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The Bible, the Spirit of Prophecy, and the Church

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    Blessings From Searching the Word

    It would be impossible to make the word of God the man of our counsel and not receive divine blessings into our hearts and lives. The promise of God is clear and plain. It has always been true that when men hear the voice of God, and decide to be obedient to His will, blessings flow in rich measure into their longing hearts. The revelator many centuries ago declared:BSPC 57.1

    “Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.” Revelation 1:1BSPC 57.2

    “Blessed are they that do his commandments.” Revelation 22:14.BSPC 57.3

    “Blessed is he that keeps the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” Verse 7.BSPC 57.4

    Here is a threefold benediction: a blessing on the reader, the hearer, and the doer of the word of God. Jesus laid particular emphasis on the same thought when He announced to the people of His day, “Blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” Luke 11:28.BSPC 57.5

    But the promise of blessing goes back much further in the history of the human race. The writer of the Psalms stresses the same thing. Notice his words:BSPC 57.6

    “Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law does he meditate day and night.” Psalm 1:1, 2.BSPC 57.7

    “Blessed are they that keep his testimonies.” Psalm 119:2.BSPC 57.8

    Yes, even in the days of wandering in the wilderness, God promised to send from His throne in heaven copious showers of blessing upon His people if they would listen to and obey His Sacred Word.BSPC 57.9

    “Only if thou carefully hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all these commandments which I command thee this day. For the Lord thy God blesses thee, as he promised thee.” Deuteronomy 15:5, 6.BSPC 57.10

    There is something about God’s Holy Word that works wonders in the hearts of those who receive it in deed and in truth. It is the “living” word of the eternal God; it is the “powerful” word of Jehovah. When we receive this into our lives, and determine by the help of God that this shall govern and control every action, then this word is the word of life and power to us. It brings new life; it brings spiritual power, and this enables us by divine grace to be “more than conquerors through him that loved us.”BSPC 57.11

    It is the purpose of God that this Sacred Word accomplish much for us. By it we are converted (Psalm 19:7), we are cleansed (John 15:3), we are strengthened (Psalm 119:28), we are sanctified (John 17:17), and we are edified (Acts 20:32).BSPC 58.1

    On our part, in receiving these inestimable blessings we are.BSPC 58.2

    To trust God’s word. Psalm 119:42.BSPC 58.3

    To meditate on God’s word. Psalm 119:15.BSPC 58.4

    To rejoice in God’s word. Psalm 119:162.BSPC 58.5

    To love God’s word. Psalm 119:140.BSPC 58.6

    To preach God’s word. Acts 8:4.BSPC 58.7

    To forget not God’s word. Psalm 119:16.BSPC 58.8

    As we learn to have implicit confidence in the Bible, the door will be wide open for Heaven’s choicest benedictions to flow into our souls. These divine blessings are many, but only a few of them will be listed, with quotations from the Bible and from the Spirit of prophecy. Earnest, profitable perusal of the Holy Scriptures willBSPC 58.9

    1. Strengthen the Mind

    David, the servant of God, centuries ago testified:BSPC 58.10

    “Through thy precepts I get understanding.” Psalm 119:104.BSPC 58.11

    “The entrance of thy words gives light; it gives understanding unto the simple.” Verse 130.BSPC 58.12

    Confirming this we read:BSPC 58.13

    “There is nothing more calculated to strengthen the intellect than the study of the Scriptures. No other book is so potent to elevate the thoughts, to give vigor to the faculties, as the broad, ennobling truths of the Bible. If God’s word were studied as it should be, men would have a breadth of mind, a nobility of character, and a stability of purpose that is rarely seen in these times.”—Steps to Christ, 94, 95.BSPC 58.14

    2. Strengthen the Spiritual Nature

    The Lord has designed that through the Sacred Scriptures we shall receive the strength and help we need in every crisis. As we meditate upon His Holy Word we shall be “filled with the knowledge of his will”; we shall increase “in the knowledge of God”; we shall be “strengthened with all might.” (Colossians 1:9-1l.) This Holy Word brings divine strength to the soul. The word itself is power, and as we receive it we receive with it the power of God, which will keep and preserve and save us.BSPC 58.15

    “Even greater is the power of the Bible in the development of the spiritual nature. Man, created for fellowship with God, can only in such fellowship find his real life and development.”—Education, 124.BSPC 59.1

