Bible Study Guides – “There Is a River”

February 17, 2013 – February 23, 2013

Key Text

“And He said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” Revelation 21:6.

Study Help: Counsels on Diet and Foods, 419–437.


“Thousands have died for want of pure water and pure air, who might have lived. … These blessings they need in order to become well. If they would become enlightened and let medicine alone, and accustom themselves to outdoor exercise, and to air in their houses, summer and winter, and use soft water for drinking and bathing purposes, they would be comparatively well and happy instead of dragging out a miserable existence.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 419.

“We have now the invitations of mercy to become vessels unto honor, and then we need not worry about the latter rain; all we have to do is to keep the vessel clean and prepared and right side up, for the reception of the heavenly rain and keep praying, ‘Let the latter rain come into my vessel. Let the light of the glorious angel which unites with the third angel, shine upon me; give me a part in the work; let me sound the proclamation; let me be co-laborer with Jesus Christ.’ Thus seeking God, let me tell you, He is fitting you up all the time giving you His grace. You need not be worried. You need not be thinking that there is a special time coming when you are to be crucified; the time to be crucified is just now. Every day, every hour, self is to die; self is to be crucified, and then, when the time comes that the test shall come to God’s people in earnest, the everlasting arms are around you. The angels of God make a wall of fire around about and deliver you. All your self-crucifixion will not do any good then. It must come before the destiny of souls is decided. It is now that self is to be crucified, when there is work to do; when there is some use to be made of every entrusted capability. It is now that we are to empty and thoroughly cleanse the vessel of its impurity. It is now that we are to be made holy unto God. This is our work, this very moment. You are not to wait for any special period for a wonderful work to be done; it is today. I give myself to God today.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, 179, 180.


  • What is one of the most important basic needs of human beings? John 4:7; Proverbs 25:21.

Note: “I should bathe frequently, and drink freely of pure, soft water.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 419.

  • How important is water to our physical well-being? Judges 15:18.

Note: “Pure water to drink, and fresh air to breathe … invigorate the vital organs, purify the blood, and help nature in her task of overcoming the bad conditions of the system.” The Review and Herald, December 5, 1899.

  • How is the importance of water described?

Note: “In health and in sickness, pure water is one of heaven’s choicest blessings. Its proper use promotes health. It is the beverage which God provided to quench the thirst of animals and man. Drunk freely, it helps to supply the necessities of the system and assists nature to resist disease. The external application of water is one of the easiest and most satisfactory ways of regulating the circulation of the blood.” The Ministry of Healing, 237.

  • What spiritual truth is illustrated by water? John 4:10, 14.

Note: “The cry of Christ to the thirsty soul is still going forth, and it appeals to us with even greater power than to those who heard it in the temple on that last day of the feast. The fountain is open for all. The weary and exhausted ones are offered the refreshing draught of eternal life. Jesus is still crying, ‘If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink.’ ‘Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.’ ‘Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life’ (John 7:37; Revelation 22:17; John 4:14).” The Desire of Ages, 454.


  • What other work of Christ is illustrated through one of water properties? John 13:5, 10; Isaiah 1:16.

Note: “Brethren and sisters, we need the reformation that all who are redeemed must have, through the cleansing of mind and heart from every taint of sin. In the lives of those who are ransomed by the blood of Christ, self-sacrifice will constantly appear. Goodness and righteousness will be seen. The quiet, inward experience will make the life full of godliness, faith, meekness, patience. This is to be our daily experience. We are to form characters free from sin—characters made righteous in and by the grace of Christ. … Our hearts are to be cleansed from all impurity in the blood shed to take away sin.” Counsels on Health, 633, 634.

“The external application of water is one of the easiest and most satisfactory ways of regulating the circulation of the blood. A cold or cool bath is an excellent tonic. Warm baths open the pores and thus aid in the elimination of impurities. Both warm and neutral baths soothe the nerves and equalize the circulation.” The Ministry of Healing, 237.

  • Why is this cleansing important? Psalm 51:7, 9.

Note: “God is purifying a people to have clean hands and pure hearts to stand before Him in the Judgment. The standard must be elevated, the imagination purified; the infatuation clustering around debasing practices must be given up, and the soul uplifted to pure thoughts, holy practices.” The Review and Herald, May 24, 1887.

  • What needs cleansing in our being? James 4:8.

Note: “The cleansing must begin in the heart and mind, and flow forth in the actions. The characters of our medical missionary workers need to be refined and ennobled. This result can be brought about only as these workers are made partakers of the divine image, escaping the corruption that is in the world through lust.” The Review and Herald, August 20, 1903.


  • How can we obtain complete cleansing? Psalm 51:2, 10; I John 1:9. How do we know that partial submission to the Lord is not acceptable? Matthew 6:24; 22:37; John 16:13.

Note: “Shall we hear the voice of God through His Word, giving warnings and appeals and commands, calling us to a new contest by a new and more thorough consecration of ourselves, of all our entrusted capabilities and powers? My brethren and sisters who are engaged in the solemn work of being the mouthpiece of God, be sure that the treasure house of the heart is pure and holy.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 19, 318.

  • What should we examine before approaching the Lord in prayer? Lamentations 3:40; II Corinthians 13:5. What physical cleansing is also required? Hebrews 10:22; Exodus 19:10; Genesis 35:2.

