Bible Study Guides – Infancy: The First Seven Years

May 20, 2012 – May 26, 2012

Key Text

“Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.” Psalm 8:2.

Study Help: Child Guidance, 193–198; The Adventist Home, 255–269.


“Infancy extends to the age of six or seven years. Up to this period, children should be left, like little lambs, to roam around the house and in the yards, skipping and jumping in the buoyancy of their spirits, free from care and trouble.” A Solemn Appeal, 133.


  • What can we learn from the instructions given by heavenly angels to some prospective parents, soon to be educators? Judges 13:1–14; Luke 1:5, 11–15.

Note: “The effect of prenatal influences is by many parents looked upon as a matter of little moment; but Heaven does not so regard it. The message sent by an angel of God, and twice given in the most solemn manner, shows it to be deserving of our most careful thought.

“In the words spoken to the Hebrew mother, God speaks to all mothers in every age. … The well-being of the child will be affected by the habits of the mother. Her appetites and passions are to be controlled by principle. There is something for her to shun, something for her to work against, if she fulfills God’s purpose for her in giving her a child. If before the birth of her child she is self-indulgent, if she is selfish, impatient, and exacting, these traits will be reflected in the disposition of the child. …

“But if the mother unswervingly adheres to right principles, if she is temperate and self-denying, if she is kind, gentle, and unselfish, she may give her child these same precious traits of character.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 217.


  • If God entrusts us with a baby, why should we constantly pray for wisdom? Psalm 127:3; I Corinthians 3:2, first part; 10:31.

Note: “The best food for the infant is the food that nature provides. Of this it should not be needlessly deprived. It is a heartless thing for a mother, for the sake of convenience or social enjoyment, to seek to free herself from the tender office of nursing her little one.

“The period in which the infant receives its nourishment from the mother is critical. Many mothers, while nursing their infants, have been permitted to overlabor and to heat their blood in cooking; and the nursling has been seriously affected, not only with fevered nourishment from the mother’s breast, but its blood has been poisoned by the unhealthy diet of the mother, which has fevered her whole system, thereby affecting the food of the infant. The infant will also be affected by the condition of the mother’s mind. …

“The character also of the child is more or less affected by the nature of the nourishment received from the mother. How important then that the mother, while nursing her infant, should preserve a happy state of mind, having the perfect control of her own spirit. By thus doing, the food of the child is not injured, and the calm, self-possessed course the mother pursues in the treatment of her child has very much to do in molding the mind of the infant. If it is nervous and easily agitated, the mother’s careful, unhurried manner will have a soothing and correcting influence, and the health of the infant can be very much improved.” The Adventist Home, 260, 261.

“No general rules can be established in the care of all infants, in consequence of their almost endless varieties of condition at birth, and their different constitutional wants.

“The term properly called infancy, requires several changes as to the periods of taking food. Before birth it is receiving nourishment constantly. And the changes from this to the establishment of only two meals a day, which may, in most children, be done from the ages of one to three years, must be gradual.” The Review and Herald, April 14, 1868.

“The lessons that the child learns during the first seven years of life have more to do with forming his character than all that it learns in future years.” Child Guidance, 193.


  • After the first joyful moments of parenthood, what sad reality also comes to light? II Timothy 3:2. What parental mistakes often follow?

Note: “One of the signs of the ‘last days’ is the disobedience of children to their parents [11 Timothy 3:2]. And do parents realize their responsibility? Many seem to lose sight of the watch-care they should ever have over their children, and suffer them to indulge in evil passions, and to disobey them. They take but little notice of them until their own feelings are raised, and then punish them in anger.” The Review and Herald, September 19, 1854.

“You should correct your children in love. Do not let them have their own way until you get angry, and then punish them. Such correction only helps on the evil, instead of remedying it. After you have done your duty faithfully to your children, then carry them to God and ask Him to help you.” Ibid.

  • What warning must we heed regarding God’s house? Genesis 28:17; Leviticus 19:30, last part; Habbakuk 2:20.

Note: “The house of God is often desecrated by Sabbath-keepers’ children. Their parents allow them to run about the house, play, talk, take the attention of the people, and manifest their evil tempers in the very meetings where they have assembled to worship God. I have seen that in the assembly of the saints a holy stillness should reign. But the house where God’s people assemble is often made a perfect babylon, a place of confusion and disorder. This is displeasing to God. If the parents have not government, and cannot control their children in meeting, God would be better pleased for them to remain at home with their unruly children. They had better suffer the loss of meetings, than to have a large number annoyed, and their meetings spoiled. If parents leave their children uncontrolled, unsubdued at home, they cannot have them do as they wish in meeting. Who should be the sufferers in this case? Certainly, the parents. They should not feel afflicted if others do not wish to have their peace disturbed when they meet to worship God.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, 288, 289.


  • What curse rests upon the disobedient nations today? Isaiah 3:1–4.

Note: “As parents who profess to love the Lord Jesus Christ, we should see to it that the spirit of peace is in our households. God commands us to take our children and fashion them after the divine similitude. From their earliest life children should be taught to obey their parents, to respect their word, and to reverence their authority. But many allow Satan to take their children under control, and in their early life the spirit of Satan manifests itself in the little ones in passionate screams or in sullen manners. One child under the control of this evil disposition will disturb the whole household, and banish peace from its borders. Parents should take time to discipline their children. Our most precious time belongs to our own flesh and blood. Never let your child hear you say, ‘I cannot do anything with you.’ As long as we may have access to the throne of God, we as parents should be ashamed to utter any such a word. Cry unto Jesus, and He will help you to bring your little ones to Him, and to keep them out of the power of the enemy. If Satan cannot succeed in ruling the fathers and the mothers, he will try with all his power to control the children, and make them rebel against God, and become disturbers of the peace of a family.

