Bible Study Guides – Hebrews 9:20–23

May 25-31, 2003

MEMORY VERSE: “Almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” Hebrews 9:22.

SUGGESTED READING: Fundamentals of Christian Education, 506, 507.

INTRODUCTION: “The Jews saw in the sacrificial offerings the symbol of Christ whose blood was shed for the salvation of the world. All these offerings were to typify Christ and to rivet the great truth in their hearts that the blood of Jesus Christ alone cleanseth from all sin, and without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. Some wonder why God desired so many sacrifices and appointed the offering of so many bleeding victims in the Jewish economy.

“Every dying victim was a type of Christ, which lesson was impressed on mind and heart in the most solemn, sacred ceremony, and explained definitely by the priests. Sacrifices were explicitly planned by God Himself to teach this great and momentous truth, that through the blood of Christ alone there is forgiveness of sins.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 106, 107.

1 What did the Lord say to the children of Israel, through Moses, as the first covenant was made? Exodus 24:8, Hebrews 9:20.

NOTE: “The Lord hath set apart him that is godly for Himself; this consecration to God and separation from the world is plainly and positively enjoined in both the Old and the New Testament. There is a wall of separation which the Lord Himself has established between the things of the world and the things He has chosen out of the world and sanctified unto Himself. The calling and character of God’s people are peculiar, their prospects are peculiar, and these peculiarities distinguish them from all other people. All of God’s people upon the earth are one body, from the beginning to the end of time. They have one Head that directs and governs the body. The same injunctions that rested upon ancient Israel, rest upon God’s people now, to be separate from the world. The great Head of the church has not changed. The experience of Christians in these days is much like the travels of ancient Israel.” [Emphasis supplied.] Testimonies, vol. 1, 283, 284.

2 What similar language did Jesus use in establishing the new covenant? Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24.

NOTE: “Here our Saviour instituted the Lord’s supper, to be often celebrated, to keep fresh in the memory of his followers the solemn scenes of his betrayal and crucifixion for the sins of the world. He would have his followers realize their continual dependence upon his blood for salvation. The broken bread was a symbol of Christ’s broken body, given for the salvation of the world. The wine was a symbol of his blood, shed for the cleansing of the sins of all those who should come unto him for pardon, and receive him as their Saviour.” [Emphasis supplied.] Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 227.

3 In the typical law, what things were purified by blood? Hebrews 9:22, first part.

NOTE: “The cleansing, both in the typical and in the real service, must be accomplished with blood: in the former, with the blood of animals; in the latter, with the blood of Christ.

“The cleansing was not a removal of physical impurities, for it was to be accomplished with blood, and therefore must be a cleansing from sin.” The Faith I Live By, 206.

4 What is necessary for the remission of sin? Hebrews 9:22, last part.

NOTE: “These brothers [Cain and Abel] were tested, as Adam had been tested before them, to prove whether they would believe and obey the word of God. They were acquainted with the provision made for the salvation of man, and understood the system of offerings which God had ordained. They knew that in these offerings they were to express faith in the Saviour whom the offerings typified, and at the same time to acknowledge their total dependence on Him for pardon; and they knew that by thus conforming to the divine plan for their redemption, they were giving proof of their obedience to the will of God. Without the shedding of blood there could be no remission of sin; and they were to show their faith in the blood of Christ as the promised atonement by offering the firstlings of the flock in sacrifice. Besides this, the first fruits of the earth were to be presented before the Lord as a thank offering.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 71.

5 Why was blood chosen to make atonement? Leviticus 17:11.

NOTE: “Day by day the repentant sinner brought his offering to the door of the tabernacle and, placing his hand upon the victim’s head, confessed his sins, thus in figure transferring them from himself to the innocent sacrifice. The animal was then slain. [Leviticus 17:11 quoted.] The broken law of God demanded the life of the transgressor. The blood, representing the forfeited life of the sinner, whose guilt the victim bore, was carried by the priest into the holy place and sprinkled before the veil, behind which was the ark containing the law that the sinner had transgressed. By this ceremony the sin was, through the blood, transferred in figure to the sanctuary.” The Great Controversy, 418.

6 What should be the fate of him who sheds the blood of man? Genesis 9:6.

NOTE: “If the one tried for murder were proved guilty, no atonement or ransom could rescue him. [Genesis 9:6 quoted]. ‘Ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which is guilty of death: but he shall be surely put to death.’ ‘Thou shalt take him from Mine altar, that he may die,’ was the command of God; ‘the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.’ Numbers 35:31, 33; Exodus 21:14. The safety and purity of the nation demanded that the sin of murder be severely punished. Human life, which God alone could give, must be sacredly guarded.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 516.

7 Whose lives are forfeited to the law? Romans 3:19, 23; 6:23.

NOTE: “The whole world stands condemned before the great moral standard of righteousness. In the great day of judgment every soul that has lived on the earth will receive sentence in accordance as to whether his deeds have been good or evil in the light of the law of God. Every mouth will be stopped as the cross with its dying Victim shall be presented, and its real bearing shall be seen by every mind that has been sin blinded and corrupted. Sinners will stand condemned before the cross, with its mysterious Victim bowing beneath the infinite burden of human transgression. How quickly will be swept away every subterfuge, every lying excuse! Human apostasy will appear in its heinous character. Men will see what their choice has been. They will then understand that they have chosen Barabbas instead of Christ, the Prince of Peace.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1069.

8 Upon what may we depend to clear us before the law? 1 John 1:7; Ephesians 1:7.

NOTE: “When the poor, condemned sinner was lying under the curse of the Father’s law, Jesus so loved him that He gave Himself for the transgressor. He redeemed him by the virtue of His blood. We cannot estimate the precious ransom paid to redeem fallen man. The heart’s best and holiest affections should be given in return for such wondrous love.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 119.

9 What was necessary in the earthly sanctuary? Hebrews 9:22, 23, first part.

NOTE: “Important truths concerning the atonement may be learned from the typical service. A substitute was accepted in the sinner’s stead; but the sin was not canceled by the blood of the victim. A means was thus provided by which it was transferred to the sanctuary. By the offering of blood, the sinner acknowledged the authority of the law, confessed his guilt in transgression, and expressed his desire for pardon through faith in a Redeemer to come; but he was not yet entirely released from the condemnation of the law. On the day of atonement the high priest, having taken an offering from the congregation, went into the most holy place with the blood of this general offering, and sprinkled it upon the mercy-seat, directly over the law, to make satisfaction for its claims. Then, in his character of mediator, he took the sins upon himself, and bore them from the sanctuary. Placing his hands upon the head of the scape-goat, he confessed over him all these sins, thus in figure transferring them from himself to the goat. The goat then bore them away, and they were regarded as forever separated from the people.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 265.

10 With what is it necessary for the heavenly sanctuary to be cleansed, and of what is it being cleansed? Hebrews 9:23, last part.

NOTE: “As the sins of the people were anciently transferred, in figure, to the earthly sanctuary by the blood of the sin-offering, so our sins are, in fact, transferred to the heavenly sanctuary by the blood of Christ. And as the typical cleansing of the earthly was accomplished by the removal of the sins by which it had been polluted, so the actual cleansing of the heavenly is to be accomplished by the removal, or blotting out, of the sins which are there recorded. This necessitates an examination of the books of record to determine who, through repentance of sin and faith in Christ, are entitled to the benefits of his atonement. The cleansing of the sanctuary therefore involves a work of investigative Judgment.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 266.

