Only on God’s word will I put my trust,
All other words are vain;
It is the rock on which I build.
It is my refuge which will never fail,
But man’s own strength will break;
It is my fortress, my dwelling place.
The wisdom of the world will pass away;
But God’s own word will never fail.
What God’s word speaks will surely come to pass!
The words of men will slide away.
Instrumental – Sampled Sounds
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This is a battle-cry for the return of the Bible as the foundation of faith and practice.
In the time in which it was written, Protestants were struggling to get the Bible into the hands of the people. Men like William Tyndale were burned at the stake for translating and distributing the Bible.
In our time, this is no longer the case. Since Satan cannot prevent the distribution of the Bible, his tactic now changes:
- Introduce errors in interpretation—lot’s of them! In this way, it will be very difficult to find the true interpretation.
- Distract the people so much that they have no time to read the Bible. They will then let their minister do the studying for them. If Satan can then lead the minister astray, the congregation will easily follow.
If you browse through this website, you will notice that there is also a section devoted to songs based on phrases from the writings of Ellen White, whom I, along with others, consider to have had the gift of prophecy. Some Protestants claim that this is against the principle of “the Bible and the Bible only.” This, however, is a very superficial charge. Those who make it do not live by it, for they themselves have used many other books in order to arrive at their understanding of Bible truth.
Therefore, it is proper to establish what is meant by the phrase, “the Bible and the Bible only.” Clearly, it does not mean that you shall not listen to or read anything else, for then there would be no reason for ministers or church gatherings!
What the Reformers originally intended by this phrase was that nothing should be allowed to intercept or interfere with what God was saying to man. In their day, the Catholic church had introduced tradition, fables, ceremonies that had no ground in Scripture, a false gospel, and many other such things. These effectively cut the people off from Christ, and left them in bondage to their sins, without any cleansing of their guilty consciences.
Therefore, when the Reformers distributed the Bible, they also distributed their own writings, which explained the Bible. They did not consider this practice to be against the principle of “the Bible and the Bible only,” nor does anyone accuse them of being inconsistent by doing this.
Is there any place given in the New Testament for teachers, prophets, and apostles, who explain the Word? Yes, these are among the gifts of the Spirit, promised to be with the church to the end, and to perfect her (1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4:1-16). Such teachers, or gifts, will always exalt the Word of God, and point men back to it. They will help us to understand what that Word is actually saying, so that the voice of God becomes more distinct.
Many years ago, I went through a time when I became very interested in the writings of the Puritans, from the 1600’s in England. These were men of devotion and learning, and their books presented the truths of the Bible in a most lively and practical way. They helped me to appreciate the Bible more. It reminds me of a story in Acts:
26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goes down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.
27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Isaiah the prophet.
29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join yourself to this chariot.
30 And Philip ran there to him, and heard him read the prophet Isaiah, and said, Do you understand what you read?
31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray you, of whom speaks the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what hinders me to be baptized?
37 And Philip said, If thou believe with all your heart, you may. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
Here is a beautiful illustration of how “the Bible and the Bible only” works hand-in-hand with the gift of a prophet or teacher. Philip helped this man to understand what the Bible was saying, and so brought him to Christ.
This is how I believe the writings of Ellen White function as well, and how she herself stated it:
The Bible and the Bible alone is to be our creed, the sole bond of union; all who bow to this holy word will be in harmony….Let us meet all opposition as did our Master, saying, “It is written.” Let us lift up the banner on which is inscribed, “The Bible our rule of faith and discipline.” — Ellen White, Review and Herald, Dec. 15, 1885
I recommend to you, dear reader, the word of God as the rule of your faith and practice. By that word we are to be judged. God has, in that word, promised to give visions in the “last days”; not for a new rule of faith, but for the comfort of His people, and to correct those who err from Bible truth. — Ellen White, Early Writings, page 78
About the song: – The original German title of this hymn is “Allein auf Gottes Wort will ich”. As far as I have been able to find out, the original German text was also written by Johann Walter. I have made a loose translation into English to fit the original melody.