Advent Bible Study

A Guide to Bible Study Methods Found in Scripture

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Bible Study Methods used by Early Adventists

Posted by adventbiblestudy on September 14, 2008


Following is a collection of passages collected from books written by early Adventists writers illustrating the type of Bible studies utilized.


To Adam and Eve the situation was dark, tragic, unsolvable.
A great change had taken place in man himself, and this involved
a change in his environment, in his relationship to God, and in
his communication with his Maker. Sin tragically terminated
the personal association and open communion with God that
had been granted to the first pair. It became the veil which
separated man from God. This separation was inevitable, for
of the Creator it is said: “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold
evil, and canst not look on iniquity.” Hab. 1:13. Plainly it is
declared to fallen man: “Your iniquities have separated between
you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you.”
Isa. 59:2.
Man must now be separated from direct fellowship with his
heavenly, sinless associates. He can no longer dwell in the pres-
ence of God, or remain in Paradise. “Therefore the Lord God
sent him forth from the Garden of Eden. . . . And He placed
at the east of the Garden of Eden cherubims, and a naming
sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of
life.” Gen. 3:23, 24.
THE PROPHETIC GIFT BESTOWED page 18, 19
ARTHUR GROSVENOR DANIELLS


Arthur Daniells used the word iniquity and a Concordance to locate text that emphasizes the separation of God and man caused by sin.


Prophetic Terms Defined
“Hear now My words: If there be a prophet among you, I
the Lord will make Myself known unto him in a vision,
and will speak unto him in a dream.” Num. 12 :6.
This statement explains the operation of what the Scriptures
elsewhere call “the gift of prophecy.” 1 Cor. 13 :2. It also ex-
plains the following scripture: “The prophecy came not in old
time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they
were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:21.
“The gift of prophecy” is one of the special gifts of God ex-
tended through the Holy Spirit to the human family. 1 Cor.
12:4. This gift is also called “the testimony of Jesus” (Rev.
12:17), which is penned by the same inspired writer to be “the
spirit of prophecy.” Rev. 19:10. The term, the prophetic gift,
which we shall constantly employ, is thus clearly identical in
meaning with the several Biblical expressions here cited.
THE PROPHETIC GIFT BESTOWED page 22, 23
ARTHUR GROSVENOR DANIELLS


Later in his book Arthur Daniells locates text containing the word prophecy to compile a study explaining the gift of prophesy. This is a simple form of Bible word study. To determine what the Bible says about a particular subject such as prophesy, sin, redemption or other subjects, one simply looks up text about the subject in question in a Concordance or search in a Bible program on a computer. Who knows what we will find with proper use of today’s technology? Computers have made searching much easier. The early pioneers had to copy text by hand. We can copy and paste text, articles and information from more sources than the early pioneers could ever imagine. A well known Adventist author once commented, “I can envision James White sitting at a laptop doing a study.” Can you imagine how much more these early pioneers could have accomplished using the technology we have available to us today?


If you are familiar with Ellen Whites books, “Early Writings” and “Life Sketches” you know what this woman had to go through while writing her books. You also have an idea of the amount of meetings she attended. Conference meetings, camp meetings, evangelistic seminars and others. Now imagine the time Ellen White could have saved if she had the use of a computer. Did you know Ellen White did not finish her last book? Is this a sign that God wanted to give us the evidence that there was more to study after Ellen White was called to her rest?


“To the completion of this work, Mrs. White gave much thought during 1913 and 1914. At the time of her accident, in February, 1915, all but the last two chapters had been completed for a volume bearing the title, “The Captivity and Restoration of Israel,” covering the broken periods; and these final chapters had been sufficiently blocked out to admit of completion by the inclusion of additional matter from her manuscript file.” {LS 436.2}


KJV John 21:25
25. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.


“WHEREFORE, as by one man sin entered into the world, and
death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have
sinned.” “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made
sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”
Rom. 5:12, 19.
Thus it is recorded that, while the disobedience of Adam
made man unrighteous, down at the root of all that God has done
and is doing through His Son to make us righteous, is the
wonderful life of obedience that the Saviour lived in the flesh.
As by Adam’s disobedience death came upon all men, and
“death reigned by one,” even so they who receive God’s “gift
of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.” Rom.
5:17. And “as by the offense of one [Adam], judgment came
upon all men to condemnation; . . . so by the righteousness
of One [Christ] the free gift came upon all men unto justification.” Verse 18.
These changes could be brought about only by a guiltless
Christ, one who in all things was obedient to His Father’s will.
That Jesus was thus obedient the New Testament bears witness:
“He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we
might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Cor. 5:21.
“We have not a High Priest which cannot be touched with the
feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as
we are, yet without sin.” Heb. 4:15. “Hereunto were ye called:
because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that
ye should follow His steps: who did no sin, neither was guile
found in His mouth.” 1 Peter 2:21, 22.
The Atoning Work of Christ His Sacrifice and Priestly Ministry page 35
By C. H. WATSON