11 Who takes away our sins? John 1:29.

NOTE: “Let the repenting sinner fix his eyes upon ‘the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29); and by beholding, he becomes changed. His fear is turned to joy, his doubts to hope. Gratitude springs up. The stony heart is broken. A tide of love sweeps into the soul. Christ is in him a well of water springing up unto everlasting life. [John 4:14.]” The Desire of Ages, 439.

12 Why did Christ take our sins upon Himself? Exodus 28:29, 30; Hebrews 2:14, 15.

NOTE: “Like Aaron, who symbolized Christ, our Saviour bears the names of all His people on His heart in the holy place. Our great High Priest remembers all the words by which He has encouraged us to trust. He is ever mindful of His covenant.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 148.

Bible Study Guides – Hebrews 9:15–20

May 18-24, 2003

MEMORY VERSE: “This [is] the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.” Hebrews 9:20.

SUGGESTED READING: Testimonies, vol. 4, 120–123.

INTRODUCTION: “Here the people received the conditions of the covenant. They made a solemn covenant with God, typifying the covenant made between God and every believer in Jesus Christ. The conditions were plainly laid before the people. They were not left to misunderstand them. When they were requested to decide whether they would agree to all the conditions given, they unanimously consented to obey every obligation. They had already consented to obey God’s commandments. The principles of the law were now particularized, that they might know how much was involved in covenanting to obey the law; and they accepted the specifically defined particulars of the law.

“If the Israelites had obeyed God’s requirements, they would have been practical Christians. They would have been happy; for they would have been keeping God’s ways, and not following the inclinations of their own natural hearts. Moses did not leave them to misconstrue the words of the Lord or to misapply His requirements. He wrote all the words of the Lord in a book, that they might be referred to afterward. In the mount he had written them as Christ Himself dictated them.

“Bravely did the Israelites speak the words promising obedience to the Lord, after hearing His covenant read in the audience of the people. They said, ‘All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.’ Then the people were set apart and sealed to God. A sacrifice was offered to the Lord. A portion of the blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled upon the altar. This signified that the people had consecrated themselves—body, mind, and soul—to God. A portion was sprinkled upon the people. This signified that through the sprinkled blood of Christ, God graciously accepted them as His special treasure. Thus the Israelites entered into a solemn covenant with God (Manuscript 126, 1901).” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1107.

1 By what means did Christ become the Redeemer of those under the first covenant? Hebrews 9:15.

NOTE: “Abel grasped the great principles of redemption. He saw himself a sinner, and he saw sin and its penalty, death, standing between his soul and communion with God. He brought the slain victim, the sacrificed life, thus acknowledging the claims of the law that had been transgressed. Through the shed blood he looked to the future sacrifice, Christ dying on the cross of Calvary; and trusting in the atonement that was there to be made, he had the witness that he was righteous, and his offering accepted.” Conflict and Courage, 24.

2 Who are meant by “they which are called” (Hebrews 9:15)? Acts 2:39.

NOTE: “God’s field is the world. Jesus said to His disciples: ‘Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.’ ‘And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.’ Acts 1:8; Luke 24:47.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 56, 57.

3 What may all receive through the priesthood of Christ? Hebrews 9:15, last part.

NOTE: “Those who accept Christ as their Saviour have the promise of the life that now is, and that which is to come. [1 Timothy 4:8.] The human agent owes no part of his ability to the service of Satan; but his entire allegiance is due to the infinite and eternal God. The lowliest disciple of Christ may become an inhabitant of heaven, an heir of God to an inheritance incorruptible, and that fadeth not away. O that every one might make choice of the heavenly gift, become an heir of God to that inheritance whose title is secure from any destroyer, world without end! O, choose not the world, but choose the better inheritance! Press, urge your way toward the mark for the prize of your high calling in Christ Jesus. [Philippians 3:14.] For Christ’s sake, let the aim of your education be shaped by the inducements of the better world.” Review and Herald, November 21, 1893.

4 What is necessary before a testament can be in force? Hebrews 9:16, 17.

NOTE: The Greek word diatheke “may mean either ‘covenant’ or ‘testament’ in the sense of ‘will.’ . . . In Hebrews 9:15–18 there is a play on the two meanings of this word. The ‘inheritance’ mentioned in verse 15 probably suggested the idea of a will or testament, and the phrase ‘by means of death,’ literally, ‘death having occurred,’ probably called to mind the fact that Christ died leaving us an inheritance, and that this inheritance was left us in a testament. . . . A will, or testament, does not go into effect until the testator dies.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 454.

“Enoch, the seventh from Adam, was ever prophesying the coming of the Lord. [Jude 1:14.] This great event had been revealed to him in vision. Abel, though dead, is ever speaking of the blood of Christ which alone can make our offerings and gifts perfect. The Bible has accumulated and bound up together its treasures for this last generation. All the great events and solemn transactions of Old Testament history have been, and are, repeating themselves in the church in these last days. There is Moses still speaking, teaching self-renunciation by wishing himself blotted from the Book of Life for his fellow men, that they might be saved. David is leading the intercession of the church for the salvation of souls to the ends of the earth. The prophets are still testifying of the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow. There the whole accumulated truths are presented in force to us that we may profit by their teachings. We are under the influence of the whole. What manner of persons ought we to be to whom all this rich light of inheritance has been given. Concentrating all the influence of the past with new and increased light of the present, accrued power is given to all who will follow the light. Their faith will increase, and be brought into exercise at the present time, awakening an energy and an intensely increased earnestness, and through dependence upon God for His power to replenish the world and send the light of the Sun of Righteousness to the ends of the earth.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 7, 417.

5 How was the old covenant ratified? Hebrews 9:18–20; Exodus 24:3–8.

NOTE: “[Exodus 24:3–8 quoted.] Thus by a most solemn service the children of Israel were once more set apart as a peculiar people. The sprinkling of the blood represented the shedding of the blood of Jesus, by which human beings are cleansed from sin.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 507.

6 What did Moses speak to the people? Hebrews 9:19.

NOTE: “God graciously spoke his law and wrote it with his own finger on stone, making a solemn covenant with his people at Sinai. God acknowledged them as his peculiar treasure above all people upon the earth. Christ, who went before Moses in the wilderness, made the principles of morality and religion more clear by particular precepts, specifying the duty of man to God and his fellow-men, for the purpose of protecting life, and guarding the sacred law of God, that it should not be entirely forgotten in the midst of an apostate world.” Review and Herald, May 6, 1875.

7 What did Moses send young men to do? Exodus 24:5.

NOTE: “We must manifest confidence in our young men. They should be pioneers in every enterprise involving toil and sacrifice, while the overtaxed servants of Christ should be cherished as counselors, to encourage and bless those who strike the heaviest blows for God.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 516, 517.

“No one lives to himself; all exert an influence for good or for evil. Because of this, the apostle exhorts young men to be sober-minded. How can they be otherwise when they remember that they are to be co-workers with Christ, partakers with Him of His self-denial and sacrifice, His forbearance and gracious benevolence?” Ibid., 535.

8 What did Moses do with the blood of the sacrifice, and what were his words to the people? Hebrews 9:19, 20; Exodus 24:6. Compare Matthew 26:28.

NOTE: “The blood of the Son of God was symbolized by the blood of the slain victim, and God would have clear and definite ideas preserved between the sacred and the common. Blood was sacred, inasmuch as through the shedding of the blood of the Son of God alone could there be atonement for sin.” The Signs of the Times, July 15, 1880.

