THE REVELATION MADE TO THE PROPHETS BY THE HOLY SPIRIT WAS INDEPENDENT OF THEIR OWN THINKING
The third thing that the Bible makes perfectly clear as to the inspiration of the Prophets and Apostles is, that the revelation made by God through His Holy Spirit to the Prophets was independent of the Prophets’ own thinking, that it was made to them by the Spirit of Christ which was in them, and that they themselves oftentimes did not thoroughly understand the full meaning of what the Spirit was saying through them, and that what they said was a subject of diligent search and inquiry to their own mind as to its meaning. This comes out very plainly in 1 Pet. 1:10-12, “Concerning which salvation the prophets sought and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come to you; searching what time, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did point unto, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that should follow them. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto you, did they minister these things which now have been announced unto you through them that preached the Gospel unto you by the Holy Spirit sent forth from Heaven; which things angels desire to look into.” Here again the meaning is as clear as day and inescapable. We are told that the prophets had a revelation made to them by the Holy Spirit, the meaning of which they did not thoroughly comprehend, and that they themselves “sought and searched diligently” as to the meaning of this revelation which was made to them and which they recorded. The Spirit, through them testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ (e.g. in Isa. 53:3, Ps. 22) and the glories that should follow them. They recorded what the Spirit testified, but what it meant they did not thoroughly understand. It was not merely that their minds were made keen to see things which they would not otherwise see, and which they therefore more or less accurately recorded. No, there was a very definite revelation, arising not from their own minds at all, but from the Spirit of God Who made the revelation to them and this they recorded, but it was not of themselves to that extent that they themselves wondered as to what its meaning might be. What they recorded was not at all their own thought, it was the thought of the Holy Spirit who spoke through them. How utterly different this conception is from that which is so persistently taught in many of our colleges and theological seminaries and pulpits,—how utterly different it is from the conception that was taught a week ago to-day in one of the pulpits of our own city.