“Parents, you have a solemn responsibility resting upon you. It is your duty to co-operate with Christ in aiding your children to form right characters. Jesus can do nothing without your co-operation. It is not mercy or kindness to permit a child to have [his] own way, to submit to [his] rule, and to neglect to correct [him] on the ground that you love [him] too well to punish [him]. What kind of love is it that permits your child to develop traits of character that will make him and every one else miserable? Away with such love! True love will look out for the present and eternal good of the soul. …

“Do not indulge your children in evil ways, but from their very infancy let them see that you love the Lord, and that you mean to train them up as He would have you. … Of what avail will be a list of church resolutions, if we have not the Spirit of God in our homes? Christ is watching to see who are training their families for the great family above. Suppose one of your little children whom you have failed to correct, should be taken away in one of its fits of temper, what would be the result? I leave you to answer the question.” The Review and Herald, July 16, 1895.


  • What woe must God’s people determine to avoid? Isaiah 3:12.

Note: “Parents, if you wish the minds of your children to be evil, let them have their own way.” The Signs of the Times, February 18, 1897.

  • Why is the example of Hannah an inspiration? I Samuel 1:20–22.

Note: “From the earliest dawn of intellect she [Hannah] had taught her son to love and reverence God, and to regard himself as the Lord’s.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 572.

“During the first three years of the life of Samuel the prophet, his mother carefully taught him to distinguish between good and evil.” Child Guidance, 197.

  • Name some things to teach during infancy and childhood. Matthew 5:8; Philippians 4:8.

Note: “During the first six or seven years of a child’s life, special attention should be given to its physical training, rather than the intellect.” Child Guidance, 300.

“From their infancy, children should be taught lessons of purity. Mothers cannot too early begin to fill the minds of their children with pure, holy thoughts. And one way of doing this is to keep everything about them clean and pure. Mothers, if you desire your children’s thoughts to be pure, let their surroundings be pure. Let their sleeping rooms be scrupulously neat and clean. Teach them to care for their clothing.” Counsels on Health, 103.


1 In pregnancy, what can both parents do for their baby’s character?

2 How does the way an infant is nourished affect his or her character?

3 Why must we take heed of our infants’ behavior in public worship?

4 How do many misinterpret the essence of true parental love?

5 What priority of Hannah should be shared by us today?

© 2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – The Character and Work of the Teacher

May 13, 2012 – May 19, 2012

Key Text

“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” I Peter 2:5.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 6, 145–167.


“The Christian teacher who faithfully presents the word of truth, leading his converts to holiness of heart and life, is bringing precious material to the foundation; and in the kingdom of God he will be honored as a wise builder.” Sketches from the Life of Paul, 159, 160.


  • What factor is indispensable to a Christian teacher? John 16:13.

Note: “Principal and teachers need to be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 153.

“Baptized with the Spirit of Jesus, there will be a love, a harmony, a meekness, a hiding of the self in Jesus that the wisdom of Christ will be given, the understanding enlightened; that which seems dark will be made clear. The faculties will be enlarged and sanctified. He can lead those He is fitting for translation to heaven to loftier heights of knowledge and broader views of truth.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 81.

  • What should be constantly in a teacher’s mind? I Corinthians 3:9; Hebrews 12:2, 3.

Note: “Christ taught in a way altogether different from ordinary methods, and we are to be laborers together with Him.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 153.


  • Name some key points a teacher should practice in order to obtain success. I Timothy 4:12, 13, 16; II Timothy 2:15.

Note: “Teaching means much more than many suppose. It requires great skill to make the truth understood. For this reason every teacher should strive to have an increased knowledge of spiritual truth, but he cannot gain this knowledge while divorcing himself from the word of God. If he would have his powers and capabilities daily improved he must study; he must eat and digest the word, and work in Christ’s lines. The soul that is nourished by the bread of life will have every faculty vitalized by the Spirit of God. This is the meat which endureth unto everlasting life. …

“In all their instruction teachers should impart light from the throne of God; for education is a work the effect of which will be seen throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity.

“Teachers should lead students to think, and clearly to understand the truth for themselves. It is not enough for the teacher to explain or for the student to believe; inquiry must be awakened, and the student must be drawn out to state the truth in his own language, thus making it evident that he sees its force and makes the application. By painstaking effort the vital truths should thus be impressed upon the mind. This may be a slow process; but it is of more value than rushing over important subjects without due consideration.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 153, 154.

  • What is the first step in effective teaching? Psalms 1:2; 143:8.

Note: “Teachers need to be constant learners. The reformers need to be themselves reformed, not only in their methods of labor, but in their own hearts.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 154.

“It would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ. We should take it point by point, and let the imagination grasp each scene, especially the closing ones. As we thus dwell upon His great sacrifice for us, our confidence in Him will be more constant, our love will be quickened, and we shall be more deeply imbued with His spirit.” The Desire of Ages, 83.


  • Why must teachers be constantly on guard? Colossians 2:8.

Note: “It may be difficult for teachers to give up long-cherished ideas and methods; but if they will honestly and humbly inquire at every step, ‘Is this the way of the Lord?’ and will yield to His guidance, He will lead them in safe paths, and their views will change by experience.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 155.

  • How carefully should educators be selected? Exodus 18:21; Acts 6:3; Ephesians 4:11–13.

Note: “If men and women professing to be Christians have not learned to put away their own evil and childish tempers, how can they expect to be honored and respected?

“Then what carefulness should be exercised in selecting proper persons as instructors, that they may not only be faithful in their work, but may manifest a right temper. If they are not trustworthy, they should be discharged.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 134.

“To place over young children teachers who are proud and unloving is wicked. A teacher of this stamp will do great harm to those who are rapidly developing character.” Ibid., 201.

“In selecting teachers we should use every precaution, knowing that this is as solemn a matter as the selecting of persons for the ministry.” Ibid., 200.

