Then opened he their understanding - Διηνοιξεν, He fully opened. They had a measure of light before, so that they discerned the Scriptures to be the true word of God, and to speak of the Messiah; but they had not light sufficient to enable them to apply these Scriptures to their Lord and Master; but now, by the influence of Christ, they see, not only, the prophecies which pointed out the Messiah, but also the Messiah who was pointed out by these prophecies. The book of God may be received in general as a Divine revelation, but the proper meaning, reference, and application of the Scriptures can only be discerned by the light of Christ. Even the very plain word of God is a dead letter to those who are not enlightened by the grace of Christ; and why? because this word speaks of spiritual and heavenly things; and the carnal mind of man cannot discern them. They who receive not this inward teaching continue dark and dead while they live.
Opened he their understanding - Enabled them fully to comprehend the meaning of the prophecies which foretold his death and resurrection. They had seen him die, they now saw him risen. Their prejudices were now, by his instructions, and by the facts which they could no longer call in question, removed, and they no longer doubted that he was the Messiah, and that all the “facts” in the case which had before confounded them could be easily accounted for. Hence, we may learn:
1.That “facts,” or the farther disclosure of truth, will yet remove the “mysteries” that we now see in religion.
2.That our prejudices and our preconceived opinions are one cause of our seeing so many mysteries in the Bible. If a man is willing to take the plain declarations of the Bible, he will commonly be little perplexed with mysteries.
3.That God only can open the mind so as fully to comprehend the Scriptures. He only can overcome our prejudices, open our hearts, and dispose us to receive the ingrafted word with meekness, and with the simplicity of a child. See Acts 16:14; James 1:21; Mark 10:15.
4.The design of God‘s opening the understanding is that we may be acquainted with the Scriptures. It is not that we may be made wise above what is written, but that we may submit ourselves wholly to the Word of God.
On reaching Jerusalem the two disciples enter at the eastern gate, which is open at night on festal occasions. The houses are dark and silent, but the travelers make their way through the narrow streets by the light of the rising moon. They go to the upper chamber where Jesus spent the hours of the last evening before His death. Here they know that their brethren are to be found. Late as it is, they know that the disciples will not sleep till they learn for a certainty what has become of the body of their Lord. They find the door of the chamber securely barred. They knock for admission, but no answer comes. All is still. Then they give their names. The door is carefully unbarred, they enter, and Another, unseen, enters with them. Then the door is again fastened, to keep out spies. DA 802.1Read in context »
At Erfurt, Luther was received with honor. Surrounded by admiring crowds, he passed through the streets that he had often traversed with his beggar's wallet. He visited his convent cell, and thought upon the struggles through which the light now flooding Germany had been shed upon his soul. He was urged to preach. This he had been forbidden to do, but the herald granted him permission, and the friar who had once been made the drudge of the convent, now entered the pulpit. GC 152.1
To a crowded assembly he spoke from the words of Christ, “Peace be unto you.” “Philosophers, doctors, and writers,” he said, “have endeavored to teach men the way to obtain everlasting life, and they have not succeeded. I will now tell it to you: ... God has raised one Man from the dead, the Lord Jesus Christ, that He might destroy death, extirpate sin, and shut the gates of hell. This is the work of salvation.... Christ has vanquished! this is the joyful news; and we are saved by His work, and not by our own.... Our Lord Jesus Christ said, ‘Peace be unto you; behold My hands;’ that is to say, Behold, O man! it is I, I alone, who have taken away thy sin, and ransomed thee; and now thou hast peace, saith the Lord.” GC 152.2
He continued, showing that true faith will be manifested by a holy life. “Since God has saved us, let us so order our works that they may be acceptable to Him. Art thou rich? let thy goods administer to the necessities of the poor. Art thou poor? let thy services be acceptable to the rich. If thy labor is useful to thyself alone, the service that thou pretendest to render unto God is a lie.”—Ibid., b. 7, ch. 7. GC 152.3Read 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 »
May the Lord give us to see the need of drinking from the living fountain of the water of life. Its pure streams will refresh and heal us and refresh all connected with us. Oh, if the hearts were only subdued by the Spirit of God! If the eye was single to God's glory, what a flood of heavenly light would pour upon the soul. He who spake as never man spake was an Educator upon earth. After His resurrection He was an Educator to the lonely, disappointed disciples traveling to Emmaus, and to those assembled in the upper chamber. He opened to them the Scriptures concerning Himself and caused their hearts to bound with a holy, new, and sacred hope and joy.... CW 80.1
