Bible Study Guides – First-day Offerings, Part II

May 21, 2006 – May 27, 2006

Key Text

“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, [so let him give]; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” 11 Corinthians 9:7.

Study Help: The Acts of the Apostles, 341–345.


“Let the ninth chapter of second Corinthians be read in all our churches, that the members may catch the inspiration of liberality. God help His people to see things in a correct light, and to arouse to meet the pressing emergencies that always arise in aggressive warfare. As they give cheerfully and willingly of the Lord’s intrusted means, He will intrust them with more to impart. He is able to make all grace abound toward cheerful givers, that, always having all sufficiency in all things, they may abound to every good work.” Review and Herald, February 19, 1901.

1 In Paul’s second epistle to the Corinthians, how does he allude to the instruction he had given them in his first epistle? 11 Corinthians 8:10, 11.

note: “Unselfish liberality threw the early church into a transport of joy; for the believers knew that their efforts were helping to send the gospel message to those in darkness. Their benevolence testified that they had not received the grace of God in vain. What could produce such liberality but the sanctification of the Spirit? In the eyes of believers and unbelievers it was a miracle of grace.

“Spiritual prosperity is closely bound up with Christian liberality. The followers of Christ should rejoice in the privilege of revealing in their lives the beneficence of their Redeemer. As they give to the Lord they have the assurance that their treasure is going before them to the heavenly courts. Would men make their property secure? Let them place it in the hands that bear the marks of the crucifixion. Would they enjoy their substance? Let them use it to bless the needy and suffering. Would they increase their possessions? Let them heed the divine injunction, ‘Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.’ Proverbs 3:9, 10. Let them seek to retain their possessions for selfish purposes, and it will be to their eternal loss. But let their treasure be given to God, and from that moment it bears His inscription. It is sealed with His immutability.” The Acts of the Apostles, 344, 345.

2 To what miracle in the Old Testament does the apostle allude to encourage the Corinthians in bestowing their liberalities? 11 Corinthians 8:12–15; Exodus 16:16–18.

note: “It is not the plan of God to have some eased and others burdened. Some feel the weight and responsibility of the cause, and the necessity of their acting that they may gather with Christ and not scatter abroad. Others go on free from any responsibility, acting as though they had no influence. Such scatter abroad. God is not partial. All who are made partakers of His salvation here, and who hope to share the glories of the kingdom hereafter, must gather with Christ. Each must feel that he is responsible for his own case, and for the influence he exerts over others. If these maintain their Christian walk, Jesus will be in them the hope of glory, and they will love to speak forth His praise that they may be refreshed. The cause of their Master will be near and dear to them. It will be their study to advance His cause and to honor it by holy living.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 179.

3 What further encouragement does the apostle give on this same point? 11 Corinthians 9:8.

note: “God intended that His people Israel should be light bearers to all the inhabitants of the earth. In maintaining His public worship they were bearing a testimony to the existence and sovereignty of the living God. And this worship it was their privilege to sustain, as an expression of their loyalty and their love to Him. The Lord has ordained that the diffusion of light and truth in the earth shall be dependent upon the efforts and offerings of those who are partakers of the heavenly gift. He might have made angels the ambassadors of His truth; He might have made known His will, as He proclaimed the law from Sinai, with His own voice; but in His infinite love and wisdom He called men to become colaborers with Himself, by choosing them to do this work.

“In the days of Israel the tithe and freewill offerings were needed to maintain the ordinances of divine service. Should the people of God give less in this age? The principle laid down by Christ is that our offerings to God should be in proportion to the light and privileges enjoyed. . . . As our blessings and privileges are increased—above all, as we have before us the unparalleled sacrifice of the glorious Son of God—should not our gratitude find expression in more abundant gifts to extend to others the message of salvation? The work of the gospel, as it widens, requires greater provision to sustain it than was called for anciently; and this makes the law of tithes and offerings of even more urgent necessity now than under the Hebrew economy. If His people were liberally to sustain His cause by their voluntary gifts, instead of resorting to unchristian and unhallowed methods to fill the treasury, God would be honored, and many more souls would be won to Christ.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 528, 529.

4 How should Christians give? 11 Corinthians 9:7.

note: “All our offerings should be presented with cheerfulness; for they come from the fund which the Lord has seen fit to place in our hands for the purpose of carrying forward His work in the world, in order that the banner of truth may be unfurled in the highways and byways of the earth. If all who profess the truth would give to the Lord His own in tithes and gifts and offerings, there would be meat in the house of the Lord. The cause of benevolence would no longer be dependent on the uncertain gifts of impulse, and vary according to the changing feelings of men. God’s claims would be welcomed, and His cause would be considered as justly entitled to a portion of the funds entrusted to our hands.” Counsels on Stewardship, 199, 200.

“God could rain means from heaven to carry on his work, but he never would do this. It is contrary to his plan. He has entrusted men on earth with sufficient means to carry forward his work, and if all do their duty there will be no lack. But some will not heed the call for their means. They are willing to see the work of God go forward. They are anxious to see the cause prosper, provided they can keep their riches, and make no sacrifice, only bestow a trifle now and then, which should cause them shame for its being so little, and so grudgingly bestowed. . . . Some love this world so well that they will not even for the immortal inheritance sacrifice their treasure here. They harden their hearts, and will not do their part as God has prospered them. They are fully tested. The world lives in their hearts, and the truth dies out. They lose the crowns laid up in heaven for them, and God raises up others who come up and fill their places, and take their crowns. Men are raised up who consider it a privilege to sacrifice something for Jesus who sacrificed so much for them.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, 267, 268.

5 How would the attitude of the giver affect those who benefited from the donation? 11 Corinthians 9:11, 12.

note: “The Lord has made us His almoners. He places in our hands His gifts, in order that we shall divide with those who are needy, and it is this practical giving that will be to us a sure panacea for all selfishness. By thus expressing love to those who need help, you will cause the hearts of the needy to give thanksgiving unto God because He has bestowed the grace of benevolence upon the brethren, and has caused them to relieve the necessities of the needy.” Counsels on Stewardship, 343.

“It is through the exercise of this practical love that the churches draw nearer together in Christian unity. Through the love of the brethren, love to God is increased, because He has not forgotten those who were in distress, and thus thank offerings ascend to God for His care. . . . The faith of the brethren is increased in God, and they are led to commit their souls and bodies unto God as to a faithful Creator.” Review and Herald, August 21, 1894.

6 What would the poor saints at Jerusalem be led to do in return for this liberality? 11 Corinthians 9:13, 14.

note: “There are some who are liberal with their gifts, and these gifts call forth the grateful praise of those who through them are given a knowledge of the gospel. The givers become the subject of the prayers of those who receive the benefit of the offerings made.

“The Spirit of God is grieved when those church-members who have means withhold the offerings that would help the work to be carried forward rapidly and extensively. Will not our church-members become intelligent in regard to the needs of the missionary fields, and respond to the efforts that are being made to secure help for those workers who are laboring in difficult places? Who with Paul will seek to stir up the churches to a spirit of liberality for these needy fields?” Pacific Union Recorder, November 14, 1907.

7 What argument from sowing grain does the apostle bring to encourage their liberality? 11 Corinthians 9:6.

note: “Liberality both in spiritual and in temporal things is taught in the lesson of seed sowing. The Lord says, ‘Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters.’ Isaiah 32:20. ‘This I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.’ 11 Corinthians 9:6. To sow beside all waters means a continual imparting of God’s gifts. It means giving wherever the cause of God or the needs of humanity demand our aid. This will not tend to poverty. . . .