“An important element in educational work is enthusiasm. On this point there is a useful suggestion in a remark once made by a celebrated actor. The archbishop of Canterbury had put to him the question why actors in a play affect their audiences so powerfully by speaking of things imaginary, while ministers of the gospel often affect theirs so little by speaking of things real. ‘With due submission to your grace,’ replied the actor, ‘permit me to say that the reason is plain: It lies in the power of enthusiasm. We on the stage speak of things imaginary as if they were real, and you in the pulpit speak of things real as if they were imaginary.’

“The teacher in his work is dealing with things real, and he should speak of them with all the force and enthusiasm which a knowledge of their reality and importance can inspire.” Education, 233.


  • The expectation of what imminent event should motivate the solemn work of the teacher? Zephaniah 1:14.

Note: “We are nearing the close of this earth’s history. We have before us a great work, the closing work of giving the last warning message to a sinful world. There are men who will be taken from the plow, from the vineyard, from various other branches of work, and sent forth by the Lord to give this message to the world.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 270, 271.

  • What scene should motivate us without delay to prepare children, youth, and adults for the call of the hour? Luke 21:25–28.

Note: “The world is out of joint. As we look at the picture, the outlook seems discouraging. But Christ greets with hopeful assurance the very men and women who cause us discouragement. In them He sees qualifications that will enable them to take a place in His vineyard. If they will constantly be learners, through His providence He will make them men and women fitted to do a work that is not beyond their capabilities; through the impartation of the Holy Spirit He will give them power of utterance.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 271.

  • How is God testing all aspiring teachers? Deuteronomy 8:3, last part.

Note: “Victories are not gained by ceremonies or display, but by simple obedience to the highest General, the Lord God of heaven. He who trusts in this Leader will never know defeat. Defeat comes in depending on human methods, human inventions, and placing the divine secondary. Obedience was the lesson that the Captain of the Lord’s host sought to teach the vast armies of Israel—obedience in things in which they could see no success. When there is obedience to the voice of our Leader, Christ will conduct His battles in ways that will surprise the greatest powers of earth.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 140.


  • In the sacred yet challenging task of educational reform, what do we need to consider? Psalm 143:10; Matthew 9:29.

Note: “Let sincerity and faith characterize your prayers. The Lord is willing to do for us ‘exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think’ [Ephesians 3:20]. Talk it; pray it. Do not talk unbelief. We cannot afford to let Satan see that he has power to darken our countenances and sadden our lives.

“Pray in faith. And be sure to bring your lives into harmony with your petitions, that you may receive the blessings for which you pray. Let not your faith weaken, for the blessings received are proportionate to the faith exercised.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 273, 274.

  • What clear distinction does Christ make as He offers us peace of mind in obeying Him and following His ways? John 14:27.

Note: “We need now to begin over again. Reforms must be entered into with heart and soul and will. Errors may be hoary with age; but age does not make error truth, nor truth error. Altogether too long have the old customs and habits been followed. The Lord would now have every idea that is false put away from teachers and students. We are not at liberty to teach that which shall meet the world’s standard or the standard of the church, simply because it is the custom to do so. The lessons which Christ taught are to be the standard.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 142.


1 What endowment do teachers need in their sacred undertaking?

2 What habits and aims qualify teachers for success in their work?

3 Why is enthusiasm so essential in a teacher, and how is it obtained?

4 What motives should teachers cherish in fulfilling their solemn duty?

5 What does God desire to grant us as we truly seek His guidance?

© 2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Our Deep Need for Educational Reform

May 6, 2012 – May 12, 2012

Key Text

“The Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 6, 126–133.


“John the Baptist received a training for his life work, not in the schools of the rabbis, but in the wilderness, alone with God and His Word.” Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, 394.


  • What is God’s mandate for all human beings who accept the Three Angels’ Messages? Revelation 14:6–12; I Peter 1:12.

Note: “In the book of Revelation we read of a special work that God desires to have His people do in these last days. He has revealed His law and shown us the truth for this time. This truth is constantly unfolding, and God designs that we shall be intelligent in regard to it, that we may be able to distinguish between right and wrong, between righteousness and unrighteousness.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 127, 128.

“There are many precious truths contained in the Word of God, but it is ‘present truth’ that the flock needs now.” Early Writings, 63. [Emphasis author’s.]

  • Why is studying prophecy vital to our education? II Peter 1:19.

Note: “The third angel’s message, the great testing truth for this time, is to be taught in all our institutions. God designs that through them this special warning shall be given, and bright beams of light shall shine to the world. Time is short. The perils of the last days are upon us, and we should watch and pray, and study and heed the lessons that are given us in the books of Daniel and the Revelation. …

“These things concern our eternal welfare, and teachers and students should give more attention to them.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 128, 129.


  • How early in life were the educational goals for John the Baptist established? Luke 1:13–17, 24, 25, 39–41. How did he respond?

Note: “John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, received his early training from his parents. The greater portion of his life was spent in the wilderness, that he might not be influenced by beholding the lax piety of the priests and rabbis or by learning their maxims and traditions, through which right principles were perverted and belittled. … It was John’s choice to forgo the enjoyments and luxuries of city life for the stern discipline of the wilderness. Here his surroundings were favorable to habits of simplicity and self-denial. Uninterrupted by the clamor of the world, he could here study the lessons of nature, of revelation, and of providence. The words of the angel to Zacharias had been often repeated to John by his God-fearing parents. From his childhood his mission had been kept before him, and he accepted the holy trust. To him the solitude of the desert was a welcome escape from the society in which suspicion, unbelief, and impurity had become well-nigh all-pervading. He distrusted his own power to withstand temptation and shrank from constant contact with sin lest he should lose the sense of its exceeding sinfulness.

“But the life of John was not spent in idleness, in ascetic gloom, or in selfish isolation. From time to time he went forth to mingle with men, and he was ever an interested observer of what was passing in the world. From his quiet retreat he watched the unfolding of events. With vision illuminated by the Divine Spirit, he studied the characters of men, that he might understand how to reach their hearts with the message of heaven.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 221, 222.