Our Redeemer liveth to make intercessions for us, and now if we will daily learn in the school of Christ, if we will cherish the lessons He will teach us in meekness and lowliness of heart, we shall have so large a measure of the Spirit of Jesus that self will not be interwoven into anything that we may do or say. The eye will be single to the glory of God. We need to make special efforts to answer the prayer of Christ that we may be one as He is one with the Father.... CW 80.2
Articles on Redemption—The wonders of redemption are dwelt upon altogether too lightly. We need these matters presented more fully and continuously in our discourses and in our papers. We need our own hearts to be deeply stirred with these deep and saving truths. There is danger of keeping the discourses and the articles in the paper like Cain's offering, Christless. CW 80.3Read in context »
Jesus knew that whatever was presented that was out of harmony with what He came to earth to unfold, was false and delusive. But He said, “Every one that is of the truth heareth My voice.” Having stood in the counsels of God, having dwelt in the everlasting heights of the sanctuary, all elements of truth were in Him, and of Him; for He was one with God. “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak what we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” “Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him. Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”—The Review and Herald, December 1, 1891. FE 190.1
In the name of my Master I appeal to the young men and women who claim to be sons and daughters of God, to obey the word of God. I appeal to teachers in our schools to set a right example to those with whom they are associated. Those who would be qualified to mold the character of the youth, must be learners in the school of Christ, that they may be meek and lowly of heart, as was the divine Pattern. In dress, in deportment, in all their ways, they should exemplify the Christian character, revealing the fact that they are under wise disciplinary rules of the great Teacher. The Christian youth should be in earnest, trained to bear responsibilities with brave heart and willing hand. He should be ready to encounter the trials of life with patience and fortitude. He should seek to form a character after the model of the divine One, following maxims of worth, confirming himself in habits that will enable him to win the victor's crown. FE 191.1Read in context »
The great themes of the Old Testament were misapprehended and misinterpreted, and Christ's work was to expound the truth which had not been understood by those to whom they had been given. The prophets had made the statements, but the spiritual import of what they had written, was undiscovered by them. They did not see the meaning of the truth. Jesus reproved His disciples for their slowness of comprehension. Many of His precious lessons were lost to them, because they did not understand the spiritual grandeur of His words. But He promised that the Comforter should come, that the Spirit of truth should recall these lost utterances to their minds. He gave them to understand that He had left with them precious jewels of truth whose value they did not know. 1SM 404.1
After the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ, His disciples listened with wonder and amazement to His lessons of truth; for they seemed as new ideas to them; but He told them, “These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures” (Luke 24:44, 45). The truth is constantly unfolding and presenting new features to different minds. All who dig in the mines of truth, will constantly discover rich and precious gems. We are anxious that all who claim to believe the truth now open before us, and especially those who take the responsibility of teaching the truth to others, should have a clearer conception themselves of the all-important significance of the themes of the Bible. 1SM 404.2Read in context »
May the Lord give us to see the need of drinking from the living fountain of the water of life. Its pure streams will refresh and heal us and refresh all connected with us. Oh, if the hearts were only subdued by the Spirit of God! If the eye were single to God's glory, what a flood of heavenly light would pour upon the soul. He who spake as never man spake was an educator upon earth. After His resurrection He was an educator to the lonely, disappointed disciples traveling to Emmaus, and to those assembled in the upper chamber. He opened to them the Scriptures concerning Himself and caused their hearts to bound with a holy, new and sacred hope and joy. Mar 249.3Read in context »
Crushed by despondency, grief, and despair, the disciples met together in the upper chamber, and closed and fastened the doors, fearing that the fate of their beloved Teacher might be theirs. It was here that the Saviour, after His resurrection, appeared to them. AA 26.1