9 What did Moses use to sprinkle the blood? Hebrews 9:19. Compare Leviticus 14:4–7.

NOTE: “The hyssop used in sprinkling the blood was the symbol of purification . . . .” Patriarchs and Prophets, 277.

“The priest used cedar and hyssop [Leviticus 14], dipping them into the cleansing water and sprinkling the unclean. This symbolized the blood of Christ spilled to cleanse us from moral impurities. The repeated sprinklings illustrate the thoroughness of the work that must be accomplished for the repenting sinner. All that he has must be consecrated. Not only should his own soul be washed clean and pure, but he should strive to have his family, his domestic arrangements, his property, and his entire belongings consecrated to God.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 122.

10 What should be our prayer each day? Psalm 51:7.

NOTE: “[Psalm 51:7–13 quoted.] Let your prayers ascend to our Heavenly Father, and let this 51st Psalm bring assurance and comfort to you. Do not stay away from Jesus, for he loves you. You may say, ‘He will not hear my prayers; I am a sinner.’ But Christ says, ‘I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’ [Matthew 9:13.] Then you are not to wait, but come now, and believe that he will receive you. ‘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.]” Review and Herald, August 25, 1891.

“The blood of Christ is efficacious, but needs continually to be applied. God wants his servants to make a consecration of themselves to his cause, and to use for his glory the means which he has intrusted to them. If any have become selfish, and are withholding from the Lord that which they should cheerfully give to his service, then they need the blood of sprinkling thoroughly applied, consecrating them and all their possessions to God.” Ibid., January 9, 1883.

Bible Study Guides – Hebrews 9:6–14

May 11-17, 2003

MEMORY VERSE: “Ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, . . . But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” 1 Peter 1:18, 19.

SUGGESTED READING: Selected Messages, Book 1, 237, 238.

INTRODUCTION: “Christ was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. To many it has been a mystery why so many sacrificial offerings were required in the old dispensation, why so many bleeding victims were led to the altar. But the great truth that was to be kept before men, and imprinted upon mind and heart, was this, ‘Without shedding of blood is no remission.’ In every bleeding sacrifice was typified ‘the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ ” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 932.

1 What was signified by the services performed in the two apartments of the earthly sanctuary? Hebrews 9:6–8.

NOTE: “God expressly directed that every offering presented for the service of the sanctuary should be ‘without blemish.’ Exodus 12:5. . . . Only an offering ‘without blemish’ could be a symbol of His perfect purity who was to offer Himself as ‘a lamb without blemish and without spot.’ 1 Peter 1:19. The apostle Paul points to these sacrifices as an illustration of what the followers of Christ are to become. He says, ‘I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.’ Romans 12:1. We are to give ourselves to the service of God, and we should seek to make the offering as nearly perfect as possible.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 352, 353.

2 What was the purpose of the earthly sanctuary? Hebrews 9:9, first part.

NOTE: “Not only the sanctuary itself, but the ministration of the priests, was to ‘serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things.’ Hebrews 8:5.

“The people were taught each day, by means of types and shadows, the great truths relative to the advent of Christ as Redeemer, Priest, and King; and once each year their minds were carried forward to the closing events of the great controversy between Christ and Satan, the final purification of the universe from sin and sinners. The sacrifices and offerings of the Mosaic ritual were ever pointing toward a better service, even a heavenly.” The Faith I Live By, 195.

3 What could the sacrifices offered in the earthly sanctuary not do? Hebrews 9:9, last part, 10.

NOTE: “The types and shadows of the sacrificial service, with the prophecies, gave the Israelites a veiled, indistinct view of the mercy and grace to be brought to the world by the revelation of Christ. . . . Christ became the propitiation for man’s sin. He proffered His perfection of character in the place of man’s sinfulness. He took upon Himself the curse of disobedience. The sacrifices and offerings pointed forward to the sacrifice He was to make. The slain lamb typified the Lamb that was to take away the sin of the world.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 237.

4 Where does our High Priest minister? Hebrews 8:1, 2; 9:11.

NOTE: “The sanctuary in Heaven, in which Jesus ministers in our behalf, is the great original, of which the sanctuary built by Moses was a copy. . . . The matchless splendor of the earthly tabernacle reflected to human vision the glories of that heavenly temple where Christ our forerunner ministers for us before the throne of God.” The Great Controversy (1888), 413, 414.

5 As our High Priest, what sacrifice did He offer? Hebrews 9:12.

NOTE: “In the Temple service, when the animal brought as a sacrifice was slain, the high priest, clothed in white robes, caught in his hand the blood that gushed forth, and cast it in the direction of the tabernacle or Temple. This was done seven times, as an expression of perfection. So Christ, the great antitype, Himself both high priest and victim, clothed with His own spotless robes of righteousness, after giving His life for the world, cast the virtue of His offering, a crimson current, in the direction of the Holy Place, reconciling man to God through the blood of the cross.—Manuscript 101, 1897, pp. 11, 12. (‘The True High Priest,’ September, 1897.)” Manuscript Releases, vol. 4, 244.

6 How often does Christ have to offer a sacrifice? Hebrews 9:12, 24–26.

NOTE: “He [Paul] makes plain the work of the Redeemer as the great high priest of mankind—the One who through the sacrifice of His own life was to make atonement for sin once for all, and was then to take up His ministry in the heavenly sanctuary.” The Acts of the Apostles, 246.

7 What does the blood of Christ do for us? Hebrews 9:13, 14.

NOTE: “Many who profess to be followers of Christ have not that earnest and unselfish devotion to his cause that he requires of them. They give their attention to temporal matters, and train their minds for business, in order to benefit themselves thereby. But God calls for them to come more closely into union with him, that he may mold and train them for his work. A solemn statement was made to ancient Israel that the man who should remain unclean, and refuse to purify himself, should be cut off from among the congregation. This has a special meaning for us. If it was necessary in ancient times for the unclean to be purified by the blood of sprinkling, how essential for those living in the perils of the last days, exposed to the fierce temptations of Satan, to have the blood of Christ applied to their hearts daily.” Review and Herald, January 9, 1883.

8 With what are we redeemed? 1 Peter 1:18, 19.

NOTE: “All men have been bought with this infinite price [the precious blood of Jesus]. By pouring the whole treasury of heaven into this world, by giving us in Christ all heaven, God has purchased the will, the affections, the mind, the soul, of every human being. Whether believers or unbelievers, all men are the Lord’s property. All are called to do service for Him, and for the manner in which they have met this claim, all will be required to render an account at the great judgment day.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 326.

9 What is the blood of Christ called? Hebrews 13:20.

NOTE: “Let those who are oppressed under a sense of sin remember that there is hope for them. The salvation of the human race has ever been the object of the councils of heaven. The covenant of mercy was made before the foundation of the world. It has existed from all eternity, and is called the everlasting covenant. So surely as there never was a time when God was not, so surely there never was a moment when it was not the delight of the eternal mind to manifest His grace to humanity.” The Signs of the Times, June 12, 1901.

10 When did the first sanctuary cease to stand as a sanctuary? Matthew 23:38; 27:50, 51.

NOTE: “When the loud cry, ‘It is finished,’ came from the lips of Christ, the priests were officiating in the temple. It was the hour of the evening sacrifice. The lamb representing Christ had been brought to be slain. Clothed in his significant and beautiful dress, the priest stood with lifted knife, as did Abraham when he was about to slay his son. With intense interest the people were looking on. But the earth trembles and quakes; for the Lord Himself draws near. With a rending noise the inner veil of the temple is torn from top to bottom by an unseen hand, throwing open to the gaze of the multitude a place once filled with the presence of God. . . .