“He [John] did not live thus [in the wilderness] for any selfish purpose. In his time the Jewish religious teachers had well-nigh lost all spiritual life. Nothing in their teaching stood out clear and convincing. They had so inclosed themselves within themselves, and were regarded as possessing such sanctity, that none of the people disputed what they said or taught.

“But the life of John was a special life; and it was the will of God that he should separate from the busy haunts of men, and learn his life lessons from nature and from nature’s God, receiving his impressions from Him alone.” The Signs of the Times, February 18, 1897.


  • As education is training for a lifework, what is the underlying lifework of all who accept the Three Angels’ Messages, regardless of the occupation they pursue? Matthew 3:1–3; Luke 11:1, last part.

Note: “What is our work? The same as that given to John the Baptist.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 9.

“The same spirit that actuated Jesus, controlled the mind of John the Baptist. Their testimony corresponded; their lives were given to the same reformatory work. … John, by his unselfish joy in the successful ministry of Jesus, presents to the world the truest type of nobility ever exhibited by mortal man.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 138, 139.

  • Why should we be inspired by the example of Brother Shireman whom the Lord’s messenger saw fit to mention by name? Proverbs 2:6.

Note: “There is one here in this congregation, Shireman by name, who has established church after church; and how did he establish them? He went into a field where there was nothing. He was a carpenter. He would build his house, and then call in the people, and hold Bible readings. There he would work till a good, strong church was established. Then did he stand and say, Look at the good work I have done? No; he would go to another place, and repeat the same thing. This he did over and over again.

“Where did this brother get his education? I will tell you. He got it in the same manner that John the Baptist got his education, when he went into the desert and into the wilderness. The priests and rulers were so troubled and distressed because John did not walk according to the old, regular order in getting his education. Yet Jesus said there was not a greater prophet than John the Baptist.

“We do not say that you should go nowhere or anywhere to get an education, but we do say that every man is not dependent upon a school or college education to do work for the Master, if he is converted to God, soul, body, and spirit. He is in connection with the great Teacher, the greatest Missionary that the world ever knew.” The General Conference Bulletin, April 8, 1901.


  • What is the most effective protection against sin? Psalm 119:11.

Note: “The urgent necessities that are making themselves felt in this time demand a constant education in the word of God. This is present truth. Throughout the world there should be a reform in Bible study, for it is needed now as never before.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 131.

  • Explain the depth of the Bible’s role in true education. Proverbs 9:10.

Note: “The great work of life is character-building; and a knowledge of God is the foundation of all true education.” Christian Education, 64, 65.

“We commend to every student the Book of books as the grandest study for the human intelligence, as the education essential for this life, and for eternal life.” Special Testimonies on Education, 217.

  • How are we blessed by studying and obeying God’s word? Jeremiah 15:16; John 6:63; II Timothy 3:16, 17.

Note: “The word must be searched in order to purify and prepare those who receive it to become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 132.

“As they [God’s hungering, thirsting people] feed upon His word, they find that it is spirit and life. The word destroys the natural, earthly nature, and imparts a new life in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit comes to the soul as a Comforter. By the transforming agency of His grace, the image of God is reproduced in the disciple; he becomes a new creature. Love takes the place of hatred, and the heart receives the divine similitude. This is what it means to live ‘by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God’ [Matthew 4:4]. This is eating the Bread that comes down from heaven.” The Desire of Ages, 391.


  • When we are truly educated, what fruits are seen? James 3:17.

Note: “While the gospel constantly sanctifies and ennobles the receiver, it will never lead us to cherish selfish and exalted ideas of our own ability or merit in contrast with that of others. It never nurtures pride and self-esteem. Every soul who sees Christ as He is, will abase self. He will exalt the Saviour as the ‘chiefest among ten thousand,’ the One ‘altogether lovely’ [Song of Solomon 5:10, 16].

“The most essential, enduring education is that which will develop the nobler qualities, which will encourage a spirit of universal kindliness, leading the youth to think no evil of any one lest they shall misjudge motives and misinterpret words and actions. The time devoted to this kind of instruction will yield fruit to everlasting life.” Christian Education, 201, 202.

“The essence of true politeness is consideration for others. The essential, enduring education is that which broadens the sympathies and encourages universal kindliness. That so-called culture which does not make a youth deferential toward his parents, appreciative of their excellences, forbearing toward their defects, and helpful to their necessities; which does not make him considerate and tender, generous and helpful toward the young, the old, and the unfortunate, and courteous toward all, is a failure.” Education, 241.

  • What should educators ever keep in mind? II Corinthians 3:5.

Note: “We want more of God and less of self. When we get the education that is needful, we should impart it.” The General Conference Bulletin, April 8, 1901.


1 Why is our era distinct in what needs to be taught in education?

2 What should we learn from the education of John the Baptist?

3 How did the attitude of Brother Shireman reveal his higher education?

4 Why is the Bible the most effective textbook we can have?

5 Instead of exaltation by degrees, what does God honor in education?

© 2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – The Search for True Knowledge

April 29, 2012 – May 5, 2012

Key Text

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Proverbs 1:7.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 3, 221–227.


“In a knowledge of God all true knowledge and real development have their source.” Education, 14.


  • As Christians, what is our greatest battle? Galatians 5:17, 24.

Note: “Wrongs cannot be righted, nor can reformations in character be made, by a few feeble, intermittent efforts. Sanctification is the work, not of a day, or of a year, but of a lifetime. The struggle for conquest over self, for holiness and heaven, is a lifelong struggle. Without continual effort and constant activity there can be no advancement in the divine life, no attainment of the victor’s crown.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 312, 313.

  • What does Paul show that it is vital to Christian life? I Corinthians 15:31.

Note: “Paul’s sanctification was the result of a constant conflict with self. … His will and his desires every day conflicted with duty and the will of God. Instead of following inclination, he did God’s will, however crucifying to his own nature.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 313.

“It is the daily dying to self in the little transactions of life that makes us overcomers. We should forget self in the desire to do good to others.” Ibid., vol. 2, 132.