For forty days Christ remained on the earth, preparing the disciples for the work before them and explaining that which heretofore they had been unable to comprehend. He spoke of the prophecies concerning His advent, His rejection by the Jews, and His death, showing that every specification of these prophecies had been fulfilled. He told them that they were to regard this fulfillment of prophecy as an assurance of the power that would attend them in their future labors. “Then opened He their understanding,” we read, “that they might understand the Scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” And He added, “Ye are witnesses of these things.” Luke 24:45-48. AA 26.2
During these days that Christ spent with His disciples, they gained a new experience. As they heard their beloved Master explaining the Scriptures in the light of all that had happened, their faith in Him was fully established. They reached the place where they could say, “I know whom I have believed.” 2 Timothy 1:12. They began to realize the nature and extent of their work, to see that they were to proclaim to the world the truths entrusted to them. The events of Christ's life, His death and resurrection, the prophecies pointing to these events, the mysteries of the plan of salvation, the power of Jesus for the remission of sins—to all these things they had been witnesses, and they were to make them known to the world. They were to proclaim the gospel of peace and salvation through repentance and the power of the Saviour. AA 27.1Read in context »
Before leaving His disciples, Christ plainly stated the nature of His kingdom. He called to their minds what He had previously told them concerning it. He declared that it was not His purpose to establish in this world a temporal, but a spiritual kingdom. He was not to reign as an earthly king on David's throne. Again He opened to them the Scriptures, showing that all He had passed through had been ordained in heaven, in the councils between the Father and Himself. All had been foretold by men inspired by the Holy Spirit. He said, You see that all I have revealed to you concerning My rejection as the Messiah has come to pass. All I have said in regard to the humiliation I should endure and the death I should die, has been verified. On the third day I rose again. Search the Scriptures more diligently, and you will see that in all these things the specifications of prophecy concerning Me have been fulfilled. DA 820.1
Christ commissioned His disciples to do the work He had left in their hands, beginning at Jerusalem. Jerusalem had been the scene of His amazing condescension for the human race. There He had suffered, been rejected and condemned. The land of Judea was His birthplace. There, clad in the garb of humanity, He had walked with men, and few had discerned how near heaven came to the earth when Jesus was among them. At Jerusalem the work of the disciples must begin. DA 820.2
In view of all that Christ had suffered there, and the unappreciated labor He had put forth, the disciples might have pleaded for a more promising field; but they made no such plea. The very ground where He had scattered the seed of truth was to be cultivated by the disciples, and the seed would spring up and yield an abundant harvest. In their work the disciples would have to meet persecution through the jealousy and hatred of the Jews; but this had been endured by their Master, and they were not to flee from it. The first offers of mercy must be made to the murderers of the Saviour. DA 820.3Read in context »
While the holy women were carrying the report that Jesus had risen, the Roman guard were circulating the lie that had been put into their mouths by the chief priests and elders, that the disciples came by night, while they slept, and stole the body of Jesus. Satan had put this lie into the hearts and mouths of the chief priests, and the people stood ready to receive their word. But God had made this matter sure, and placed this important event, upon which our salvation depends, beyond all doubt; and it was impossible for priests and elders to cover it up. Witnesses were raised from the dead to testify to Christ's resurrection. EW 189.1
Jesus remained with His disciples forty days, causing them joy and gladness of heart as He opened to them more fully the realities of the kingdom of God. He commissioned them to bear testimony to the things which they had seen and heard concerning His sufferings, death, and resurrection, that He had made a sacrifice for sin, and that all who would might come unto Him and find life. With faithful tenderness He told them that they would be persecuted and distressed; but they would find relief in recalling their experience and remembering the words which He had spoken to them. He told them that He had overcome the temptations of Satan and obtained the victory through trials and suffering. Satan could have no more power over Him, but would bring his temptations to bear more directly upon them and upon all who should believe in His name. But they could overcome as He had overcome. Jesus endowed His disciples with power to work miracles, and told them that although they should be persecuted by wicked men, He would from time to time send His angels to deliver them; their lives could not be taken until their mission should be accomplished; then they might be required to seal with their blood the testimonies which they had borne. EW 189.2
