" To the Law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because their is no light in them." Isaiah 8:20. The people of God are directed to the Scriptures as their safeguard against the influence of false teachers and the delusive power of spirits of darkness. Satan employs every possible device to prevent men from obtaining a knowledge of the Bible; for its plain utterances reveals his deceptions....So closely will the counterfeit resemble the true that it will be impossible to distinguish between them except by the Holy Scriptures. By their testimony every statement and every miracle must be tested. But multitudes have no more understanding of these important truths than if they had never been revealed. Satan watches to catch away every impression that would make them wise unto salvation, and the time of trouble will find them unready. The Multitude do not want Bible truth, because it interfers with the desires of the sinful, world-loving heart; and Satan supplies the deceptions which they love. But God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrines and the basis of all reforms. The opinions of the learned men, the deductions of science, the creeds or decisions of ecclesiastical councils, as numerous and discordant as are the churches which they represents, the voice of the majority-- not one nor all of these should be regarded as evidence for or against any point of religious faith. Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain " thus saith the Lord" in its support. Satan is constantly endeavouring to attract attention to man in the place of God. He leads the people to look to bishops, to pastors, to professors of theology, as their guides instead of searching the Scriptures to learn their duty for themselves. Then by controlling the minds of these leaders, he can influence the multitudes according to his will. When Christ came to speak the word of life, the common people heard him gladly; and many, even of the priests and rulers, believed on him. But the chief of the priesthood and the leading men of the nation were determined to condemn and repudiate his teachings. Though they were baffled in all their efforts to find accusations against Him, though they could not but feel the influence of the divine power and wisdom attending His words, yet they incased themselves in prejudice; they rejected the clearest evidence of His Messiahship, lest they should be forced to become His disciples. These oponents of Jesus were men whom the people had been taught from infancy to reverence, to whose authority they had been accustomed implicitly to bow. " How is it," they asked, " that our rulers and learned scribes do not believe on Jesus? Would not these pious men receive Him if He were the Christ?" it was the Influence of such teachers that led the Jewish nation to reject their Redeemer. The spirit which actuated those priests and rulers is still manifested by many who make a high profession of piety. They refuse to examine the testimony of the Scriptures concerning the special truths for this time. They point to their own numbers, wealth, and popularity, and look with contempt upon the advocates of the truth as few, poor, and unpopular, having a faith that separates them from the World.The truth and the Glory of God are inseparable; it is impossible for us with the Bible within our reach, to honour God by erroneous opinions, Many claim that it matters not what one believes, if his life is only right. But the life is moulded by faith. If light and truth is within our reach, and we neglect to improve the privilege of hearing and seeing it, we virtually reject it; we are choosing darkness rather than light. " there is a way that seemth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" proverbs 16:25. Ignorance is no excuse for error or sin, when there is every opportunity to know the will of God. A man is traveling and comes to a place where there are several roads and a guideboard indicating where each one leads. If he disregards the guideboard, and takes whichever road seems to him to be right, he may be ever so sincere, but will in all probability find himself on the wrong road. God has given us His word that we may become acquainted with its teachings and know for ourselves what He requires of us. We should day by day study the Bible diligently, weighing every thought and comparing scripture with Scripture. With divine help we are to form our opinion for ourselves as we are to answer for ourselves before God. One reason why many theologians have no clearer understanding of God's word is, they close their eyes to truths which they do not wish to practice. An understanding of Bible truth depends not so much on the power of intellect brought to the search as on the singleness of purpose, the earnest longing after righteousness.... (The Great Controversy page 360-363)

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