“You need a fresh conversion every day. Die daily to self, keep your tongue as with a bridle, control your words, cease your murmurings and complaints.” Ibid., vol. 1, 699.


  • What urgent decision should be made by all who hear Christ’s invitation? II Corinthians 6:1, 2.

Note: “We have no time to lose. We know not how soon our probation may close. Eternity stretches before us. The curtain is about to be lifted. Christ is soon to come. The angels of God are seeking to attract us from ourselves and from earthly things. Let them not labor in vain.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 314.

  • What declaration will soon be pronounced? Revelation 22:11, 12.

Note: “A storm is coming, relentless in its fury. Are we prepared to meet it?

“We need not say: The perils of the last days are soon to come upon us. Already they have come. We need now the sword of the Lord to cut to the very soul and marrow of fleshly lusts, appetites, and passions.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 315.

  • In view of our limited time before probation closes, what decisive actions must we be taking? Philippians 3:13, 14; Colossians 4:5.

Note: “If we would press forward to the mark of our high calling in Christ Jesus, we must show that we are emptied of all self, and supplied with the golden oil of grace. God is dealing with us through His providence. From eternity He has chosen us to be His obedient children. He gave His Son to die for us, that we might be sanctified through obedience to the truth, cleansed from all the littleness of self. Now He requires of us a personal work, a personal self-surrender. We are to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. God can be honored only when we who profess to believe in Him are conformed to His image. We are to represent to the world the beauty of holiness, and we shall never enter the gates of the city of God until we perfect a Christlike character. If we, with trust in God, strive for sanctification, we shall receive it. Then, as witnesses for Christ, we may make known what the grace of God has wrought in us.” The Youth’s Instructor, August 24, 1899.


  • As believers, what requirement is essential for us? Matthew 16:24.

Note: “Man’s great danger is in being self-deceived, indulging self-sufficiency, and thus separating from God, the source of his strength. Our natural tendencies, unless corrected by the Holy Spirit of God, have in them the seeds of moral death. Unless we become vitally connected with God, we cannot resist the unhallowed effects of self-love, self-indulgence, and temptation to sin.

“In order to receive help from Christ, we must realize our need. We must have a true knowledge of ourselves. It is only he who knows himself to be a sinner that Christ can save. Only as we see our utter helplessness and renounce all self-trust, shall we lay hold on divine power.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 315, 316.

“Without a murmur or complaint lift the cross. In the act of lifting it, you will find that it lifts you. You will find it alive with mercy, compassion, and pitying love.” The Youth’s Instructor, September 12, 1901.

  • How long must we deny self and look to God? Isaiah 26:4.

Note: “It is not only at the beginning of the Christian life that this renunciation of self is to be made. At every advance step heavenward it is to be renewed. All our good works are dependent on a power outside of ourselves; therefore there needs to be a continual reaching out of the heart after God, a constant, earnest confession of sin and humbling of the soul before Him. Perils surround us; and we are safe only as we feel our weakness and cling with the grasp of faith to our mighty Deliverer.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 316.

  • How does this process involve thoughts? Proverbs 1:7; I Peter 1:13.

Note: “Minds that have been given up to loose thought need to change. … The thoughts must be centered upon God. Now is the time to put forth earnest effort to overcome the natural tendencies of the carnal heart.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 315.


  • For victory, where must we focus our attention? Colossians 3:1, 2.

Note: “We must turn away from a thousand topics that invite attention. There are matters that consume time and arouse inquiry, but end in nothing. The highest interests demand the close attention and energy that are too often given to comparatively insignificant things.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 316.

  • How are we warned against indulging in speculation on strange, new theories? Hebrews 13:9, first part; I Timothy 1:4–7.

Note: “Accepting new theories does not bring new life to the soul. Even an acquaintance with facts and theories important in themselves is of little value unless put to a practical use. We need to feel our responsibility to give our souls food that will nourish and stimulate spiritual life.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 316.

“I have seen the danger of the messengers running off from the important points of present truth, to dwell upon subjects that are not calculated to unite the flock and sanctify the soul. Satan will here take every possible advantage to injure the cause.

“But such subjects as the sanctuary, in connection with the 2300 days, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, are perfectly calculated to explain the past Advent movement and show what our present position is, establish the faith of the doubting, and give certainty to the glorious future.” Early Writings, 63.

“We are not doing the will of God when we speculate upon things that He has seen fit to withhold from us. The question for us to study is: ‘What is truth, the truth for this time, which is to be cherished, loved, honored, and obeyed?’ The devotees of science have been defeated and disheartened in their efforts to find out God. What they need to inquire at this time is: ‘What is the truth that will enable us to win the salvation of our souls?’…

“There are many who, in dwelling too largely upon theory, have lost sight of the living power of the Saviour’s example. They have lost sight of Him as the humble, self-denying worker. What they need is to behold Jesus. Daily we need the fresh revealing of His presence. We need to follow more closely His example of self-renunciation and sacrifice.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 317.


  • What does it really mean to know Christ—and to be truly educated? Isaiah 26:3; Philippians 3:10.

Note: “The knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ expressed in character is an exaltation above everything else that is esteemed on earth or in heaven. It is the very highest education.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 317.

  • What experience do we sorely need, and how will it affect our relationships with others? I Peter 1:15, 16; Philippians 2:5–8, 3.

Note: “He [God] desires that we shall constantly be growing in holiness, in happiness, in usefulness.” The Ministry of Healing, 398.

“Be so considerate, so tender, so compassionate, that the atmosphere surrounding you will be fragrant with heaven’s blessing. Do not discourage yourself and others by talking of defects of character. Talk of the light of which heaven is full. Look away from the imperfections of others to the perfection of Christ. Praise wherever you can. Love God and those around you. Forget yourself. …

“Let joy and love and the grace of Christ perfect your character. Let a willingness to obey make your path bright.” The Youth’s Instructor, September 12, 1901.


