Bible Study Guides – “God So Loved the World”

May 19, 2001 – May 25, 2001


“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.

STUDY HELP: Maranatha, 105.


“If there is anything in our world that should inspire enthusiasm, it is the cross of Calvary. ‘Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.’ 1 John 3:1. ‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ John 3:16. Christ is to be accepted, believed on, and exalted. This is to be the theme of conversation—the preciousness of Christ.. . .” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 338.

“For God So Loved”

  1. How does the Bible describe man’s condition without God? Ephesians 2:2, 3.

NOTE: “Many are without God and without hope in the world. They are guilty, corrupt, and degraded, enslaved by Satan’s devices. Yet these are the ones whom Christ came from heaven to redeem. They are subjects for tenderest pity, sympathy, and tireless effort; for they are on the verge of ruin. They suffer from ungratified desires, disordered passions, and the condemnation of their own consciences; they are miserable in every sense of the word, for they are losing their hold on this life and have no prospect for the life to come.” Maranatha, 226.

  1. How does God regard fallen, sinful man? John 3:16, first part; Ephesians 2:4.

NOTE: “‘God is love’ is written upon every opening bud, upon every spire of springing grass. The lovely birds making the air vocal with their happy songs, the delicately tinted flowers in their perfection perfuming the air, the lofty trees of the forest with their rich foliage of living green—all testify to the tender, fatherly care of our God and to His desire to make His children happy. . . . God has bound our hearts to Him by unnumbered tokens in heaven and in earth. Through the things of nature, and the deepest and tenderest earthly ties that human hearts can know, He has sought to reveal Himself to us. Yet these but imperfectly represent His love. Though all these evidences have been given, the enemy of good blinded the minds of men, so that they looked upon God with fear; they thought of Him as severe and unforgiving. Satan led men to conceive of God as a being whose chief attribute is stern justice,—one who is a severe judge, a harsh, exacting creditor. He pictured the Creator as a being who is watching with jealous eye to discern the errors and mistakes of men, that He may visit judgments upon them. It was to remove this dark shadow, by revealing to the world the infinite love of God, that Jesus came to live among men.” Steps to Christ, 10, 11.

“God So Loved the World”

  1. What is the extent of God’s love? John 3:16, first part.

NOTE: “Selfishness would make a monopoly of eternal life. The Jewish nation thought to confine the benefits of salvation to their own nation; but the world’s Redeemer showed them that salvation is like the air we breathe, like the atmosphere that belongs to the whole world. Every soul can be enriched by the love of God. The selfishness that would number Israel is an offense to God; for God’s gift belongs not to a select few but to the whole word.” Review and Herald, November 12, 1895.

  1. What did Jesus say would be the effect of His sacrifice on Calvary? John 12:32, 33.

NOTE: It is believed by many Christians that God’s love is extended to a select few, that the majority of mankind has been chosen by God to be recipients of His wrath. The Bible, however, makes clear that God’s love encompasses the world.

“The sinner may resist this love, may refuse to be drawn to Christ; but if he does not resist he will be drawn to Jesus; a knowledge of the plan of salvation will lead him to the foot of the cross in repentance for his sins, which have caused the sufferings of God’s dear Son.” Steps to Christ, 27.

“Jesus knows us individually, and is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. He knows us all by name. He knows the very house in which we live, the name of each occupant. He has at times given directions to His servants to go to a certain street in a certain city, to such a house, to find one of His sheep. Every soul is as fully known to Jesus as if he were the only one for whom the Saviour died. The distress of every one touches His heart. The cry for aid reaches His ear. He came to draw all men unto Himself. He bids them, ‘Follow Me,’ and His Spirit moves upon their hearts to draw them to come to Him. Many refuse to be drawn. Jesus knows who they are. He also knows who gladly hear His call, and are ready to come under His pastoral care. He says, ‘My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.’ He cares for each one as if there were not another on the face of the earth.” The Desire of Ages, 479, 480.

“That He Gave His Only Begotten Son”

  1. How was God’s love for mankind demonstrated? John 3:16, first part; Romans 5:8.

NOTE: “In taking our nature, the Saviour has bound Himself to humanity by a tie that is never to be broken. Through the eternal ages He is linked with us. ‘God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son.’ John 3:16. He gave Him not only to bear our sins, and to die as our sacrifice; He gave Him to the fallen race. To assure us of His immutable counsel of peace, God gave His only-begotten Son to become one of the human family, forever to retain His human nature. This is the pledge that God will fulfill His word.” The Desire of Ages, 25.

“The greatest gift that God could bestow upon men was bestowed in the gift of His beloved Son. The apostle says, ‘He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?’ There was nothing held in reserve. No second probation will ever be provided. If the unspeakable gift of God does not lead man to repentance, there is nothing that ever will move his heart. There is no power held in reserve to act upon his mind, and arouse his sensibilities. The whole character of God was revealed in His Son, the whole range of the possibilities of heaven is displayed for the acceptance of man in the Son of the Infinite One. The way for man’s return to God and heaven has no barriers. The matchless depths of the Saviour’s love have been demonstrated; and if this manifestation of God’s love for the children of men does not prevail to draw men to Himself, there is nothing that ever will.” Signs of the Times, December 30, 1889.

  1. How does this wonderful love practically aid us in our Christian life? Romans 8:31, 32.

NOTE: “Why do you not cease from sin? You may overcome if you will co-operate with God. Christ’s promise is sure. He pledges Himself to fill the office of personal Intercessor, saying, ‘I will pray the Father.’ He who could not see human beings exposed to eternal ruin without pouring out His soul unto death in their behalf, will look with pity and compassion upon every one who realizes that he can not save himself. He will look upon no trembling suppliant without raising him up. He who through His own atonement provided for man an infinite fund of moral power will not fail to employ this power in their behalf. We may take life’s controversies and troubles to His feet; for He loves us. His every word and look invite our confidence. He will shape and mold our characters according to His will, and every day we shall be found asking, ‘Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?’” Review and Herald, October 30, 1900.

“That Whosoever Believeth in Him”

  1. What is to be our response to the love which God has shown us in Christ? John 3:16; John 1:12.

NOTE: “You may say that you believe in Jesus, when you have an appreciation of the cost of salvation. You may make this claim, when you feel that Jesus died for you on the cruel cross of Calvary; when you have an intelligent, understanding faith that His death makes it possible for you to cease from sin, and to perfect a righteous character through the grace of God, bestowed upon you as the purchase of Christ’s blood. The eyes of fallen men may be anointed with the eye-salve of spiritual comprehension, and they may see themselves as they really are—poor, and miserable, and blind, and naked. They may be brought to realize their need of repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. The plan of salvation is not appreciated as it should be. It is not discerned or comprehended. It is made altogether a cheap affair; whereas to unite the human with the divine, required an exertion of Omnipotence.” Review and Herald, July 24, 1888.

  1. What examples show us what it means to believe in Jesus? Matthew 8:5–10, 13; Matthew 9:27–29.

NOTE: “God must be served from principle instead of from feeling. Morning and night obtain the victory for yourselves in your own family. Let not your daily labor keep you from this. Take time to pray, and as you pray, believe that God hears you. Have faith mixed with your prayers. You may not at all times feel the immediate answer; but then it is that faith is tried. You are proved to see whether you will trust in God, whether you have living, abiding faith. ‘Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it.’ Walk the narrow plank of faith. Trust all on the promises of the Lord. Trust God in darkness. That is the time to have faith. But you often let feeling govern you. You look for worthiness in yourselves when you do not feel comforted by the Spirit of God, and despair because you cannot find it. You do not trust enough in Jesus, precious Jesus. You do not make His worthiness to be all, all. The very best you can do will not merit the favor of God. It is Jesus’ worthiness that will save you, His blood that will cleanse you. But you have efforts to make. You must do what you can on your part. Be zealous and repent, then believe. Confound not faith and feeling together. They are distinct. Faith is ours to exercise. This faith we must keep in exercise. Believe, believe. Let your faith take hold of the blessing, and it is yours. Your feelings have nothing to do with this faith. When faith brings the blessing to your heart, and you rejoice in the blessing, it is no more faith, but feeling.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 167.

“Should Not Perish”

  1. What precious promise is given to those who exercise faith in Jesus Christ? John 3:16. Compare John 10:27, 28.

NOTE: “The Lord Jesus Christ has infinite tenderness for those whom He has purchased at the cost of His own sufferings in the flesh, that they should not perish with the devil and his angels, but that He may claim them as His chosen ones. They are the claim of His love, of His own property; and He looks upon them with unutterable affection, and the fragrance of His own righteousness He gives to His loved ones who believe in Him.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 261.

  1. What is the connection between disobedience and perishing? Deuteronomy 8:19, 20. Compare Psalm 1:6.

NOTE: “In the act of dying, Christ was destroying him who had the power of death. He carried out the plan, finished the work which from Adam’s fall He had covenanted to undertake. By dying for the guilt of a sinful world, He reinstated fallen man, on condition of obedience to God’s commandments, in the position from which he had fallen in consequence of disobedience. And when He broke the fetters of the tomb and rose triumphant from the dead He answered the question, ‘If a man die, shall he live again?’ (Job 14:14). Christ made it possible that every child of Adam might, through a life of obedience, overcome sin and rise also from the grave to his heritage of immortality purchased by the blood of Christ.” In Heavenly Places, 44.

“But Have Everlasting Life”

  1. What wonderful prospect awaits those who believe in Jesus? John 3:16; Romans 6:22.

NOTE: “Would you become assimilated to the divine image? . . . Would you drink of the water which Christ shall give you, which shall be in you a well of water springing up into everlasting life? Would you bear fruit to the glory of God? Would you refresh others? Then with heart hungering for the bread of life, the Word of God, search the Scriptures, and live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Your soul’s sanctification and righteousness will result from faith in the Word of God, which leads to obedience of its commands. Let the Word of God be to you as the voice of God instructing you, and saying, ‘This is the way, walk ye in it.’ Isaiah 30:21. Christ prayed, ‘Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.” John 17:17.” The Faith I Live By, 21.

  1. What is the connection between eternal life and obedience? Matthew 19:16–19.

NOTE: “Christ does not lessen the claims of the law. In unmistakable language He presents obedience to it as the condition of eternal life—the same condition that was required of Adam before his fall. The Lord expects no less of the soul now than He expected of man in Paradise, perfect obedience, unblemished righteousness. The requirement under the covenant of grace is just as broad as the requirement made in Eden—harmony with God’s law, which is holy, just, and good.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 391.

