They shall be all taught of God - This explains the preceding verse. God teaches a man to know himself, that, finding his need of salvation, he may flee to lay hold on the hope which his heavenly Father has set before him in the Gospel. God draws men by his love, and by showing them what his love has done for them. Fear repels, but love attracts. He who is ever preaching the terrors of the law, and representing God as a vindictive judge, will never bring sinners to him. They are afraid of this terrible God: but they love him, who so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him might not perish, but have everlasting life.
In the prophets - Isaiah 54:13. A similar sentiment is found in Micah 4:1-4, and Jeremiah 31:34; but by the prophets, here, is meant the book of the prophets, and it is probable that Jesus had reference only to the place in Isaiah, as this was the usual way of quoting the prophets.
Shall be all taught of God - This explains the preceding verse. It is by the teaching of his Word and Spirit that men are drawn to God. This shows that it is not compulsory, and that there is no obstacle in the way but a strong voluntary ignorance and unwillingness.
Luther trembled as he looked upon himself—one man opposed to the mightiest powers of earth. He sometimes doubted whether he had indeed been led of God to set himself against the authority of the church. “Who was I,” he writes, “to oppose the majesty of the pope, before whom ... the kings of the earth and the whole world trembled? ... No one can know what my heart suffered during these first two years, and into what despondency, I may say into what despair, I was sunk.”—Ibid., b. 3, ch. 6. But he was not left to become utterly disheartened. When human support failed, he looked to God alone and learned that he could lean in perfect safety upon that all-powerful arm. GC 132.1
To a friend of the Reformation Luther wrote: “We cannot attain to the understanding of Scripture either by study or by the intellect. Your first duty is to begin by prayer. Entreat the Lord to grant you, of His great mercy, the true understanding of His word. There is no other interpreter of the word of God than the Author of this word, as He Himself has said, ‘They shall be all taught of God.’ Hope for nothing from your own labors, from your own understanding: trust solely in God, and in the influence of His Spirit. Believe this on the word of a man who has had experience.”—Ibid., b. 3, ch. 7. Here is a lesson of vital importance to those who feel that God has called them to present to others the solemn truths for this time. These truths will stir the enmity of Satan and of men who love the fables that he has devised. In the conflict with the powers of evil there is need of something more than strength of intellect and human wisdom. GC 132.2
When enemies appealed to custom and tradition, or to the assertions and authority of the pope, Luther met them with the Bible and the Bible only. Here were arguments which they could not answer; therefore the slaves of formalism and superstition clamored for his blood, as the Jews had clamored for the blood of Christ. “He is a heretic,“ cried the Roman zealots. “It is high treason against the church to allow so horrible a heretic to live one hour longer. Let the scaffold be instantly erected for him!”—Ibid., b. 3, ch. 9. But Luther did not fall a prey to their fury. God had a work for him to do, and angels of heaven were sent to protect him. Many, however, who had received from Luther the precious light were made the objects of Satan's wrath and for the truth's sake fearlessly suffered torture and death. GC 132.3Read in context »
God has presented to me, which I have presented to you, that the Pacific Press should stand on its own individuality, relying upon God, doing its work in God, as His instrumentality—the human agent working with God, contrite in spirit, meek and lowly in heart, ready to be taught of God, but not subject to any earthly power that shall propose plans and ways that are not after the light God has given. Be on guard. Be on guard, and do not sell your religious liberty to any office or to any man, or board or council of men.—SpTPW 25. PM 155.2Read in context »
A Procedure Fraught With Great Danger—But I scarcely dare present this method of labor; for there is danger that those who have no connection with God will place themselves in these schools, and instead of correcting error and diffusing light, will themselves be led astray. But this work must be done, and it will be done by those who are led and taught of God.—Manuscript 22a, 1895. 3SM 234.2Read in context »