    3. Transform the Character

    This is one of the marvelous results of the word of the Lord on human hearts. That same word that in the beginning called all things into existence speaks in the Scriptures of truth. When we let it have its way in our lives, it will work miracles, just as it did on creation’s morn. The new birth, the awakening from the death of sin to a new life in Christ Jesus, is a new creation. “If any one is in Christ, he is a new creation.” 2 Corinthians 5:17, R.S.V. This word is power; it transforms the life. Receiving it into the heart, the drunkard becomes sober, the profligate becomes pure in mind. Communities given over to the grossest forms of heathenism are miraculously changed. In place of the drunken orgies and the debasing practices of superstition, there flow songs of praise to God. If we refuse to be “conformed to this world,” we shall be “transformed by the renewing” of our minds. Then we shall know in deed and in truth “what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2.BSPC 59.2

    This transformation in life is referred to in the Spirit of prophecy in the following words:BSPC 59.3

    “A change wrought by the word, it is one of the deepest mysteries of the word. We cannot understand it; we can only believe, as declared by the Scriptures, it is ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory.’”—Education, 172.BSPC 59.4

    4. Point Out the Seriousness of the Times

    All of us need not only to know but to sense the solemnity of the times in which we live. We have surely come to the very end of the last days, and we need to be awake and not sleep as do many. We are the “children of light, and the children of the day; we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5. God has given to His people the “sure word of prophecy” (2 Peter 1:19), and this word clearly depicts the serious and solemn scenes to be enacted in the days to come. We need to seek for grace and wisdom, that we may ever be alert, that that day does not overtake us as a thief. (See Testimonies for the Church 5:216.)BSPC 59.5

    5. Fill the Soul With the Love of God

    David, the king of Israel, had learned actually to “love” the word of God. Time after time he broke out in sentiments expressing the deep conviction of his soul: “O how love I thy law”; “thy law do I love.” Psalm 119:97, 113. David had gladly received the life giving word into his soul; he loved it with a fervent love, and this in turn begat in his heart an even deeper love for God. This is a two-way experience. When we love God we will keep His commandments; when we receive His word “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts.”BSPC 60.1

    “Take the Bible as a study book, and see if you are not filled with the love of God. Your heart may be barren, your intellect feeble; but if you will prayerfully study the word of God, light will flash into your mind.”—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 455, 456.BSPC 60.2

    6. Fill the Heart With Divine Comfort

    This is another of the rich blessings from Heaven given to the children of God. How the world craves for comfort today! On every hand there is much to distract, much to annoy, much to disturb our peace of mind, but, thank God, there is comfort in our heavenly Father. He is the “God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3), and He desires that we “through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4). As God’s people we are to “comfort one another with these words” of consolation and help. (1 Thessalonians 4:18.) Our hearts will be comforted as we are established in every good word and work.” (2 Thessalonians 2:17.)BSPC 60.3

    Observe the following words of admonition:BSPC 60.4

    “In the religious life of every soul who is finally victorious, there will be scenes of terrible perplexity and trial; but his knowledge of the Scriptures will enable him to bring to mind the encouraging promises of God, which will comfort his heart and strengthen his faith in the power of the Mighty One.”—Testimonies for the Church 5:578.BSPC 60.5

    7. Bring Joy and Gladness Into the Soul

    True joy is heaven born; it is one of the priceless blessings Jesus bestows upon those who accept Him as Lord and Master. His provision for us is not only that we have joy but that we have His joy. He says, “That they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves” (John 17:13); and “that my joy might remain in you” (John 15:11). He longs that our “joy might be full.” Here it is our privilege to have a foretaste of that blessed experience that awaits the redeemed of which the psalmist wrote, “In thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.” Psalm 16:11. It is true that in this life there will be discouragements and disappointments. We shall be tempted time and again to yield to despondency and to feel that all is hopeless. We are told:BSPC 60.6

    “There is many a brave soul sorely pressed by temptation, almost ready to faint in the conflict with self and with the powers of evil. Do not discourage such a one in his hard struggle. Cheer him with brave, hopeful words that shall urge him on his way. Thus the light of Christ may shine from you. ‘None of us lives to himself.’ By our unconscious influence others may be encouraged and strengthened, or they may be discouraged, and repelled from Christ and the truth.”—Steps to Christ, 125.BSPC 61.1

    However, let us remember that even now—BSPC 61.2

    “Christians may have the joy of communion with Christ; they may have the light of His love, the perpetual comfort of His presence. Every step in life may bring us closer to Jesus, may give us a deeper experience of His love, and may bring us one step nearer to the blessed home of peace.”—Steps to Christ, 130.BSPC 61.3

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