  1. How is such obedience possible? II Corinthians 10:5; Romans 8:26–32.

NOTE: “By His perfect obedience He has made it possible for every human being to obey God’s commandments. When we submit ourselves to Christ, the heart is united with His heart, the will is merged in His will, the mind becomes one with His mind, the thoughts are brought into captivity to Him; we live His life. This is what it means to be clothed with the garment of His righteousness. Then as the Lord looks upon us He sees, not the fig-leaf garment, not the nakedness and deformity of sin, but His own robe of righteousness, which is perfect obedience to the law of Jehovah.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 312.

Bible Study Guides – “When the Fullness of the Time Was Come”

May 12, 2001 – May 18, 2001


“Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” Hebrews 2:17.

STUDY HELP: The Desire of Ages,48, 49.


“But like the stars in the vast circuit of their appointed path, God’s purposes know no haste and no delay. Through the symbols of the great darkness and the smoking furnace, God had revealed to Abraham the bondage of Israel in Egypt, and had declared that the time of their sojourning should be four hundred years. ‘Afterward,’ He said, ‘shall they come out with great substance.’ Genesis 15:14. Against that word, all the power of Pharaoh’s proud empire battled in vain. On ‘the self-same day’ appointed in the divine promise, ‘it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.’ Exodus 12:41. So in heaven’s council the hour for the coming of Christ had been determined. When the great clock of time pointed to that hour, Jesus was born in Bethlehem. ‘When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son.’” The Desire of Ages, 32.

“All That the Prophets Have Spoken”

  1. When was the Redeemer first promised? Genesis 3:15.

NOTE: “To man the first intimation of redemption was communicated in the sentence pronounced upon Satan in the garden. The Lord declared, ‘I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel.’ This sentence, uttered in the hearing of our first parents, was to them a promise. While it foretold war between man and Satan, it declared that the power of the great adversary would finally be broken. Adam and Eve stood as criminals before the righteous Judge, awaiting the sentence which transgression had incurred; but before they heard of the life of toil and sorrow which must be their portion, or of the decree that they must return to dust, they listened to words that could not fail to give them hope. Tho they must suffer from the power of their mighty foe, they could look forward to final victory.” Signs of the Times, November 4, 1908.

  1. What did God reveal concerning the coming Redeemer to the prophets? Micah 5:2; Isaiah 7:14; Zechariah 9:9; Zechariah 11:13; Psalm 22:7, 8, 18; Psalm 69:21; Isaiah 53:3–9.

NOTE: “It is the voice of Christ that speaks through patriarchs and prophets, from the days of Adam even to the closing scenes of time. The Saviour is revealed in the Old Testament as clearly as in the New. It is the light from the prophetic past that brings out the life of Christ and the teachings of the New Testament with clearness and beauty. The miracles of Christ are a proof of His divinity; but a stronger proof that He is the world’s Redeemer is found in comparing the prophecies of the Old Testament with the history of the New.” The Desire of Ages, 799.

“In All Things Like unto His Brethren”

  1. Why was it essential that, when Christ took upon Himself humanity, He should take the same nature as those He came to save? Hebrews 2:11, 14–18.

NOTE: “Christ is the ladder that Jacob saw, the base resting on the earth, and the topmost round reaching to the gate of heaven, to the very threshold of glory. If that ladder had failed by a single step of reaching the earth, we should have been lost. But Christ reaches us where we are. He took our nature and overcame, that we through taking His nature might overcome. Made ‘in the likeness of sinful flesh’ (Romans 8:3), He lived a sinless life. Now by His divinity He lays hold upon the throne of heaven, while by His humanity He reaches us. He bids us by faith in Him attain to the glory of the character of God. Therefore are we to be perfect, even as our ‘Father which is in heaven is perfect.’” The Desire of Ages, 311, 312.

  1. What warning does John give about those who deny this truth? I John 4:1–3.

NOTE: “After the fall of man, Satan declared that human beings were proved to be incapable of keeping the law of God, and he sought to carry the universe with him in this belief. Satan’s words appeared to be true, and Christ came to unmask the deceiver. The Majesty of heaven undertook the cause of man, and with the same facilities that man may obtain, withstood the temptations of Satan as man must withstand them. This was the only way in which fallen man could become a partaker of the divine nature. In taking human nature, Christ was fitted to understand man’s trials and sorrows and all the temptations wherewith he is beset. Angels who were unacquainted with sin could not sympathize with man in his peculiar trials. Christ condescended to take man’s nature, and was tempted in all points like as we, that He might know how to succor all who should be tempted.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 252.

“The Time Is Fulfilled”

  1. With what message of prophetic fulfillment did Christ begin His ministry? Mark 1:14, 15. (Read verses 9–11 and compare Daniel 9:25.)

NOTE: “The seventy weeks, or four hundred and ninety days, represent four hundred and ninety years. A starting point for this period is given: ‘Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks,’ sixty-nine weeks, or four hundred and eighty-three years. Daniel 9:25. The commandment to restore and build Jerusalem, as completed by the decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus (see Ezra 6:14; 7:1, 9, margin), went into effect in the autumn of B.C. 457. From this time four hundred and eighty-three years extend to the autumn of A.D. 27. According to the prophecy, this period was to reach to the Messiah, the Anointed One. In A.D. 27, Jesus at His baptism received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and soon afterward began His ministry. Then the message was proclaimed. ‘The time is fulfilled.’” The Desire of Ages, 233.

  1. How did the gospel writers show their understanding that prophecy was being fulfilled? Matthew 1:22, 23; Matthew 2:14–18; Matthew 21:4, 5; Matthew 27:35; Mark 1:2.

NOTE: “The apostles also all testify to the importance of the Old Testament Scriptures. Peter says: ‘For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.’ Luke thus speaks of the prophets who predicted the coming of Christ: ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people; and hath raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David, as He spake by the mouth of His holy prophets, which have been since the world began.’” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, 208.

“I Have Glorified Thee on the Earth”

  1. What was the purpose of Christ’s life? John 17:4. Compare Exodus 33:18, 19; John 14:9.

NOTE: “Christ’s life was a life of pure benevolence, of disinterested labor. He assumed human nature for no other purpose than to display the glory of God in the happiness of man.” Review and Herald, March 19, 1901.

“Christ took our nature and dwelt among us. Divinity was revealed in humanity; the invisible glory in the visible human form. Men could learn of the unknown through the known; heavenly things were revealed through the earthly; God was made manifest in the likeness of men.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 17.

  1. Did Christ exercise powers that may not be available to His followers? John 5:19, 30; John 7:16; John 8:28; John 12:49; John 14:12.

NOTE: ‘‘‘Verily, verily, I say unto you,’ Christ continued, ‘He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also.’ The Saviour was deeply anxious for His disciples to understand for what purpose His divinity was united to humanity. He came to the world to display the glory of God, that man might be uplifted by its restoring power. God was manifested in Him that He might be manifested in them. Jesus revealed no qualities, and exercised no powers, that men may not have through faith in Him. His perfect humanity is that which all His followers may possess, if they will be in subjection to God as He was.” The Desire of Ages, 664.

“The Lamb of God”

  1. Why was it necessary for Christ to die? Romans 5:6–8. Compare I John 4:10.

NOTE: “Our Saviour manifested for us a love that the love of man can never equal. When we were bruised and dying, He had pity upon us. He did not pass us by on the other side, and leave us, helpless and hopeless, to perish. He did not remain in His holy, happy home, where He was beloved by all the heavenly host. He beheld our sore need, He undertook our case, and identified His interests with those of humanity. He died to save His enemies. He prayed for His murderers. Pointing to His own example, He says to His followers, ‘These things I command you, that ye love one another’; ‘as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.’ John 15:17; 13:34.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 381, 382.

  1. What supreme evidence of love did Christ reveal on Calvary? Luke 23:34.

NOTE: “Christ was earning the right to become the advocate for men in the Father’s presence. That prayer for His enemies embraced the world. It took in every sinner who had lived or should live, from the beginning of the world to the end of time. Whenever we sin, Christ is wounded afresh. For us He lifts His pierced hands before the Father’s throne, and says, ‘Forgive them; for they know not what they do.’” The Story of Jesus, 142.

“Stand before the cross and learn from it the cost of redemption. With breaking heart, the Holy Sufferer looks up to God, and cries, ‘My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ His heart was breaking under the thought of the woe that was to come upon the actors, under a sense of their ingratitude, under the weight of the sin He Himself must carry for them. No heart save His own could approach unto such sin-bearing. Amidst His agony there came from heart and lips the wonderful prayer, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’” Bible Training School, July 1, 1916.

“Saved by His Life”

  1. What did the death of Christ achieve for us? Romans 5:10, first part.

NOTE: “Jesus did not yield up His life till He had accomplished the work which He came to do, and exclaimed with His departing breath: ‘It is finished.’ Satan was then defeated. He knew that his kingdom was lost. Angels rejoiced as the words were uttered: ‘It is finished.’ The great plan of redemption, which was dependent on the death of Christ, had been thus far carried out. And there was joy in heaven that the sons of Adam could, through a life of obedience, be finally exalted to the throne of God. Oh, what love! What amazing love! that brought the Son of God to earth to be made sin for us, that we might be reconciled to God.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 211.

  1. What will the living Saviour accomplish for His people? Romans 5:10, last part. (See also Hebrews 7:25.)

NOTE: “The intercession of Christ in man’s behalf in the sanctuary above is as essential to the plan of salvation as was His death upon the cross. By His death He began that work which after His resurrection He ascended to complete in heaven. We must by faith enter within the veil, ‘whither the forerunner is for us entered.’ Hebrews 6:20. There the light from the cross of Calvary is reflected. There we may gain a clearer insight into the mysteries of redemption. The salvation of man is accomplished at an infinite expense to heaven; the sacrifice made is equal to the broadest demands of the broken law of God. Jesus has opened the way to the Father’s throne, and through His mediation the sincere desire of all who come to Him in faith may be presented before God.” Great Controversy, 489.

“Those who accept the Saviour, however sincere their conversion, should never be taught to say or to feel that they are saved. This is misleading. Every one should be taught to cherish hope and faith; but even when we give ourselves to Christ and know that He accepts us, we are not beyond the reach of temptation. God’s word declares, ‘Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried.’ Daniel 12:10. Only he who endures the trial will receive the crown of life. (James 1:12.) Those who accept Christ, and in their first confidence say, I am saved, are in danger of trusting to themselves. They lose sight of their own weakness and their constant need of divine strength. They are unprepared for Satan’s devices, and under temptation many, like Peter, fall into the very depths of sin. We are admonished, ‘Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall.’ I Corinthians 10:12. Our only safety is in constant distrust of self, and dependence on Christ.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 155.