1 What daily need do we too often overlook in our Christian life?

2 In view of the shortness of time, what ought to be our priority?

3 How does looking to the cross affect our thoughts and plans?

4 Into what pitfall do many plunge, even with the Bible in hand?

5 If we attain a high level of true education, will we cause others to feel intimidated, belittled, and inferior—or instead, will they somehow feel more hopeful, brighter, and themselves uplifted by our contact?

© 2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Recipe – Shepherdess Pie

2 pounds potatoes

3 Tablespoons olive oil

Salt to taste

1 large onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

2 carrots, coarsely grated

2 garlic cloves, chopped

3 Tablespoons margarine

4 ounces mushrooms, chopped

2 14-ounce cans aduki beans

2-1/2 cups vegetable stock

1 teaspoon vegetable yeast extract

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs

dried bread crumbs or chopped nuts to sprinkle

Boil the potatoes in their skins until tender, then drain, reserving a little of the water to moisten them. Mash well, mixing in the olive oil and desired amount of salt until a smooth purée. Gently sauté the onion, pepper, carrots and garlic in the margarine for about 5 minutes, until they are soft. Stir in the mushrooms and drained beans and cook for another 2 minutes, then add the stock, yeast extract, bay leaves and Italian herbs. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and empty the vegetables into a shallow ovenproof dish. Spoon on potatoes in dollops and sprinkle with breadcrumbs or nuts. Broil until golden brown.

Food – Eat Your Vegetables

In order to know what are the best foods, we must study God’s original plan for man’s diet. He who created man and who understands his needs appointed Adam his food. … Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator.” Child Guidance, 380. (Emphasis supplied.)

“Eat your vegetables” is an admonition most of us endured through childhood. No one needs to tell me that now! Vegetables are one of my favorite foods, because of their great taste, diversity, and healthful benefits.

Long overlooked and underrated, fruits and vegetables have attained new popularity. Gardeners, enjoying a bountiful harvest, look for new ways to use a surplus of zucchini, green beans, or tomatoes. Calorie and nutrition-conscious cooks, knowing that fresh produce is a rich natural source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, plan menus including lots of vegetables.

Improved growing methods have extended the seasons of many vegetables, expanding market variety and availability. More than ever before, fresh and flavorful vegetables are widely available, rushed from farm to market to reach consumers in peak condition.

Fresh vegetables add color and variety to every culinary occasion, from the simplest family meal to the most lavish dinner party. Let the available produce and the season be your guide. Select and enjoy the finest produce your market offers, and follow the seasonal harvest for best values and top quality. Interest in vegetables has made uncommon varieties more widely available. When you find an unfamiliar vegetable, like spaghetti squash or fennel, add it to your shopping basket. And rediscover some long-forgotten vegetables, like turnips, rutabagas and parsnips. You’ll quickly understand their enduring appeal.

New and unfamiliar kinds of produce challenge innovative cooks to experiment with seasonings and preparation techniques. As you expand your vegetable repertoire, you’ll discover lively new combinations and introduce your family and friends to a wide variety of tempting and unusual vegetable dishes.

Children’s Story – God’s Light from the Heavens

James and Ellen White were still newlyweds when one day James suggested a trip. He thought they should travel to see some longtime friends in Topsham, Maine. Happily Ellen agreed. Early the next Friday, with the family horse hitched to the sleigh, they set out gliding cheerily on their way. It was important to them to get an early start, as they wanted to arrive in plenty of time before the hours of the Sabbath began that evening. They understood how special, how holy and how important the Sabbath is to Jesus, their best friend.

Sabbath morning, and being well rested after their travel, they journeyed to the Curtiss home for a Bible study. Upon arrival they were pleasantly surprised to find among those gathered, an old friend, a retired sea captain by the name of Joseph Bates.

Captain Bates had heard Ellen relate her visions before, but he was not entirely convinced that the visions were from God. You see, at that time there were other people claiming to have visions and communications with angels. These other visions were very different from the ones Ellen had. Not only that, but they did not agree with what the Bible taught. However, because of these false claims, people were very wary of those claiming to have visions. In fact, some preachers even told their church members that God no longer spoke to His people through visions like He did with Abraham, Daniel, Joseph, Isaiah and others.

But there were some dedicated Bible students who believed that God was still speaking to His people by visions. After all, the Bible, speaking of the last days, says, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.” Acts 2:17. Besides, they were sure that when so much error was being taught, the Lord would not leave His people without messages from heaven to warn and guide His faithful followers.

Captain Bates was an honest man who was sincerely seeking the truth. And that day, God had a special gift in store for him. As the group was studying and praying, the Lord gave Ellen a vision. Captain Bates studied her intensely. He felt that here was his opportunity to find out the truth about these visions. As she moved about the room while in vision, a bright smile was on her face, and then, to his surprise and astonishment he heard her speaking. Now that isn’t so strange, is it? But the startling thing was not that she was speaking but that while she spoke she did not breathe! Think of it, speaking without breathing!

Softly, and with music in her voice, she was describing what she saw—a vision of the heavens.

“I see four moons,” she said. Then she went on to describe different planets including one with beautiful colored rings around it.

“She’s looking at Jupiter!” exclaimed Captain Bates who, being a sea captain, was very familiar with the heavens, as back in those days, before all of the satellite instruments we have today, ship’s captains depended heavily on the stars when charting their courses.

Ellen continued speaking. “That’s Saturn she’s describing!” he proclaimed excitedly. And still later, “Now she’s viewing Uranus!” Though Ellen had not named any particular planet, Captain Bates knew by her descriptions exactly which ones she was describing.

A little later she began describing “the opening heavens,” an entrance into a heavenly region beyond, glorious with light. Captain Bates was very excited. He jumped up, eyes dancing. “How I wish Lord William Rosse was here!” Lord William Rosse was a very famous English astronomer. Captain Bates continued, “I wish he could hear that woman talk astronomy, and hear her description of the ‘opening heavens.’ It’s ahead of anything I ever read on the subject.”

