Did not our heart burn within us - His word was in our heart as a burning fire, Jeremiah 20:9. Our hearts waxed hot within us, and while we were musing the fire burned, Psalm 39:3. In some such way as this the words of the disciples may be understood: but there is a very remarkable reading here in the Codex Bezae; instead of καιομενη, burned, it has κεκαλυμμενη, veiled; and one of the Itala has, fuit excaecatum, was blinded. Was not our heart veiled (blinded) when he conversed with us on the way, and while he unfolded the Scriptures to us, seeing we did not know him?
Our heart burn within us - This is an expression denoting the deep interest and pleasure which they had felt in his discourse before they knew who he was. They now recalled his instruction; they remembered how his words reached the “heart” as he spoke to them; how convincingly he had showed them that the Messiah ought to suffer, and how, while he talked to them of the Christ that they so much loved, their hearts glowed with intense love. This feeling was not confined to them alone. All the followers of Jesus know how precious and tender are the communications of the Saviour, and how the heart glows with love as they think or hear of his life, and sufferings, and death.
He opened to us - He explained to us the Scriptures. See Luke 24:27.
This narrative shows us,
1. How blind people may be to the plainest doctrines of the Scriptures until they are explained to them. These disciples had often read or heard the Scriptures, but never, until then, did they fully understand that the Messiah must suffer.
2. It is proper there should be those whose office it is to explain the Scriptures. Jesus did it while on earth; he does it now by his Spirit; and he has appointed his ministers, whose business it is to explain them.
3. If people attempt to explain the Bible, they should themselves understand it. They should give their time and talents to a suitable preparation to understand the sacred volume. Preaching should consist in “real,” and not “fancied” explanations of the Scriptures; the real doctrines which “God” has taught in his word, and not the doctrines that “men” have taught in their systems.
4. Here was convincing evidence that Jesus was the Messiah. This was but one of many instances where Jesus convinced his disciples, contrary to their previous belief. In this case the evidence was abundant. He first satisfied them from the Old Testament that the very things which had happened were foretold; he then dissipated every doubt by showing “himself” to them and convincing them that he was truly the Christ. There was no chance here for deception and juggling. Who would have met them and talked with them in this way but the real Saviour? Who would have thought of writing this narrative to help an imposture? What impostor would have recorded the dulness of the disciples as to the plain declarations of the Old Testament, and “then” have thought of this device to prop up the narrative? Everything about this narrative - its simplicity - its tenderness - its particularity - its perfect nature - its freedom from all appearance of trick - shows that it was taken from real life; and if so, then the Christian religion is true, for here is evidence that Jesus rose from the dead.
The promised Holy Spirit, that He would send after He ascended to His Father, is constantly at work to draw the attention to the great official sacrifice upon the cross of Calvary, and to unfold to the world the love of God to man, and to open to the convicted soul the precious things in the Scriptures, and to open to darkened minds the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, the truths that make their hearts burn within them with the awakened intelligence of the truths of eternity. RC 132.5Read in context »
To those who love Christ, the Bible is as the garden of God; whose promises are as grateful to the heart as the fragrance of flowers to the senses. Then take up your Bibles, and with fresh interest, begin to study the sacred records of the Old and New Testaments. Work the field of precious truth, until you have a deeper comprehension of the mercy and love of God, who gave His only-begotten Son to the world, that through Him we might have life.—Letter 31, 1891. (Special Testimonies Concerning the Work and Workers in the Pacific Press, 32-34.) PM 69.1
Using Your Influence on the Side of Truth—There will be seasons of severe trial for those connected with our institutions; but if you know the Source of your strength, you need not be overcome. Whatever influence God has given you, He requires you to throw on the side of truth, of godliness. In making men, women, and children better by pointing them to the cross of Calvary, you are doing the work He has given you to do. True Bible Christians will have an influence that will lead other minds. You, as Christians, have a weight of responsibility which no one can take from you.—Letter 74, 1896. (Special Testimony to the Managers and Workers in our Institutions, 21.) PM 69.2