Bible Study Guides – “We Have Sinned and Committed Iniquity”

May 5, 2001 – May 11, 2001


“I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles.” Isaiah 42:6.

STUDY HELP: Prophets and Kings, 367–372.


“They (Israelites) rendered outward service to God as the means of attaining to national greatness. They did not become the light of the world, but shut themselves away from the world in order to escape temptation to idolatry. In the instruction given through Moses, God had placed restrictions upon their association with idolaters; but this teaching had been misinterpreted. It was intended to prevent them from conforming to the practices of the heathen. But it was used to build up a wall of separation between Israel and all other nations. The Jews looked upon Jerusalem as their heaven, and they were actually jealous lest the Lord should show mercy to the Gentiles.” The Desire of Ages, 28, 29.

“A Light to the Gentiles”

  1. What was God’s purpose in selecting Israel as His people? Isaiah 60:1–6; Isaiah 49:6.

NOTE: “It was in order that the Israelites might be a blessing to the nations, and that God’s name might be made known ‘throughout all the earth’ (Exodus 9:16), that they were delivered from Egyptian bondage. If obedient to His requirements, they were to be placed far in advance of other peoples in wisdom and understanding; but this supremacy was to be reached and maintained only in order that through them the purpose of God for ‘all nations of the earth’ might be fulfilled.” Prophets and Kings, 368, 369.

  1. What made it impossible for Israel to fulfill God’s purpose? Jeremiah 3:6–8. Compare Revelation 18:1–4.

NOTE: “When I study the Scriptures, I am alarmed for the Israel of God in these last days. They are exhorted to flee from idolatry. I fear that they are asleep and so conformed to the world that it would be difficult to discern between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not. The distance is widening between Christ and His people, and lessening between them and the world. The marks of distinction between Christ’s professed people and the world have almost disappeared. Like ancient Israel, they follow after the abominations of the nations around them.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 277.

“Rising Up Early”

  1. By what means did God seek to bring His people back to Himself? Jeremiah 7:23–26.

NOTE: “Jerusalem had been honored of God above all the earth. The Lord had ‘chosen Zion,’ He had ‘desired it for His habitation.’ Psalm 132:13. There, for ages, holy prophets had uttered their messages of warning. There priests had waved their censers, and the cloud of incense, with the prayers of the worshipers, had ascended before God. There daily the blood of slain lambs had been offered, pointing forward to the Lamb of God. There Jehovah had revealed His presence in the cloud of glory above the mercy seat. There rested the base of that mystic ladder connecting earth with heaven (Genesis 28:12; John 1:51)—that ladder upon which angels of God descended and ascended, and which opened to the world the way into the holiest of all. Had Israel as a nation preserved her allegiance to Heaven, Jerusalem would have stood forever, the elect of God. Jeremiah 17:21–25. But the history of that favored people was a record of backsliding and rebellion. They had resisted Heaven’s grace, abused their privileges, and slighted their opportunities.” The Great Controversy, 19.

  1. What was Israel’s response to the prophets God sent to her? Matthew 21:33–36; Matthew 23:29–35.

NOTE: “Grievously had the children of Israel ‘sinned against the Lord their God, . . . and wrought wicked things.’ ‘They would not hear, but . . . rejected His statutes, and His covenant that He made with their fathers, and His testimonies which He testified against them.’ It was because they had ‘left all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal,’ and refused steadfastly to repent, that the Lord ‘afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until He had cast them out of His sight,’ in harmony with the plain warnings He had sent them ‘by all His servants the prophets.’” Prophets and Kings, 291.

“Because Ye Have Not Heard My words”

  1. Because of their failure to fulfil His purpose, what did God allow to happen to His people? Amos 7:16, 17; Jeremiah 25:8–11.

NOTE: “The Lord graciously revealed Himself. He spread before Israel the things that were for the welfare of the nation. ‘I have written to him the great things of My law,’ He declared through Hosea, ‘but they were counted as a strange thing.’ ‘I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them.’ Hosea 8:12; 11:3. Tenderly had the Lord dwelt with them, instructing them by His prophets line upon line, precept upon precept. Had Israel heeded the messages of the prophets, they would have been spared the humiliation that followed. It was because they had persisted in turning aside from His law that God was compelled to let them go into captivity. ‘My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge,’ was His message to them through Hosea. ‘Because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee: . . . seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God.’ Hosea 4:6.” Prophets and Kings, 296, 297.

  1. How did Daniel acknowledge the reason for the captivity? Daniel 9:5, 6.

NOTE: “The prophet Daniel was an example of true sanctification. His long life was filled up with noble service for his Master. He was a man ‘greatly beloved’ (Daniel 10:11) of Heaven. Yet instead of claiming to be pure and holy, this honored prophet identified himself with the really sinful of Israel as he pleaded before God in behalf of his people: ‘We do not present our supplications before Thee for our righteousness, but for Thy great mercies.’ ‘We have sinned, we have done wickedly.’ He declares: ‘I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people.’” The Great Controversy, 470.

  1. Whom especially did the Lord hold accountable for His people’s apostasy? Ezekiel 34:7–10.

NOTE: “The shepherds who lead the sheep in false paths will hear the charge made against them, ‘It was you who made light of truth. It was you who told us that God’s law was abrogated, that it was a yoke of bondage. . . . The blood of our souls is upon your priestly garments. . . . Now will you pay the ransom for my soul? . . . What shall we do who listened to your garbling of the Scriptures and your turning into a lie the truth which if obeyed would have saved us?’ When Christ comes to take vengeance on those who have educated and trained the people to trample on God’s Sabbath, to tear down His memorial, and tread down with their feet the feed of His pastures, lamentations will be in vain. Those who trusted in the false shepherds had the word of God to search for themselves, and they find that God will judge every man who has had the truth and turned from the light because it involved self-denial and the cross. Rocks and mountains cannot screen them from the indignation of Him that sitteth on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb.” Maranatha, 290.

“As a Shepherd Seeketh Out His Flock”

  1. What was God’s purpose in permitting the captivity of His people? Jeremiah 24:1–10.

NOTE: “Among the children of Israel who were carried captive to Babylon at the beginning of the seventy years’ captivity were Christian patriots, men who were as true as steel to principle, who would not be corrupted by selfishness, but who would honor God at the loss of all things. In the land of their captivity these men were to carry out God’s purpose by giving to heathen nations the blessings that come through a knowledge of Jehovah. They were to be His representatives. Never were they to compromise with idolaters; their faith and their name as worshipers of the living God they were to bear as a high honor. And this they did. In prosperity and adversity they honored God, and God honored them.” Prophets and Kings, 479.

  1. What promise did the Lord make concerning those who would return from the captivity? Jeremiah 31:10, 31–33.

NOTE: “Humbled in the sight of the nations, those who once had been recognized as favored of Heaven above all other peoples of the earth were to learn in exile the lesson of obedience so necessary for their future happiness. Until they had learned this lesson, God could not do for them all that He desired to do. ‘I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished,’ He declared in explanation of His purpose to chastise them for their spiritual good. Jeremiah 30:11. Yet those who had been the object of His tender love were not forever set aside; before all the nations of earth He would demonstrate His plan to bring victory out of apparent defeat, to save rather than to destroy. To the prophet was given the message: [Jeremiah 31:10–14, 23–25, 31–34 quoted].” Prophets and Kings, 475.

“Seventy Weeks are Determined upon Thy People”

  1. What period of probationary time did the Lord allocate to Israel? Daniel 9:24.

NOTE: “God gives nations a certain time of probation. He sends light and evidence, that, if received, will save them, but if refused as the Jews refused light, indignation and punishment will fall upon them. If men refuse to be benefited, and choose darkness rather than light, they will reap the results of their choice. ‘Behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.’ The professed Christian world is advancing, as did the Jewish nation, from one degree of sinfulness to a greater degree, refusing warning after warning, and rejecting a Thus saith the Lord, while crediting the fables of men. The Lord God will soon arise in His wrath, and pour out His judgments upon those who are repeating the sins of the inhabitants of the Noachic world. Those whose hearts are fully set in them to do evil, as were the hearts of the inhabitants of Sodom, will like them be destroyed. The fact that God had long forbearance, patience and mercy, the fact that His judgments have been long delayed, will not make the punishment any less severe when it does come.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1143, 1144.

  1. How did Jesus prophesy the end of Israel’s probation? Matthew 21:43. Compare Matthew 23:37, 38.

NOTE: “Christ came to save Jerusalem with her children; but Pharisaical pride, hypocrisy, jealousy, and malice had prevented Him from accomplishing His purpose. Jesus knew the terrible retribution which would be visited upon the doomed city. He saw Jerusalem encompassed with armies, the besieged inhabitants driven to starvation and death, mothers feeding upon the dead bodies of their own children, and both parents and children snatching the last morsel of food from one another, natural affection being destroyed by the gnawing pangs of hunger. He saw that the stubbornness of the Jews, as evinced in their rejection of His salvation, would also lead them to refuse submission to the invading armies. He beheld Calvary, on which He was to be lifted up, set with crosses as thickly as forest trees. He saw the wretched inhabitants suffering torture on the rack and by crucifixion, the beautiful palaces destroyed, the temple in ruins, and of its massive walls not one stone left upon another, while the city was ploughed like a field. Well might the Saviour weep in agony in view of that fearful scene.” The Desire of Ages, 577.

“Lo, We Turn unto the Gentiles”

  1. What events signalled the end of the probation of the Jewish people? Acts 7:57–59; Acts 9:1–6, 15; Acts 11:5–9, 15–17.

NOTE: “Then, said the angel, ‘He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week [seven years].’ For seven years after the Saviour entered on His ministry, the gospel was to be preached especially to the Jews; for three and a half years by Christ Himself; and afterward by the apostles. ‘In the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.’ Daniel 9:27. In the spring of A.D. 31, Christ the true sacrifice was offered on Calvary. Then the veil of the temple was rent in twain, showing that the sacredness and significance of the sacrificial service had departed. The time had come for the earthly sacrifice and oblation to cease. The one week—seven years—ended in A. D. 34. Then by the stoning of Stephen the Jews finally sealed their rejection of the gospel; the disciples who were scattered abroad by persecution ‘went everywhere preaching the word’ (Acts 8:4); and shortly after, Saul the persecutor was converted, and became Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles.” The Desire of Ages, 233.

