What You Believe

Ellet J. Waggoner : The Present Truth : April 6, 1893

Says one, “I know in whom I have believed.” That is well; but it is much better to be able to say with the apostle Paul, “I know who I have believed.” There is a great deal of difference. One may know who it is to whom he commits a thing, without being personally acquainted with him; but Paul knew the Lord as a personal friend, as did Abraham, and therefore he could safely trust all in His keeping. This acquaintance it is the privilege of every one to have.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God; but much that is quoted for Scripture is not inspired. Nine persons out of ten will speak of wishing to know the Lord, “whom to know aright is life eternal,” and will think that they are quoting Scripture. Christ said: “And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” John xvii. 4. The other is not found in the Bible. The Scriptures, just as they are written, without any human addition, are sufficient. Additions only weaken them.

If you are going to preach to me, or try to teach me, tell me only what you know, not what you think. Neither waste time telling me what you believe. That is to say, Don’t give me your belief that a thing is so as authority for it. I will take it for granted that you yourself believe what you say, and so you need not take time to assure me of the fact. It will not help me to believe in it, if you do. I don’t care about what you may believe; you may believe the thing that is not so, and whether it is true or not, your believing it is no reason why I should. But if you know it; then tell me the facts, so that I can know it too. The man who teaches as truth that which he does not know to be the truth is guilty of a grievous sin. And if he knows a thing, it is just as easy, though perhaps not so gratifying to his pride, to tell the grounds of his knowledge, as it is to play the pope, and try to get others to accept it on his authority.