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7.3 William Miller and the Bible
The Biblical Journey of Discovery: William Miller and Understanding Christ’s Return
The story of William Miller serves as an inspiring example of how an ordinary man, through diligent study of the Bible and prayer, was used by God to rediscover the truth about the Second Coming of Christ. His dedication to studying the Bible from beginning to end, without haste or bias, demonstrates the importance of taking God’s Word seriously and exploring it with an open heart.
Miller recognized the love of Christ and the clarity of His promises by comparing Scripture with Scripture and allowing the Bible itself to guide him. His example encourages us not only to read the Bible superficially but to dig deeper and understand the connections between different passages.
Ultimately, the story of William Miller illustrates that God can work through ordinary people to reveal His truth and advance His work on earth. It reminds us that God’s truth is hidden in His Word and that He is willing to use those who approach Him with a humble and seeking heart.
Read Isaiah 28:9–10; Proverbs 8:8–9; John 16:13, and 2 Peter 1:19–21. What principles of Bible interpretation do you discover in these verses?
The mentioned verses provide important principles of Bible interpretation that can guide William Miller and anyone studying the Holy Scriptures:
  1. Isaiah 28:9–10: This verse emphasizes the importance of systematic study of Scripture. It encourages us to start from the basics and progress gradually to gain a deeper understanding.
  2. Proverbs 8:8–9: Here, the necessity of an honest and sincere heart is emphasized when seeking God’s truth. It’s important to approach Scripture without prejudice or hidden motives.
  3. John 16:13: Jesus promises the disciples that the Holy Spirit will guide them into all truth. This shows that understanding Scripture requires divine assistance. We should study Scripture in prayer and dependence on the Holy Spirit.
  4. 2 Peter 1:19–21: These verses emphasize the divine inspiration of Scripture. They teach us that Scripture cannot be understood through human interpretation alone but was revealed by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we should recognize Scripture as God’s Word and rely on His guidance to interpret it correctly.
Together, these verses show that the study of Scripture should be systematic, sincere, and in prayer, and that we rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit to understand God’s truth. Like William Miller, we should consider the Bible as the key to discovering divine mysteries and seek God’s truth with zeal and dedication.
Read Daniel 1:17; 2:45; 1 Peter 1:10–11, and Revelation 1:1–3. What do these passages teach us about understanding the prophecies of the Bible?
The mentioned passages offer important insights into understanding the prophecies of the Bible:
  1. Daniel 1:17: Daniel and his friends were endowed with wisdom and understanding of all kinds of writings and wisdom, including prophetic writings. This shows that understanding prophecies requires divine inspiration.
  2. Daniel 2:45: Here, it is described how God gave Daniel understanding of the dream of the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. This shows that God is able to reveal prophetic events and their meanings when He deems it appropriate.
  3. 1 Peter 1:10–11: These verses emphasize that the prophets of old were inspired by the Holy Spirit when they prophesied about future events. This illustrates that prophetic statements in the Bible are of divine origin and should therefore be taken seriously.
  4. Revelation 1:1–3: John explains that the Revelation of Jesus Christ, given to him, contains prophetic revelations about the future. Believers are blessed when they read, hear, and act on these prophecies.
Together, these passages show that understanding prophetic writings requires divine inspiration and that God is able to reveal the meaning of prophecies when He deems it necessary. The Bible itself often provides explanations for its own symbols and prophecies, and through prayer, study, and dependence on the Holy Spirit, believers can better understand the prophetic writings. Like William Miller, we should apply these principles of Bible interpretation to grasp the deeper meaning of prophetic statements and prepare ourselves for the fulfillment of God’s plans.
Why is a correct understanding of prophetic symbolism very important for our faith?
A correct understanding of prophetic symbolism is very important for our faith for several reasons:
  1. Fulfillment of divine promises: Many prophetic statements in the Bible contain promises of God about the future of His people and the fulfillment of His plan of salvation. A correct understanding of these prophecies allows us to recognize God’s faithfulness and sovereignty as His promises are fulfilled.
  2. Guidance in difficult times: Prophetic writings can provide guidance when we are faced with difficult or uncertain times. They offer comfort and hope by reminding us that God is directing history and that His kingdom will ultimately prevail.
  3. Strengthening of faith: A deep understanding of prophetic writings strengthens our faith by showing us that God has done in the past exactly what He has foretold and that we can therefore trust Him to act in the future as well.
  4. Preparation for the future: A correct understanding of prophetic symbolism enables us to prepare for upcoming events and remain spiritually vigilant. By recognizing and understanding the signs of the times, we can prepare to preserve our faith in difficult times and remain faithful.
  5. Prevention of confusion and deception: Without a correct understanding of prophetic symbolism, we can easily become confused or exposed to misleading teachings. A solid understanding of Scripture helps us recognize false teachings and follow the path of truth.
Overall, a correct understanding of prophetic symbolism is crucial for strengthening our faith, preparing us for the future, and protecting us from deception. It also allows us to recognize the greatness and faithfulness of God as we wait for the fulfillment of His promises.
The connection between the principles of Bible interpretation and our everyday life in faith is essential, as it provides us with guidance on how to apply God’s Word in our daily lives:
  1. Systematic study of Scripture (Isaiah 28:9–10): This reminds us that it is important not to study the Bible superficially but systematically. Just as William Miller encourages us, this encourages us to dive seriously into God’s Word and not just seek superficial answers. In daily life, this means investing time and effort to read, understand, and apply Scripture.
  2. Sincere heart in seeking God’s truth (Proverbs 8:8–9): These verses emphasize the importance of honesty and sincerity when studying Scripture. In daily life, they encourage us to approach the Bible with an open heart and without preconceived opinions. We should be willing to question our own ideas and beliefs and allow God’s Word to guide us.
  3. Dependence on the Holy Spirit (John 16:13): Jesus’ promise that the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth reminds us that we need God’s help and guidance to understand Scripture correctly. In daily life, this means praying for the Holy Spirit’s guidance and allowing Him to enlighten our understanding as we study the Bible.
  4. Recognition of the divine inspiration of Scripture (2 Peter 1:19–21): These verses teach us that Scripture is not simply human interpretation but was revealed by the Holy Spirit. In daily life, this reminds us that the Bible is God’s Word and that we can trust Him to guide us through it. We should approach our Bible studies with humility and reverence, knowing that we can rely on God’s guidance.
By applying these principles of Bible interpretation in our daily lives, we can better understand God’s Word and respond to it in practical ways. It also encourages us to maintain a vibrant relationship with God and to consider His Word as living and relevant to our everyday lives.

The Bible is the key to discovering divine mysteries – dig deeper and seek God’s truth with zeal and dedication.

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