  1. What lesson may we learn from God’s rejection of the Jews as His chosen people? Romans 11:18–22.

NOTE: “The branches represent the believers in Jesus Christ. Those who truly believe, will do the same works that He did. They are united to Christ by the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. As the branch is nourished by the sap which flows from the parent stock, so the believer in Christ is sustained by the life of Christ. The branches represent the very youngest of the followers of Christ, as the branch includes all the tiny tendrils that belong to it. Jesus is our center. He is the parent stock that bears the branches. In Him our eternal life is centered. The words that He has spoken unto us are spirit and life, and those who feed upon His word, and are doers of His word, represent Him in character. His patience, meekness, humility, and love pervade their hearts.” Review and Herald, January 14, 1896.

Bible Study Guides – “I Will Be Their God”

April 28, 2001 – May 4, 2001


“O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all My commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!” Deuteronomy 5:29.

STUDY HELP: Patriarchs and Prophets, 370–373.


“We are called to be holy, and we should carefully avoid giving the impression that it is of little consequence whether or not we retain the peculiar features of our faith. Upon us rests the solemn obligation of taking a more decided stand for truth and righteousness than we have taken in the past. The line of demarcation between those who keep the commandments of God and those who do not is to be revealed with unmistakable clearness. We are conscientiously to honor God, diligently using every means of keeping in covenant relation with Him, that we may receive His blessings—the blessings so essential for the people who are to be so severely tried. To give the impression that our faith, our religion, is not a dominating power in our lives is greatly to dishonor God. Thus we turn from His commandments, which are our life, denying that He is our God and that we are His people.” Counsels on Health, 238, 239.

“I Will Not Leave Thee”

  1. How was the covenant made with Abraham renewed with Isaac? Genesis 26:24.

NOTE: “The promises made to Abraham and confirmed to his son were held by Isaac and Rebekah as the great object of their desires and hopes. With these promises Esau and Jacob were familiar. They were taught to regard the birthright as a matter of great importance, for it included not only an inheritance of worldly wealth but spiritual pre-eminence. He who received it was to be the priest of his family, and in the line of his posterity the Redeemer of the world would come. On the other hand, there were obligations resting upon the possessor of the birthright. He who should inherit its blessings must devote his life to the service of God. Like Abraham, he must be obedient to the divine requirements. In marriage, in his family relations, in public life, he must consult the will of God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 177, 178.

  1. How did God confirm the covenant with Jacob? Genesis 28:11–15. Compare Genesis 28:1–4.

NOTE: “Threatened with death by the wrath of Esau, Jacob went out from his father’s home a fugitive; but he carried with him the father’s blessing; Isaac had renewed to him the covenant promise, and had bidden him, as its inheritor, to seek a wife of his mother’s family in Mesopotamia. . . . Wearied with his journey, the wanderer lay down upon the ground, with a stone for his pillow. As he slept he beheld a ladder, bright and shining, whose base rested upon the earth, while the top reached to heaven. Upon this ladder angels were ascending and descending; above it was the Lord of glory, and from the heavens His voice was heard: ‘I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac.’ The land whereon he lay as an exile and fugitive was promised to him and to his posterity, with the assurance, ‘In thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ This promise had been given to Abraham and to Isaac, and now it was renewed to Jacob. Then in special regard to his present loneliness and distress, the words of comfort and encouragement were spoken: ‘Behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.’” Patriarchs and Prophets, 183, 184.

  1. What truth was the Lord revealing to Jacob through His dream? John 1:51. Read verses 43–51.

NOTE: “In this vision the plan of redemption was presented to Jacob, not fully, but in such parts as were essential to him at that time. The mystic ladder revealed to him in his dream was the same to which Christ referred in His conversation with Nathanael. Said He, ‘Ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.’ John 1:51. Up to the time of man’s rebellion against the government of God, there had been free communion between God and man. But the sin of Adam and Eve separated earth from heaven, so that man could not have communion with his Maker. Yet the world was not left in solitary hopelessness. The ladder represents Jesus, the appointed medium of communication. Had He not with His own merits bridged the gulf that sin had made, the ministering angels could have held no communion with fallen man. Christ connects man in his weakness and helplessness with the source of infinite power. All this was revealed to Jacob in his dream. Although his mind at once grasped a part of the revelation, its great and mysterious truths were the study of his lifetime, and unfolded to his understanding more and more.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 184.

“I Will Pass Over You”

  1. What was the climax of the plagues that God brought upon Egypt? Exodus 11:4–6.

NOTE: ‘”Moses and Aaron related to Pharaoh the nature and effect of each plague which should follow his refusal to let Israel go. Every time he saw these plagues come exactly as he was told they would come; yet he would not yield. First, he would only grant them permission to sacrifice to God in the land of Egypt; then, after Egypt had suffered by God’s wrath, he granted that the men alone should go. After Egypt had been nearly destroyed by the plague of the locusts, then he granted that their children and their wives might go also; but would not let their cattle go. Moses then told the king that the angel of God would slay their first-born. Every plague had come a little closer and more severe, and this was to be more dreadful than any before it. But the proud king was exceedingly angry, and humbled not himself. And when the Egyptians saw the great preparations being made among the Israelites for that dreadful night, they ridiculed the token of blood upon their door–posts.” The Story of Redemption, 118.

  1. In what way were the people of Israel to show that they trusted God’s power to deliver them? Exodus 12:21–23, 28.

NOTE: “The only safety for the Israelites was blood upon the doorposts. God said, ‘When I see the blood, I will pass over you’ (Exodus 12:13). All other devices for safety would be without avail. Nothing but the blood on the doorposts would bar the way that the angel of death should not enter. There is salvation for the sinner in the blood of Jesus Christ alone, which cleanseth us from all sin. The man with a cultivated intellect may have vast stores of knowledge, he may engage in theological speculations, he may be great and honored of men and be considered the repository of knowledge, but unless he has a saving knowledge of Christ crucified for him, and by faith lays hold of the righteousness of Christ, he is lost. Christ ‘was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed’ (Isaiah 53:5). ‘Saved by the blood of Jesus Christ,’ will be our only hope for time and our song throughout eternity.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 172, 173.

“I Am the Lord Thy God”

  1. With what statement did God preface the Ten Commandments? Exodus 20:1, 2.

NOTE: “With a mighty arm and with wonderful manifestations of His power, God brought Israel out of Egypt. He made them His chosen people, and gave them His law. He said to them: ‘Thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God. . . . Know therefore that the Lord thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations’ (Deuteronomy 7:6–9). To us also have been spoken the words, ‘Ye are a chosen nation.’ Our work is to show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. How are we to do this? By showing to the world that we are a commandment-keeping people, walking in harmony with God’s law. By never losing sight of His goodness and love, and by making everything in our lives subordinate to the claims of His Word. Thus we shall be representatives of Christ, showing forth in our lives a transcript of His character.” The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, 129, 130.

“As the will of man co-operates with the will of God, it becomes omnipotent. Whatever is to be done at His command may be accomplished in His strength. All His biddings are enablings.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 333.

“Christ came to give moral power to man; to elevate, ennoble, and strengthen him. He came to prove the falsity of Satan’s charge that God had made a law which man could not keep. While possessing man’s nature, Christ kept the Ten Commandments. Thus He proved to the inhabitants of the unfallen worlds and to human beings that it is possible for man perfectly to obey the law. He vindicated God’s justice in demanding obedience to His law. Those who accept Christ as their Saviour, becoming partakers of the divine nature, are enabled to follow His example of obedience to every divine precept.” Signs of the Times, May 14, 1902.

  1. What did God do to ensure that His people would not forget His law? Exodus 24:12; 32:15, 16. Compare Exodus 34:1, 4.

NOTE: “He did not even then trust His precepts to the memory of a people who were prone to forget His requirements, but wrote them upon tables of stone. He would remove from Israel all possibility of mingling heathen traditions with His holy precepts, or of confounding His requirements with human ordinances or customs. But He did not stop with giving them the precepts of the Decalogue. The people had shown themselves so easily led astray that He would leave no door of temptation unguarded. Moses was commanded to write, as God should bid him, judgments and laws giving minute instruction as to what was required. These directions relating to the duty of the people to God, to one another, and to the stranger were only the principles of the Ten Commandments amplified and given in a specific manner, that none need err. They were designed to guard the sacredness of the ten precepts engraved on the tables of stone.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 364.

“The First Covenant”

  1. By what promise did the people of Israel enter into a covenant with God? Exodus 19:8. Compare Exodus 24:3, 7; Deuteronomy 5:27; 26:17.

NOTE: “Another compact—called in Scripture the ‘old’ covenant—was formed between God and Israel at Sinai, and was then ratified by the blood of a sacrifice. The Abrahamic covenant was ratified by the blood of Christ, and it is called the ‘second,’ or ‘new,’ covenant, because the blood by which it was sealed was shed after the blood of the first covenant. That the new covenant was valid in the days of Abraham is evident from the fact that it was then confirmed both by the promise and by the oath of God—the ‘two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie.’ Hebrews 6:18.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 371.

  1. What was defective in this covenant? Hebrews 8:6, 7.

NOTE: “God brought them to Sinai; He manifested His glory; He gave them His law, with the promise of great blessings on condition of obedience: ‘If ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then . . . ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.’ Exodus 19:5, 6. The people did not realize the sinfulness of their own hearts, and that without Christ it was impossible for them to keep God’s law; and they readily entered into covenant with God. Feeling that they were able to establish their own righteousness, they declared, ‘All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.’ Exodus 24:7. They had witnessed the proclamation of the law in awful majesty, and had trembled with terror before the mount; and yet only a few weeks passed before they broke their covenant with God, and bowed down to worship a graven image. They could not hope for the favor of God through a covenant which they had broken; and now, seeing their sinfulness and their need of pardon, they were brought to feel their need of the Saviour revealed in the Abrahamic covenant, and shadowed forth in the sacrificial offerings. Now by faith and love they were bound to God as their deliverer from the bondage of sin. Now they were prepared to appreciate the blessings of the new covenant.” Review and Herald, October 17, 1907.

“That It May Be Well With You”

  1. Was God’s law the problem with the old covenant? Deuteronomy 5:29. Compare Deuteronomy 5:33; 6:24, 25.

NOTE: “It [the covenant] had existed by the promise of God since the first intimation of redemption had been given; it had been accepted by faith; yet when ratified by Christ, it is called a new covenant. The law of God was the basis of this covenant, which was simply an arrangement for bringing men again into harmony with the divine will, placing them where they could obey God’s law. If it were not possible for human beings under the Abrahamic covenant to keep the commandments of God, every soul of us is lost. The Abrahamic covenant is the covenant of grace. ‘By grace are ye saved’ (Ephesians 2:8). Disobedient children? No, obedient to all His commandments.” God’s Amazing Grace, 133.