“And more than this is wrapped up in the sowing and the reaping. As we distribute God’s temporal blessings, the evidence of our love and sympathy awakens in the receiver gratitude and thanksgiving to God. The soil of the heart is prepared to receive the seeds of spiritual truth. And He who ministers seed to the sower will cause the seed to germinate and bear fruit unto eternal life.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 85, 86.

“There are many who urge that they cannot do more for God’s cause than they now do; but they do not give according to their ability. The Lord sometimes opens the eyes blinded by selfishness by simply reducing their income to the amount they are willing to give. Horses are found dead in the field or stable, houses or barns are destroyed by fire, or crops fail. In many cases God tests man with blessings, and if unfaithfulness is manifested in rendering to Him tithes and offerings, His blessing is withdrawn. ‘He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly.’ [11 Corinthians 9:6.] By the mercies of Christ and the riches of His goodness, and for the honor of truth and religion, we beseech you who are followers of Christ to dedicate yourselves and your property anew to God. In view of the love and compassion of Christ, which brought Him from the royal courts to suffer self-denial, humiliation, and death, let each ask himself the question, ‘How much do I owe my Lord?’ and then let your grateful offerings be in accordance with your appreciation of the great gift of heaven in God’s dear Son.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 484.

8 What argument does the apostle use to show that this act will ever be remembered in heaven? 11 Corinthians 9:9, 10.

note: “It means much to sow beside all waters. It means a continual imparting of gifts and offerings. God will furnish facilities so that the faithful steward of His entrusted means shall be supplied with a sufficiency in all things, and be enabled to abound to every good work. ‘As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth forever. Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness.’ 2 Corinthians 9:9, 10. The seed sown with full, liberal hand is taken charge of by the Lord. He who ministers seed to the sower gives His worker that which enables him to co-operate with the Giver of the seed.

“The Lord now calls upon Seventh-day Adventists in every locality to consecrate themselves to Him and to do their very best, according to their circumstances, to assist in His work. By their liberality in making gifts and offerings, He desires them to reveal their appreciation of His blessings and their gratitude for His mercy.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 132.

Bible Study Guides – First-day Offerings, Part I

May 14, 2006 – May 20, 2006

Key Text

“Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” Proverbs 3:9, 10.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 3, 411–413.


“The offerings of little children may be acceptable and pleasing to God. In accordance with the spirit that prompts the gifts will be the value of the offering. The poor, by following the rule of the apostle [Paul] and laying by a small sum every week, help to swell the treasury, and their gifts are wholly acceptable to God; for they make just as great, and even greater, sacrifices than their more wealthy brethren. The plan of systematic benevolence will prove a safeguard to every family against temptations to spend means for needless things, and especially will it prove a blessing to the rich by guarding them from indulging in extravagances.

“Every week the demands of God upon each family are brought to mind by each of its members fully carrying out the plan; and as they have denied themselves some superfluity in order to have means to put into the treasury, lessons of value in self-denial for the glory of God have been impressed upon the heart. Once a week each is brought face to face with the doings of the past week—the income that he might have had if he had been economical and the means that he does not have because of indulgence. His conscience is reined up, as it were, before God, and either commends or accuses him. He learns that if he retains peace of mind and the favor of God he must eat and drink and dress to His glory.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 412.

1 What was Christ’s position with the Father before He came to this earth? John 17:5, 24.

note: “The Father was represented in Christ, and the attention in education must be of that character that they will look to Him and believe in Him as the likeness of God. He had a most wonderful mission to this world, and His work was not in a line to give a full relation of His personal claims to deity, but His humiliation was a concealment of His claims. This is why the Jewish nation did not acknowledge Christ as the Prince of life; because He did not come with display and outward appearance, for He hid under the garb of humanity His glorious character.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 382.

2 What relation did Jesus sustain to the Father? John 1:18.

note: “As a personal being, God has revealed Himself in His Son. Jesus, the outshining of the Father’s glory, ‘and the express image of His person’ (Hebrews 1:3), was on earth found in fashion as a man. As a personal Saviour He came to the world. As a personal Saviour He ascended on high. As a personal Saviour He intercedes in the heavenly courts. Before the throne of God in our behalf ministers ‘One like unto the Son of man.’ Revelation 1:13.

“Christ, the Light of the world, veiled the dazzling splendor of His divinity and came to live as a man among men, that they might, without being consumed, become acquainted with their Creator. No man has seen God at any time except as He is revealed through Christ.

“ ‘I and My Father are one,’ Christ declared. ‘No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.’ John 10:30; Matthew 11:27.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 265.

3 From what time did Christ become a sacrifice? Revelation 13:8.

note: “None but Christ could redeem fallen man from the curse of the law and bring him again into harmony with Heaven. Christ would take upon Himself the guilt and shame of sin—sin so offensive to a holy God that it must separate the Father and His Son. Christ would reach to the depths of misery to rescue the ruined race.

“Before the Father He pleaded in the sinner’s behalf, while the host of heaven awaited the result with an intensity of interest that words cannot express. Long continued was that mysterious communing—‘the counsel of peace’ (Zechariah 6:13) for the fallen sons of men. The plan of salvation had been laid before the creation of the earth; for Christ is ‘the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world’ (Revelation 13:8); yet it was a struggle, even with the King of the universe, to yield up His Son to die for the guilty race. But ‘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.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 63.

4 In what manner in the former dispensation did the people show their appreciation of this gift of Heaven? Nehemiah 10:35–37.

note: “Under the Jewish system the people were taught to cherish a spirit of liberality both in sustaining the cause of God and in supplying the wants of the needy. For special occasions there were freewill offerings. At the harvest and the vintage, the first fruits of the field—corn, wine, and oil—were consecrated as an offering to the Lord. The gleanings and the corners of the field were reserved for the poor. The first fruits of the wool when the sheep were shorn, of the grain when the wheat was threshed, were set apart for God. So also were the first-born of all animals, and a redemption price was paid for the first-born son. The first fruits were to be presented before the Lord at the sanctuary and were then devoted to the use of the priests.

“By this system of benevolence the Lord sought to teach Israel that in everything He must be first. Thus they were reminded that God was the proprietor of their fields, their flocks, and their herds; that it was He who sent them the sunshine and the rain that developed and ripened the harvest. Everything that they possessed was His; they were but the stewards of His goods.” The Acts of the Apostles, 337.

“Christ arose from the dead as the first fruits of those that slept. He was the antitype of the wave sheaf, and His resurrection took place on the very day when the wave sheaf was to be presented before the Lord. For more than a thousand years this symbolic ceremony had been performed. From the harvest fields the first heads of ripened grain were gathered, and when the people went up to Jerusalem to the Passover, the sheaf of first fruits was waved as a thank offering before the Lord. Not until this was presented could the sickle be put to the grain, and it be gathered into sheaves. The sheaf dedicated to God represented the harvest. So Christ the first fruits represented the great spiritual harvest to be gathered for the kingdom of God. His resurrection is the type and pledge of the resurrection of all the righteous dead.” The Desire of Ages, 785, 786.