Now you may think there is nothing unusual about Ellen being able to describe the planets and the heavens. After all, many people have studied and know much about the heavens today. But, as always, the Lord had planned this and arranged things long before they happened. Some time before this meeting, Captain Bates had visited with Ellen, trying to discuss astronomy with her. He found her totally unfamiliar with the topic. In fact, she confessed that she had never opened a book on astronomy in her life. (Remember, she barely had a third grade education.)

So that day, when he listened and watched her in vision as she accurately described so much in the heavens, Captain Bates knew that the knowledge was directly from the Lord. He was thoroughly convinced. He knew that the Lord had given Ellen White this special vision in his presence so that he would know without a doubt that the Lord was with Ellen, and that it was the Lord giving her the visions.

Today, let us remember that the Lord will always lead and guide His faithful, honest-seeking ones. We may not always know how, when or where, but if we obey all the light we already have, He is sure to give us more in His time and in His way.

Keys to the Storehouse – A Controversy or a Smile

A controversy is a dispute or a difference in opinion. The greatest controversy ever is the difference of opinion between God’s word and the devil’s word.

This dispute caused a rebellion against the Creator and resulted in Satan and his followers being evicted from heaven. This warfare was transferred to this earth when Adam and Eve sinned and continues through all whom Satan is able to deceive. His objective is to get men to reject, in one way or another, God’s word. He wants you to rebel!

Though the great controversy is rampant, few realize their danger, as they have been anesthetized by worldly allurements. The devil is at war, daily claiming his victims and deceiving the masses. The controversy between God’s word, which is good, and the devil’s word, which is evil, has been shoved under a rug and all seems calm—for now!

Look around! God’s holy word, which was preserved through the ages at such a cost of suffering is but little valued. In Western society Bibles are everywhere, but little valued. Even in the church, God’s word is exchanged for the traditions of men and very few have total confidence in a “Thus saith the Lord.” Where is your confidence?

By rejecting the truth we reject its Author. Nothing excites Satan more than to see God’s word in this state of rejection. In the case of most people there is no controversy and Satan is smiling.

God forbids dishonest practices, coveting, lying, but this has become the normal behavior of most people who really think that because it is just a little lie or a little dishonesty it does not matter. Most people have reduced God to Santa Claus and they really expect Him to reward bad behavior. This is a lie and one that makes Satan smile at the deception.

In the modern church there is often no distinction between a professed Christian and the ungodly. Church members love what the world loves while at the same time professing the name Christian. They don’t know it, but they are on Satan’s side and he has no controversy with them. He simply smiles!

Why would he have a controversy with the professed Christian who is walking contrary to God’s word? The road on which they travel may appear to be smooth and comfortable, but see how happy the devil is when Christians walk by faith in God’s word! He quickly sharpens his weapons against those faithful few and readies himself for all out war.

When the battle heats up, God’s faithful ones refuse to step off the narrow path to compromise, which angers the devil. But too many take a detour, hoping for a little peace while avoiding the controversy. This peace only lasts for a moment before the devil smiles. “A smile was upon his [Satan’s] countenance, which made me [Ellen White] tremble, it was so full of evil and satanic slyness. This smile is the one he wears just before he makes sure of his victim, and as he fastens the victim in his snare, this smile grows horrible.” Early Writings, 152.

Is Satan smiling as he fastens you in his snare or does he have a controversy with you? Flee to the Word to confirm that you are following the right path and have not taken a detour to destruction. The choice is yours; which would you prefer, the affirming smile of a loving Saviour or the satanic sly smile of the enemy of souls? “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” I Peter 5:8.

Father: Draw me to Your Word that I may continue to do battle on the side of right in this controversy with the devil and his word. Give me spiritual discernment that I may endure to the end with You at my side and one day soon receive Your smile of approbation and not that horrible smile from Satan that leads to destruction. Amen.

Health – Rebounding Exercise

There are so many ways people can exercise, but one of the easiest and most adaptable exercises can be done on a good rebounder. The benefits are just amazing. First I would like to share with you an excerpt from the book, Cancer, Step Outside the Box, by Ty M. Bollinger, Infinity 510 Squared Partners, 4th Edition, 300, 301. He says:

“What is rebounding? One excellent choice of exercise is rebounding (jumping) on the mini-trampoline. You can rebound several times a day while listening to the radio or watching TV [television].

“Research has led many scientists to conclude that jumping on a mini-trampoline is possibly the most effective exercise yet devised by man, especially because of the effect rebounding has on the lymph system. The human body needs to move. The lymph system bathes every cell and carries nutrients to the cell while removing toxins such as dead and cancerous cells, heavy metals, infectious viruses, and other assorted wastes. But unlike the blood (which is pumped by the heart), the lymph is totally dependent on physical exercise to move.

“Lymphocytes (the primary cells of the lymph system) make up roughly 25 percent of all white blood cells in the body. Like other white blood cells, they are produced in the red bone marrow. Lymphocytes constantly travel throughout the body, moving through tissues or through the blood or lymph vessels. There are two major classes of lymphocytes: T-cells and B-cells. The letter ‘T’ refers to the thymus, where those lymphocytes mature. The letter ‘B’ refers to the bone marrow, where that group of lymphocytes matures.

“T-cells carry out two main defensive functions: They kill invaders and orchestrate or control the actions of other lymphocytes involved in the immune process or response. In addition, T-cells recognize and destroy any abnormal body cells, such as those that have become cancerous.

“Like T-Cells, B-cells are also programmed to recognize specific antigens on foreign cells. When stimulated during an immune response (such as when foreign cells enter the body), B-cells undergo a change in structure. They then produce antibodies, which are protein compounds. These compounds bind with specific antigens of foreign cells, labeling those cells for destruction.

“You can see that B-cells and T-cells are key players in our immune response. But without muscular contraction, adequate exercise, and movement, these lymphocytes are not able to do their job, because the lymph doesn’t flow. Thus, the body’s cells are left stewing in their own waste products and starving for nutrients, a situation which contributes to cancer and other degenerative disease, as well as premature aging. Rebounding has been shown to increase lymph flow by up to thirty times!