  1. How does the new covenant ensure obedience to God’s Law? Hebrews 8:10. Compare Hebrews 10:16; Jeremiah 31:31–33.

NOTE: “Obedience is not a mere outward compliance, but the service of love. The law of God is an expression of His very nature; it is an embodiment of the great principle of love, and hence is the foundation of His government in heaven and earth. If our hearts are renewed in the likeness of God, if the divine love is implanted in the soul, will not the law of God be carried out in the life? When the principle of love is implanted in the heart, when man is renewed after the image of Him that created him, the new-covenant promise is fulfilled, ‘I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them.’ Hebrews 10:16. And if the law is written in the heart, will it not shape the life? Obedience—the service and allegiance of love—is the true sign of discipleship. Thus the Scripture says, ‘This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.’ ‘He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.’ 1 John 5:3; 2:4. Instead of releasing man from obedience, it is faith, and faith only, that makes us partakers of the grace of Christ, which enables us to render obedience.” Steps to Christ, 60, 61.

  1. How does the Bible emphasize the relationship between obedience and love? Deuteronomy 7:9; Joshua 22:5; Nehemiah 1:5; Daniel 9:4; John 14:15, 21; Romans 13:8, 10; I John 5:2, 3.

NOTE: “It was possible for Adam, before the fall, to form a righteous character by obedience to God’s law. But he failed to do this, and because of his sin our natures are fallen and we cannot make ourselves righteous. Since we are sinful, unholy, we cannot perfectly obey the holy law. We have no righteousness of our own with which to meet the claims of the law of God. But Christ has made a way of escape for us. He lived on earth amid trials and temptations such as we have to meet. He lived a sinless life. He died for us, and now He offers to take our sins and give us His righteousness. If you give yourself to Him, and accept Him as your Saviour, then, sinful as your life may have been, for His sake you are accounted righteous. Christ’s character stands in place of your character, and you are accepted before God just as if you had not sinned. More than this, Christ changes the heart. He abides in your heart by faith. You are to maintain this connection with Christ by faith and the continual surrender of your will to Him; and so long as you do this, He will work in you to will and to do according to His good pleasure. So you may say, ‘The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.’ Galatians 2:20.” Steps to Christ, 62, 63.

  1. What outward sign of covenant relationship has God chosen? Exodus 31:16; Isaiah 56:6.

NOTE: “The Sabbath is a sign of the relationship existing between God and His people—a sign that they are His obedient subjects, that they keep holy His law. The observance of the Sabbath is the means ordained by God of preserving a knowledge of Himself and of distinguishing between His loyal subjects and the transgressors of His law.” Counsels on Health, 358.

Food for Life – Cashew Balls

” Sweet April Showers Do Bring May Flowers

So many have asked about Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), that I thought I would tell you this month exactly what I think it is, and why we should not use it.

From “Consumer Beware,” authored by Beatrice Trum Hunter, we learn that MSG has had a long history of use in food preparation and serving in the Orient. Extracted from seaweed or soybean, it was used to impart a meaty flavor to dishes in which meat, scarce or costly, was used sparingly.

“The composition of the MSG now added to more than 10,000 different processed food items in America differs from the Oriental product. It is manufactured from wheat or corn gluten or from sugar-beet byproducts. At present, more than 40 million pounds of MSG are sold annually to add to American foodstuffs. When first introduced, it was put in canned soups. By now, it is virtually impossible to avoid MSG in processed foods. MSG is found commonly in heat-and-serve convenience foods, meats, stews, and meat tenderizers; canned and frozen vegetables; seafoods, fish fillets, clam chowder, codfish cakes, and canned tuna; poultry and chicken á la King; almost all canned soups and soup mixes, seasonings, mayonnaise, French dressing, salad dressing, imitation maple syrup, potato chips, crackers and tobacco.

“Nutritionist Dr. Jean Mayer claimed that MSG was added to baby foods ‘to disguise the fact that there was less meat and more starch’ in those products than formerly. He added, ‘The MSG was a risk added to a disadvantage.’ MSG was also added to some vegetable and meat mixtures of commercially processed baby foods to make them more palatable to mothers who sampled them. Experimental evidence raised doubts about the safety of this additive in baby foods, and pending further study, in October 1969 some processors voluntarily stopped adding it to their baby-food products.

“Federal legislation specifically prohibits the addition of any material to food which causes ‘damage or inferiority’ to be concealed in any manner or which can make a food appear better or of greater value than it is. This prohibition is precise and without qualifications. Nonetheless, FDA permits wide latitude in the use of MSG, a substance which helps disguise inferior food quality.

“MSG has been glamorized for the general public as a ‘flavor enhancer’ which brings out the natural flavor of food. Three of MSG’s components—namely wheat, corn and sugar beet byproducts—are common allergens. For those who need to limit or eliminate these substances from their diets, the widespread use of MSG makes this extremely difficult. EVEN A CAREFUL READING OF LABELS WILL NOT HELP. For instance, although the addition of MSG must appear in the ingredients of all canned vegetables, THIS SUBTANCE MAY BE ADDED TO MAYONNAISE, FRENCH DRESSING, AND SALAD DRESSING WITHOUT LABEL DECLARATION.

“Since MSG’s use is sanctioned by federal regulation, it might be assumed that the safety of this material is well established. This is NOT the case. As early as 1955, Consumers’ Research Bulletin printed a report of a physician, who had traced a serious allergy affecting a woman and her son to MSG. Within a half-hour after eating meals of excellent food prepared at home, as well as meals eaten at fine restaurants, they developed acute distress resembling gall-bladder trouble. Their symptoms included epigastric fullness, belching, distention and marked upper-abdominal discomfort. The reactions were traced to MSG.”

We will continue with this study next month. Until then, God be with you, and remember to READ YOUR LABELS!


2 cups raw Cashews
4 tablespoons Fruit Source Syrup (or any sweetening you prefer)

Chop nuts in a chopper, not in a blender. Add syrup and mix well. Using a teaspoon as measurement, roll into balls and refrigerate. Makes about 24 balls.

Children’s Story – The Choice

“Oh, Mom! Do we really have to go?” Jason mumbled.

Joe chimed in hopefully: “We could just keep the Sabbath at home today.” But Mother and Dad were firm. It was the Sabbath, and it was time to keep their appointment with God.

Jason and Joe had grumbled their way through breakfast, grumbled their way through worship and grumbled their way to church.

After a few of the usual hymns had been sung, the pastor walked over to the pulpit and gave a very brief introduction of the guest speaker. He was an old friend of the pastor, and he was old! Jason and Joe crossed their arms and sighed loudly as they slumped back in their seats. Another boring sermon, they thought.

“A father, his son, David, and David’s friend, John, were sailing off the Pacific Coast,” the old man began, “when a fast approaching storm blocked any attempt to get back to shore. The waves were so high, that even though the father was a good sailor, he could not keep the boat upright, and all three were swept into the ocean.”

The old man hesitated for a moment, making eye contact with the two rebellious teenagers, Jason and Joe. They were, for the first time since the service began, beginning to look somewhat interested in his story.

“Grabbing a rescue line,” he continued, “the father had to make the hardest decision of his entire life, . . .to which boy would he throw the other end of the line? He had only a few seconds to make his decision, for the waves were pushing them all farther apart. He knew that his son, David, was a fine Christian boy, and he also knew that David’s friend, John, was not. The agony of his decision could not be matched by the torrent of waves.”

“‘I love you David! I love you, Son,’ the father called out over the stormy waves. Then he turned and threw the line to John.

By the time he had pulled John back to the capsized boat, David had disappeared beyond the raging swells of the black night. His body was never found.

By this time, Jason and Joe were sitting straighter in the pew, waiting for the next words to come out of the old man’s mouth.

He continued. “The father knew that his son would be resurrected to spend eternity with Jesus, and he could not bear the thought of David not finding his best friend, John, there to greet him on the resurrection morning. He could not bear the thought that these two boys who loved each other so much would not be in heaven, together. So, he sacrificed his son that John might have an opportunity to learn about God and how God’s love is so great that He made that exact same sacrifice for us.”

With that the old man turned and sat down in his chair. Stunned silence filled the room. Within minutes after the service ended, Jason and Joe were at the old man’s side.

“That was quite a story,” Jason politely started to say, “but I don’t think it was very realistic. It’s a little far-fetched to think that a father would give up his own son’s life just in the hope that the other boy would become a Christian.”

“Well, you may be right,” the old man replied, glancing down at his worn Bible. A big smile broadened his narrow face, and he once again looked up at the boys. “It sure isn’t a very realistic story, is it? But I am standing here today, and I can tell you THAT story gives me a glimpse of what it must have been like for God to give up His Son for me. I understand how it works. You see, I was David’s friend. My name is John.

Restoring the Temple – Nutrition, Eat Well and Live Well, Part II

“In all labour there is profit” Proverbs 14:23

Do you remember learning in school about the second law of thermodynamics, the law of entropy? Basically, entropy is the physical world’s way of always moving toward states of greater disorder. Natural systems tend to move to the lowest energy state possible. Does that sound like you? Shoelaces untie, ice cream melts, and people end up on the couch.

Up to half of all American adults are sedentary.1 Other countries’ statistics may vary, but Americans surely cannot be proud of their behavior! Life provides many distractions and excuses not to exercise. Just the normal routines of daily life make little time to fit in exercise.

“Whatever their business and inclinations, they should make up their minds to exercise in the open air as much as they can. They should feel it a religious duty to overcome the conditions of health which have kept them confined indoors, deprived of exercise in the open air. Some invalids become willful in the matter and refuse to be convinced of the great importance of daily outdoor exercise. . . they persist, from year to year, in having their own way and living in an atmosphere almost destitute of vitality. It is impossible for this class to have a healthy circulation.” Counsels on Health, 173

If Ellen White were able to observe modern life she may indeed classify the lot of us as invalids!