Watson uses a group of text that contain the words sin and righteousness to illustrate the consequences of sin followed by text supporting an alternative to the penalty that is required. This study illustrates a collection of text using a set of words designed to keep the thought pattern on a single subject. Word studies have a tendency of focusing on a single subject and thought pattern. Other study methods tend to spread the subject out in a shotgun pattern, trying to hit many different subjects at one time.


A study based on random subject text can lead from one subject to another that branches out to other related subjects wandering from the original concept of the study. People like to think this is the leading of the Holy Spirit. But it is much better to explain one subject with the care and attention it deserves than to wander in, out and around many subjects that leave the reader with more questions than answers.


And Micah 5: 2 states that His “goings forth have been
from of old, from everlasting.” (Heb. “from the days of eternity.)
Christ was from eternal ages a sharer in His Father’s
heavenly glory, but by a, miracle altogether beyond our
comprehension, came to the earth to be a man among men,
to carry our griefs, and to share our experiences, that finally
we might share His glory. (Hebrews, 2: 9,14.) Jesus prayed,
“Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me,
be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory,
which Thou hast given Me: for Thou lovest Me before the
foundation of the world.” John 17: 24.
John also said, “In the beginning was the Word, and the
Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was
in the beginning with God.” John 1:1, 2. Christ was with
the Father when the world was planned and made.
Of the part that Christ took in the creation of the world,
the apostle John says, “All things were made by Him; and
without Him was not any thing made that was made.” “He
was in the world, and the world was made by Him.” John 1:3, 10.
In John 1:1 the Word (Christ) is called God. The Father
himself declares, “Thy throne, 0 God, is for ever and ever:
a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Thy kingdom.”
Hebrews 1:8; Psalm 45:6. in these texts the Son is called God
by the Father.
Isaiah, giving the names that apply to Christ, says, “For
unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the
government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall
be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Ever-
lasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9: 6.
The Coming King page 10
By James Edson White and Alonso L. Baker


In this example James White puts together a collection of text establishing Jesus as God, a part of the Trinity and creator. This type of study is complied by relying on chain references, memory or notes. Chain references can be found in many Bibles on a side or center column. Chain references will list text on the subject text. This is a good source to quickly obtain more information on a particular text. A word of caution concerning chain references. Depending on the version of the Bible, chain references will lead to text that will support the views of the author. It is much safer to identify the key words within the text. This will ensure that you are referencing text on the subject in an impartial manner.


“Scripture must be its own expositor, since it is a rule of itself. If I depend on a teacher to expound to me, and he should guess at its meaning, or desire to have it so on account of his sectarian creed, or to be thought wise, then his guessing, desire, creed, or wisdom, is my rule, and not the Bible.”
“RULES OF INTERPRETATION.” By William Miller


“Not only those who are washed by the blood of Christ,
but the holy angels also, are drawn to Him by His crowning
act of giving His life for the sins of the world. ‘And I, if I be
lifted up from the earth, will draw all unto Me’— not only
earth, but heaven; for of Him ‘the whole family in heaven and
earth is named.’” John 12: 22; Ephesians Z: 15. “That in
the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather
together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven,
and which are on earth; even in Him,” Ephesians 1: 10.
The plan of redemption met immediately the sin and fall
of man. God accepted the offer of Christ lo die for the sinner.
Christ the Creator became the promised sacrifice and Redeemer;
hence He is the “Lamb slain from the foundation of
the world.” Revelation 13:8. Throughout the ages the
sacrifice of Christ has been the hope and comfort or the faithful.
To the redeemed it will be the theme of praise and
adoration throughout the ceaseless years of eternity.
The Corning :King page 21
By James Edson White and Alonso L. Baker


In this example James White may have used the word earth and a Concordance to locate three text showing that Christ died for us. This is an illustration showing how simple it is to complete a study by locating a single text with an idea and using the correct key word that will lead you to supporting text.