Walk in the Light of God—The Lord has given great light to those in the office of publication at Oakland, and some who for a time walked in the light afterward failed to do so, by not continually keeping the heart surrendered to God, and the result was that darkness came upon them. They lost their sense of sin, and did those things which the Lord had plainly shown them they ought not to do. God forces no man's will. All are left free to choose whom they will serve. They may listen to the suggestions of Satan, and come to look upon matters as he does, reasoning after the same manner, and the result will be that they will follow the same course of stubborn resistance to the light that Satan pursued in the courts of heaven. Those who reject the light which God sends them will walk in sparks of their own kindling, and will lie down in sorrow at last.... PM 69.3Read in context »
The Bible has been robbed of its power, and the results are seen in a lowering of the tone of spiritual life. In the sermons from many pulpits of today there is not that divine manifestation which awakens the conscience and brings life to the soul. The hearers can not say, “Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the Scriptures?” Luke 24:32. There are many who are crying out for the living God, longing for the divine presence. Philosophical theories or literary essays, however brilliant, cannot satisfy the heart. The assertions and inventions of men are of no value. Let the word of God speak to the people. Let those who have heard only traditions and human theories and maxims hear the voice of Him whose word can renew the soul unto everlasting life. COL 40.1
Christ's favorite theme was the paternal tenderness and abundant grace of God; He dwelt much upon the holiness of His character and His law; He presented Himself to the people as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Let these be the themes of Christ's ministers. Present the truth as it is in Jesus. Make plain the requirements of the law and the gospel. Tell the people of Christ's life of self-denial and sacrifice; of His humiliation and death; of His resurrection and ascension; of His intercession for them in the courts of God; of His promise, “I will come again, and receive you unto Myself.” John 14:3. COL 40.2
Instead of discussing erroneous theories, or seeking to combat the opponents of the gospel, follow the example of Christ. Let fresh truths from God's treasure house flash into life. “Preach the word.” “Sow beside all waters.” “Be instant in season, out of season.” “He that hath My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord.” “Every word of God is pure.... Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” 2 Timothy 4:2; Isaiah 32:20; Jeremiah 23:28; Proverbs 30:5, 6. COL 40.3Read in context »
Saith the Lord: “My people shall never be ashamed.” Joel 2:26. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalm 30:5. When on His resurrection day these disciples met the Saviour, and their hearts burned within them as they listened to His words; when they looked upon the head and hands and feet that had been bruised for them; when, before His ascension, Jesus led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up His hands in blessing, bade them, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel,” adding, “Lo, I am with you alway” (Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:20); when on the Day of Pentecost the promised Comforter descended and the power from on high was given and the souls of the believers thrilled with the conscious presence of their ascended Lord—then, even though, like His, their pathway led through sacrifice and martyrdom, would they have exchanged the ministry of the gospel of His grace, with the “crown of righteousness” to be received at His coming, for the glory of an earthly throne, which had been the hope of their earlier discipleship? He who is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,” had granted them, with the fellowship of His sufferings, the communion of His joy—the joy of “bringing many sons unto glory,” joy unspeakable, an “eternal weight of glory,” to which, says Paul, “our light affliction, which is but for a moment,” is “not worthy to be compared.” GC 350.1
The experience of the disciples who preached the “gospel of the kingdom” at the first advent of Christ, had its counterpart in the experience of those who proclaimed the message of His second advent. As the disciples went out preaching, “The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand,” so Miller and his associates proclaimed that the longest and last prophetic period brought to view in the Bible was about to expire, that the judgment was at hand, and the everlasting kingdom was to be ushered in. The preaching of the disciples in regard to time was based on the seventy weeks of Daniel 9. The message given by Miller and his associates announced the termination of the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14, of which the seventy weeks form a part. The preaching of each was based upon the fulfillment of a different portion of the same great prophetic period. GC 351.1
Like the first disciples, William Miller and his associates did not, themselves, fully comprehend the import of the message which they bore. Errors that had been long established in the church prevented them from arriving at a correct interpretation of an important point in the prophecy. Therefore, though they proclaimed the message which God had committed to them to be given to the world, yet through a misapprehension of its meaning they suffered disappointment. GC 351.2Read in context »