“Thus says the Lord” is the only authority in God’s Church.
The faintest whisper of Jehovah's voice should fill us with solemn awe, and command the deepest obedience of our souls. Brethren, how careful should we be that we do not set up in God’s church anything in opposition to his Word, that we do not permit the teachings of a creature to usurp the honor due to the Lord alone.
“Thus says antiquity.”
“Thus says authority.”
“Thus says learning.”
“Thus says experience.”
-these are but idol-gods which defile the church of God!
Be it yours and mine as bold warriors to dash them in pieces without mercy, seeing that they usurp the place of the Word of God.
“Thus says the Lord,” -this is the motto of our standard; the war-cry of our spiritual conflict; the sword with which we hope yet to smite through the loins of the mighty who rise up against God’s truth.
“Thus says the Lord God.” This is the trowel, and this the hammer of God’s builders; this the trumpet of his watchmen and the sword of his warriors. Woe to the man who comes in any other name!
If we, or an angel from heaven, shall preach unto you anything but a “Thus says the Lord,” no matter what our character or standing, give no heed to us, but cleave unto the truth as it is in Jesus. To the law and to the testimony, if we speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in us. That test which we demand to be exercised upon others we cheerfully consent to be exercised upon ourselves, praying that we may have grace to forsake our errors as we would have other men forsake theirs.
We will listen to the opinions of great men with the respect which they deserve as men, but having so done, we deny that we have anything to do with these men as authorities in the Church of God, for there nothing has any authority, but “Thus says the Lord of hosts.” Yes, if you shall bring us the concurrent consent of all tradition- if you shall quote precedents venerable with fifteen, sixteen, or seventeen centuries of antiquity, we burn the whole as so much worthless lumber, unless you put your finger upon the passage
of Holy Writ which warrants the matter to be of God.
To the true Church of God the only question is this, is there “Thus says the Lord” for it? And if divine authority be not forthcoming, faithful men thrust forth the intruder as the cunning craftiness of men. Let us use much of Scripture, much of the pure silver of sacred revelation, and no human alloy. “What is the chaff to the wheat, says the Lord?” Many sorrows shall be to those who dare to dash themselves against the thick bosses of Jehovah's buckler by opposing his “Thus says the Lord.” Upon whomsoever this stone shall fall it shall grind him to powder, and whosoever shall fall upon it shall be broken to his own lasting damage.
O! my brethren, I would that we trembled and stood more in awe of God’s Word. I fear that many treat the things of God as though they were merely matters of opinion, but remember that opinion cannot govern in God’s house. God’s Word, not man’s opinion, claims your allegiance. O for a stern integrity that will hold the Word and will never depart from it, come what may.