“And I saw [not £>> converted -world, but]
thrones [of judgment] and they sat upon them,’
and judgment was given unto them.” Mention is
then made of that portion of the martyrs of Jesus
who had been beheaded, and also the victory over
the beast, his image, and his mark, representing
all the righteous; then is added, ” They lived
[were raised to life] and reigned with Christ 1000
thousand years. But the rest of the dead [the
wicked] lived not again [were not raised from the
dead] until the thousand years were finished.”
The doctrine of the temporal millennium being
based upon false interpretations and incorrect quotations
of certain portions of the sacred Scriptures,
it is proper that we should here notice those texts
usually quoted to prove the world’s conversion,
and show that they do not mean what they are
said to prove.
1. ” Ask of me, and I shall give thee the
heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost
parts of the earth for thy possession.” ‘ Ps. 2 : 8.
As sufficient evidence that this text does not prove
the conversion of the world, we quote the verse
following it: ” Thou shalt break them with a-rod
of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
2. The stone cut out of the mountain without
hands, shall roll until it becomes a great moun-
tain, and hills, ”the whole earth.” All the proof for
the world’s conversion, found in the above, is in
quoting the text wrong. Here is the text as it
reads: ” Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out
without hands, which smote the image upon his
feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them
to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass,
the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together,
and became “like the chaff of the summer thresh-
ing-floors ; and the wind carried them away, that
no place was found for them: and the stone that
smote the image became a great mountain, and
Filled the whole earth.” Dan. 2: 34, 35.
In this remarkable portion of prophecy, the
following points are worthy of notice: (1) The
stone smote the image upon his feet, and brake
the iron, clay, brass, silver, and gold to pieces
together. Here is destruction, not conversion.
(2) They became like the chaff of the summer
threshing-floors, and the wind carried them away,
that no place was found for them. Here is illus-
trated the removal of all earthly governments.
(3) Then the scone became a great mountain
and filled the whole earth. In this prophecy the
stone has nothing in common with the image.
The image, a symbol of earthly governments and
all wicked men, is first removed, and then the
stone fills the whole earth.
But if it be said that the dashing of the
heathen, (Ps. 2 : 9,) and the breaking of the image
(Dan. 2: 84), mean the conversion of the world,
then Paul’s words, ” The God of peace shall bruise
Satan under your feet shortly,” mean the conver-
sion of Satan.
3. A nation shall be born in a. day. Here is
another incorrect quotation. Isa. 66 : 8, reads:
” Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen
such things ? shall the earth be made to bring
forth in one day ? or shall a nation be born at
once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought
forth her children.” This text has no allusion to
the conversion of sinners; but evidently refers to
the resurrection of the just.
4. ” The kingdoms of this world are become the
kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ.” ” But let
it be borne in mind that this is under the third woe,
when it is also said, ” And the nations were an-
gry, and thy-wrath is come, and the time of the
dead that they should be judged, and that thou
shouldest give reward unto thy servants the proph-
ets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name,
small and great; and shouldest destroy them which
destroy the earth.” Rev. 11:15, 18.
5. ” And this gospel of the kingdom shall be
preached in all the world, for a witness unto all
nations, and then shall the end come. Matt. 24:14.
Those who teach the world’s conversion would
have the gospel preached to all nations, every in-
dividual hear it, believe it, obey it, and all become
holy by it. What then”? the end ? No ; not un-
til the world has enjoyed a sinless period of one
thousand years. Some hold that the one thousand
years of Rev. 20 are prophetic, each day in the
year representing a year, making three -hundred
and sixty-five thousand years. But the text does
not say that every individual will even Hear this
gospel of the kingdom. It does not state that any
one will be converted and made holy by it. And
“we find it far from intimating that a world would
be converted, and remain so one thousand years,
or three hundred and sixty-five thousand years.
The text simply states,
(1) “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be
preached in all the world,”
(2) “For a witness unto all nations,”
(3) ” And then [not one thousand years later, nor
three hundred and sixty-five thousand; but THEN]
shall the end come.”
6. “They shall beat their swords into plough-
shares and their spears into pruning-hooks; na-
tion ‘shall not lift up a sword against nation,
neither shell they learn war any more.” Micah
4 : 3. See also Isa. 2 : 4.
Please notice that Micah 4:1, speaks of the
exalted state of the professed church of Christ in
the last days. Mountains mean earthly govern-
ments. The church, here represented by “the
mountain of the Lord’s house,” was to be exalted
above the hills. It was to be established in the
tops of the mountains.
Verses 2—5 is a, statement, not of what the
Lord declares would take place in the last days,
but what the multitudes of popular professors,
who are looking for the conversion of the world,
would say. The statement commences thus:
“And many nations shall come and say.” Verse 2
It is man, not God, that says, “And they
shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and
their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not
lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they
learn war any more.” Verse 3.
But the Lord speaks in verses 6 and 7, as fol-
lows : ” In that day, saith the Lord, will I assem-
ble her that halteth, Mid I will gather her that is
driven out, and her that I have afflicted.” “In
that day” when ” many nations ” are prophesy-
ing of peace and safety, the Lord’s remnant peo-
ple are driven out and afflicted.
But-we have more and very decisive testimony
in regard to the state of the nations in the last
days. The Lord speaks by his prophet thus:.
” Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles: Prepare
war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of
war draw near. Let them come up. Beat your
ploughshares into swords, and your pruning-hooks
into spears.” Joel 3 : 9, 10. Instead of the na-
tions no more lifting up the sword against each
other, in the last days, ” evil shall go forth from
nation to nation,” and.” the sword of the Lord
shall devour from the one end of the land even to
the other end of the land: no flesh shall have
peace.” Jer. 12:12; 25:32.
OUR FAITH AND HOPE.-NO. I SERMONS
THE COMING AND KINGDOM of OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. pages 13-17
BY ELDER JAMES WHITE.