“All is terror and confusion. The priest is about to slay the victim; but the knife drops from his nerveless hand, and the lamb escapes. Type has met antitype in the death of God’s Son. The great sacrifice has been made. The way into the holiest is laid open. A new and living way is prepared for all. No longer need sinful, sorrowing humanity await the coming of the high priest. Henceforth the Saviour was to officiate as priest and advocate in the heaven of heavens. It was as if a living voice had spoken to the worshipers: There is now an end to all sacrifices and offerings for sin.” The Desire of Ages, 756, 757.

11 What secured the pardon of transgressions that were committed under the first covenant? Hebrews 9:14, 15.

NOTE: “Christ is our Mediator and officiating High Priest in the presence of the Father. He was shown to John as a Lamb that had been slain, as in the very act of pouring out His blood in the sinner’s behalf. When the law of God is set before the sinner, showing him the depth of his sins, he should then be pointed to the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. He should be taught repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 395.

12 Since Christ did not begin His priestly work of offering His own blood until after the crucifixion and ascension, how could the sins of those under the first covenant be pardoned? Galatians 3:17; Hebrews 6:13–18.

NOTE: “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.

Bible Study Guides – Hebrews 9:1–7

May 4- May 10, 2003

MEMORY VERSE: “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16.

SUGGESTED READING: The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 272–275.

INTRODUCTION: “As Jesus died on Calvary, He cried, ‘It is finished,’ and the veil of the temple was rent in twain, from the top to the bottom. This was to show that the services of the earthly sanctuary were forever finished, and that God would no more meet with the priests in their earthly temple, to accept their sacrifices. The blood of Jesus was then shed, which was to be offered by Himself in the heavenly sanctuary. As the priest entered the most holy once a year to cleanse the earthly sanctuary, so Jesus entered the most holy of the heavenly, at the end of the 2300 days of Daniel 8, in 1844, to make a final atonement for all who could be benefited by His mediation, and thus to cleanse the sanctuary.” Early Writings, 253.

1 What does the apostle Paul say the first covenant had? Hebrews 9:1.

NOTE: “In patriarchal times the sacrificial offerings connected with divine worship constituted a perpetual reminder of the coming of a Saviour, and thus it was with the entire ritual of the sanctuary services throughout Israel’s history. In the ministration of the tabernacle, and of the Temple that afterward took its place, the people were taught each day, by means of types and shadows, the great truths relative to the advent of Christ as Redeemer, Priest, and King; and once each year their minds were carried forward to the closing events of the great controversy between Christ and Satan, the final purification of the universe from sin and sinners.” Lift Him Up, 26.

2 What is meant by a “worldly sanctuary”? Hebrews 9:1; Exodus 25:8, 9.

NOTE: “Moses made the earthly sanctuary after a pattern which was shown him. Paul teaches that that pattern was the true sanctuary which is in heaven.” The Faith I Live By, 202.

“A most splendid sanctuary had been made, according to the pattern showed to Moses in the mount, and afterward presented by the Lord to David. The earthly sanctuary was made like the heavenly.” The Spirit of Prophecy, Book 1, 413.

3 Where is the only real sanctuary? Hebrews 8:1, 2.

NOTE: “Here [Hebrews 8:1, 2] is revealed the sanctuary of the new covenant. The sanctuary of the first covenant was pitched by man, built by Moses; this is pitched by the Lord, not by man. In that sanctuary the earthly priests performed their service; in this, Christ, our great High Priest, ministers at God’s right hand. One sanctuary was on earth, the other is in heaven.” The Great Controversy, 413.

4 How many apartments were in the earthly sanctuary and what were they called? Hebrews 9:2, 3.

NOTE: “The building was divided into two apartments by a rich and beautiful curtain, or veil, suspended from gold-plated pillars; and a similar veil closed the entrance of the first apartment. These, like the inner covering, which formed the ceiling, were of the most gorgeous colors, blue, purple, and scarlet, beautifully arranged, while inwrought with threads of gold and silver were cherubim to represent the angelic host who are connected with the work of the heavenly sanctuary and who are ministering spirits to the people of God on earth.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 347.

“Besides the outer court, which contained the altar of burnt offering, the tabernacle itself consisted of two apartments called the holy and the most holy place, separated by a rich and beautiful curtain, or veil; a similar veil closed the entrance to the first apartment.” The Great Controversy, 412.

5 What was in the holy place? Hebrews 9:2; Exodus 40:22–27.

NOTE: “In the holy place was the candlestick, on the south, with its seven lamps giving light to the sanctuary both by day and by night; on the north stood the table of shewbread; and before the veil separating the holy from the most holy was the golden altar of incense, from which the cloud of fragrance, with the prayers of Israel, was daily ascending before God.” The Great Controversy, 412.

6 What was in the holiest place of all? Hebrews 9:3, 4.

NOTE: “In the inner apartment was the ark, which was the most sacred object connected with that system of worship. It was a chest of precious wood, overlaid within and without with pure gold, and having a crown of gold about the top.” The Signs of the Times, June 24, 1880.

7 What was in the ark? Hebrews 9:4, last part; Exodus 25:21.

NOTE: “In the ark were placed the tables of stone upon which God had engraved with his own finger the ten commandments. It was made expressly for this purpose, and hence was called the ark of the covenant, and the ark of the testament, since the ten commandments were God’s covenant, and the basis of the covenant made between God and Israel.” The Signs of the Times, June 24, 1880.

8 What was the cover of the ark called? Hebrews 9:5.

NOTE: “The cover of the sacred chest was called the mercy seat. This was wrought of one solid piece of gold, and was surmounted by golden cherubim, one standing on each end. One wing of each angel was stretched forth on high, while the other was folded over the body (see Ezekiel 1:11) in token of reverence and humility. The position of the cherubim, with their faces turned toward each other, and looking reverently downward toward the ark, represented the reverence with which the heavenly host regard the law of God and their interest in the plan of redemption.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 348, 349.

9 Why was it called the mercy seat? Exodus 25:21, 22. Compare Hebrews 4:16.

NOTE: “The law of God, enshrined within the ark, was the great rule of righteousness and judgment. That law pronounced death upon the transgressor; but above the law was the mercy seat, upon which the presence of God was revealed, and from which, by virtue of the atonement, pardon was granted to the repentant sinner. Thus in the work of Christ for our redemption, symbolized by the sanctuary service, ‘mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.’ Psalm 85:10.” The Faith I Live By, 194.

“In the temple in Heaven, the dwelling-place of God, his throne is established in righteousness and judgment. In the most holy place is his law, the great rule of right by which all mankind are tested. The ark that enshrines the tables of the law is covered with the mercy-seat, before which Christ pleads his blood in the sinner’s behalf. Thus is represented the union of justice and mercy in the plan of human redemption. This union infinite wisdom alone could devise, and infinite power accomplish; it is a union that fills all Heaven with wonder and adoration. The cherubim of the earthly sanctuary looking reverently down upon the mercy-seat, represent the interest with which the heavenly host contemplate the work of redemption. This is the mystery of mercy into which angels desire to look,—that God can be just while he justifies the repenting sinner, and renews his intercourse with the fallen race; that Christ could stoop to raise unnumbered multitudes from the abyss of ruin, and clothe them with the spotless garments of his own righteousness, to unite with angels who have never fallen, and to dwell forever in the presence of God.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 261.