Why should I exercise? Think flabby muscles and failing organs. Regular exercise keeps the blood flowing. Blood is the transportation system for all the nutrients, oxygen, and water our cells need, from our brains to our toenails. Lack of exercise weakens the circulatory system causing blood to pool, thus oxygen and nutrients cannot get to their destinations. Organs are not getting the fuel they need for proper functioning. No wonder lack of exercise contributes to heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, high blood pressure, and obesity, to name but a few.2

Exercise also helps prevent osteoporosis. The bones and joints require weight-bearing exercise to stimulate the body to make more osteocytes—bone cells. Sedentary lifestyles lead to porous, brittle bones.3

“The chief if not the only reason why many become invalids is that the blood does not circulate freely, and the changes in the vital fluid, which are necessary to life and health, do not take place. They have not given their bodies exercise nor their lungs food, which is pure, fresh air; therefore it is impossible for the blood to be vitalized, and it pursues its course sluggishly through the system. The more we exercise, the better will be the circulation of the blood. More people die for want of exercise than through overfatigue; very many more rust out than wear out.” Counsels on Health, 173

With depression and anxiety major health concerns today, it is no wonder that a link between emotional well being and exercise has been found. You may have heard about endorphins, which is a substance naturally produced by the body that is hundreds of times more potent than morphine.4 Exercise causes your body to release endorphins and perhaps serotonin which causes an individual to feel a sense of well-being. Not to mention that having a more fit body can make anyone feel better about themselves.

Exercise not only strengthens your cardiovascular system; it reduces the amount of harmful cholesterol (LDL) in your blood and actually can help reverse atherosclerosis– hardening of the arteries. Insufficient physical activity is a known risk factor leading to ischemic heart disease and stroke, that together account for more than 40% of deaths in the United States.5

What is considered exercise? It is recommended that one get at least 30 minutes of accumulated exercise on most or all days of the week. This includes many activities of daily living such as doing the laundry, walking the dog, and gardening. But for optimal health, aerobic exercise must become part of your exercise regime. Aerobic—or oxygen providing—exercise is considered any exercise that raises the heart rate, and keeps it up, for a minimum of 20–30 minutes. This can include, but is not limited to, brisk walking, bicycling, swimming, and rowing. How can you determine whether or not your exercise is intense enough to transport oxygen to all of your body systems? Calculate your target heart rate with the formula provided (your heart rate during exercise should fall between the minimum and maximum rates). Another more general guideline is that it should be possible for you to speak a few words during exercise but the activity should be intense enough that you are unable to carry on a conversation. Aerobic exercise is recommended three to five times a week.

Today, obesity is not only a problem in adults for even childhood obesity is on the rise. Exercise burns off calories and when we burn more calories than we eat, we lose weight. Also, after exercising, your metabolism speeds up, making you feel more energetic and burns calories faster for the remainder of the day. Being at an ideal weight reduces the likelihood that you will have heart disease and is very beneficial in preventing and treating diabetes.

You now know that exercise leads to greater health and prevents disease. Exercise is your weapon for combating the law of entropy and moving toward greater states of health instead of disease and disorder. You know who you are, get off the couch!

“He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength.” Psalm 23:4

Target Heart Rate Formula

To calculate your Target Heart Rate, first find your pulse or your resting heart rate (best when taken just as you get out of bed in the morning) and count the beats for one entire minute. Use this number in the following formula.

Minimum Exercise Heart Rate:

220 – age______ = ______ – resting heart rate______ = ______ x .5 + resting heart rate______ = _______

Maximum Exercise Heart Rate:

220 – age______ = ______ – resting heart rate ______ =______ x .85 + resting heart rate______ = ________

Example: (age = 20, resting heart rate = 70)

220 – 20 = 200 – 70 = 130 x .5 + 70 = 135
220 – 20 = 200 – 70 = 130 x .85 + 70 = 180

Inspiration -The Future

“I was shown the people of God [in vision November 20, 1857], and saw them mightily shaken. I saw some with strong faith and agonizing cries, pleading with God. Their countenances were pale, and marked with deep anxiety which expressed their internal struggle. There was firmness and great earnestness expressed in their countenances, while large drops of perspiration rose upon their foreheads, and fell. Now and then their faces would light up with the marks of God’s approbation, and again the same solemn, earnest, anxious look settled upon them.

“Evil angels crowded around them, pressing their darkness upon them, to shut out Jesus from their view, that their eyes might be drawn to the darkness that surrounded them, and they distrust God, and next murmur against him. Their only safety was in keeping their eyes directed upward. Angels were having the charge over the people of God, and as the poisonous atmosphere from these evil angels was pressed around these anxious ones, the angels, which had the charge over them, were continually wafting their wings over them, to scatter the thick darkness that surrounded them.

“Some, I saw, did not participate in this work of agonizing and pleading. They seemed indifferent and careless. They were not resisting the darkness around them, and it shut them in like a thick cloud. The angels of God left them, and went to the aid of those earnest, praying ones. I saw the angels of God hasten to the assistance of every one who were struggling with all their energies to resist those evil angels, and trying to help themselves by calling upon God with perseverance. But the angels left those who made no effort to help themselves, and I lost sight of them.

“As these praying ones continued their earnest cries, at times a ray of light from Jesus came to them, and encouraged their hearts, and lighted up their countenances.

“I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen. I was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. It will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver of the testimony, and it will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. This straight testimony, some will not bear. They will rise up against it, and this will cause a shaking among God’s people.

“I saw that the testimony of the True Witness has not been half heeded. The solemn testimony upon which the destiny of the Church hangs, has been lightly esteemed, if not entirely disregarded. This testimony must work deep repentance, and all that truly receive it, will obey it, and be purified.

“Said the angel, ‘List ye!’ Soon I heard a voice that sounded like many musical instruments, all sounding in perfect strains, sweet and harmonious. It surpassed any music I had ever heard. It seemed to be so full of mercy, compassion, and elevating, holy joy. It thrilled through my whole being. Said the angel, ‘Look ye!’ My attention was then turned to the company I had seen before, who were mightily shaken. I was shown those whom I had before seen weeping, and praying with agony of spirit. I saw that the company of guardian angels around them had doubled, and they were clothed with an armor from their head to their feet. They moved in exact order, firm like a company of soldiers. Their countenances expressed the severe conflict which they had endured, the agonizing struggle they had passed through. Yet their features, marked with severe internal anguish, shone now with the light and glory of heaven. They had obtained the victory, and it called forth from them the deepest gratitude, and holy, sacred joy.

“The numbers of this company had lessened. Some had been shaken out, and left by the way. The careless and indifferent who did not join with those who prized victory and salvation enough to agonize, persevere, and plead for it, did not obtain it, and they were left behind in darkness, and their numbers were immediately made up by others taking hold of the truth, and coming into the ranks. Still the evil angels pressed around them, but they could have no power over them.

“I heard those clothed with the armor speak forth the truth in great power. It had effect. I saw those who had been bound; some wives had been bound by their husbands, and some children had been bound by their parents. The honest who had been held or prevented from hearing the truth, now eagerly laid hold of the truth spoken. All fear of their relatives was gone. The truth alone was exalted to them. It was dearer and more precious than life. They had been hungering and thirsting for truth. I asked what had made this great change. An angel answered, ‘It is the latter rain. The refreshing from the presence of the Lord. The loud cry of the Third Angel.’

“Great power was with these chosen ones. Said the angel, ‘Look ye!’ My attention was turned to the wicked, or unbelievers. They were all astir. The zeal and power with the people of God had aroused and enraged them. Confusion, confusion, was on every side. I saw measures taken against this company, who were having the power and light of God. Darkness thickened around them, yet there they stood, approved of God, and trusting in him. I saw them perplexed. Next I heard them crying unto God earnestly. Through the day and night their cry ceased not. I heard these words, ‘Thy will, O God, be done! If it can glorify Thy name, make a way of escape for Thy people! Deliver us from the heathen round about us! They have appointed us unto death; but Thine arm can bring salvation.’ These are all the words I can bring to mind. They seemed to have a deep sense of their unworthiness, and manifested entire submission to the will of God. Yet every one, without an exception, was earnestly pleading, and wrestling like Jacob for deliverance.

“Soon after they had commenced their earnest cry, the angels, in sympathy would have gone to their deliverance. But a tall, commanding angel suffered them not. Said he, ‘The will of God is not yet fulfilled. They must drink of the cup. They must be baptized with the baptism.’

“Soon I heard the voice of God, which shook the heavens and the earth. There was a mighty earthquake. Buildings were shaken down, and fell on every side. I then heard a triumphant shout of victory, loud, musical, and clear. I looked upon this company who, a short time before were in such distress and bondage. Their captivity was turned. A glorious light shone upon them. How beautiful they then looked. All weariness and marks of care were gone. Health and beauty were seen in every countenance. Their enemies, the heathen round them, fell like dead men. They could not endure the light that shone upon the delivered, holy ones. This light and glory remained upon them, until Jesus was seen in the clouds of heaven, and the faithful, tried company was changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, from glory to glory. And the graves were opened and the saints came forth, clothed with immortality, crying victory over death and the grave, and together with the living saints, were caught up to meet their Lord in the air; while the rich, musical shouts of Glory, and Victory, were upon every immortal tongue, and proceeding from every sanctified, holy lip.” Review and Herald, December 31, 1857.

“At the transfiguration Jesus was glorified by His Father. We hear Him say, ‘Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in Him.’ Thus before His betrayal and crucifixion He was strengthened for His last dreadful sufferings.

“As the members of the body of Christ approach the period of their last conflict, ‘the time of Jacob’s trouble,’ they will grow up into Christ, and will partake largely of his Spirit. As the third message swells to a loud cry, and as great power and glory attends the closing work, the faithful people of God will partake of that glory. It is the Latter Rain which revives and strengthens them to pass through the time of trouble. Their faces will shine with the glory of that light which attends the third angel.

“I saw that God would in a wonderful manner preserve His people through the time of trouble. As Jesus poured out His soul in agony in the garden, they will earnestly cry and agonize with Him day and night for deliverance. The decree will go forth that they must disregard the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and honor the first day, or lose their lives; but they will not yield, and trample under their feet the Sabbath of the Lord, and honor an institution of the Papacy. Satan’s host, and wicked men, will surround them, and exult over them, because there will seem to be no way of escape for them. But in the midst of their revelry and triumph, there is peal upon peal of the loudest thunder. The heavens have gathered blackness, and are only illuminated by the blazing light and terrible glory from heaven, as God utters His voice from His holy habitation.

“The foundations of the earth shake, buildings totter and fall with a terrible crash. The sea boils like a pot, and the whole earth is in terrible commotion. The captivity of the righteous is turned, and with sweet and solemn whisperings they say to each other, ‘We are delivered. It is the voice of God.’ With solemn awe they listen to the words of the voice. The wicked hear, but understand not the words of the voice of God. They fear and tremble, while the saints rejoice. Satan and his angels, and wicked men, who had been exulting that the people of God were in their power, that they might destroy them from off the earth, witness the glory conferred upon those who have honored the holy law of God. They behold the faces of the righteous lighted up, and reflecting the image of Jesus. Those who were so eager to destroy the saints could not endure the glory resting upon the delivered ones, and they fell like dead men to the earth. Satan and evil angels fled from the presence of the saints glorified. Their power to annoy them was gone forever.” Review and Herald, May 27, 1862.

