LandMarks Magazine      

December 2004 Table of Contents

    January 2, 2005 - January 8, 2005

The Inspiration of Scripture


Memory Verse: 

     “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke [as they were] moved by the Holy Spirit.”  11 Peter 1:19–21.


Suggested Reading:  Testimonies, vol. 5, 698–711.


1    How much of the Scripture is inspired?  11 Timothy 3:16.


note:  “The apostle Peter says that there are in Scripture ‘things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest . . . unto their own destruction.’  [11 Peter 3:16.]  The difficulties of Scripture have been urged by skeptics as an argument against the Bible; but so far from this, they constitute a strong evidence of its divine inspiration.  If it contained no account of God but that which we could easily comprehend; if His greatness and majesty could be grasped by finite minds, then the Bible would not bear the unmistakable credentials of divine authority.  The very grandeur and mystery of the themes presented should inspire faith in it as the word of God.”  Testimonies, vol. 5, 700.


2    How did Scripture come into being?  11 Peter 1:20, 21.


note:  “There is need of a much closer study of the Word of God.  Especially should Daniel and the Revelation have attention as never before in the history of our work.  We may have less to say in some lines, in regard to the Roman power and the papacy, but we should call attention to what the prophets and the apostles have written under the inspiration of the Spirit of God.  The Holy Spirit has so shaped matters, both in the giving of the prophecy, and in the events portrayed, as to teach that the human agent is to be kept out of sight, hid in Christ, and the Lord God of heaven and His law are to be exalted.”  Manuscript Releases, vol. 16, 333.


3    How was the process of inspiration established in the prophet?  Isaiah 1:1; Ezekiel 1:1; Daniel 7:1.


note:  “The Lord was pleased with the course that Daniel pursued.  He was greatly beloved and honored of Heaven; to him the God of wisdom gave skill in the learning of the Chaldeans, and understanding in all visions and dreams.”  The Signs of the Times, September 18, 1884.


4    What claim does God make that establishes inspiration?  Isaiah 46:9.


note:  “The Bible is a wonderful book.  It is a history that opens up to us the past centuries.  Without the Bible we would have been left to conjectures and fables in regard to the occurrences of past ages.  It is a prophecy that unveils the future.  It is the word of God unfolding to us the plan of salvation, pointing out the way by which we may escape eternal death and gain eternal life.  Of all the books that flood the world, however valuable, the Bible is the Book of books, most deserving of our study and admiration.  It gives not only the history of this world but a description of the world to come.  It contains instruction concerning the wonders of the universe, it reveals to our understanding the character of the Author of the heavens and the earth.  In it is the revelation of God to man.”  The Signs of the Times, January 30, 1893.


5    Did the writers of the Bible recognize other prophets also?  11 Peter 3:1, 2; Luke 1:69, 70.  See also 11 Thessalonians 3:14.


note:  “The Bible points to God as its Author; yet it was written by human hands; and in the varied style of its different books it presents the characteristics of the several writers.  The truths revealed are all ‘given by inspiration of God’ (11 Timothy 3:16); yet they are expressed in the words of men.  The Infinite One by his Holy Spirit had shed light into the minds and hearts of his servants.  He has given dreams and visions, symbols and figures; and those to whom the truth was thus revealed, have themselves embodied the thought in human language.”  Review and Herald, August 30, 1906.


6    What did God design that His inspired Word should do?  Hebrews 4:12.


note:  “The Bible may be studied as a branch of human science would be, but its beauty, the evidence of its power to save the soul that believes, is a lesson that is never thus learned.  If the practice of the Word is not brought into the life, then the sword of the Spirit has not wounded the natural heart.  It has been shielded in poetic fancy.  Sentimentalism has so wrapped it about that the heart has not sufficiently felt the keenness of its edge, piercing and cutting away the sinful shrines where self is worshiped.”  Manuscript Releases, vol. 2, 97.


7    Can Bible writers claim the endorsement of God through His Word?  1 Thessalonians 2:13.


note:  “There are many who claim that they have been sanctified to God, and yet when the great standard of righteousness is presented to them, they become greatly excited, and manifest a spirit which proves that they know nothing of what it means to be sanctified.  They have not the mind of Christ; for those who are truly sanctified will reverence and obey the word of God as fast as it is opened to them, and they will express a strong desire to know what is truth on every point of doctrine.”  Review and Herald, March 25, 1902.


8    Why were prophets who were inspired of God given to the church?  Ephesians 4:11–14.


note:  “We can see from this scripture that the Lord has his appointed workers, and that the work committed unto them has in view a definite object.  Prophets, apostles, evangelists, pastors, teachers, are all to work for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”  Review and Herald, March 7, 1893.


9    Should we try to separate some Scripture as inspired and others not?  Matthew 4:4.


note:  “The union of the divine and the human, manifest in Christ, exists also in the Bible.  The truths revealed are all ‘given by inspiration of God’ [11 Timothy 3:16]; yet they are expressed in the words of men and are adapted to human needs.  Thus it may be said of the Book of God, as it was of Christ, that ‘the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.’  [John 1:14.]  And this fact, so far from being an argument against the Bible, should strengthen faith in it as the word of God.  Those who pronounce upon the inspiration of the Scriptures, accepting some portions as divine while they reject other parts as human, overlook the fact that Christ, the divine, partook of our human nature, that He might reach humanity.  In the work of God for man’s redemption, divinity and humanity are combined.”  Testimonies, vol. 5, 747.


10  When a person uses inspired Scripture to support some position, should we accept it just because they quote or paraphrase words from the Bible?  1 John 4:1.


note:  “We are not to receive the words of those who come with a message that contradicts the special points of our faith.  They gather together a mass of scripture, and pile it as proof around their asserted theories.  This has been done over and over again during the past fifty years.  And while the Scriptures are God’s word, and are to be respected, the application of them, if such application moves one pillar of the foundation that God has sustained these fifty years, is a great mistake.  He who makes such an application knows not the wonderful demonstrations of the Holy Spirit that gave power and force to the past messages that have come to the people of God.”  The Paulson Collection of Ellen G. White Letters, 208.


11  Will the time come when there will be an attempt to change the force of God’s Word in the life of His followers?  Jude 3, 4.


note:  “There are those in the church who, unless thoroughly converted, will crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.  I appeal to every church-member to inquire, Am I doing all I can to honor my Redeemer?  Truth held in unrighteousness is the greatest curse that can come to our world.  But the truth as it is in Jesus is a savor of life unto life.  It is worth possessing, worth living, worth defending.  Christ calls upon us to enter the narrow pathway, where every step means a denial of self.  He calls upon us to stand upon the platform of eternal truth, and contend, yes, contend earnestly, for the faith once delivered to the saints.”  Review and Herald, December 4, 1900.


12  Did the gift of prophecy operating under inspiration end with the apostolic age?  Acts 2:17, 18.


note:  “We call upon you to take your stand on the Lord’s side, and act your part as a loyal subject of the kingdom.  Acknowledge the gift that has been placed in the church for the guidance of God’s people in the closing days of earth’s history.  From the beginning the church of God has had the gift of prophecy in her midst as a living voice to counsel, admonish, and instruct.  We have now come to the last days of the work of the third angel’s message, when Satan will work with increasing power because he knows that his time is short.  At the same time there will come to us through the gifts of the Holy Spirit, diversities of operations in the outpouring of the Spirit.  This is the time of the latter rain.”  Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 151, 152.


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