I. DOCTRINE MUST BEAR SCRUTINY OF GREAT MEN.—"Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life." Every position of truth taken by our people will bear the criticism of the greatest minds; the highest of the world's great men will be brought in contact with truth, and therefore every position we take should be critically examined and tested by the Scriptures. Now we seem to be unnoticed, but this will not always be. Movements are at work to bring us to the front, and if our theories of truth can be picked to pieces by historians or the world's greatest men, it will be done.
We must individually know for ourselves what is truth, and be prepared to give a reason of the hope that we have with meekness and fear, not in a proud, boasting, sell-sufficiency, but with the spirit of Christ.—Evangelism, p. 69.
It is not enough for our ministers to have a superficial knowledge of the truth.—Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 415.
10. METHOD OF BIBLE STUDY.—One passage studied until its significance is clear to the mind, and its relation to the plan of salvation is evident, is of more value than the perusal of many chapters with no definite purpose in view, and no positive instruction gained. . . .
The importance of your position as a representative of Christ, should urge you to most diligent habits in acquiring all the knowledge possible to be obtained. . . .
Everyone should seek to understand the great truths of the plan of salvation, that he may be ready to give an answer to every one who asks the reason of his hope.—The Review and Herald, April 24, 1888.
11. SEARCH FOR LIGHT AND KNOWLEDGE.—The Bible is in our hands, and the task of searching for a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, is appointed us. . . .
There can be no greater peril to the souls of those who profess to believe the truth, than to cease their research for light and knowledge from the Scriptures. . . . You are to pray, and search for the truth on every point of faith and doctrine.—Ibid., Sept. 4, 1888.
12. NEW VIEWS OF TRUTH YET TO BE SEEN. —At no period of time has man learned all that can be learned of the word of God. There are yet new views of truth to be seen, and much to be understood of the character and attributes of God,—His benevolence, His mercy, His long forbearance, His example of perfect obedience. . . . This is a most valuable study, taxing the intellect, and giving strength to the mental ability.—Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 444.
13. DORMANT AND NEWLY REVEALED TRUTH FOR THE SEEKER—Every mind should turn with reverent attention to the revealed word of God. Light and grace will be given to those who thus obey God. They will behold wondrous things out of His law. Great truths that have lain unheeded and unseen since the day of Pentecost, are to shine from God's word in their native purity. To those who truly love God the Holy Spirit will reveal truths that have faded from the mind, and will also reveal truths that are entirely new.—Ibid., p. 473.
14. TRUTH IS AN ADVANCING TRUTH.—We must not think "Well, we have all the truth, we understand the main pillars of our faith, and we may rest on this knowledge." The truth is an advancing truth, and we must walk in the increasing light. —Evangelism, pp. 296, 297.
15. CRITICALLY EXAMINE OUR POSITIONS OF TRUTH.—The Lord calls upon all who believe His word to awake out of sleep. Precious light has come, appropriate for this time. It is Bible truth, showing the perils that are right upon us. This light should lead us to a diligent study of the Scriptures and a most critical examination of the positions which we hold. God would have all the bearings and positions of truth thoroughly and perseveringly searched, with prayer and fasting. . . .
Whatever may be man's intellectual advancement, let him not for a moment think that there is no need of thorough and continuous searching of the Scriptures for greater light.—Testimonies, vol. 5, pp. 707, 708.
16. EXAMINE THE PILLARS OF OUR FATTIER is essential that we study the Scriptures far more earnestly than we do. With fervent prayer we should earnestly and thoroughly examine the pillars of our faith, to see that we have no false support. God will not bless men in indolence, nor in zealous, stubborn opposition to the light He gives to His people.—The Review and Herald, Feb. 25, 1890.
17. TRUE DOCTRINES CAN BEAR INVESTIGATION.—There is no excuse for any one in taking the position that there is no more truth to be revealed, and that all our expositions of Scripture are without an error. The fact that certain doctrines have been held as truth for many years by our people, is not a proof that our ideas are infallible. Age will not make error into truth, arid truth can afford to be fair. No true doctrine will lose anything by close investigation.—Ibid., Dec. 20, 1892.
18. RESULTS OF INVESTIGATION OF VITAL DOCTRINES.—When the human agents shall exercise their faculties to acquire knowledge, to become deep-thinking men; when they, as the greatest witnesses for God and the truth, shall have won in the field of investigation of vital doctrines concerning the salvation of the soul, that glory may be given to the God of heaven as supreme, then even judges and kings will be brought to acknowledge, in the courts of justice, in parliaments and councils, that the God who made the heavens and the earth is the only true and living God, the author of Christianity, the author of all truth.—Fundamentals of Christian Education, pp. 374, 375.