Note: “The skin needs to be carefully and thoroughly cleansed, that the pores may do their work in freeing the body from impurities; therefore feeble persons who are diseased surely need the advantages and blessings of bathing as often as twice a week, and frequently even more than this is positively necessary. Whether a person is sick or well, respiration is more free and easy if bathing is practiced. By it the muscles become more flexible, the mind and body are alike invigorated, the intellect is made brighter, and every faculty becomes livelier. The bath is a soother of the nerves. It promotes general perspiration, quickens the circulation, overcomes obstructions in the system, and acts beneficially on the kidneys and urinary organs. Bathing helps the bowels, stomach, and liver, giving energy and new life to each. It also promotes digestion, and instead of the system’s being weakened it is strengthened. Instead of increasing the liability to cold, a bath, properly taken, fortifies against cold because the circulation is improved and the uterine organs, which are more or less congested, are relieved; for the blood is brought to the surface, and a more easy and regular flow of the blood through all the blood vessels is obtained.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 70, 71.


  • Why is God’s word so specific, also, about the details of hygienic habits? II Corinthians 7:1.

Note: “God requires purity of heart and personal cleanliness now, as when He gave the special directions to the children of Israel. If God was so particular to enjoin cleanliness upon those journeying in the wilderness, who were in the open air nearly all the time, He requires no less of us who live in ceiled houses, where impurities are more observable and have a more unhealthful influence.” Counsels on Health, 82.

  • What does God give freely? Psalm 104:10, 11, 13; Matthew 5:45.

Note: “God is the source of life and light and joy to the universe. Like rays of light from the sun, like the streams of water bursting from a living spring, blessings flow out from Him to all His creatures. And wherever the life of God is in the hearts of men, it will flow out to others in love and blessing.” Steps to Christ, 77.

  • What lesson should we learn from natural thirst? Psalm 42:1.
  • What is one example of the best time to use lots of water?

Note: “If, in their fevered state, water had been given them [many persons] to drink freely, and applications had also been made externally, long days and nights of suffering would have been saved, and many precious lives spared. But thousands have died with raging fevers consuming them, until the fuel which fed the fever was burned up, the vitals consumed, and have died in the greatest agony, without being permitted to have water to allay their burning thirst. Water, which is allowed a senseless building to put out the raging elements, is not allowed human beings to put out the fire which is consuming the vitals.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 419, 420.


  • List the substances that would be included in the category of harmful items to drink. Proverbs 23:20, 21, 29–32; I Corinthians 3:16, 17.

Note: “Tea is poisonous to the system. Christians should let it alone. The influence of coffee is in a degree the same as tea, but the effect upon the system is still worse. Its influence is exciting, and just in the degree that it elevates above par, it will exhaust and bring prostration below par.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 421.

  • What type of wine was served at the marriage feast in Cana and was recommended to Timothy? Isaiah 65:8; John 2:7–10; I Timothy 5:23.

Note: “The wine which Christ provided for the feast, and that which He gave to the disciples as a symbol of His own blood, was the pure juice of the grape. To this the prophet Isaiah refers when he speaks of the new wine ‘in the cluster,’ and says, ‘Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it’ (Isaiah 65:8).

“It was Christ who in the Old Testament gave the warning to Israel, ‘Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise’ (Proverbs 20:1). And He Himself provided no such beverage. … The unfermented wine which He provided for the wedding guests was a wholesome and refreshing drink. Its effect was to bring the taste into harmony with a healthful appetite.” The Desire of Ages, 149.

  • Wine in the cluster is fresh grape juice. What would happen if it was placed into old wine bottles? Matthew 9:17. What is the meaning of the warning given by Jesus?
  • According to divine instruction, what quality of fruit should we choose?

Note: “The juices of fruit, mingled with bread, will be highly enjoyed. Good, ripe, undecayed fruit is a thing we should thank the Lord for, because it is beneficial to health.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 437.


1 How important is water, and how often do I need it?

2 Is physical cleansing really that important? How does it relate to my need of spiritual cleansing?

3 Have I asked Christ to cleanse me from all filthiness? Have I asked Him to show me what needs cleansing?

4 Are there counterfeits in my life either in what I drink or whom I serve?

5 Why should I avoid anything that is not spiritually or physically healthy?

The Benefits of Water

“Many have never learned by experience the beneficial effects of the proper use of water, and they are afraid of it. Water treatments are not appreciated as they should be, and to apply them skillfully requires work that many are unwilling to perform. But none should feel excused for ignorance or indifference on this subject. There are many ways in which water can be applied to relieve pain and check disease. All should become intelligent in its use in simple home treatments. Mothers, especially, should know how to care for their families in both health and sickness.” The Ministry of Healing, 237.

Never Neglect Bathing

“Persons in health should on no account neglect bathing. They should by all means bathe as often as twice a week. Those who are not in health have impurities in the blood, and the skin is not in a healthy condition. The multitude of pores, or little mouths, through which the body breathes become clogged and filled with waste matter.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 70.

Bearing the Marks

“Tea and coffee drinkers carry the marks upon their faces. The skin becomes sallow, and assumes a lifeless appearance. The glow of health is not seen upon the countenance.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 421.

© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.