How To Study – Rule 4

Rule 4: To understand doctrine, bring all the scriptures together on the subject you wish to know; then let every word have its proper influence; and if you can form your theory without a contradiction, you cannot be in error.

MILLER’S PROOFS (texts which demonstrate the Bible principles in support of this rule)

Isaiah 28:7-29 “9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: … 23 Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech. 24 Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? doth he open and break the clods of his ground? 25 When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and the rie in their place? 26 For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him. 29 This also cometh forth from the LORD of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.”

Isaiah 35:8 “8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.”

Proverbs 19:27 “Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.”

Luke 24:27, 44-45 “27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. 44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,”

Romans 16:26 “But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:”

James 5:19 “Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;”

2 Peter 1:19-20 “19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” (2 Pet. 1:19-20. {1868 JW, LIFIN 35.4})

My Comments

This rule seems simple enough. There is also a lot of Spirit of Prophecy support for this one. Choose a subject you have questions about and pull together all the texts you can about that topic. See what you can conclude when you weigh all the sentiments given about that topic. If each text gives you a different characteristic, maybe each one will give you a better picture of the whole.

For a simple example of how I used this rule, click this link Reformation Pt. 3 – Laodicean Remedy and look under the heading “GOLD”

Spirit of Prophecy Support

“…4. To understand doctrine, bring all the scriptures together on the subject you wish to know, then let every word have its proper influence; and if you can form your theory without a contradiction, you cannot be in error; …

The above is a portion of these rules; and in our study of the Bible we shall all do well to heed the principles set forth.”

– The Review and Herald {RH, November 25, 1884 par. 24-25}

“…By comparing different texts treating on the same subject, viewing their bearing on every side, the true meaning of the Scriptures will be made evident.”

– Christian Education, p. 85 par. 1 {CE 85.1}

“[2 Timothy 3:16, 17 quoted] This is broad enough. Let all seek to comprehend, to the full extent of their powers, the meaning of the word of God. A mere superficial reading of the inspired word will be of little advantage; for every statement made in the sacred pages requires thoughtful contemplation. It is true that some passages do not require as earnest concentration as do others; for their meaning is more evident. But the student of the word of God should seek to understand the bearing of one passage upon another until the chain of truth is revealed to his vision. As veins of precious ore are hidden beneath the surface of the earth, so spiritual riches are concealed in the passages of Holy Writ, and it requires mental effort and prayerful attention to discover the hidden meaning of the word of God. Let every student who values the heavenly treasure put to the stretch his mental and spiritual powers, and sink the shaft deep into the mine of truth, that he may obtain the celestial gold,–that wisdom which will make him wise unto salvation.”

– Christian Education, p. 100 par. 2 {CE 100.2}

“The Lord has sent his people much instruction, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little. Little heed is given to the Bible, and the Lord has given a lesser light to lead men and women to the greater light. …”

– The Review and Herald {RH, January 20, 1903 par. 9}

Example:

“The coming of Christ as our high priest to the most holy place, for the cleansing of the sanctuary, brought to view in Daniel 8:14; the coming of the Son of man to the Ancient of days, as presented in Daniel 7:13; and the coming of the Lord to His temple, foretold by Malachi, are descriptions of the same event; and this is also represented by the coming of the bridegroom to the marriage, described by Christ in the parable of the ten virgins, of Matthew 25.”

– The Faith I Live By, p. 207 par. 4 {FLB 207.4}

“The writers of the Bible had to express their ideas in human language. It was written by human men. These men were inspired of the Holy Spirit. Because of the imperfections of human understanding of language, or the perversity of the human mind, ingenious in evading truth, many read and understand the Bible to please themselves. It is not that the difficulty is in the Bible….

The Scriptures were given to men, not in a continuous chain of unbroken utterances, but piece by piece through successive generations, as God in His providence saw a fitting opportunity to impress man at sundry times and divers places. Men wrote as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost….

There is not always perfect order or apparent unity in the Scriptures. . . . The truths of the Bible are as pearls hidden. They must be searched, dug out by painstaking effort. Those who take only a surface view of the Scriptures will, with their superficial knowledge, which they think is very deep, talk of the contradictions of the Bible, and question the authority of the Scriptures. But those whose hearts are in harmony with truth and duty will search the Scriptures with a heart prepared to receive divine impressions. The illuminated soul sees a spiritual unity, one grand golden thread running through the whole, but it requires patience, thought, and prayer to trace out the precious golden thread.”