10 How often did the priests go into the sanctuary? Hebrews 9:6; Exodus 30:1, 7, 8; Numbers 28:3.

NOTE: “Every morning and evening a lamb of a year old was burned upon the altar, with its appropriate meat offering, thus symbolizing the daily conecration of the nation to Jehovah, and their constant dependence upon the atoning blood of Christ.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 352.

11 How often was there service in the most holy place? Hebrews 9:7.

NOTE: “The ministration of the earthly sanctuary consisted of two divisions: the priests ministered daily in the holy place, while once a year the high priest performed a special work of atonement in the most holy, for the cleansing of the sanctuary. Day by day the repentant sinner brought his offering to the door of the tabernacle, and, placing his hand upon the victim’s head, confessed his sins, thus in figure transferring them to the innocent sacrifice. The animal was then slain, and the blood or the flesh was carried by the priest into the holy place. Thus the sin was, in figure, transferred to the sanctuary. Such was the work that went forward throughout the year. The continual transfer of sins to the sanctuary, rendered a further work of ministration necessary in order for their removal. On the tenth day of the seventh month the high priest entered the inner apartment, or most holy place, which he was forbidden, on pain of death, to enter at any other time. The cleansing of the sanctuary then performed completed the yearly round of service.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 263.

12 What relation did the earthly sanctuary and its services have to the heavenly? Hebrews 8:5.

NOTE: “I was also shown a sanctuary upon the earth containing two apartments. It resembled the one in heaven, and I was told that it was a figure of the heavenly. The furniture of the first apartment of the earthly sanctuary was like that in the first apartment of the heavenly. The veil was lifted, and I looked into the holy of holies and saw that the furniture was the same as in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary. The priest ministered in both apartments of the earthly. He went daily into the first apartment, but entered the most holy only once a year, to cleanse it from the sins which had been conveyed there. I saw that Jesus ministered in both apartments of the heavenly sanctuary. The priests entered into the earthly with the blood of an animal as an offering for sin. Christ entered into the heavenly sanctuary by the offering of His own blood. The earthly priests were removed by death; therefore they could not continue long; but Jesus was a priest forever. Through the sacrifices and offerings brought to the earthly sanctuary, the children of Israel were to lay hold of the merits of a Saviour to come. And in the wisdom of God the particulars of this work were given us that we might, by looking to them, understand the work of Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary.” Early Writings, 252, 253.

Bible Study Guides – Hebrews 8:6–13

April 27-May 3, 2003

MEMORY VERSE: “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” Hebrews 8:12.

SUGGESTED READING: Patriarchs and Prophets, 371, 372.

INTRODUCTION: “Christ is able to save to the uttermost all who come to Him in faith. He will cleanse them from all defilement if they will let Him. But if they cling to their sins, they cannot possibly be saved; for Christ’s righteousness covers no sin unrepented of. God has declared that those who receive Christ as their Redeemer, accepting Him as the One who takes away all sin, will receive pardon for their transgressions. These are the terms of our election. Man’s salvation depends upon his receiving Christ by faith. Those who will not receive Him lose eternal life because they refused to avail themselves of the only means provided by the Father and the Son for the salvation of a perishing world (Manuscript 142, 1899).” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 931.

1 What promise of pardon or help through Christ was in the old covenant? Exodus 19:3–8.

NOTE: “These scriptures contain the complete record of the making of the old covenant, but they contain no hint of pardon, or of any help through Christ.” International Sabbath School Quarterly, Vol. 2, Oakland, California, July 8, 1889.

“God . . . gave them [Israel] His law, with the promise of great blessings on condition of obedience: [Exodus 19:5, 6 quoted]. 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, [Exodus 24:7 quoted]. 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. . . .” The Faith I Live By, 78.

2 How did people under the old covenant find salvation? Hebrews 9:13–15.

NOTE: “Only once a year could the high priest enter into the most holy place, after the most careful and solemn preparation. No mortal eye but that of the high priest could look upon the sacred grandeur of that apartment, because it was the especial dwelling place of God’s visible glory. The high priest always entered it with trembling, while the people waited his return with solemn silence. Their earnest desires were to God for His blessing. Before the mercy seat God conversed with the high priest. If he remained an unusual time in the most holy, the people were often terrified, fearing that because of their sins or some sin of the priest, the glory of the Lord had slain him. But when the sound of the tinkling of the bells upon his garments was heard, they were greatly relieved. He then came forth and blessed the people.” The Story of Redemption, 155, 156.

3 Was there actual forgiveness for the people of the old covenant at the time they sinned, or was forgiveness deferred until the death of Christ? Psalms 32:5; 78:38.

NOTE: “This passage in David’s history [Psalm 32:5–7] is full of significance to the repenting sinner. . . . Thousands of the children of God, who have been betrayed into sin, when ready to give up to despair have remembered how David’s sincere repentance and confession were accepted by God, notwithstanding he suffered for his transgression; and they also have taken courage to repent and try again to walk in the way of God’s commandments.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 726.

4 Since there was present and complete salvation for men who lived under the old covenant, and forgiveness of the transgressions that were under the first covenant came only through the second, what must we conclude? Hebrews 8:10; Jeremiah 31:33.

NOTE: “Christ’s death and resurrection completed His covenant. Before this time, it was revealed through types and shadows, which pointed to the great offering to be made by the world’s Redeemer, offered in promise for the sins of the world. Anciently believers were saved by the same Saviour as now, but it was a God veiled. [The second covenant really existed at the same time as, and even before, the first covenant.] They saw God’s mercy in figures. The promise given to Adam and Eve in Eden was the gospel to a fallen race. The promise was made that the Seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head, and it should bruise His heel. [Genesis 3:15.] Christ’s sacrifice is the glorious fulfillment of the whole Jewish economy. The Sun of Righteousness has risen. Christ our Righteousness is shining in brightness upon us.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, 111.

5 What will those, whose transgressions are forgiven through the new covenant, receive? Hebrews 9:15, last part.

NOTE: “O, what gracious, full, complete assurances are given us, if we will only do what God requires us to do! . . . Let us venture something upon God’s word. In their zeal to be rich, many run great risks; eternal considerations are overlooked, and noble principles are sacrificed; yet they may lose all in the game. But in complying with the heavenly invitations we have no such risk to run. We must take God at his word, and in simplicity of faith walk out upon the promise, and give the Lord his own. It is perilous for you to rob God; for he says that all who do this are cursed with a curse. God designs that humanity shall cooperate with divinity in saving souls for Jesus Christ. What a privilege! Jesus denied himself for our sakes. The salvation of man cost a great price, even the life of the Lord of glory, which he freely gave to lift man from degradation, and to exalt him to be joint heir with himself to the eternal inheritance.” Review and Herald, December 18, 1888.

6 Whose children are all they who are heirs of the eternal inheritance? Galatians 3:29.

NOTE: “Throughout his ministry Isaiah bore a plain testimony concerning God’s purpose for the heathen. Other prophets had made mention of the divine plan, but their language was not always understood. To Isaiah it was given to make very plain to Judah the truth that among the Israel of God were to be numbered many who were not descendants of Abraham after the flesh. This teaching was not in harmony with the theology of his age, yet he fearlessly proclaimed the messages given him of God and brought hope to many a longing heart reaching out after the spiritual blessings promised to the seed of Abraham.” Prophets and Kings, 367.

7 Of how many is Abraham the father? Romans 4:11, 12.

NOTE: “The gifts of His [God’s] grace through Christ are free to all. There is no election but one’s own by which any may perish. God has set forth in His word the conditions upon which every soul will be elected to eternal life—obedience to His commandments, through faith in Christ. God has elected a character in harmony with His law, and anyone who shall reach the standard of His requirement will have an entrance into the kingdom of glory. Christ Himself said, ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life.’ John 3:36. ‘Not everyone that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven.’ Matthew 7:21. And in the Revelation He declares, ‘Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.’ Revelation 22:14. As regards man’s final salvation, this is the only election brought to view in the word of God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 207, 208.