In this example James White compiles a study based upon a few key words, nation, world and kingdom. He also includes a spiritual meaning to the word mountain. “Mountains mean earthly governments.” This shows the fact that James White studied the Bible by looking for the spiritual meanings to words. This is not an easy interpretation to derive based solely on a casual reading of the Bible but requires the consideration of a number of text containing the word mountain.


He will appear the second time. Paul speaks
directly upon this point, ” So Christ was once of-
fered to bear the sins of many. And unto them
that look for him, shall he appear the second time
without sin unto, salvation.” Heb. 9:28. Again
he says, ” Looking for that blessed hope, and the
glorious appearing of the great God, and our Sav-
iour Jesus Christ.” Titus 2:13.
Another apostle testifies to this point thus:
” Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth
not yet appear what we shall be; but we know
that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3: 2.
The second advent of Christ will be personal
and. visible. ” Behold, he cometh with clouds;
and every eye shall see him.” Rev. 1: 7. Jesus,
as he was addressing his disciples upon the sub-
ject of his second advent, pointed forward to the
generation who should witness the signs of. that
event in the sun, moon, and stars, and said:
” They shall see the Son of Man coming in the
clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
Matt. 24: 30. See Mark 13:26; 14: 62; John
14: 3. And at the ascension of Christ, two an-
gels declared to the anxious witnesses : ” This
same Jesus, which is taken up from you into
Heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have
seen him go into Heaven.” Acts 1: 2.
OUR FAITH AND HOPE.-NO. I SERMONS
THE COMING AND KINGDOM of OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. Page 32
BY ELDER JAMES WHITE.


Here again in this study it appears James White located text by both the use of a Concordance and his knowledge of the scriptures. “To understand doctrine, bring all the Scriptures together on the subject you wish to know; then let every word have its proper influence; and, if you can form your theory without a contradiction, you cannot be in error.” “RULES OF INTERPRETATION.” By William Miller


False prophets do not reprove the people for
their sins, they do not warn them of coming dan-
ger ; but they proclaim peace to the sinner. Their
teachings lead from God and his word, and are
such as to please the unconverted mind. The
inspired writers have also spoken definitely of the
testimony and work of false prophets. We here
give several for example.
Eze. 13 : 9, 10. ” And mine hand shall be upon
the prophets that see vanity, and that- divine lies.
They shall not be in the assembly of my people,
neither shall they be written in the writing of the
house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the
land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the
Lord God. Because, even because they have se-
duced my people, saying, Peace; and there was
no peace; and one built, up a wall, and lo, others
daubed it with untempered mortar.”
Jer. 6:18, 14. For from the least of them
even unto the greatest of them, every one is
given to covetousness; and from the prophet
even unto the priest, every one dealeth falsely
They have healed, also, the hurt of the daughter
of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when
there is no peace.”
Jer. 14: IS, 14. ” Then said I, Ah, Lord God!
behold, the prophets say unto them, Ye shall not
see the sword, neither shall ye have famine; but
I will give you assured peace in this place. Then
the Lord said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies
in my name. I sent them not, neither have I
commanded them, neither spake unto them.”
After stating the duty of the faithful servant of
God to preach the word, to reprove, rebuke, and
exhort, with all long-suffering and doctrine, the
apostle says: ” For the time will come when they
will not endure sound doctrine; but after their
own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers
having itching ears; and they shall turn away
their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto
fables.” 2 Tim. 4 : 8, 4. That time has now
fully come. The people choose pleasing fables,
which do not disturb them in their sins, rather
than the reproving, searching declarations of the
word of God. They love to be deceived by the
teachings of false prophets, and ” say to the seers,
See not, and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto
us light things, speak: unto us smooth things,
prophesy deceits.” Isa. :30 :10.
SECOND COMING OF CHRIST MATTHEW TWENTY-FOUR
BY ELD. JAMES WHITE Pages 16-18


Here is an example showing how a study can be easily assembled by locating the word prophet in the Bible. Notice how the text flows together and requires little or no comments to illustrate a point. That is the mark of a true study, when the word of God speaks on it’s own.