5 Is God robbed by the withholding of offerings? Malachi 3:8-10

note: “Christians forget that they are servants of the Master; that they themselves, their time, and all that they have belong to Him. Many are tempted, and the majority are overcome, by the delusive inducements which Satan presents to invest their money where it will yield them the greatest profit in dollars and cents. There are but few who consider the binding claims that God has upon them to make it their first business to meet the necessities of His cause and let their own desires be served last. There are but few who invest in God’s cause in proportion to their means. Many have fastened their money in property which they must sell before they can invest it in the cause of God and thus put it to a practical use. They make this an excuse for doing but little in their Redeemer’s cause. They have as effectually buried their money in the earth as had the man in the parable. They rob God of the tenth, which He claims as His own, and in robbing Him they rob themselves of the heavenly treasure.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 398.

6 What is it to be guilty of robbery? Exodus 20:15; James 2:10.

note: “It is not the greatness of the act of disobedience that constitutes sin, but the fact of variance from God’s expressed will in the least particular; for this shows that there is yet communion between the soul and sin. The heart is divided in its service. There is a virtual denial of God, a rebellion against the laws of His government.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 51.

“Not by one word, not by many words, but by every word that God has spoken, shall man live. You cannot disregard one word, a single injunction that He has given, however trifling it may seem to you, and be safe. . . . Whosoever will willfully break one command cannot in spirit and in truth keep any of them. He may claim that, with the exception of what he may regard as slight deviations, he keeps them all; yet if he willingly offends in one point he is guilty of all.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 434.

7 What special promise is made to those who give an offering of all their firstfruits? Proverbs 3:9, 10.

note: “A continual imparting of God’s gifts wherever the cause of God or the needs of humanity demand our aid, does not tend to poverty. ‘There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.’ Proverbs 11:24. The sower multiplies his seed by casting it away. So it is with those who are faithful in distributing God’s gifts. By imparting they increase their blessings. ‘Give, and it shall be given unto you,’ God has promised; ‘good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.’ Luke 6:38.” The Acts of the Apostles, 345.

8 How is the continuation of offerings taught in the New Testament? 1 Corinthians 16:2.

note: “The apostle suggests the first day of the week as a proper time to review the course of Providence and the prosperity experienced, and in the fear of God, with true gratitude of heart for the blessings He has bestowed, to decide how much, according to His own devised plan, shall be rendered back to Him.

“God designs that the exercise of benevolence shall be purely voluntary, not having recourse even to eloquent appeals to excite sympathy. ‘God loveth a cheerful giver.’ [11 Corinthians 9:7.] He is not pleased to have His treasury replenished with forced supplies. The loyal hearts of His people, rejoicing in the saving truth for this time, will, through love and gratitude to Him for this precious light, be earnest and anxious to aid with their means in sending the truth to others. The very best manner in which to give expression to our love for our Redeemer is to make offerings to bring souls to the knowledge of the truth. The plan of redemption was entirely voluntary on the part of our Redeemer, and it is the purpose of Christ that all our benevolence should be freewill offerings.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 413.

“The directions given by the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul in regard to gifts, present a principle that applies also to tithing. . . . The gifts are to be made in consideration of the great goodness of God to us.

“And what more appropriate time could be chosen for setting aside the tithe and presenting our offerings to God? On the Sabbath we have thought upon His goodness. We have beheld His work in creation as an evidence of His power in redemption. Our hearts are filled with thankfulness for His great love. And now, before the toil of a week begins, we return to Him His own, and with it an offering to testify our gratitude. Thus our practice will be a weekly sermon, declaring that God is the possessor of all our property, and that He has made us stewards to use it to His glory. Every acknowledgment of our obligation to God will strengthen the sense of obligation. Gratitude deepens as we give it expression, and the joy it brings is life to soul and body.” Review and Herald, February 4, 1902.

9 What other churches had Paul previously instructed to lay aside offerings on the first day of the week? 1 Corinthians 16:1.

note: “This matter of giving is not left to impulse. God has given us definite instruction in regard to it. He has specified tithes and offerings as the measure of our obligation. And He desires us to give regularly and systematically. Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, [1 Corinthians 16:1, 2 quoted.] Let each regularly examine his income, which is all a blessing from God, and set apart the tithe as a separate fund, to be sacredly the Lord’s. This fund should not in any case be devoted to any other use; it is to be devoted solely to support the ministry of the gospel. After the tithe is set apart, let gifts and offering be apportioned, ‘as God hath prospered’ you.” Review and Herald, May 9, 1893.

Bible Study Guides – The Grace of Christ, Part II

May 7, 2006 – May 13, 2006

Key Text

“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:18.

Study Help: The Acts of the Apostles, 563–567.


“The completeness of Christian character is attained when the impulse to help and bless others springs constantly from within. It is the atmosphere of this love surrounding the soul of the believer that makes him a savor of life unto life and enables God to bless his work.

“Supreme love for God and unselfish love for one another—this is the best gift that our heavenly Father can bestow. This love is not an impulse, but a divine principle, a permanent power. The unconsecrated heart cannot originate or produce it. Only in the heart where Jesus reigns is it found. . . . In the heart renewed by divine grace, love is the ruling principle of action. It modifies the character, governs the impulses, controls the passions, and ennobles the affections. This love, cherished in the soul, sweetens the life and sheds a refining influence on all around.” The Acts of the Apostles, 551.

1 How will the grace of God affect the heart? Hebrews 13:9.

note: “The terms of the ‘old covenant’ were, Obey and live. . . . The ‘new covenant’ was established upon ‘better promises’—the promise of forgiveness of sins and of the grace of God to renew the heart and bring it into harmony with the principles of God’s law.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 372.

2 How did grace affect the churches of Macedonia? 11 Corinthians 8:1, 2.

note: “Nearly all the Macedonian believers were poor in this world’s goods, but their hearts were overflowing with love for God and His truth, and they gladly gave for the support of the gospel. When general collections were taken up in the Gentile churches for the relief of the Jewish believers, the liberality of the converts in Macedonia was held up as an example to other churches. . . .

“The willingness to sacrifice on the part of the Macedonian believers came as a result of wholehearted consecration. Moved by the Spirit of God, they ‘first gave their own selves to the Lord’ (11 Corinthians 8:5), then they were willing to give freely of their means for the support of the gospel. It was not necessary to urge them to give; rather, they rejoiced in the privilege of denying themselves even of necessary things in order to supply the needs of others. When the apostle would have restrained them, they importuned him to accept their offering. In their simplicity and integrity, and in their love for the brethren, they gladly denied self, and thus abounded in the fruit of benevolence.” The Acts of the Apostles, 343, 344.

3 What did grace do for the Macedonians in affliction and poverty? 11 Corinthians 8:3–5.

note: “There had been a famine at Jerusalem, and Paul knew that many of the Christians had been scattered abroad and that those who remained would be likely to be deprived of human sympathy and exposed to religious enmity. Therefore he exhorted the churches to send pecuniary assistance to their brethren in Jerusalem. The amount raised by the churches exceeded the expectation of the apostles. Constrained by the love of Christ, the believers gave liberally, and they were filled with joy because they should thus express their gratitude to the Redeemer and their love for the brethren. This is the true basis of charity according to God’s word.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 271, 272.

“All our churches should have a care for their own poor. Our love for God is to be expressed in doing good to the needy and suffering of the household of faith whose necessities come to our knowledge and require our care. Every soul is under special obligation to God to notice His worthy poor with particular compassion. Under no consideration are these to be passed by.” Ibid., 271.