8 Why was Abraham thus recognized and blessed? Genesis 18:19; 26:5.

NOTE: “Of Abraham it is written that ‘he was called the friend of God,’ ‘the father of all them that believe.’ James 2:23; Romans 4:11. The testimony of God concerning this faithful patriarch is, [Genesis 26:5 quoted]. And again, [Genesis 18:19 quoted.] It was a high honor to which Abraham was called, that of being the father of the people who for centuries were the guardians and preservers of the truth of God for the world—of that people through whom all the nations of the earth should be blessed in the advent of the promised Messiah. But He who called the patriarch judged him worthy.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 140, 141.

9 How did Abraham obtain righteousness? Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6, 7.

NOTE: “So Abraham . . . trusted in Christ for the forgiveness of sins. It was this faith that was accounted unto him for righteousness.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 370.

10 Through whom did Abraham receive this righteousness? Galatians 3:14, first part.

NOTE: “Righteousness is obedience to the law. The law demands righteousness, and this the sinner owes to the law; but he is incapable of rendering it. The only way in which he can attain to righteousness is through faith. By faith he can bring to God the merits of Christ, and the Lord places the obedience of his Son to the sinner’s account. Christ’s righteousness is accepted in place of man’s failure, and God receives, pardons, justifies, the repentant, believing soul, treats him as though he were righteous, and loves him as he loves his Son. This is how faith is accounted righteousness; and the pardoned soul goes on from grace to grace, from light to a greater light. He can say with rejoicing, ‘Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.’ [Titus 3:5–7.]” Review and Herald, November 4, 1890.

11 What promise is given in Hebrews 8:12?

NOTE: “The blessings of the new covenant are grounded purely on mercy in forgiving unrighteousness and sins. The Lord specifies, I will do thus and thus unto all who turn to Me, forsaking the evil and choosing the good. [Hebrews 8:12 quoted.] All who humble their hearts, confessing their sins, will find mercy and grace and assurance.” That I May Know Him, 299.

12 What did the new covenant do to the first covenant? Hebrews 8:13.

NOTE: “Those who would not receive the light and grace of Christ, who rejected the truth he came to bring them, were compared to old bottles, to worthless and worn-out garments. [See Matthew 9:16, 17.] Rejecting the truth themselves, they were ever seeking to sow the seed of doubt and questioning in the mind of the disciples, in order that the truth unfolded to them by Christ should not make its impression on heart and spirit. They exalted ceremonies, human exactions, and the commandments of men, as more essential than the teachings of Christ. The difference between the fresh, pure doctrines of heaven and the lifeless teaching of the Pharisees made manifest the fact that the vital truth of God could find no place for expansion in the old religious rites that were ready to vanish away.” The Signs of the Times, September 19, 1892.

Food for Life – Tofu Tacos

“Some are called to what are looked upon as humble duties—it may be, to cook. But the science of cooking is not a small matter. The skillful preparation of food is one of the most essential arts, standing above music teaching or dressmaking. By this I do not mean to discount music teaching or dressmaking, for they are essential. But more important still is the art of preparing food so that it is both healthful and appetizing. This art should be regarded as the most valuable of all the arts, because it is so closely connected with life. It should receive more attention; for in order to make good blood, the system requires good food. The foundation of that which keeps people in health is the medical missionary work of good cooking.

“Often health reform is made health deform by the unpalatable preparation of food. The lack of knowledge regarding healthful cookery must be remedied before health reform is a success.

“Good cooks are few. Many, many mothers need to take lessons in cooking, that they may set before the family well-prepared, neatly served food.

“Before children take lessons on the organ or the piano they should be given lessons in cooking. The work of learning to cook need not exclude music, but to learn music is of less importance than to learn how to prepare food that is wholesome and appetizing.

“Your daughters may love music, and this may be all right; it may add to the happiness of the family; but the knowledge of music without the knowledge of cookery, is not worth much. When your daughters have families of their own, an understanding of music and fancywork will not provide for the table a well-cooked dinner, prepared with nicety, so that they will not blush to place it before their most esteemed friends. Mothers, yours is a sacred work. May God help you to take it up with His glory in view, and work earnestly, patiently, and lovingly, for the present and future good of your children, having an eye single to the glory of God.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 263, 264.

Tofu Tacos

1 pound firm or very firm tofu, cubed

1 medium onion, finely chopped

3 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced

1/3 cup Bragg Liquid Aminos or soy sauce

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 Tablespoon chicken-like seasoning

olive oil

Cook all together on a Teflon griddle.

Serve with corn tortilla shells, salsa and soy sour cream. You may also add fresh tomatoes, olives, green onions and chopped lettuce.

Children’s Story – Tom’s Revenge

“I hate Ned Lane,” said Tom Bixby, doubling his fists and stamping his feet. “He’s a mean, spiteful, wicked boy. I wish he were dead, I do!”

Then Tom broke down and fairly burst into tears. His mother, who had heard his angry words, came out to the garden to see what had caused them. She, too, was indignant at what she saw. There was Tom’s pet dog, Fawn, stretched out cold and stiff on the grass. Around his neck a string was tied, from which dangled a card. On it these words were written in a scraggy, blotted hand: “He’ll never chase my chickens no more.—Ned Lane.”

“Oh, Mother!” cried Tom, “look at poor, poor Fawn; see what that cruel Ned has done. Oh, how I hate him. I’ll be revenged.”

Fawn had been a favorite with the Bixby family, and in spite of the fact that he would pursue chickens and tear the clothing of passing pedestrians or hide away stockings and handkerchiefs when they were not put away, Mrs. Bixby had borne with him. She had hoped that his youthful faults would be cured in time. She knew that Ned Lane had been very angry because of the loss of two rare fowls, which Fawn had shaken and torn to pieces, and she felt that Fawn had been a great annoyance to the neighbors—a great transgressor.

But what to do with Ned was the question, for Tom’s heart was almost broken.

“Tom,” she said, “you say you hate Ned. Do you wish, what I heard you say just now, to be really avenged?”

“Yes, Mother, I want to see him suffer. I wish all his chickens were gone.”

“Ned has done a cruel deed, and I do not wonder that you are deeply grieved; but, my son, he that hateth his brother is a murderer.”

“He’s not my brother.”

“In one sense he is; yet I am sure you do not mean that you would really like to see him dead and cold like your dog. If you think of the meaning of your words, I am sure you wish him no such ill. I think there is a way by which you can make him very sorry for this and yet keep your own self-respect.”

The gentle tones won their way to Tom’s heart. He sat down by his mother, and she passed her soft hand over his hot brow and soothed him tenderly. Then she gave him her plan for being “quits,” as he called it, with Ned, and for getting the victory.

The next day, when Ned Lane met Tom Bixby on his way to school, he was rather mortified to hear nothing about Fawn. He was prepared to defend himself if attacked. But Tom passed in silence. He tried to say “Hallo, Ned!” but failed in the attempt. All the morning, however, when the boys were in the classes together, Tom looked and acted as usual, and at recess he engaged heartily in games with the other boys.

When Ned, feeling more and more uncomfortable, went home to dinner, a surprise awaited him. A superb pair of Brahma-pootra fowls had arrived, with a string and card attached: “For those my poor Fawn chased.—Tom Bixby.”