Which Goal?

Unless there is a goal to be reached, very little effort is put forth by anyone for anything. All successful businesses, all competitive sports and all other worthy or unworthy enterprises have a goal. That goal governs the thoughts, words and actions of the individuals concerned.

As Christians, we too must have a goal, and that goal is to be much higher and nobler than any worldly enterprise. There is only one way we are going to reach that goal, and that is if our thoughts, words, and actions are governed by our determination to reach the standard which we have set.

Setting a Goal

The first thing we need to do is to set our goal. Basically, our goal should be eternal life with Jesus, which means living in heaven and in the earth made new where there will be no sin, no pain, no death, no sorrow, no angry words spoken, no disappointments and no deceptions. It will be a life filled with activity and wholesome association.

To reach any goal we need to know the requirements to see if we have the ability to perform them. Let us look at this for a few minutes. The requirements are set down by God Himself. In Isaiah 13:12, God has promised to make a man more precious than fine gold even than the golden wedge of Ophir. And in Matthew 5:48 He says, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” I would say those requirements are pretty stringent.

But God would never make a requirement, or a goal, that can not be reached; so let us spend a little time on what we must do to reach our goal. In order for gold to become purified it must go through the process of refining, which requires tremendous heat; and that heat represents trials and afflictions. Are we willing to endure the heat of trials such as unjust criticism, unjust treatment or being scoffed at? Are we able to suffer losses without complaining or becoming irritable?

They Forgot Their Leader

These things may sound very trite and simple, but remember that millions of Israelites lost their lives in the desert just because they complained of their situation. They forgot who their leader was; they forgot that every trial was for the purpose of purifying their characters so they would have a better society of people to live with when they got to Canaan. Can you imagine being very, very thirsty and then tasting water so bitter you could not drink it and not saying one impatient word about it? or wandering in the wilderness for 40 years eating the same food day after day, and still keeping a sweet disposition? Remember “all these things happened unto them for enamples: and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” 1Corinthians 10:11.

A Poor Foundation

So how do we reach the goal. There is only one way, and that is to keep our eyes riveted on the life of Jesus. We cannot take time to look any other place. We have no time to look at the supposed mistakes that our brothers and sisters are making. I once knew a minister who used to say, “Other peoples’ mistakes are a poor foundation on which to build your conversation.” That statement has helped me many times.

The story is told in the Bible about the time that Joseph sent his brothers from Egypt back to Canaan, to bring their families and their father to Egypt where there was food. The admonition Joseph gave them was “. . .See that you fall not out by the way.” Genesis 45:24. That is good admonition for us as we are traveling to our heavenly Canaan, for if we fall by the way we will have missed our goal completely and lost our heavenly home.

Where Are Your Eyes Focused?

There are many ways that we could fall out by the way. We could start focusing our eyes on the things of the world; or we could start focusing our attention on the failings of the General Conference brethren; or even spending time trying to figure out why our historic Adventist brothers and sisters are doing what they are doing; or making suppositions about the meanings of what they are preaching.

Focusing our eyes on things of this world—what does that mean? Are we admiring our neighbor’s good car, wishing for and working to have a far better one than we can really afford? Are we dressing with the intention of looking like the worldly models and being pleasing to the eyes of our worldly acquaintances, or are we dressing to represent Jesus, here on earth? Are we loving the entertainments, fashions and fine things of this world, above the worship of our heavenly Creator? Are we watching TV, or reading the newspaper when we should be devoting our time to Bible study or reading the Spirit of Prophecy? Where are we spending our time and energy? Are we just making a living, or are we spending a couple hours a day with the inspired writings and in prayer or even devoting some time for prayer and fasting?

We need to get our eyes riveted on Jesus and realize the purpose for which we were created and given life here on earth. We are told about an experience Peter had when Jesus was on earth. Peter was so happy to see Jesus walking on the water that Peter asked if he could join Him. Jesus bid him come. When Peter got out on the water he was elated that he could actually walk on the water, (Matthew 14:22–36) but as soon as he took his eyes off Jesus and looked at the waves on the sea, he began to sink.

Taking Our Eyes Off Jesus

If we for one minute take our eyes off of Jesus, we too will sink. Let us look at some of the other ways that we take our eyes off Jesus. Have you ever had someone come and tell you of all the mistakes the men at Silver Springs, Maryland are making? Have you ever gone over and over their failures and the way they are investing God’s money and what they are saying about celebration or the new theology? There is nothing wrong with being aware of the conditions in our world or in the church, but there is a difference in being aware of these things and spending time and mental energy dwelling on them, hashing over situations and mistakes.

I am sure that Peter was aware of the fact that he was walking on water. But when he got to thinking about himself, saw the waves and began worrying about his situation, he began to sink. We must be aware of the kind of world in which we are living. But if we begin looking at ourselves, at our situation, at the problems in the church and lose sight of the fact that God is leading and that He will see His work through, then we too will sink. We must be divested of self and determined to do as Jesus would do if He were in our situation. God’s will, will be done on earth as it is done in heaven. The truth will triumph. The question is, Will we triumph with it?

To Glorify God in All Things

The advancements in the modes of travel and communication are given to us for one great purpose—to hasten the Gospel to all the world? When we realize that, we can rightly enjoy our computers, telephones, e-mails, airplanes, cars, and whatever can be used to help save souls from the final destruction of the inhabitants of this world.

When we travel down the fine freeways, that are built to make travel easier and swifter, do we remember that God gave these things to us to expedite His work more efficiently? We need to make use of every modern convenience to which we have access, to glorify God and to help hasten the work of getting the Three Angels’ Messages out to the inhabitants of this troubled world.

We have a goal to be reached, a saving message to be given to the world, and we have not a moment to lose in accomplishing our task. Every dollar we have, and every bit of influence we can exert, is to fulfill that one great purpose. If we keep our eyes riveted on Jesus, and put our all to the task, we will reach our goal.

Jesus tells us that without Him we can do nothing, (John 15:5). In another place He said that with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26), so with God’s direction you and I can reach our goal.

Consecrated Daily

“Consecrate yourself to God in the morning; make this your very first work. Let your prayer be, ‘Take me, O Lord, as wholly Thine. I lay all my plans at Thy feet. Use me today in Thy service. Abide with me, and let all my work be wrought in Thee.’ This is a daily matter. Each morning consecrate yourself to God for that day. Surrender all your plans to Him, to be carried out or given up as His providence shall indicate. Thus, day by day you may be giving your life into the hands of God, and thus your life will be molded more and more after the life of Christ.

“A life in Christ is a life of restfulness. There may be no ecstasy of feeling, but there should be an abiding, peaceful trust. Your hope is not in yourself; it is in Christ. Your weakness is united to His strength, your ignorance to His wisdom, your frailty to His enduring might. So you are not to look to yourself, not to let the mind dwell upon self, but look to Christ. Let the mind dwell upon His love, upon the beauty, the perfection, of His character. Christ in His self-denial, Christ in His humiliation, Christ in His purity and holiness, Christ in His matchless love—this is the subject for the soul’s contemplation. It is by loving Him, copying Him, depending wholly upon Him, that you are to be transformed into His likeness.” Steps to Christ, 70, 71.

Reflecting His Character

We have been promised that the glory of God would circle the earth. In Numbers 14:21, it says, “But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.” If we, His followers, develop in us His character, He will use us to accomplish His purpose. My plea is, Let nothing detract us from the purpose for which we were created and that is to reflect the image of God perfectly. Let us ask ourselves, when we communicate with one another, are we reflecting the character of Christ or are we aiding the “accuser of the brethren?” (Revelation 12:10.)

“In the lives of God’s people the truths of His word are to reveal their glory and excellence. Through His people Christ is to manifest His character and the principles of His kingdom.

“Satan seeks to counterwork the work of God, and he is constantly urging men to accept his principles. He represents the chosen people of God as a deluded people. He is an accuser of the brethren, and his accusing power is employed against those who work righteousness. The Lord desires through His people to answer Satan’s charges by showing the results of obedience to right principles.

“These principles are to be manifest in the individual Christian, in the family, in the church, and in every institution established for God’s service. All are to be symbols of what can be done for the world. They are to be types of the saving power of the truths of the gospel. All are agencies in the fulfillment of God’s great purpose for the human race.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 296.

May we, by the grace of God, who claim to be God’s children and call our selves Seventh-day Adventists, fulfill the purpose for which we are placed in this world.

Do You Really Love Jesus? Part II

Let us look at some of the ingenious ways the devil has used to unsettle the faith of the remnant. One, of course, is just plain saying that Ellen White was not a true prophet. We are going to look at the ways in which the authority of the Spirit of Prophecy is undermined by those who claim to believe.

First, those who profess to believe will say, “Well, yes, but the Bible is the greater light and Ellen White is the lesser light.” Have you heard that? We have all heard it, I am afraid. Let us take a look at that statement, and see what it means and what it does not mean.

Who is He that Gave Thee This Authority?

The real question, actually the bottom line question we are examining in this whole study, is the authority of the Spirit of Prophecy. Is it a greater authority? Is it a lesser authority? Is the Bible infallible, but the Spirit of Prophecy has some mistakes and contradictions in it? Is the Bible true, but something is false in the Spirit of Prophecy? Is it the Bible we need to obey, but we do not need to obey the Spirit of Prophecy? Is this true, or are all of these things false? Are the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy equal in terms of authority, accuracy, reliability and infalibility so that we need to obey all of it? This is the bottom line question.

The first thing we need to question is what would make the Spirit of Prophecy a lesser light? There is not a greater Holy Spirit and a lesser Holy Spirit. No, the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy are both inspired by the same Holy Spirit. “The Holy Ghost is the author of the Scriptures and of the Spirit of Prophecy.” Selected Messages, book 3, 30.

Hebrews 6:18 and Titus 1:2 say that it is impossible for God to lie. So is anything a lie that has been inspired by the Holy Ghost? No. Well, that answers the question of whether there is anything in the Spirit of Prophecy that is untrue.

With this consideration, why would the Spirit of Prophecy be a lesser light? “. . . Through the Testimonies . . .God has seen fit. . . to bring the minds of His people to His Word, to give them a clearer understanding of it.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 31.

So the Testimonies are to give us a clearer understanding of the Word of God, the Bible. “The Lord has given me much light. . . .it has been given to correct specious errors and to specify what is truth.” Ibid., 32. I do not know if that could be any clearer. “God has. . . promised to give visions in the ‘last days;’ not for a new rule of faith, but for the comfort of His people. [Have you ever been comforted by the Spirit of Prophecy? Amen! But it does not stop at that.], “and to correct those who err from Bible truth.” Ibid., 29.