4 Wherein was the church at Corinth inferior to others? 11 Corinthians 12:13.

note: “No man ever lived who was a more earnest, energetic, and self-sacrificing disciple of Christ than was Paul. He was one of the world’s greatest teachers. He crossed the seas and traveled far and near, until a large portion of the world had learned from his lips the story of the cross of Christ. He possessed a burning desire to bring perishing man to a knowledge of the truth through a Saviour’s love. His soul was wrapped up in the work of the ministry, and it was with feelings of pain that he withdrew from this work to toil for his own bodily necessities; but he seated himself to the drudgery of the craftsman that he might not be burdensome to the churches that were pressed with poverty. Although he had planted many churches he refused to be supported by them, fearing that his usefulness and success as a minister of the gospel might be interfered with by suspicions of his motives. He would remove all occasion for his enemies to misrepresent him and thus detract from the force of his message.

“Paul appeals to his Corinthian brethren to understand that, as a laborer in the gospel, he might claim his support, instead of sustaining himself; but this right he was willing to forego, fearing that the acceptance of means for his support might possibly stand in the way of his usefulness. Although feeble in health, he labored during the day in serving the cause of Christ, and then toiled a large share of the night, and frequently all night, that he might make provision for his own and others’ necessities. The apostle would also give an example to his brethren, thus dignifying and honoring industry.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 409, 410.

5 In how many gifts did the church at Corinth abound? 11 Corinthians 8:7.

note: “The blessings of the Christian Age were responded to by the first disciples in works of charity and benevolence. The outpouring of the Spirit of God, after Christ left His disciples and ascended to heaven, led to self-denial and self-sacrifice for the salvation of others. When the poor saints at Jerusalem were in distress, Paul wrote to the Gentile Christians in regard to works of benevolence, and said: ‘Therefore, as ye abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.’ [11 Corinthians 8:7.] Here benevolence is placed by the side of faith, love, and Christian diligence. Those who think that they can be good Christians and close their ears and hearts to the calls of God for their liberalities, are in a fearful deception. There are those who abound in professions of great love for the truth, and, so far as words are concerned, have an interest to see the truth advance, but who do nothing for its advancement. The faith of such is dead, not being made perfect by works. The Lord never made such a mistake as to convert a soul and leave it under the power of covetousness.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 392, 393.

6 On what occasion was great grace poured out upon the apostles? Acts 4:32–34.

note: “It was after the disciples had come into perfect unity, when they were no longer striving for the highest place, that the Spirit was poured out. They were of one accord. All differences had been put away. . . .

“The disciples did not ask for a blessing for themselves. They were weighted with the burden of souls. The gospel was to be carried to the ends of the earth, and they claimed the endowment of power that Christ had promised. . . .

“So it may be now. Let Christians put away all dissension and give themselves to God for the saving of the lost. Let them ask in faith for the promised blessing, and it will come.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 20, 21.

“The plan of Systematic Benevolence is pleasing to God. . . . God laid the plan by the descent of his Holy Spirit, and by the gift of prophecy counseled his people in regard to a system of benevolence. All were to share in this work of imparting of their carnal things to those who ministered unto them in spiritual things. They were also taught that the widows and fatherless had a claim upon their charity. . . . It was not merely to sympathize with them in their affliction by comforting words, but to aid them, if needy, with their substance.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, 230, 231.

7 By what had the apostles been redeemed? 1 Peter 1:18, 19.

note: “Tithes and offerings for God are an acknowledgment of His claim on us by creation, and they are also an acknowledgment of His claim by redemption. Because all our power is derived from Christ, these offerings are to flow from us to God. They are to keep ever before us the claim of redemption, the greatest of all claims, and the one that involves every other. The realization of the sacrifice made in our behalf is ever to be fresh in our minds and is ever to exert an influence on our thoughts and plans. Christ is to be indeed as one crucified among us. . . .

“Know you not that He loved us, and gave Himself for us, that we in return should give ourselves to Him? Why should not love to Christ be expressed by all who receive Him by faith as verily as His love has been expressed to us for whom He died?” Testimonies, vol. 6, 479.

8 To what does the apostle appeal to show the nature of the grace of giving? 11 Corinthians 8:9.

note: “The owner of all our earthly treasures came to our world in human form. . . .

“Jesus gave His life for the life of the world, and He places an infinite value upon man. He desires that man shall appreciate himself, and consider his future well-being. If the eye is kept single, the whole body will be full of light. If the spiritual vision is clear, unseen realities will be looked upon in their true value, and beholding the eternal world will give added enjoyment to this world.

“The Christian will be filled with joy in proportion as he is a faithful steward of his Lord’s goods.” Counsels on Stewardship, 136.

9 Can any be saved without the manifestation of the fruits of the grace of Christ? Romans 8:9; 1 John 3:16–18.

note: “Christ’s followers are required to come out from the world, and be separate, and touch not the unclean, and they have the promise of being the sons and daughters of the Most High, members of the royal family. But if the conditions are not complied with on their part, they will not, cannot, realize the fulfillment of the promise. A profession of Christianity is nothing in the sight of God; but true, humble, willing obedience to His requirements designates the children of His adoption, the recipients of His grace, the partakers of His great salvation. Such will be peculiar, a spectacle unto the world, to angels, and to men. Their peculiar, holy character will be discernible, and will distinctly separate them from the world, from its affections and lust.

“I saw that but few among us answer to this description. Their love to God is in word, not in deed and in truth. Their course of action, their works, testify of them that they are not children of the light but of darkness. Their works have not been wrought in God, but in selfishness, in unrighteousness. Their hearts are strangers to His renewing grace. They have not experienced the transforming power which leads them to walk even as Christ walked. Those who are living branches of the heavenly Vine will partake of the sap and nourishment of the Vine. They will not be withered and fruitless branches, but will show life and vigor, and will flourish and bear fruit to the glory of God. They will be careful to depart from all iniquity and to perfect holiness in the fear of God.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 441.

10 What will be the effect of grace upon those who receive it? Acts 20:35.

note: “The principle of the cross of Christ brings all who believe under heavy obligations to deny self, to impart light to others, and to give of their means to extend the light. If they are in connection with heaven they will be engaged in the work in harmony with the angels.

“The principle of worldlings is to get all they can of the perishable things of this life. Selfish love of gain is the ruling principle in their lives. But the purest joy is not found in riches nor where covetousness is always craving, but where contentment reigns and where self-sacrificing love is the ruling principle. . . .

“In proportion as the love of Christ fills our hearts and controls our lives, covetousness, selfishness, and love of ease will be overcome, and it will be our pleasure to do the will of Christ, whose servants we claim to be. Our happiness will then be proportionate to our unselfish works, prompted by the love of Christ.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 382.

Bible Study Guides – The Grace of Christ, Part I

April 30, 2006 – May 6, 2006

Key Text

“For the Lord God [is] a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good [thing] will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11.

Study Help: The Acts of the Apostles, 557–562.


“The word of God must be interwoven with the living character of those who believe it. The only vital faith is that faith which receives and assimilates the truth till it is a part of the being and the motive power of the life and action. Jesus is called the Word of God. He accepted His Father’s law, wrought out its principles in His life, manifested its spirit, and showed its beneficent power in the heart. [John 1:14 quoted.] The followers of Christ must be partakers of His experience. They must assimilate the word of God. They must be changed into its likeness by the power of Christ and reflect the divine attributes. . . .