– The Faith I Live By, p. 11{FLB 11.3 – 11.5}

– Selected Messages Book 1, p. 19 {see also 1SM 19.4}

“Jesus did not give full comments or continued discourses upon doctrines, but He oft spoke in short sentences, as one sowing the heavenly grains of doctrines like pearls which need to be gathered up by a discerning laborer. The doctrines of faith and grace are brought to view everywhere He taught. Oh, why do not ministers give to the churches the very food which will give them spiritual health and vigor? The result will be a rich experience in practical obedience to the Word of God. Why do the ministers not strengthen the things that remain that are ready to die?”

– Selected Messages Book 3, p. 188 par. 3 {3SM 188.3}

“The Bible contains all the principles that men need to understand in order to be fitted either for this life or for the life to come. And these principles may be understood by all. No one with a spirit to appreciate its teaching can read a single passage from the Bible without gaining from it some helpful thought. But the most valuable teaching of the Bible is not to be gained by occasional or disconnected study. Its great system of truth is not so presented as to be discerned by the hasty or careless reader. Many of its treasures lie far beneath the surface, and can be obtained only by diligent research and continuous effort. The truths that go to make up the great whole must be searched out and gathered up, “here a little, and there a little.” Isaiah 28:10.

When thus searched out and brought together, they will be found to be perfectly fitted to one another. Each Gospel is a supplement to the others, every prophecy an explanation of another, every truth a development of some other truth. The types of the Jewish economy are made plain by the gospel. Every principle in the word of God has its place, every fact its bearing. And the complete structure, in design and execution, bears testimony to its Author. Such a structure no mind but that of the Infinite could conceive or fashion.

In searching out the various parts and studying their relationship, the highest faculties of the human mind are called into intense activity. No one can engage in such study without developing mental power.

And not alone in searching out truth and bringing it together does the mental value of Bible study consist. It consists also in the effort required to grasp the themes presented. The mind occupied with commonplace matters only, becomes dwarfed and enfeebled. If never tasked to comprehend grand and far-reaching truths, it after a time loses the power of growth. As a safeguard against this degeneracy, and a stimulus to development, nothing else can equal the study of God’s word. As a means of intellectual training, the Bible is more effective than any other book, or all other books combined. The greatness of its themes, the dignified simplicity of its utterances, the beauty of its imagery, quicken and uplift the thoughts as nothing else can. No other study can impart such mental power as does the effort to grasp the stupendous truths of revelation. The mind thus brought in contact with the thoughts of the Infinite cannot but expand and strengthen.”

– Education, p. 123-124 {Ed 123.2 – 124.2}

“In these last days we have the accumulated light that has been shining through all the ages, and we shall be held correspondingly responsible. The path of holiness is not on a level with the world; it is a way cast up. If we walk in this way, if we run in the way of the Lord’s commandments, we shall find that the “path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.””

– The Review and Herald {RH, November 25, 1884 par. 27}

How not to use this rule:

“Those who with humility of heart search the Scriptures with a sincere desire to know and obey the truth, will not be left to walk in darkness. Jesus says, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The whole Bible is a revelation of Christ. But you may read the Scriptures from morning till night, and unless you humbly submit your will to the will of God, you cannot receive a saving knowledge of the gospel. As you see the truth plainly stated, lay aside every false position, however dear it may be to the selfish heart. Some will take a text, wrest it from its true bearing, and force it into service to sustain some preconceived opinion. By linking together isolated passages of scripture, they may deceive others. But what appears to be Bible proof for their position is no proof whatever, for the scriptures are not used in their true setting. In this way error is often magnified and truth diminished. Those who thus wrest the scriptures to sustain error greatly dishonor God, and in the day of judgment they will be held responsible for the disobedience of those who through their sophistries have been led to disregard the divine law.”

– Manuscript Releases Volume 2, p. 90 par. 1 {2MR 90.1}

References

Bible, King James Version

Quotes taken from the Ellen G. White Writings, Comprehensive Research Edition 2008 CD

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s