I cannot say truly that the two from this time became fast friends; but this I know, Ned Lane was thoroughly ashamed of his mean and unworthy action, and never after was guilty of the like cruelty, while Tom felt, even at Fawn’s grave, that forgiveness is sweeter than revenge.

Nature Nugget – Ocean Giants

Most of the largest animals in the world reside in the oceans. The oceans are nutrient rich, which provides an abundance of food, and the buoyancy of seawater helps support the animal’s massive weight.

The whale shark is one such example. It is the largest fish in the world, reaching a maximum length of around 50 feet and weighing up to 15 tons. Whale sharks cruise slowly at the surface of warm seas, feeding on plankton, krill, small fishes and squids, which they filter out of the water with their sieve-like gill rakers. Their gill rakers are so efficient that they can filter prey as small as one millimeter in diameter! Through their five-foot wide mouths they can filter over 1,500 gallons of water an hour. Whale sharks give live birth to their young, which are about two feet in length. They reach maturity at about 30 years of age and are believed to live well over 100 years.

Manta rays are another large, live-bearing fish species. They have “wingspans” of up to almost 30 feet and can attain weights of up to 3,000 pounds. They swim by flapping their pectoral fins, like a bird flapping its wings, and are capable of making incredible leaps out of the water. Like the whale shark, manta rays live in tropical waters and feed on plankton and small fishes. They have two large, flap-like cephalic lobes extending forward from the eyes, which they use to funnel food into their wide mouths while they swim.

The largest invertebrate in the world also lives in the sea. Found in most of the world’s oceans, the giant squid can attain lengths of up to 60 feet and weigh up to a ton. Sucker marks 18 inches in diameter have been found on the skin of sperm whales and suggest that squid up to 200 feet long could exist. Giant squid live deep in the sea where there is very little light. They have huge eyes the size of a man’s head to help them see. They prey on fish and other squids, which they capture with their sucker-laden tentacles. Giant squid are fast growers and only have a life span of about five years. Sperm whales are the only known enemies of the adult squids.

The blue whale is the largest mammal in the world, weighing as much as thirty elephants. It could easily carry the largest dinosaur on its back. At a maximum length of 118 feet and weighing up to 150 tons, it is the largest creature that has ever lived on the earth. Blue whales feed mainly on krill, which they strain through baleen plates in their mouths. A full-grown whale can consume up to four tons of krill a day. Newborn blue whales are around 23 feet long and can weigh 6,000 to 8,000 pounds. These whales have the richest milk of all mammals, and on this diet, the young whales can gain up to 200 pounds and grow one and a half inches in length per day.

The Lord is looking for “spiritual giants”! Men and women who are strong in moral power and who are qualified to stand as pillars in the cause of God. “The greatest want of the world is the want of men—men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.” Education, 57.

David Arbour writes from his home in DeQueen, Arkansas. He may be contacted by e-mail at

Restoring the Temple – The Respiratory System

The respiratory system is the first part of the anatomy mentioned in the Bible. According to the scriptures, Adam was a formed organism made from material from the earth, but he was not living until God breathed into his nostrils. The respiratory system begins in the nose and mouth and also includes the pharynx, epiglottis, trachea, larynx, bronchi and lungs. As the bronchi enter the lungs, the tubes branch out into smaller and smaller tubes called bronchioles and finally end in small, elastic air sacs called alveoli where the oxygen/carbon dioxide gas exchange takes place. The right lung has ten segments and the left has eight. These segments are self-contained units, which is very useful when a disease or injury requires surgical removal of part of a lung without any damage to the other segments.

Gas exchange requires certain criteria to be in place. For one thing, the greater the surface area available for gases to cross, the better. Another factor is that the width of the barrier for the gas to cross should be very small. God, of course, took these things into account. If one were to spread out all the inside surfaces of the lungs side by side, the average adult’s lungs would have the surface area of a tennis court. Blood in the tiny capillaries (blood vessels) in the lungs is separated from the air in the lungs by tissue less than one thousandth of a millimeter in places. That is amazingly thin.

So you breathe in and breathe out, and that is all there is to it, right? There is much more to it than that. First of all, the air you breathe presents problems to the respiratory tract. The air inside needs to be both at body temperature and very moist, but outside air temperature and humidity varies. The outside air is filled with dust, debris, and germs, all of which should not get into the alveoli. Not surprisingly, our bodies were designed to deal with these problems. From the nose to the lungs, the passageways are lined with mucous-producing tissue, so by the time the air reaches the lungs, it is warmed and moistened. We also have several filtration systems in place. The sticky mucus acts as a trap for particles, and once trapped, upward/outward movement of cilia (tiny hair-like projections on cells lining the respiratory tract) removes the debris. In the nose, the cilia move the debris downward. The debris is moved to the throat where it is then swallowed and destroyed in the stomach.

Since part of the throat is used for both eating and breathing, there is a potential traffic problem. We know what happens if air gets to the stomach—unpleasant, but generally harmless. However, food or fluids do not belong in the lungs. The epiglottis is a flap of cartilage that covers the entry to the lungs via the larynx when you swallow. Otherwise the epiglottis remains in an upright position at rest, allowing air to pass freely into the lungs. Occasionally we try to do both at the same time and end up choking. A drop of water is all it takes to set off a gagging cough, but it is not life threatening. An object such as a piece of food in the larynx, or a lungful of water, as in a drowning, are life threatening events, because they prevent air from filling the alveoli, and therefore gas exchange cannot take place.

The larynx is commonly known as the voice box. It contains three folds (vocal cords) that vibrate in the air stream, producing sounds. The particular sound of your voice is a combination of the size and shape of your vocal folds, pharynx (upper throat), nasal passages, and mouth.

The act of breathing is essentially caused by changes in pressure. The lungs are surrounded by muscles. Your diaphragm, the most important respiratory muscle, is located at the base of the chest cavity. There are muscles between the ribs as well that play an important part in breathing. The muscles cause the chest cavity to increase in size or expand. This causes the pressure in the lungs to decrease, which in turn, causes outside air to be sucked into the lungs. This is called inspiration, or breathing in. When you relax your muscles, the chest cavity becomes contracted. Pressure in the lungs increases and air is expelled. This is called expiration, or breathing out. The more muscles are used to breathe, the deeper a breath you can take.

Premature babies (less than two pounds [0.9 kg] or less than 37 weeks gestation) often have respiratory problems. The main cause is that their immature lungs have not made any or enough of a substance called surfactant. Surfactant is a soap-like material produced in the lungs. Think of a rubber balloon. Sometimes, especially if too warm or too old, an uninflated balloon sticks to itself and cannot expand. If a little liquid soap is poured into the balloon, the slippery surfaces prevent the sides from sticking and allow the balloon to expand. This is what happens in the lungs. The surfaces within the lungs must not only be flexible but slide over each other well. Without surfactant, the premature baby’s tiny lungs either do not expand initially or collapse on expiration. In adults, a similar situation can occur with inhalation of water, fumes, or other substances. Fortunately, in both babies and adults, this problem can be treated in most cases.

Though the body is designed to purify the air we breathe, there are those who purposely engage in activities that the body cannot easily handle. Most people, nonsmokers and smokers alike, are aware that smoking is very harmful to health. Inhalation of cigarette smoke causes a large amount of poisonous gases and particles to enter the respiratory system. The gases can pass over into the blood stream just like oxygen does. The particles cannot be moved out of the lungs easily and damage to the delicate cilia occurs. Eventually, the amazingly thin membranes in the alveoli become coated with a gooey, black substance, and gas exchange becomes difficult or impossible. Cigarette smoke contains at least 43 different cancer-causing chemicals and is responsible for 87 percent of lung cancers. Smoking also causes heart disease and stroke and a variety of other problems, which is why 440,000 Americans die each year from diseases caused by smoking.