“It is not enough to preach the truth; it must be carried out in the life. Christ must be abiding in us, and we in Him, in order to do the work of God. Each must have an individual experience and put forth personal efforts to reach souls. God requires each to put all his powers into the work and, through continual effort, educate himself to do that work acceptably. He expects everyone to bring the grace of Christ into his heart, that he may be a bright and shining light to the world. If God’s workers train all their powers thoroughly, then they may work understandingly, in all wisdom, and God will surely respond to their efforts to uplift, refine, and save their fellow men.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 576, 577.

1 What importance is placed on having a living connection with Christ? John 15:4–6.

note: “In the matchless gift of His Son, God has encircled the whole world with an atmosphere of grace as real as the air which circulates around the globe. All who choose to breathe this life-giving atmosphere will live and grow up to the stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. . . .

“You are just as dependent upon Christ, in order to live a holy life, as is the branch upon the parent stock for growth and fruitfulness. Apart from Him you have no life. You have no power to resist temptation or to grow in grace and holiness. Abiding in Him, you may flourish. Drawing your life from Him, you will not wither nor be fruitless. You will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water.” Steps to Christ, 68, 69.

“O that all might realize that without Christ they can do nothing! Those who do not gather with Him scatter abroad. Their thoughts and actions will not bear the right character, and their influence will be destructive of good. Our actions have a twofold influence; for they affect others as well as ourselves. This influence will either be a blessing or a curse to those with whom we associate. How little we appreciate this fact. Actions make habits, and habits, character, and if we do not guard our habits, we shall not be qualified to unite with heavenly agencies in the work of salvation, nor be prepared to enter the heavenly mansions that Jesus has gone to prepare; for no one will be there except those who have surrendered their will and way to God’s will and way. He whose character is proved, who has stood the test of trial, who is a partaker of the divine nature, will be among those whom Christ pronounces blessed.

“Without Christ we can do nothing. The pure principles of uprightness, virtue, and goodness are all from God. A conscientious discharge of duty, Christlike sympathy, love for souls and love for your own soul, because you belong to God, and have been bought with the precious blood of Christ, will make you a laborer together with God, and endow you with persuasive, drawing power. . . . Terrible are the consequences of not having a constant connection with God.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 194, 195.

2 By what are men saved? Ephesians 2:8.

note: “We must learn in the school of Christ. Nothing but His righteousness can entitle us to one of the blessings of the covenant of grace. We have long desired and tried to obtain these blessings, but have not received them because we have cherished the idea that we could do something to make ourselves worthy of them. We have not looked away from ourselves, believing that Jesus is a living Saviour. We must not think that our own grace and merits will save us; the grace of Christ is our only hope of salvation. Through His prophet the Lord promises, ‘Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon’ (Isaiah 55:7). We must believe the naked promise, and not accept feeling for faith. When we trust God fully, when we rely upon the merits of Jesus as a sin-pardoning Saviour, we shall receive all the help that we can desire.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 351.

3 How was grace revealed in Christ’s first advent? John 1:14.

note: “The deep necessity of man for a divine teacher was known in heaven. The pity and sympathy of God were exercised in behalf of man, fallen and bound to Satan’s chariot-car; and when the fullness of time was come, He sent forth His Son. The One appointed in the counsels of heaven came to the earth as an instructor. He was no less a being than the Creator of the world, the Son of the Infinite God. The rich benevolence of God gave Him to our world; and to meet the necessities of humanity, He took on Him human nature. To the astonishment of the heavenly host, He walked this earth as the Eternal Word. Fully prepared, He left the royal courts to come to a world marred and polluted with sin. Mysteriously He allied Himself to human nature. ‘The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.’ [John 1:14.] God’s excess of goodness, benevolence, and love was a surprise to the world, of grace which could be realized, but not told.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 399, 400.

“Taking humanity upon Him, Christ came to be one with humanity and at the same time to reveal our heavenly Father to sinful human beings. He was in all things made like unto His brethren. He became flesh, even as we are. He was hungry and thirsty and weary. He was sustained by food and refreshed by sleep. He shared the lot of men, and yet He was the blameless Son of God. He was a stranger and sojourner on the earth—in the world, but not of the world; tempted and tried as men and women today are tempted and tried, yet living a life free from sin.

“Tender, compassionate, sympathetic, ever considerate of others, He represented the character of God, and was constantly engaged in service for God and man.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 286.

4 Unto how many has this grace appeared? Titus 2:11.

note: “The Lord saw our fallen condition; He saw our need of grace, and because He loved our souls, He has given us grace and peace. Grace means favor to one who is undeserving, to one who is lost. The fact that we are sinners, instead of shutting us away from the mercy and love of God, makes the exercise of His love to us a positive necessity in order that we may be saved.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 347.

5 What does this grace teach men? Titus 2:12, 13.

note: “In the precepts of His holy law, God has given a perfect rule of life; and He has declared that until the close of time this law, unchanged in a single jot or tittle, is to maintain its claim upon human beings. Christ came to magnify the law and make it honorable. He showed that it is based upon the broad foundation of love to God and love to man, and that obedience to its precepts comprises the whole duty of man. In His own life He gave an example of obedience to the law of God. In the Sermon on the Mount He showed how its requirements extend beyond the outward acts and take cognizance of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

“The law, obeyed, leads men to deny ‘ungodliness and worldly lusts,’ and to ‘live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.’ Titus 2:12. But the enemy of all righteousness has taken the world captive and has led men and women to disobey the law. As Paul foresaw, multitudes have turned from the plain, searching truths of God’s word and have chosen teachers who present to them the fables they desire. Many among both ministers and people are trampling under their feet the commandments of God. Thus the Creator of the world is insulted, and Satan laughs in triumph at the success of his devices.” The Acts of the Apostles, 505.

6 How extensively is this grace bestowed? Psalm 84:11.

note: “Many who profess to be Christ’s followers have an anxious, troubled heart because they are afraid to trust themselves with God. They do not make a complete surrender to Him, for they shrink from the consequences that such a surrender may involve. Unless they do make this surrender they cannot find peace.

“There are many whose hearts are aching under a load of care because they seek to reach the world’s standard. They have chosen its service, accepted its perplexities, adopted its customs. Thus their character is marred and their life made a weariness. The continual worry is wearing out the life forces. Our Lord desires them to lay aside this yoke of bondage. . . .

“Our heavenly Father has a thousand ways to provide for us of which we know nothing. Those who accept the one principle of making the service of God supreme, will find perplexities vanish and a plain path before their feet.

“The faithful discharge of today’s duties is the best preparation for tomorrow’s trials. Do not gather together all tomorrow’s liabilities and cares and add them to the burden of today.” The Ministry of Healing, 480, 481.

7 What condition of mind must men be in to profit by grace? James 4:6.

note: “Over and over again in his teaching, Christ presented the value of true humility, showing how necessary it is that we exercise helpfulness, compassion, and love toward one another. . . .

“Christ can do nothing for the recovery of man until, convinced of his own weakness and stripped of all self-sufficiency and pride, he puts himself under the control of God. Then and then only can he be a true subject of God. No confidence can be placed in human greatness, human intellect, or human plans. We must place ourselves under the guidance of an infinite mind, acknowledging that without Jesus we can do nothing.” Review and Herald, August 18, 1896.