“. . . the Lord has given special testimonies to His people, not as a new revelation, but. . . that errors may be corrected . . . that every soul may be without excuse.” Ibid., 31.

Without Excuse

Well, according to that quote, is the lesser light excuse valid? No, the Spirit of Prophecy was given so we would be without excuse. Earlier we read that God said to Ellen White, “Dedicate yourself to the highest work ever committed to mortals.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 39. So in mission and message her work is as important as any of the Bible prophets, equal in grace and authority.

The next argument we hear to undermine the authority of the Spirit of Prophecy is, “I go by the Bible and the Bible alone. Sola Scriptura.” Have you ever heard that one? Some even quote Mrs. White’s statement that if we study the Bible appropriately, we would not need the Spirit of Prophecy. (See Testimonies, vol. 5, 665.) Maybe you have read that.

Before the flood the people did not have books; they did not even have the Bible. Ellen White says that they were so intelligent, they could remember everything and transmit it to their posterity unimpaired. (See Patriarchs and Prophets, 83.) As mankind’s physical and mental abilities declined, God began to give inspiration through written form. The Bible was given because there was a need, and it was because there was a need that the Spirit of Prophecy was given.

“It is Satan’s special object to prevent this light [of the Spirit of Prophecy] from coming to the people of God, who so greatly need it amid the perils of these last days.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 667. There is a similar quote in Selected Messages, book 3, 84: “. . . all who believe that the Lord has spoken through Sister White, and has given her a message, will be safe from the many delusions that will come in these last days.”

There are many delusions going around, but those who have implicit faith in the Spirit of Prophecy are not being deceived. It is those who are undermining the authority of the Spirit of Prophecy who are being misled. We need to pray for these people; we need to love them; but we need to share with them the seriousness of this subject.

Sola Scriptura was a very good thing during the Protestant Reformation, but the Spirit of Prophecy had not been given then. The contrast was between the Bible and traditions, the traditions of man and the Papacy. So in this day and age the principle applies Sola Inspirationa. We go by the inspiration, and inspiration alone, rather than the traditions of man.

Some professed believers quote: “Lay Sister White to one side. Do not quote my words again as long as you live until you can obey the Bible.” Selected Messages, book 3, 33. This quote is referring to obeying the Bible, not referring to understanding or interpreting the Bible. It does not say anything against using the Spirit of Prophecy to correct misunderstandings of the Bible. It is talking about those who are not obeying the Bible, those who are clearly breaking God’s Biblical Law but who are trying to hammer people over the head with the Spirit of Prophecy.

Infallible Message or Infallible Prophet?

Was Ellen White infallible? She says, “I have never claimed it.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 37.

Do not say that there are mistakes in the Spirit of Prophecy merely because she says she was not infallible. There is a big, big difference between a prophet being fallible and a prophetic message being fallible. Ellen White was fallible. She was a human being. She made mistakes just like every other human being, just like every other prophet.

“Enoch, Noah, Moses, Daniel and the long roll of patriarchs and prophets…were not infallible.” Gospel Workers, 1915 edition, 13. Ellen White stated she was not infallible. “In regard to infallibility, I have never claimed it.” Selected Messages, book 1, 37. She is stating the difference between herself and the message that God has given through her.

Other people ask, “Why do you put Ellen White above the Bible?” Well, you could ask them, “Why does the Bible put the Spirit of Prophecy and all true prophets above your interpretation of the Bible?” That is really what it is; they are putting their interpretation of the Bible above the Spirit of Prophecy. Neither one is above or below each other in terms of accuracy.

There are no errors in either one. How could one be above the other in terms of accuracy or reliability? They are both equal in that sense. You could also say, “I do not put Ellen White above the Bible; I put Ellen White above you.”

Some may say, “Well some things she wrote were inspired, and some things she wrote were not inspired.” Let us examine several aspects of that statement.

Read in context the section titled “The Nature and Influence of the Testimonies” in Testimonies, vol. 5, 654-691. Some pull out the sentence: “If the Testimonies speak not according to the Word of God, reject them.” Ibid., 691. They say, “See, if you read something in the Testimonies, and it contradicts something in the Bible, throw it out.”

This Work is of God, or it is Not!

But if you read this sentence in context, she is saying exactly the opposite. She is talking about the entire writings of the Spirit of Prophecy, all of her testimonies, everything that God gave to her. They are either of God, or they are of the devil. They are either in harmony with the Bible, or they are not. If they are not in harmony with the Word of God, if they are of the devil, then reject them—all of them. If they are of God, then accept all of them. That is what it means in context.

Notice this: “This work is of God, or it is not. God does nothing in partnership with Satan. . . .There is no halfway work in the matter. The Testimonies are of the Spirit of God, or of the devil.” Ibid., 671. That is putting it in context. Also in context, it says, “If you lose confidence in the Testimonies you will drift away from Bible truth.” Ibid., 674. “In many cases the Testimonies are fully received. In other instances . . .the Testimonies are rejected, and many excuses which are untrue are offered to others as the reason for refusing to receive them.” Ibid., 675.

Many excuses, that is exactly what we are looking at. Every one of the excuses we are covering are untrue, but they are offered to people as reasons for not believing the Spirit of Prophecy.

“If the Testimonies speak not according to the Word of God, reject them.” Ibid., 691. Do not by your criticisms take out all the force, all the point and power, from the Testimonies. Do not feel that you can dissect them to suit your own ideas, claiming that God has given you the ability to discern what is light from heaven and what is the expression of mere human wisdom. “If the Testimonies speak not according to the Word of God, reject them. Christ and Belial cannot be united. For Christ’s sake do not confuse the minds of the people with human sophistry and skepticism, and make of none effect the work that the Lord would do.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 691. The last great deception will be to make of none effect the Spirit of Prophecy. “The Bible must be your counselor. Study it and the testimonies God has given; for they never contradict His Word.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 32. Nothing in the Spirit of Prophecy ever contradicts the Bible. Isaiah 8:20.

One of the tests of a true prophet says, “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” They are either a true prophet or a false prophet. There is nothing in between.

The Arguments Continue from Unsanctified Minds

Another argument you will hear is, “I believe that what she saw in vision was inspired, but the other things are uninspired.” As with the other fallacies, you could do the same thing with the Bible. The majority of the Bible was not given specifically in vision, so we could throw much of the Bible out on that same basic premise.

“They said: ‘We believe Sister White’s testimonies; but when she tells us things that she has not directly seen in vision, her words are of no more account to us than the words of any other person.’” Testimonies, vol. 5, 687.

Now notice the response: “The Spirit of the Lord came upon me, and I arose and rebuked them in the name of the Lord.” Ibid.

Another excuse you hear is that Ellen White was influenced, or some of what she wrote was influenced, by others. “There are those who say, ‘Someone manipulates her writings.’ I acknowledge the charge. It is One who is mighty in counsel, One who presents before me the condition of things.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 64. God is the one who influenced her writings. “What you have said, Sister D, influenced me not at all. My opinion has nothing to do with what God has shown me in vision.” Ibid., 63.

And that leads to, “Well, you know, that was just her own opinion.” That is just another way to say that it was not inspired. “This over here was inspired, but that was her opinion.”

“In no case have I given my own judgment or opinion. I have enough to write of what has been shown me, without falling back on my own opinions.” Ibid., 70. “Many times in my experience I have been called upon to meet an attitude of a certain class, who acknowledged that the testimonies were from God, but took the position that this matter and that matter were Sister White’s opinion and judgment. This suits those who do not love reproof and correction, and who, if their ideas are crossed, have occasion to explain the difference between the human and the divine. . . . Everything that sustains their cherished ideas is divine, and the testimonies to correct their errors are human—Sister White’s opinions.” Ibid., 68.

How convenient, I might add. Is it not strange how the things that agree with what they believe are inspired, and things with which they do not agree, just happen to be what was uninspired, or her opinions. She goes on to say, “They make of none effect the counsel of God by their tradition.” Ibid. Another way to make of none effect the Spirit of Prophecy.

Still others say that the things she wrote in personal letters to other people, were not inspired.

“You might say that this communication was only a letter. Yes, it was a letter, but prompted by the Spirit of God. . . . In these letters which I write, . . . I am presenting to you that which the Lord has presented to me.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 67.

Once again, what do we have in the Bible, the New Testament? Letters to different people. Are these letters from God? Yes, they are! Please note, “. . . there are times when . . . common letters must be written. Such are not given under the special inspiration of the Spirit of God.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 39. (Read pages 38 and 39 for a clearer understanding of this subject.) It is true that Ellen White wrote common letters which were not inspired by the Holy Spirit.

But even this quote has been misused. I have seen people reject things based on this quote. They say, “Well that was just a common letter.” But Mrs. White defines what is a common letter and what is not a common letter in the very next sentence. It says, “Questions are asked at times that are not upon religious subjects at all, and these questions must be answered. We converse about houses and lands. . . ” Ibid. That would be a common letter; one that was not inspired, but anything that is on a religious subject is just as inspired as is the Bible.

Those Who Criticize the “Word” of God Need Fear and Tremble!

“In the very same way that they treat the writings in my published articles and in my books, so do skeptics and infidels treat the Bible.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 19. The very same principle we have been covering, that can be used to undermine the Spirit of Prophecy, skeptics and infidels use on the Bible.

“When men venture to criticize the Word of God, they venture on sacred, holy ground, and had better fear and tremble and hide their wisdom as foolishness. God sets no man to pronounce judgment on His word, selecting some things as inspired and discrediting others as uninspired. The testimonies have been treated in the same way; but God is not in this.” Ibid., 23.

“I would have both my arms taken off at my shoulders before I would ever make the statement or set my judgment upon the Word of God as to what is inspired and what is not inspired. . . . Never let mortal man sit in judgment upon the Word of God or pass sentence as to how much of this is inspired and how much is not inspired, and that this is more inspired than some other portions. God warns him off that ground. God has not given him any such work to do.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 919.

So, from now on, if anybody comes to you with any of these ideas, you do not have to read all the quotes we have printed here, just read them this one in the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary. Tell them, “I will be glad to hear all you have to say on this subject as soon as you come back to me with both your arms amputated.” I do not believe you will have many who wish to pursue the subject.

For further study: Who is He That Gave Thee This Authority? [See Luke 20:2] by Paul Rahoi. You may write:
Cornerstone Ministries,
P.O. Box 212,
Cedarpoint, IL 61316.