The biblical scholars of Jesus’s and of Paul’s day cited the Scriptural basis for undergoing circumcision and adherence to the entire Sinai covenant as being necessary for Gentiles to be accepted into the people of God. They had the letter of the Scriptures on their side. It was a covenant that the Scriptures said was to last forever, just as circumcision was a sign that was said in the Scriptures to last forever.
What happened? Jesus rose from the dead. The Spirit was poured out, and descended upon his followers. Saul of Tarsus was confronted by the risen Jesus, and began preaching to Gentiles that faith in Jesus as the Messiah/ joining his movement, was enough for them to belong to God, apart from circumcision and apart from the Torah. The worked out biblical theology came later. What happened was that God moved dramatically in the world in the person of his Son, and through the power of his Spirit.
Those who clung to the Scriptures for eternal life, and not Jesus, were told by him in John’s gospel that they were missing the boat. Entirely! The Scriptures testify of him, as he said. But, that only became evident to his followers after experiencing him. After witnessing the power of his resurrection and his Spirit. The role of the Scriptures followed after the presence and power of Jesus and his Spirit had been experienced in the world, not the other way around. They didn’t deduce Jesus from the OT. In fact, Jesus of Nazareth could never have been intellectually deduced from the OT. This is why Paul could say, that “Eye has not seen, nor has ear heard, nor has it ever entered into the heart of man, the things that God has prepared for them that love him.” He was speaking of a crucified and risen Messiah. This is why John could write, “That which was from the beginning, that which we have seen with our eyes, and handled with our hands, and have gazed upon, this we proclaim to you concerning the Word that is life.” John, Paul, and the rest of the apostles and Jesus followers experienced Jesus and the power of his Spirit first, and then reshaped their vision of their Scriptures after they did.
What does this mean for us? That Jesus is above all Scriptures? That we can become so bound up in the letter of scripture, that we totally miss the active move and power of God and his Spirit in the world, apart from our slavish adherence to the Scriptural letter? That Jesus can be at work in ways we would never think of or expect, because we are so bound to the letter, not only of the Bible, but of our interpretive traditions?
Yes, we need to test the spirits. Yes, the Scriptures can play a role in that. But Jesus spoke more of the idea that we can evaluate a teacher or prophet by their fruits. Not by their supposed Scriptural orthodoxy. The champions of the latter, in his day, sought to kill him, and then went after the fledgling movement around him. How about today? It’s happening right within the walls of Adventism.