8 What sustained the apostle Paul in his trials? 11 Corinthians 12:9.

note: “Satan is busily working with all who will give him encouragement. Those who have the light, but refuse to walk in it, will become confused, until darkness pervades their souls, and shapes their whole course of action. But the spirit of wisdom and goodness of God as revealed in His Word, will become brighter and brighter as they follow on in the path of true obedience. All the righteous demands of God will be met through sanctification of the Holy Spirit. . . .

“There are great privileges and blessings for all who will humble themselves and fully consecrate their hearts to God. Great light will be given to them. When men are willing to be transformed, then they will be exercised unto godliness.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 166.

9 What will enable us to serve God acceptably? Hebrews 12:28.

note: “Those who profess the name of Christ should not neglect to establish the family altar, where they can seek God daily with all the earnestness with which they would seek him in a religious assembly. They should make the season of family prayer a season of special interest, and in this way they will be obtaining an education that will fit them to become a benefit to the church. You may obtain a knowledge of how to serve God acceptably in the home. You may learn how to pray, you may learn how to believe in God; and those who neglect this means of grace in their families, are not preparing themselves for usefulness in the church.” Review and Herald, October 22, 1889.

“Our bodies are composed of that upon which we feed, so our spiritual life will be composed of that upon which we feed. If we feed on Christ by thinking of Him, by obeying His words, we are built up in Him, and grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth unto the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus.” Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, 274, 275.

Food for Life – Carob Cream Pie

This month we will look at a principle regarding sweetness in our diets. Although this will not be an exhaustive study, a broad principle will be included. Please know that it is important for you to study this subject in detail for yourself. Be a Berean.

In the Bible, we find what is often called the “honey principle.” The Bible records three statements regarding the eating of honey that should be considered for an overall temperance principle. “My son, eat thou honey, because [it is] good; and the honeycomb, [which is] sweet to thy taste.” “Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.” “[It is] not good to eat much honey.” Proverbs 24:13; 25:16, 27.

Using these verses, we can identify a temperance principle that is applicable to many areas of life besides the eating of honey. The principle is this: Even good things should be taken in moderation. In other words, honey is good for us, but we should consume it in moderation—only as much as is sufficient for us, and never in excess, as that is not good.

Temperance Principle: If the item is bad for you, abstain from it. If it is good, partake to sufficiency and in moderation, not excess.

Carob Cream Pie

3 cups soy or almond milk

1 Tablespoon vanilla

2 Tablespoons Emes Kosher-Jel (unflavored)

1 teaspoon cereal coffee substitute such as Roma or Postum

1 cup pitted dates or 5 Tablespoons honey

2 drops mint flavoring (optional)

3 Tablespoons carob powder

1 Tablespoon molasses

1 pre-baked pie shell

Heat 1 cup of the milk with Emes Kosher-Jel and stir until the jel is dissolved. Combine with remaining filling ingredients and process in a blender until very smooth. Pour into a bowl and chill until firm. When firm, stir with wire whip or spoon (add more milk if necessary), and then pour into pre-baked pie shell. Chill again until firm. If desired, garnish with lightly toasted coconut.

Nature Nugget – The American Eel

The life of the American Eel is very complex and involves the broadest diversity of habitats of any fish species in the world. Also known as the Freshwater Eel, it occurs in freshwater rivers and lakes, estuaries, coastal areas, and open ocean from Greenland south along the Atlantic coast of North America, throughout the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, and inland throughout the eastern half of North and Central America and parts of northern South America.

American Eels are nocturnal carnivores, feeding on insects, mollusks, crustaceans, worms, and other fish. They hunt their prey by smell, since they have very poor eyesight. During the day, they hide in rock crevices or dig under the mud or sand to avoid predators. In the more northern latitudes, they spend the winter buried in the mud in a state of dormancy. They are well-known for their ability to maneuver around and over seemingly impassable obstacles such as spillways, dams, and waterfalls. They are even capable of leaving the water and traveling overland for short distances. Their slippery, slimy bodies make it difficult for predators to grasp them.

American Eels are catadromous, spending most of their lives in freshwater and estuaries and migrating to the ocean to spawn. This is the opposite of anadromous species such as the Pacific salmons, which spend most of their lives in the ocean and migrate to freshwater rivers and streams to spawn. American Eels begin and end their lives in an area of the Atlantic Ocean near Bermuda called the Sargasso Sea. After hatching, the pelagic larvae, called leptocephalus, drift with the ocean currents for 9 to 12 months before entering coastal waters. When they reach approximately 2.4 inches in length, the larvae metamorphoses into a transparent “glass” eel. In autumn, the glass eels migrate into estuaries where they become pigmented and are then known as elvers. Some elvers, mainly males, remain in the estuaries and lower river stretches while the females migrate upstream, often for several hundred miles.

The eels, now in their “yellow” color phase, will remain in these fresh and brackish water habitats for the next 5 to 20 years. During this time, the females may reach a length of four to five feet and weigh up to 15 pounds, while the males attain a length of only about two feet.

Before beginning their migration back to the Sargasso Sea to spawn and die, the eels must undergo profound physical changes. Just prior to beginning their journey, the eels stop feeding, their eyes and pectoral fins enlarge, and their body color and pattern changes. The now sexually mature eels have a gray back, a pure white belly, and a silvery bronze sheen on their flanks. The migration occurs on autumn nights with the now transformed adults descending rivers and streams for a mid-winter to spring spawning in the warm Sargasso Sea. Females lay between two to four million eggs, depending on their size, and the eggs soon hatch to start the cycle over again.

Just as the American Eel must undergo a transformation before it can begin its final migration home to the Sargasso Sea, so Christians must undergo a transformation into the image of Christ before they can travel home to heaven. “Christ is sitting for His portrait in every disciple. Every one God has predestinated to be ‘conformed to the image of His Son.’ Romans 8:29. In every one Christ’s long-suffering love, His holiness, meekness, mercy, and truth are to be manifested to the world.” The Desire of Ages, 827. “If this transformation has not been experienced by you, rest not. Seek the Lord with all your hearts. Make this the all-important business of your lives.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 179.

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

Restoring the Temple – No Flesh Foods

It is not the chief end of man to gratify his appetite. There are physical wants to be supplied; but because of this is it necessary that man shall be controlled by appetite? Will the people who are seeking to become holy, pure, refined, that they may be introduced into the society of heavenly angels, continue to take the life of God’s creatures, and enjoy their flesh as a luxury? From what the Lord has shown me, this order of things will be changed, and God’s peculiar people will exercise temperance in all things.

“Those who have received instruction regarding the evils of the use of flesh foods, tea, and coffee, and rich and unhealthful food preparations, and who are determined to make a covenant with God by sacrifice, will not continue to indulge their appetite for food that they know to be unhealthful. God demands that the appetite be cleansed, and that self-denial be practiced in regard to those things which are not good. This is a work that will have to be done before His people can stand before Him a perfected people.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 381.

Perfecting Holiness

“Health reform is to do among our people a work which it has not yet done. There are those who ought to be awake to the danger of meat eating, who are still eating the flesh of animals, thus endangering the physical, mental, and spiritual health. Many who are now only half converted on the question of meat eating will go from God’s people to walk no more with them. . . .

“If, while proclaiming the most solemn and important message God has ever given, men war against the truth by indulging wrong habits of eating and drinking, they take all the force from the message they bear.

