2017 1st Quarter
Lesson 1, December 31-January 6, The Spirit and the Word
Monday, January 2
Prophecy might be categorized into two parts–revelation given by visions or dreams, or revelation manifested in inspired words spoken by the instrument of God. Either way it becomes evident that the human instrument is under the authority of the Holy Spirit. Yet there is also the working of an inspiration from beneath–from Satan. Therefore we have to deal with the tension and strife that arises from conflicting messages. How do we discern between those who serve God and those who do not?
“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” KJV, Isaiah 8:20, emphasis added.
“Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.” KJV, Malachi 3:18, emphasis added.
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” KJV, 2 Peter 2:1-3, emphasis added.
“Thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him. Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them. Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God. But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the Lord, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.” KJV, Micah 3:5-8, emphasis added.
We ought to take special care to understand a correct relationship with God so as not to grieve away the Holy Spirit. Every person who professes the name of Christ ought to realize the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit will inspire us individually how we are to think, feel, talk, and do God’s purpose and will for us.
“‘He that is not with Me is against Me,’ Christ declares, ‘and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad.’ God has given to every man his work. He expects every follower of His to exert an influence that will tell for the upbuilding of His kingdom. He who is not actively engaged in promoting love and unity and equity is exerting an influence that is opposed to Christ.
“At this time men need to think under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and they need to pray more and talk less; for souls are hanging in the balance.” (Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church Containing Letters to Physicians and Ministers Instruction to Seventh-Day Adventists, 44, 45.)