His anxious followers gladly listened to His teachings, eagerly feasting upon every word which fell from His holy lips. Now they certainly knew that He was the Saviour of the world. His words sank deep into their hearts, and they sorrowed that they must soon be parted from their heavenly Teacher and no longer hear comforting, gracious words from His lips. But again their hearts were warmed with love and exceeding joy, as Jesus told them that He would go and prepare mansions for them and come again and receive them, that they might be ever with Him. He promised also to send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to guide them into all truth. “And He lifted up His hands, and blessed them.” EW 190.1Read in context »
The Lord opens the understanding of the true seeker. The Holy Spirit enables the human mind to grasp the facts of revelation, and divine light communicates with the soul. This is the opening of the eyes to behold the genuine treasure, and the mind lays hold upon the glories of a better world. The soul pants after the excellence of Christ Jesus (Manuscript 59, 1906). LHU 181.3Read in context »
Everything that can be gained by education, God means we shall use for the advancement of the truth. True, vital godliness must be reflected from the life and character, that the cross of Christ may be lifted up before the world, and the value of the soul be revealed in the light of the cross. Our minds must be opened to understand the Scriptures, that we may gain spiritual power by feeding upon the bread of heaven.—The Review and Herald, April 8, 1890. RC 297.6Read in context »
The doctrine of grace and salvation through Jesus Christ is a mystery to a large share of those whose names are upon the church books. If Christ were upon the earth speaking to His people, He would reproach them for their slowness of comprehension. He would say to the slow and uncomprehending, “I have left in your possession truths which concern your salvation, of which you do not suspect the value.” 3SM 188.1
Oh, that it might be said of ministers who are preaching to the people and to the churches, “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures”! (Luke 24:45). I tell you in the fear of God that up to this time, the Bible truths connected with the great plan of redemption are but feebly understood. The truth will be continually unfolding, expanding, and developing, for it is divine, like its Author. 3SM 188.2
How Jesus Taught the People—Jesus did not give full comments or continued discourses upon doctrines, but He oft spoke in short sentences, as one sowing the heavenly grains of doctrines like pearls which need to be gathered up by a discerning laborer. The doctrines of faith and grace are brought to view everywhere He taught. Oh, why do not ministers give to the churches the very food which will give them spiritual health and vigor? The result will be a rich experience in practical obedience to the Word of God. Why do the ministers not strengthen the things that remain that are ready to die? 3SM 188.3Read in context »
Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures. Luke 24:45. TMK 191.1
The Lord wants every one of us to have a deeper, richer experience in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He desires that we shall grow in knowledge—not earthward, but heaven-ward, upward to Christ our living Head. How high, how great, is this knowledge to be? To the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. We cannot grow too much, we cannot gather up too many of the precious rays of light that God sends us.... TMK 191.2Read in context »
On the isle of Patmos John saw the things which God desired him to give to the people. Here is a theme worthy of our contemplation. Here are large and comprehensive lessons, which all the angelic hosts are now seeking to communicate. Infinite wisdom, infinite love, infinite justice, infinite mercy—depths, heights, lengths, breadths! Numberless pens have been employed to represent the life and character and mediatorial work of Christ, and yet to every mind through whom the Holy Spirit works these themes are presented fresh and new, just in accordance with the mind and spirit of the human agent. The Lord Jesus promised that the Spirit He would send would recall His words to the minds of those prepared to receive them. After His resurrection He opened their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures. Up to that time the disciples had not comprehended them, for the rubbish of rabbinical lore had hidden the truth from their view. TMK 340.2Read in context »
Only those who read the Scriptures as the voice of God speaking to them are true learners. They tremble at the Word of God, for to them it is a living reality. They study, they search for the hidden treasure. They open their understanding and heart to receive, and they pray for heavenly grace, that they may obtain a preparation for the future, immortal life. TDG 169.2Read in context »