“Those who indulge in meat eating, tea drinking, and gluttony are sowing seeds for a harvest of pain and death. The unhealthful food placed in the stomach strengthens the appetites that war against the soul, developing the lower propensities. A diet of flesh meat tends to develop animalism. A development of animalism lessens spirituality, rendering the mind incapable of understanding truth.

“The word of God plainly warns us that unless we abstain from fleshly lusts, the physical nature will be brought into conflict with the spiritual nature. Lustful eating wars against health and peace. Thus a warfare is instituted between the higher and the lower attributes of the man. The lower propensities, strong and active, oppress the soul. The highest interests of the being are imperiled by the indulgence of appetites unsanctioned by Heaven.” Ibid., 382.

Firm Stand Against Meat Eating

“Those who claim to believe the truth are to guard carefully the powers of body and mind, so that God and His cause will not be in any way dishonored by their words or actions. The habits and practices are to be brought into subjection to the will of God. We are to give careful attention to our diet. It has been clearly presented to me that God’s people are to take a firm stand against meat eating. Would God . . . give His people the message that if they desire to have pure blood and clear minds, they must give up the use of flesh meat, if He did not want them to heed this message? By the use of flesh meats the animal nature is strengthened and the spiritual nature weakened.” Ibid., 383.

“Those who use flesh meat disregard all the warnings that God has given concerning this question. They have no evidence that they are walking in safe paths. They have not the slightest excuse for eating the flesh of dead animals. God’s curse is resting upon the animal creation. Many times when meat is eaten, it decays in the stomach, and creates disease. Cancers, tumors, and pulmonary diseases are largely caused by meat eating.” Ibid.

“The intellectual, the moral, and the physical powers are depreciated by the habitual use of flesh meats. Meat eating deranges the system, beclouds the intellect, and blunts the moral sensibilities. We say to you, dear brother and sister, your safest course is to let meat alone.” Ibid., 391.

Strength to Resist

“If our appetites clamor for the flesh of dead animals, it is a necessity to fast and pray for the Lord to give His grace to deny fleshly lusts which war against the soul.

When Prayer for Healing is Inconsistent

“There are those among Seventh-day Adventists who will not heed the light given them in regard to this matter. They make flesh meat a part of their diet. Disease comes upon them. Sick and suffering as a result of their own wrong course, they ask for the prayers of the servants of God. But how can the Lord work in their behalf when they are not willing to do His will, when they refuse to heed His instruction in regard to health reform? . . .

“The light on health reform has been coming to the people of God, but many have made it a subject of jest. They have continued to use tea, coffee, spices, and flesh meat. Their bodies are full of disease. How can we, I ask, present such ones to the Lord for healing?” Ibid., 400.

Benefit of Self-Denial

“If we could be benefited by indulging the desire for flesh foods, I would not make this appeal to you; but I know we cannot. Flesh foods are injurious to the physical well-being, and we should learn to do without them. Those who are in a position where it is possible to secure a vegetarian diet, but who choose to follow their own preferences in this matter, eating and drinking as they please, will gradually grow careless of the instruction the Lord has given regarding other phases of the present truth, and will lose their perception of what is truth; they will surely reap as they have sown. . . .

“We need ever to bear in mind that in these days of probation we are on trial before the Lord of the universe. Will you not give up indulgences that are doing you injury? Words of profession are cheap; let your acts of self-denial testify that you will be obedient to the demands that God makes of His peculiar people. Then put into the treasury a portion of the means you save by your acts of self-denial, and there will be that with which to carry on the work of God.

“There are many who feel that they cannot get along without flesh foods; but if these would place themselves on the Lord’s side, resolutely resolved to walk in the way of His guidance, they would receive strength and wisdom as did Daniel and his fellows. They would find that the Lord would give them sound judgment. Many would be surprised to see how much could be saved for the cause of God by acts of self-denial. The small sums saved by deeds of sacrifice will do more for the up-building of the cause of God than larger gifts will accomplish that have not called for denial of self.” Ibid., 402–404.

Meat Eating a Curse

“The Lord would bring His people into a position where they will not touch or taste the flesh of dead animals. Then let not these things be prescribed by any physicians who have a knowledge of the truth for this time. There is no safety in the eating of the flesh of dead animals, and in a short time the milk of the cows will also be excluded from the diet of God’s commandment-keeping people. In a short time it will not be safe to use anything that comes from the animal creation. Those who take God at His word, and obey His commandments with the whole heart, will be blessed. He will be their shield of protection. But the Lord will not be trifled with. Distrust, disobedience, alienation from God’s will and way, will place the sinner in a position where the Lord cannot give him His divine favor. . . .

“Again I will refer to the diet question. We cannot now do as we have ventured to do in the past in regard to meat eating. It has always been a curse to the human family, but now it is made particularly so in the curse which God has pronounced upon the herds of the field, because of man’s transgression and sin. The disease upon animals is becoming more and more common, and our only safety now is in leaving meat entirely alone.” Ibid., 411, 412.

True to Principle

“We are determined to live out the principles of health reform, to walk in the way of truth and righteousness. We shall not, for fear of losing patronage, be half-and-half reformers. We have taken our position, and by God’s help we shall stand by it. The food provided for the patients is wholesome and palatable. The diet is composed of fruits and grains and nuts.” Ibid., 414, 415.

Ask the Pastor – Manasseh’s Rule


Why did the Lord allow wicked Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, to reign over God’s people for so long a period?


Manasseh was the fourteenth ruler of the kingdom of Judah. He reigned for 55 years, which is the longest reign in the history of Judah or Israel. During part of this long reign, he was a co-ruler with his father Hezekiah. During this period of time, the Bible tells us that he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord. (11 Chronicles 33:2.) While we cannot totally explain the length of time of his reign or why he did what he did, the story of Manasseh is recorded to show God’s long-suffering for those who can eventually be saved in the kingdom of heaven.

Many times, if it were up to us as human beings, we would write off numerous potential saints, because they do not shape up to our expectations. There is a tendency to judge ourselves among ourselves, and those who do things differently from us or think differently than us are consigned to the trash heap to be burned up at the end of the world. But God does not see as we see. In spite of the terrible sins that some people commit, God forbears with them and works with them, sometimes through affliction, to save them for the kingdom of heaven. This is what happened to Manasseh. He was disobedient to the Lord. He was disobedient to those who had conquered the land of Judah and placed him as king, and he was not protective of his own family. (See 11 Chronicles 33:6.) In our thinking, this man should never be allowed to enter into heaven. But the plan of salvation is so encompassing and so extensive in its scope, that God was able to save this king for heaven. (See 11 Chronicles 33:11–13.)

Even though this story reveals gruesome insights into the life of this man, it also unfolds the truth that where sin abounds, grace does much more abound. (Romans 5:20.) Because of God’s grace, we can be in heaven with all the saints regardless of what we have done—if we repent of those sins and accept Jesus as our Saviour. We may not begin to equal the terrible acts of Manasseh, but one sin, unconfessed, will close us out of the kingdom of heaven. It is grace, and grace only, which opens the gates to any who will enter. God allowed Manasseh to reign for so long a period because, at the end, he participated in reforms and eventually developed a desire for heaven.

Time is in God’s hands, not in our own. Our whole duty is to fear God and keep His commandments. (Ecclesiastes 12:13.) If we do these things, while Jesus is our Saviour, we will one day understand more clearly things that now are only seen dimly.

