Friday, April 12, 2013

Having Ears to Hear

On more than one occasion Jesus said, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear" (Matthew 11:15; 13:9, 43; Mark 4:9, 23; 7:16; Luke 8:8; 14:35). And in His letter to each of Revelation's seven churches Jesus said, "He that hath an ear, let him hear" (Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22). And once again in Revelation 13:9 we find the words, "If any man have an ear, let him hear."

Of the Bereans we are told, "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so" (Acts 17:11).

"If there is a point of truth that you do not understand, upon which you do not agree, investigate, compare scripture with scripture, sink the shaft of truth down deep into the mine of God's Word. You must lay yourselves and your opinions on the altar of God, put away your preconceived ideas, and let the Spirit of Heaven guide you into all truth." Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 413.

"There are many among us who are prejudiced against the doctrines that are now being discussed. They will not come to hear, they will not calmly investigate, but they put forth their objections in the dark. They are perfectly satisfied with their position." Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 413.

"As a people we are called individually to be students of prophecy. We must watch with earnestness that we may discern any ray of light which God shall present to us. We are to catch the first gleamings of truth; and through prayerful study clearer light may be obtained, which can be brought before others.

"When God's people are at ease and satisfied with their present enlightenment, we may be sure that He will not favor them. It is His will that they should be ever moving forward to receive the increased and ever-increasing light which is shining for them. The present attitude of the church is not pleasing to God. There has come in a self-confidence that has led them to feel no necessity for more truth and greater light. We are living at a time when Satan is at work on the right hand and on the left, before and behind us; and yet as a people we are asleep. God wills that a voice shall be heard arousing His people to action." Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, pp. 708, 709.

"But as real spiritual life declines, it has ever been the tendency to cease to advance in the knowledge of the truth. Men rest satisfied with the light already received from God's word, and discourage any further investigation of the Scriptures. They become conservative, and seek to avoid discussion." Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, pp. 706, 707.

"They have felt that investigation should not be permitted, that it would tend to dissension and disunion. But if such is to be the result of investigation, the sooner it comes the better. If there are those whose faith in God's word will not stand the test of an investigation of the Scriptures, the sooner they are revealed the better; for then the way will be opened to show them their error." Testimonies to Ministers, p. 105.

"Our brethren should be willing to investigate in a candid way every point of controversy. If a brother is teaching error, those who are in responsible positions ought to know it; and if he is teaching truth, they ought to take their stand at his side. We should all know what is being taught among us; for if it is truth, we need it. We are under obligation to God to know what He sends us. He has given directions by which we may test every doctrine,–'To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.' If the light presented meets this test, we are not to refuse to accept it because it does not agree with our ideas." Gospel Workers, pp. 300, 301.

"When a message is presented to God's people, they should not rise up in opposition to it; they should go to the Bible, comparing it with the law and the testimony, and if it does not bear this test, it is not true. God wants our minds to expand. He desires to put His grace upon us. We may have a feast of good things every day; for God can open the whole treasure of heaven to us." Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 416.

"No matter by whom light is sent, we should open our hearts to receive it with the meekness of Christ. But many do not do this. When a controverted point is presented, they pour in question after question, without admitting a point when it is well sustained. O, may we act as men who want light!" Gospel Workers, p. 301.

"The truth will be criticized, scorned, and derided; but the closer it is examined and tested, the brighter it will shine." Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 201.

"The clergy will put forth almost superhuman efforts to shut away the light lest it should shine upon their flocks. By every means at their command they will endeavor to suppress the discussion of these vital questions." The Great Controversy, p. 607.

"When a brother receives new light upon the Scriptures, he should frankly explain his position, and every minister should search the Scriptures with the spirit of candor, to see if the points presented can be substantiated by the Inspired Word." Gospel Workers, p. 303.

"We are on dangerous ground when we cannot meet together like Christians, and courteously examine controverted points. I feel like fleeing from the place lest I receive the mold of those who cannot candidly investigate the doctrines of the Bible. Those who cannot impartially examine the evidences of a position that differs from theirs, are not fit to teach in any department of God's cause." Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 411.

"The rebuke of the Lord will rest upon those who would bar the way, that clearer light shall not come to the people. . . . Let no one run the risk of interposing between the people and the message of Heaven. This message will go to the people; and if there were no voice among men to give it, the very stones would cry out." Gospel Workers, p. 304.

"In 1844, when anything came to our attention that we did not understand, we kneeled down and asked God to help us take the right position; and then we were able to come to a right understanding and see eye to eye. There was no dissension, no enmity, no evil-surmising, no misjudging of our brethren. If we but knew the evil of the spirit of intolerance, how carefully would we shun it!" Gospel Workers, p. 302.

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