Study the Spirit of Prophecy

As we see the perils of these last days thickening about us, we need more and more to strengthen and fortify our faith. So let us study the Spirit of Prophecy.

By J. L. MCELHANY, President of the General Conference

As we see the perils of these last days thickening about us, we need more and more to strengthen and fortify our faith. In the religious world we see the decay of faith, and the retreat of the forces that once stood militantly for gospel principles. Fifty or seventy-five years ago there were many voices raised against the encroachments of evil, while today there are few indeed.

Every worker in this cause needs to avail himself of every possible help in maintaining his vital connection with the Lord, and in keeping his faith clear and bright. The first and most important means to this end is the study of the word of God. The writers of this Book have been dead for centuries, but the word of the Lord "liveth and abideth for­ever." 1 Peter 1:23. Notwithstanding that Daniel, Isaiah, John, and all the other Bible writers are no longer living, the messages they wrote are just as real and alive and up to date, just as applicable to our immediate time and needs, as if these writers were actually living today. Their writings were inspired by the Holy Spirit. Consequently, we can under­stand why their messages, written about two thousand years ago, so clearly outlined present conditions and needs and things that would come to pass in the last days. How truly wonderful is the fulfillment of Bible prophecy!

Another means of keeping our faith and hope clear and bright is the study of the writ­ings of the Spirit of prophecy, written espe­cially for our day. Every worker in this cause should constantly study these volumes for the sake of his own experience. In these days when lines must be more sharply drawn between right and wrong, this cause needs ministers and workers who have a deep spirit­ual experience, men who have clear discern­ment in helping to lead a people through into the kingdom. It is very evident that those who develop such experiences are men who make a careful study of the Spirit of prophecy and who seek earnestly to carry out in their life practices the principles set forth therein.

Some seem to have thought that because the human instrument through whom the Holy Spirit gave the "Testimonies for the Church" is now dead, these messages are out of date, and do not have the same force as when the writer was alive. Such reasoning overlooks the fact that the living testimony is not a living writer, but a living message given by the Holy Spirit. As long as the Holy Spirit lives, the messages given by the Spirit still live.

I do not hesitate to appeal to every worker in this cause to give diligent heed to the study of the Scriptures. This is a fundamental need. I just as earnestly appeal to every worker to study the writings of the Spirit of prophecy systematically and carefully.

But more than that, I earnestly press upon all our workers the need of encouraging all our members to study these volumes carefully for themselves. Many who in recent years have united with this movement are not as familiar with the teachings of the Spirit of prophecy as are our older members. They should become acquainted with the providential way in which our educational, medical, and publishing work have developed from the earliest days under the guidance of the Spirit of prophecy. They should know the influence of these writings on the development of our foreign mission work.

As we contemplate the untold blessings that have come to this cause through the gift of the Spirit of prophecy and the instruction im­parted through this gift, we should be moved to deepest gratitude to our heavenly Father. Let us consecrate ourselves to the work of making the blessings of this gift more useful to ourselves and to all our members. Such a work will manifest itself in a deeper piety, a greater love for the truth, and a greater longing to be ready for our Master's coming.

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By J. L. MCELHANY, President of the General Conference

May 1939

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