Pastor Mike Baugher is a retired minister of the gospel. If you have a question you would like Pastor Mike to answer, e-mail it to:, or mail it to: Land Marks, Steps to Life, P. O. Box 782828, Wichita, KS 67278.

The Pen of Inspiration – A Call to the Watchmen

I have a special message to bear. The Lord is to be our Light, and we are to reflect the light He gives us. We must be sanctified, soul, body, and spirit. Every moment we must be on our guard lest we be overcome by our adversaries.

We have been made to feel very sad as we have seen some who were formerly fellow-laborers yielding to the deceptions of Satan, and turning away from the truth. But we must be of good courage. God will help us if we put our trust in Him. We must look to Him for wisdom, and not become confused.

The brethren and sisters who know the truth are not to draw largely upon the ministers for help. Let the messengers of God be left as free as possible to labor for the multitudes who are unwarned.

Needs of the Cities

To my brethren in positions of responsibility I would say, the needs of the large cities have been kept before you. You have had message after message concerning your duty. And now what will you do that the charge of the Lord may be obeyed? Upon all the Lord is calling: “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we (first) believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light”; “redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” [Romans 13:11, 12; Ephesians 5:16.]

As we begin active work for the multitudes in the cities, the enemy will work mightily to bring in confusion, hoping thus to break up the working forces. Some who are not thoroughly converted, are in constant danger of mistaking the suggestions of the enemy for leadings of the Spirit of God. As the Lord has given us light, let us walk in the light. We are not to be satisfied with a cheap experience. We need to examine ourselves to see where we fail, that on these points we may gain precious victories.

Put Away Self

All boasting is sinful. Let us put away all self-exaltation, and heed the invitation of Christ. He says, Come unto Me; copy My character; take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. [Matthew 11:28, first part, 29.] When professed Christians manifest Christ-likeness by revealing his meekness, then they will give evidence that they are born into the kingdom of Christ.

The workers in the harvest field are the Lord’s messengers, they are to help one another. May the Lord help us that we may obtain great victories. Then, knowing the source of our strength, let us hold fast, looking unto Jesus the Author and the Finisher of our faith.

Ensnare and Deceive

Satan is at work with vehement power to divert the minds of the multitudes, so that they shall not understand and obey the truth. He will entangle them with every snare that he can devise. The picture of his deceptive work has been presented to me again and again for many years.

But his supreme effort is to ensnare and deceive church members who have had long experience, and ministers of the gospel of Christ. With all their ingenuity, Satan and the armies under him are working with their superior knowledge to deceive, if possible, the very elect. By self-exaltation we become weak, and invite the temptations of the enemy. Our safety is to practice heartily the truths of the Bible. By humbling ourselves before God we invite His saving power.

Christ’s Direction

Let every minister standing in defense of the truth realize that he is to do his work under the direction of the Lord Jesus Christ. We must remember that though they have lost their first state, the fallen angels are wise above the wisdom of earth; for they have been in the councils of heaven.

I have felt a heavy burden that our leading ministers shall be found faithful to their trust, wise, and discriminating. If a wrong spirit is cherished by those who are appointed to be light bearers, the carrying of the soul-saving messages to the multitude will be hindered, and souls will be lost. What is needed now is thorough conversion and whole-hearted consecration. He who is closely connected with Christ will be strengthened to withstand human and satanic devisings. We are living in perilous times, and it is not in the order of the Lord that our ministers shall dwell upon questions about which there is known to be a serious difference of opinion among themselves.

Let nothing be done rashly, in a manner that will arouse prejudice. Let no one act on impulse, putting forth publications of such a nature as to weaken the hand of God’s messengers, and close doors to the entrance of the truth.


Christ was the majesty of heaven, the only begotten Son of God. Yet “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.]

Christ clothed His divinity with humanity, that He might encircle humanity. Cannot his followers be willing to submit to some things that they cannot clearly understand, in order to be able to help those who need help?

Wake up the Watchmen

Our cities are to be worked. To devote our efforts to other worthy enterprises, and leave unworked our cities, in which are large numbers of all nationalities, is not wise. A beginning is now to be made, and means must be raised that the work may go forward. With mighty power the cry is again to be sounded in our large centers of population. “Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet Him.” [Matthew 25:6.]

Money is needed for the prosecution of the work. . . . It seems difficult to make our people feel a special burden for the work in the large cities.

I appeal to our brethren who have heard the message for many years. It is time to wake up the watchmen. I have expended my strength in giving the message the Lord has given me. The burden of the needs of our cities has rested so heavily upon me that it has sometimes seemed that I should die. May the Lord give wisdom to our brethren, that they may know how to carry forward the work in harmony with the will of the Lord.

Pamphlet 020 (1910), 2–5.

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.

Children’s Story – The Lord Will Provide, Part I

It was the last week of the month. As I was getting ready to prepare our Sabbath meal, I stood in front of my pantry, looking at the empty shelves. I wondered what I could do. The small ration that the Communist government of Cuba allowed per family per month was gone. Only two cups of rice and a small bit of oil and part of a loaf of bread were left. From my summer garden I had a green plantain (a banana that you cook), two tomatoes, and a small head of lettuce. That was all the food I had to feed my family for Friday night, Sabbath, and Sunday. The first day of the next month was on Monday, and I could not go to the store to buy more food until then. For my family of three—my husband, Hugo, our daughter, Lena, and me—there was not enough food. We usually had visitors come to our home for Sabbath dinner, but not on this Sabbath!

I put the rice to cook in a little pot. With one of the tomatoes, I made a little salsa, and I cooked six small “meatballs” made out of the single plantain. There it was—all of our food for two days! When Hugo arrived home that afternoon, I explained our food situation to him.

“Please do not invite anyone home for dinner tomorrow,” I implored. He understood.

When I heard our doorbell ring a little later, I went to see who was at the door. It was a young man who had come from a distant city. We knew he was interested in one of the young ladies in our church, so we had told him that whenever he wanted to visit our church, he was welcome to stay in our home. But why today? He was here, however, and I knew that we would have to share what little food we had with him.

While the young man showered, I quickly prepared a glass of water with sugar and a slice of bread for each member of my family. That was our supper. When our visitor came out of the bathroom, I served him a little rice, two of the plantain balls, and one leaf of lettuce made into a salad. “We have already had our supper, because we have to go to the church for a meeting,” I explained to him.

When we arrived at the church that evening, I learned that the girl our friend had come to visit was out of town. “Oh, no!” I thought. “Now we will have to feed him lunch tomorrow!”

My husband gave me the solution the next morning. “Let’s tell him that we are fasting today, so you can then give the food to him and Lena.” I agreed.

While sitting in church that Sabbath morning, I noticed a man from a neighboring church attending with his young son. He had brought his older son to a nearby hospital and had decided to stay at our church for the church service. My thought was, “Two more for lunch today!”

Later in the morning, Hugo whispered to me, “There is a couple visiting from Havana. When I was in the seminary, I was assigned to the church where they are members. Many times they had me to their house for Sabbath dinner. We have to take them home.”

My immediate reaction was desperation, but in a flash, Bible stories passed through my mind—the manna in the wilderness, the widow’s oil and flour, the little boy’s lunch that the Lord used to feed thousands. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8), I remembered. Trusting only the Lord, my Provider, I answered my husband with a confident, “Sure, invite them home. The Lord will provide.”

To be continued . . .