Words of Hope…
God points His followers to the Bible as their safeguard against the deceptive power of evil spirits. Satan uses every possible way to prevent people from gaining a knowledge of the Bible. At every
revival of God’s work, his activity becomes more intense. We will
soon see a final struggle against Christ and His followers begin. The
counterfeit will resemble the true so closely that it will be impossible to tell the difference between them except by the Scriptures.
Those who try to obey all of God’s commandments will be opposed and mocked. To endure the trial, they must understand the will of God as revealed in His Word. They can honor Him only as they correctly understand His character, government, and goals, and act in harmony with them. Only those who have fortified their minds with the truths of the Bible will stand firmly through the last great struggle.
Before His crucifixion the Savior explained to His disciples that He was going to be killed and would rise again. Angels were there to impress His words on their minds and hearts. But they forgot the very words they needed to remember. When the trouble came, the death of Jesus destroyed their hopes as completely as if He had not warned them before. Similarly, the prophecies open the future before us as clearly as Christ opened it to the disciples. But most people have no more understanding of these important truths than if God had never revealed them.
When God sends warnings, He requires every sound-minded person to obey the message. The fearful judgments against worshiping the beast and his image (Revelation 14:9-11) should lead everyone to learn what the mark of the beast is and how to avoid receiving it.* But the great majority of people do not want Bible truth, because it goes against the desires of the sinful heart. Satan supplies them with the deceptions they love.
But God will have a people who hold the Bible, and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrines and the basis of all reforms. The opinions of educated men, the conclusions of science, the decisions of church councils, the voice of the majority—not one nor all of these should we take as evidence for or against any doctrine. We should demand a plain “Thus says the Lord.” Satan leads the people to look to pastors, to professors of theology, as their guides instead of searching the Scriptures for themselves. By controlling these leaders, he can influence most people.
When Christ came, the common people heard Him gladly. But the chief priests and the nation’s leaders wrapped themselves in prejudice, rejecting the evidence that He was the Messiah. “How is it,” the people asked, “that our rulers and enlightened scribes do not believe on Jesus?” Teachers like this led the Jewish nation to reject their Redeemer.
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Source: Ellen G. White, The Great Hope, pp. 54, 55.
*This subject is presented in The Great Controversy, chapter 38.