Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 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 Timothy 4:2-4
Calmly and clearly “preach the word.” We must not regard it as our work to create an excitement. The Holy Spirit of God alone can create a healthy enthusiasm. Let God work, and let the human agent walk softly before him, watching, waiting, praying, looking unto Jesus every moment, led and controlled by the precious Spirit which is light and life.
The people want a sign, as in the days of Christ. Then the Lord told them that no sign should be given them. The sign that should be manifest now and always, is the working of the Holy Spirit upon the mind of the teacher, to make the word as impressive as possible. The word of God is not a dead, dry theory, but Spirit and life.
Satan would like nothing better than to call minds away from the word, to look for and expect something outside of the word to make them feel. They should not have their attention called to dreams or visions. If they would have eternal life, they must eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God.
In the days of Christ this statement offended many of his professed disciples, so that they went back and walked no more with him. The Lord Jesus explained his own words. He said, “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life,” “Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” This living bread of which Jesus spoke is of consequence; it is his word, which he has given us.
Teach these things. Educate the people to have a sound, solid experience, and do not create in them an appetite for something new, and strange, and startling. These are the very things which those that are weak in moral power crave as the liquor drinker craves liquor, and the result is that they are not sound in the understanding of the word. They have not root in themselves, and when the masterly working of Satan shall be made manifest, and he shall perform miracles to testify that he is Christ, those who have been controlled by feeling, who have fed on the sensational, and have been seeking for strange things, will be carried away, because they were not feeding on Christ.
“He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood dwelleth in me and I in him.” They received life from Christ, just as the branch receives its nourishment from the vine. God help us to move soundly, solidly, because we are eating and drinking the flesh and blood of the Son of God.
“Preach the word.” Compared with the word, everything else is weakness itself. The word of God is the weapon of our warfare. Educate, train the people to be doers of the word, and they will then abide in Christ, and Christ will abide in them. Then they will discern the delusions of Satan; they will not be ignorant of his devices.”
— E.G. White, Home Missionary, December 1, 1894