It is clear that God designed our complex respiratory systems to be both hard working and delicate. When we choose not to follow the laws of health, our breath fails. Ellen White knew that: “The health of the entire system depends upon the healthy action of the respiratory organs;” because “the strength of the system is, in a great degree, dependent upon the amount of pure, fresh air breathed. If the lungs are restricted, the quantity of oxygen received into them is also limited, the blood becomes vitiated, and disease follows.” Healthful Living, 171. God’s laws are in place for a very good reason. Without them, life fails.

“The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” Job 33:4, NASB.

Sheryle Beaudry, a certified teletriage nurse, writes from Estacada, Oregon where she lives with her husband and twin daughters. She may be contacted by e-mail at

From the Pen of Inspiration – God’s Estimate of Character

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord: I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.” [Hebrews 8:10.]

When the law of God is written in the heart, it will be shown in a pure and holy life. The commandments of God are no dead letter. They are spirit and life, bringing the imagination and even the thoughts into subjection to the will of Christ. The heart in which they are written will be kept with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. All who love Jesus and keep the commandments will seek to avoid the very appearance of evil; not because they are constrained thus to do, but because they are copying a pure model, and feel averse to everything contrary to the law written in their hearts. They will not feel self-sufficient, but their trust will be in God, who alone is able to keep them from sin and impurity. The atmosphere surrounding them is pure; they will not corrupt their own souls or the souls of others. It is their pleasure to deal justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly before God. [Micah 6:8.]

The danger that lies before those living in these last days, is the absence of pure religion, the absence of heart holiness. The converting power of God has not wrought in transforming their characters. They profess to believe sacred truths, as did the Jewish nation; but failing to practice the truth, they are ignorant both of the Scriptures and the power of God. [Mark 2:24.] The power and influence of God’s law are around about, but not within, the soul, renewing it in true holiness. Therefore the Lord sends his appeals to them to urge upon them the practice of what is right. The appeals of his Spirit are neglected and rejected. The barriers are broken down, and the soul is weak, and for want of moral force to overcome, is polluted and debased. They are binding themselves in bundles as fagots, ready to be consumed at the last day. [Matthew 13:30.]

The Jewish priests were required to be in person all that was symmetrical and well proportioned, that they might reflect a great truth: “Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.” [Isaiah 52:11.] The Lord required not only a well-proportioned mind and symmetrical body of the Jews who ministered in holy office, but he required also pure and uncorrupted minds. And he requires no less of us, in this dispensation, in the ministry of the gospel. His called and chosen are to show forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into his marvelous light. The same Bible that contains the privileges of God’s people and his promises to them, contains also the sacred duties and the solemn obligations he requires of the shepherd who has charge of the flock of God, so that the people can see by comparing the living preacher with the divine picture whether he has credentials from heaven in likeness of character to him who is the Chief Shepherd. God designs that the teacher of the Bible should in his character and home life be a specimen of the principles of the truth which he is teaching to his fellow-men.

What a man is, has a greater influence than what he says. The quiet, consistent, godly life is a living epistle, known and read of all men. [11 Corinthians 3:2.] A man may speak and write like an angel, but in his practices resemble a fallen fiend. God will have the believers of the truth zealous to maintain good works. [Titus 2:14.] As they occupy high positions, they will be tested by a higher standard. They will be sifted, defects and vices will be searched out; for if such exist, they will be developed in words and deportment. True character is not something shaped from without, or put on, but it is something radiating from within. If true goodness, purity, meekness, lowliness, and equity are dwelling in the heart, that fact will be reflected in the character; and such a character is full of power.

The officers who were sent to take Jesus reported that never man spake like this man. [John 7:46.] But the reason of this was, that never man lived like this man; for if he had not so lived, he could not so have spoken. His words bore with them a convincing power, because they came from a heart pure, holy, burdened with love and sympathy, beneficence and truth. How rejoiced are those who hate God’s law, to find spot and stain of character in one who stands in defense of that law! They are only too glad to cast a reproach upon all the loyal and true, because of the faults and impure practices of a few. There is eloquence in the quiet and consistent life of a pure, true, unadulterated Christian. We shall have temptations as long as we are in this world. But instead of injuring us, they will only be turned to our advantage, if resisted. The bounds are placed where Satan cannot pass. He may prepare the furnace that consumes the dross; but instead of injuring, it can only bring forth the gold of character purer than before the trial.

God would not permit Balaam to curse Israel; but Satan compassed their overthrow. [See Numbers 23–25.] Balak, by the advice of Balaam, laid the snare. Israel would have resisted their enemies in battle bravely, and come off conquerors; but when they were invited to idolatrous feasts, and indulgence in wine had clouded their minds, they did not resist temptation. And the sin of the Hebrews brought destruction upon them, as warfare with the nations and the enchantments of Balaam could not do. Their covering and protection were removed from them. They became separated from God, and he turned to be their enemy. [Isaiah 63:10.] The anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and his judgments fell upon them. The plague immediately broke out, and those who were most guilty were its victims. They realized that “the wages of sin is death.” [Romans 6:23.]

The very same Satan is now working to the same end, to weaken and destroy the people of God as they are on the borders of the heavenly Canaan. He knows his time is short, and with his subtle temptations he will work with tremendous power to ensnare them upon their weak points of character. Those who have dishonored their minds and affections by placing them where God’s Word forbids, will not scruple to dishonor God by various species of idolatry, and they will be left to their vile affections. It is necessary to guard the thoughts, to fence the soul about with the injunctions of God’s holy Word, and to guard constantly against being betrayed into sin.

There is to be a people fitted up for translation to heaven, whom Enoch represents. They are looking and waiting for the coming of the Lord. The work of preparation for this event will go on with all who will co-operate with Jesus in his efforts in their behalf. He gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. [Titus 2:14.] God has made every provision that we may become intelligent Christians, filled with a knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. [Colossians 1:9.] A theoretical knowledge of the truth is essential, but such a knowledge of even the greatest truth will not save us; our knowledge must be practical. God’s people must not only know his will, but they must practice it also. Many will be purged out from the number of those who know the truth, because they are not sanctified by it. The truth must be brought into their hearts, sanctifying them, and cleansing from all earthliness and sensuality in the most private life. Every secret act is as if we were in the presence of God and holy angels, as all things are open before God, and from him nothing can be hid.

It is only through Christ that his people can resist temptation, and become men and women of high and holy purpose, of noble integrity, who will not be swayed from truth, right, and justice. The Christian must be much in prayer. Prayer takes hold upon Omnipotence, and gains us the victory. It was thus that Enoch walked with God. And those who thus make Christ their daily companion and familiar friend will feel that the powers of an unseen world are all around them, and by looking unto Jesus they will become assimilated to his image. Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, October 1, 1889.

Ellen G. White (1827–1915) wrote more than 5,000 periodical articles and 40 books during her lifetime. Today, including compilations from her 50,000 pages of manuscript, more than 100 titles are available in English. She is the most translated woman writer in the entire history of literature, and the most translated American author of either gender. Seventh-day Adventists believe that Mrs. White was appointed by God as a special messenger to draw the world’s attention to the Holy Scriptures and help prepare people for Christ’s second advent.