The marriage of the Lamb does not cover the
entire period of probation, in which believers
are united to their Lord, from Adam to the close
of probation. It is one event, to take place at
one point of time, and that is just prior to the
resurrection of the just… Then what is the bride
in the marriage of the Lamb? Said the angel to
John, ” Come hither, I will show thee the bride,
the Lamb’s wife.” Rev. 21: 9. Did the angel
show John the church? “And he carried me
away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain,
and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusa-
lem, descending out of Heaven from God.”
Verse 10.
The New Jerusalem is also represented as the
mother. “But Jerusalem which is above is free,
which is the mother of us all.” Gal. 4: 26.
Christ is represented (Isa. 9 :6) as the ” ever-
lasting Father” of his people; the New Jeru-
salem, the mother, and the subjects of the first
resurrection, the children. And, beyond all doubt,
the resurrection of the just is represented by
birth. How appropriate, then, is the view that
the marriage of the Lamb takes place in Heaven
before the Lord comes, and before the children of
the great family of Heaven are brought forth at
the resurrection of the just.
Let those who are disposed to cling to the old
view that the church is the bride, and that the
marriage is after Christ comes, and the saints are
caught up to Heaven, answer the following ques-
tions :
1. Who are illustrated by the man found at the
marriage, Matt. 22, not having on the wedding
garment ? Will any be caught up by mistake, to
be bound hand and foot, and cast down to the
earth again?
2. If the church is the bride, who are they that
are called to the marriage as guests ?
3. Jerusalem above is the mother of the chil-
dren of promise but if the church is the Lamb’s
wife, who are the children ?
The marriage of the Lamb is Christ’s reception
of the throne of David, or his own throne, which
is the New Jerusalem above. That city is finally
to come down upon the new earth, to be the
capital of the everlasting kingdom. The event
illustrated by the coming of the bridegroom, in
the parable, is thus described by the prophet:
“‘I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like
the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven,
and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought
him near before him. And there was given him
dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all
people, nations, and languages, should serve
him.” Dan..7 :13,14. This language describes
a grand transaction in Heaven between the Fa-
ther and the Son. The Son, at his second advent
to this ‘world, does not approach the Father. So
far from this, the apostle represents the Father
as remaining in Heaven, and sending his Son.
And he [the Father] shall send Jesus Christ,
which before was preached unto you.” Acts. 8: 20.
The words of-the Psalmist are to the point;
”Ask of me’ [says the Father to the Son]; and
I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance,
Find the uttermost parts of’ the earth for thy pos-
session. Thou shalt break them with a rod of
iron, thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potters
vessel.” Ps. 2 : 8, 9. Before the Son makes his
second advent to this world, he receives from
the Father “dominion, and glory, and a kingdom.”
SECOND COMING OF CHRIST MATTHEW TWENTY-FOUR
BY ELD. JAMES WHITE Pages 75-77


James White has given us an example of a simple study using the word bride to bring together text sufficient enough to show the spiritual meaning of Christ’s bride, the new city Jerusalem. After establishing the fact that the bride is the new city Jerusalem, supported with scripture, James White continues by answering questions regarding the issue. This of course leads to other supporting text using the words garment and guests.
Based on the examples given we can see that the use of a Concordance and knowledge of the scriptures were important factors to these early studies. One can only rely upon memory to a certain extent. That is where the Holy Spirit, key words and a Concordance come in. Knowing a few words or at least one key word in a text can lead you to supporting text with the use of a Concordance. Studies can be completed by looking the key word up in a Concordance. You can complete your own studies on death, Sabbath, knowledge, angel, ark, Babylon, beast or any subject you choose to by simply looking that word up in a Concordance or on a computer Bible program with a search capability and reading the verses that contain the word. A Bible study of this type will leave you with a far greater understanding of a subject than you have ever imagined. One very important point. Don’t forget to pray before beginning any study.


“Nothing revealed in Scripture can or will be hid from those who ask in faith, not wavering.”
“RULES OF INTERPRETATION.” By William Miller

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