“Also, all of the body’s cells become stronger in response to the increased ‘G forces’ during rebounding, and this cellular exercise results in the self-propelled lymphocytes being up to five times more active!

“Rebounding on a mini-trampoline directly strengthens the immune system, increases lymph flow, and oxygenates the blood. Unlike jogging on hard surfaces which puts extreme stress on certain joints such as the ankles and knees eventually damaging them, rebounding affects every joint and cell in the body equally. Plus, there are no cars, dogs, and bad weather to worry about.” (All emphasis added.)

Now that we know a little about why rebounding is so good for our bodies, let’s look at two tables which compare rebounding and jogging.

Rebounding/Jogging Vs Traditional Jogging
Tables A and B contain research performed by Victor L. Katch, Ph. D., Dept. of Physical Education, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

Table A
Total Calories Burned Comparing Traditional
Jogging @ 5 MPH to Rebounding.
Lbs Body Weight 12 Minutes Jogging
@ 5 MPH
12 Minutes
100 47 58<
105 49 60
110 52 63
115 54 65
120 56 67
125 59 70
130 61 72
135 64 75
140 66 77
145 68 79
150 71 82
155 73 84
160 75 86
165 78 89
170 80 91
175 82 93
180 85 96
185 87 >98
190 89 100
195 92 103
200 94 105


Rebounding offers a less stressful means of reducing body fat and simultaneously firming body tissues. Running in place on the rebounder burns calories effectively. This table shows, according to a person’s body weight, how many calories from running on the rebounder may be expended per specified period of time in minutes.
Total Calories Spent Per Minutes of Running on a Rebounding/Jogging Trampoline
Lbs. Body Weight 90 100 110 120 130 140 150 160 170 180 190
1 Min. 2.9 3.4 3.9 4.4 4.9 5.4 6.0 6.5 7.0 7.5 8.0
5 Min. 14.5 17.0 19.5 22.0 24.5 27.0 30.0 32.5 35.0 37.5 40.0
10 Min. 29.0 34.0 39.0 44.0 49.0 54.0 60.0 65.0 70.0 75.0 80.0
15 Min. 43.5 51.0 58.5 66.0 73.5 81.0 90.0 97.5 105.0 112.5 120.0
20 Min. 58.0 68.0 78.0 88.0 98.0 108.0 120.0 130.0 140.0 150.0 160.0

Everyone should start with the gentle “health bounce” which means your feet remain in contact with the mat while the body moves up and down. The health bounce is sufficient to obtain all the benefits of rebounding while gently strengthening the entire body. … It is recommended that you do your rebounding with bare feet so you do not slip

Adults can start with 5 minutes of rebounding and increase their time as their fitness level improves. Seniors can start with two minutes several times per day, with at least 30 minutes between rebounding sessions. It is necessary for older people to start gradually in order to give the connective tissue holding the internal organs in place time to strengthen. This prevents the possibility of “prolapsed organs”—the only contraindication to rebounding reported in the medical literature. Therefore increase your rebounding time gradually.

Inactive seniors find that gently jumping on a mini-trampoline gives them renewed vigor and zest for life. Hyperactive children are reported to calm down after a few days of rebounding. Rebounding is for everyone and people can use the rebound mini-trampoline whenever they have a few minutes during the day.

You can find much information by looking on the Internet or at the library under Rebounding Health Benefits. Much of the information above can be found at:

Rebounding can be a blessing for your health. Don’t take my word for it; take time to research and may God bless you as you jump to health.

Questions and Answers – Attending Sabbath Funerals

In Life Sketches of Ellen G. White (1915), 252, Sister White describes the death and burial of her husband, James.

“The next morning he [James] seemed slightly to revive, but about noon he had a chill, which left him unconscious. At 5 P.M., Sabbath, August 6, 1881, he quietly breathed his life away, without a struggle or a groan.

“The shock of my husband’s death—so sudden, so unexpected—fell upon me with crushing weight. In my feeble condition I had summoned strength to remain at his bedside to the last; but when I saw his eyes closed in death, exhausted nature gave way, and I was completely prostrated. For some time I seemed balancing between life and death. The vital flame burned so low that a breath might extinguish it. At night my pulse would grow feeble, and my breathing fainter and fainter till it seemed about to cease. Only by the blessing of God and the unremitting care and watchfulness of physician and attendants was my life preserved.

“Though I had not risen from my sick-bed after my husband’s death, I was borne to the Tabernacle on the following Sabbath to attend his funeral. [Emphasis added.] At the close of the sermon I felt it a duty to testify to the value of the Christian’s hope in the hour of sorrow and bereavement. As I arose, strength was given me, and I spoke about ten minutes, exalting the mercy and love of God in the presence of that crowded assembly. At the close of the services I followed my husband to Oak Hill Cemetery, where he was laid to rest until the morning of the resurrection.

“My physical strength had been prostrated by the blow, yet the power of divine grace sustained me in my great bereavement. When I saw my husband breathe his last, I felt that Jesus was more precious to me than He ever had been in any previous hour of my life. When I stood by my first-born, and closed his eyes in death, I could say, ‘The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord’ [Job 1:21]. And I felt then that I had a comforter in Jesus. And when my latest born was torn from my arms, and I could no longer see its little head upon the pillow by my side, then I could say, ‘The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.’ And when he upon whose large affections I had leaned, with whom I had labored for thirty-five years, was taken away, I could lay my hands upon his eyes, and say, ‘I commit my treasure to Thee until the morning of the resurrection.’ ”

Though this experience is not advocating for Sabbath funerals, it is clearly seen that it is not wrong. You will notice that there was a whole week for the preparations to be made for the burial before the actual funeral service and the body interred.

Often in Western culture, family and friends bury or cremate the dead in a private service, and then later hold a memorial service, which is often held on Sabbath so many are able to attend.