest against this mixing up work, for it will result in making the testimonies God has given me responsible for the influence and effect of Anna Phillips’ words. I beg my brethren just to come to the people with the evidence from the Bible, and not strengthen the opposition which is so strong against us, and is intensified by the falsehoods of Grant and Canright.  {PC 127.4}

 

Ellen White and Everyone Having the Gift of Prophecy

From time to time reports come to me concerning statements that Sister White is said to have made, but which are entirely new to me, and which cannot fail to mislead the people as to my real views and teaching. A sister, in a letter to her friends, speaks with much enthusiasm of a statement by Brother _____, that Sister White had seen that the time had come when, if we hold the right relation to God, all can have the gift of prophecy to the same extent as do those who are now having visions. Where is the authority for this statement? I must believe that the sister failed to understand Brother _____, for I cannot think that he made the statement. The writer continues: “Brother_____said last night that is the case, not that God will speak to all for the benefit of every one else, but to each for his own benefit, and this will fulfil the prophecy of Joel. He stated that this is already being developed in numerous instances. He spoke as if he thought none would hold such a leading position as Sister White had done, and will still do. Referred to Moses as a parallel. He was a leader, but many others are referred to as prophesying, though their prophecies are not published. He, (Brother _____), will not give permission to have the matter copied for general circulation that has been read here from some sister. I wonder if you have seen one of these visions? They represent us as in the closing moments of time, with hours all in the past, and it is moments now. How solemn!”  {PC 128.1}

These statements, interwoven with other matter that professes to be from God, are misleading; many minds will eagerly seize upon them, and through false impressions will misapprehend our true position and work. With much that is truth, there is mingled error that is accepted in its extreme meaning, and acted upon by persons of excitable temperament. Thus fanaticism will take the place of well-regulated, well-disciplined, heaven ordained efforts to carry forward the work to its completion.  {PC 128.2}

These ideas in relation to prophesying, I do not hesitate to say, might better never have been expressed. Such statements prepare the way for a state of things that Satan will surely take advantage of to bring in spurious exercises. There is danger, not only that unbalanced minds will be led into fanaticism, but that designing persons will take advantage of this excitement to further their own selfish purposes. Jesus has raised His voice in warning: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.” “Thus saith the Lord of hosts, hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain. They speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord.” “If any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, He is there; believe him not: for false Christs and false prophets shall arise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all these things.”  {PC 128.3}

I have a warning to give to our brethren, that they shall follow their Leader, and not to run ahead of Christ. Let there be no haphazard work in these times. Beware of making strong expressions, which will lead unbalanced minds to think that they have wonderful light from God. The one who bears a message to the people from God must exercise perfect self-control. He should ever bear in mind that the path of presumption lies close beside the path of faith. In no case should he make use of extravagant expressions, for a certain class are sure to be affected, and influences are set in motion that can no more be controlled than can an impetuous horse. Once let impulse and emotion get the mastery over calm judgment, and there may be altogether too much speed, even in traveling a right road. He that travels too fast will find it perilous in more ways than one. It may not be long before he will branch off from the right road into a wrong path.  {PC 129.1}

Not once should feeling be allowed to get the mastery over our judgment. There is danger of excess in that which is lawful, and that which is not lawful will surely lead into false paths. If there is not careful, earnest, sensible work, solid as a rock in the advancement of every idea and principle, in every representation given, souls will be ruined. Truth is mighty, and it will prevail. It will do its own work upon human hearts. We need not resort to the use of strong expressions that lead to overaction. The truth stated calmly, clearly, will enter into the mind of the receiver, and become a part of their very nature. The Comforter, the Holy Spirit, remolds the character, making a new man in Christ Jesus. The thoughts, the ideas, the principles, are sound, sensible, bearing with them a weight of influence that flows in the new and divine channel. The heart and the soul are enlisted. The yea and amen of heaven must bring up the rear of every movement, else the worker will lose the reward of success. But he should weed out from every effort all extravagant expressions. This caution will make his work far more efficient and commendable, even to those who do not believe the truth. There is danger, even in reproof, of cunning minds to dwell upon topics that lead to sensuality. Even the subject of moral purity may be so treated as to produce the very results it is desired to guard against.  {PC 129.2}

The greatest care should be exercised concerning those who claim to receive revelations from God. There needs to be much close watching and much praying. Those who are acting a part in the great work for these last days need to counsel together in regard to every new thing that shall be introduced, for no one man’s mind is to be left to judge of, or to place before the public, important matters which have a relation to the cause of God. At this very time we are suffering from the reproach that was brought on the cause in the first message by unwise, ill-balanced minds, who thought they were obtaining a wonderful experience which should receive the credence of all men. In our early experience we had to encounter their over-strained humility and false notions. The first labor given me to do was to reprove their man-made tests. The testimony which I bore against fanaticism gained for me the envy, jealousy, evil-surmising, and criticism of those who participated in those movements. We know full well what it cost us personally because we would not receive the visions, dreams, and testimonies of those fanatics. We were compelled to know something of their cruel influence upon the cause of God. The truth had to bear the reproach of the error and fanaticism which we were everywhere called to condemn and reprove. And now that fanaticism I labored faithfully to repress, bearing the testimony given me of God to counteract its baleful influence is by Grant and Canright charged upon me. I have been shown that whenever and wherever God works, we must watch; every man and woman must stand as a faithful sentinel, for the arch-deceiver is waiting and ready to set in operation various devices for misleading souls. If possible he will mingle the counterfeit with the genuine, so that, in the effort to separate the two, souls will be imperiled. Whenever and wherever God works, Satan and his angels are on the ground. (Please read “Life Sketches,” pages 92-94.)  {PC 129.3}

The Lord has not commissioned Brother _____ to present Anna Phillips’ revelations to our people. The truth of the word of God is of sufficient authority and power. It bears its own credentials. The testimonies given me from God are designed to call the attention of the people to a “Thus saith the Lord.” Brother _____ is in positive danger, and his brethren do not see that danger. They are placing the servant where God should be. The Lord has given Brother _____ a message to prepare a people to stand in the day of God; but when the people shall look to Elder _____ as to God they will become weak instead of being strong. It is no time now to be careless and ignorant of Satan’s masterly devices to draw the people into deceptions and delusions.

For the Word Document, click here: How_to_Study_the_Bible — Not for YD

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