Bible Study Guides – Jeremiah Grieves for His People

May 24, 2009 – May 30, 2009

Key Text

“Then spake Jeremiah unto all the princes and to all the people, saying, The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words that ye have heard.” Jeremiah 26:12.

Study Help: Prophets and Kings, 430–437; Testimonies, vol. 4, 176–181.


“God will send reproof and warning to His people as long as they continue upon earth.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 180.

1 How did the priests, false prophets, and people react to Jeremiah’s message? Jeremiah 26:7, 8. Who else heard about the prophet’s declaration? Jeremiah 26:10–12.

Note: “When the priests and the people heard the message that Jeremiah delivered to them in the name of the Lord, they were very angry and declared that he should die. … Thus was the message of God despised and the servant with whom He entrusted it threatened with death. The priests, the unfaithful prophets, and all the people turned in wrath upon him who would not speak to them smooth things and prophesy deceit.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 167.

2 What positive appeal did Jeremiah make, and why was he not intimidated by those in authority? Jeremiah 26:13–16.

Note: “Had the prophet been intimidated by the threatening attitude of those high in authority, his message would have been without effect, and he would have lost his life; but the courage with which he delivered the solemn warning commanded the respect of the people and turned the princes of Israel in his favor. They reasoned with the priests and false prophets, showing them how unwise would be the extreme measures they advocated, and their words produced a reaction in the minds of the people. Thus God raised up defenders for His servant.” Prophets and Kings, 418.

3 What should we learn from Jeremiah’s attitude? II Timothy 1:7.

Note: “The unfaltering servants of God have usually suffered the bitterest persecution from false teachers of religion. But the true prophets will ever prefer reproach, and even death, rather than unfaithfulness to God.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 167.

“God’s chosen servants should meet with courage and patience the trials and sufferings that befall them through reproach, neglect, and misrepresentation. They should continue to discharge faithfully the work God has given them to do, ever remembering that the prophets of old and the Saviour of mankind and His apostles also endured abuse and persecution for the Word’s sake.” Prophets and Kings, 437.

4 What should we always remember as we take a firm stand for the Lord? II Timothy 3:12.

Note: “God cannot use men who, in time of peril, when the strength, courage, and influence of all are needed, are afraid to take a firm stand for the right.” Prophets and Kings, 142.

“Those who stand in defense of the honor of God and maintain the purity of truth at any cost will have manifold trials, as did our Saviour in the wilderness of temptation. While those who have yielding temperaments, who have not courage to condemn wrong, but keep silent when their influence is needed to stand in defense of the right against any pressure, may avoid many heartaches and escape many perplexities, they will also lose a very rich reward, if not their own souls. Those who are in harmony with God, and who through faith in Him receive strength to resist wrong and stand in defense of the right, will always have severe conflicts and will frequently have to stand almost alone. But precious victories will be theirs while they make God their dependence.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 302, 303.

5 Who else agreed with the princes against the decision of the priests? Jeremiah 26:17–19.

Note: “The elders also united in protesting against the decision of the priests regarding the fate of Jeremiah. They cited the case of Micah, who had prophesied judgments upon Jerusalem. … Through the pleading of these men of influence the prophet’s life was spared, although many of the priests and false prophets, unable to endure the condemning truths he uttered, would gladly have seen him put to death on the plea of sedition.” Prophets and Kings, 418, 419.

6 What assurance did Jeremiah have from the Lord? Jeremiah 6:27. Wherein lay the secret of Jeremiah’s courage and the strength of his life? Jeremiah 20:11.

Note: “The children of God are wise when they trust in that wisdom alone which comes from above, and when they have no strength but that which is from God. Separation from the friendship and spirit of the world is needful for us if we would be united to the Lord and abide in Him. Our strength and our prosperity consist in our being connected with the Lord, chosen and accepted of Him.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 689.

7 Because the people of Judah did not hear the Lord’s messages, what sentence of doom was pronounced? Jeremiah 25:8–11. To impress those in leading positions of the coming calamities, what was the prophet instructed to do? Jeremiah 19:1, 10, 11, 15.

Note: “Although the sentence of doom had been clearly pronounced, its awful import could scarcely be understood by the multitudes who heard. That deeper impressions might be made, the Lord sought to illustrate the meaning of the words spoken. He bade Jeremiah liken the fate of the nation to the draining of a cup filled with the wine of divine wrath. Among the first to drink of this cup of woe was to be ‘Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and the kings thereof.’ Others were to partake of the same cup—‘Pharaoh king of Egypt, and his servants, and his princes, and all his people,’ and many other nations of earth—until God’s purpose should have been fulfilled. [Jeremiah 25:18, 19.]” Prophets and Kings, 431.

8 At this time of impending doom, what was Jehoiakim doing? Jeremiah 22:13, 14. What was Jeremiah directed to do, and what was the reaction of the king? Jeremiah 36:1–6, 20–23.

Note: “This message was a reproof of the many sins of Israel and a warning of the consequences that would follow a continuance of their evil course. It was an earnest appeal for them to renounce their sins. …

“When the king was told by the princes of what Baruch had read, he immediately ordered the roll brought and read to him. But instead of heeding its warnings and trembling at the danger that hung over himself and his people, in a frenzy of rage he flung it into the fire, notwithstanding certain ones who were high in his confidence had begged him not to burn it.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 177.

“When man has sinned against a holy and merciful God, he can pursue no course so noble as to repent sincerely and confess his errors in tears and bitterness of soul. This God requires of him; He accepts nothing less than a broken heart and a contrite spirit. But King Jehoiakim and his lords, in their arrogance and pride, refused the invitation of God. They would not heed the warning, and repent. The gracious opportunity proffered them at the time of the burning of the sacred roll, was their last. God had declared that if at that time they refused to hear His voice, He would inflict upon them fearful retribution. They did refuse to hear, and He pronounced His final judgments upon Judah, and He would visit with special wrath the man who had proudly lifted himself up against the Almighty.” Prophets and Kings, 435, 436.

9 How did the Lord protect His faithful prophet and strengthen him to persevere? Jeremiah 36:26–29.

Note: “The wrath of man had sought to prevent the labors of the prophet of God; but the very means by which Jehoiakim had endeavored to limit the influence of the servant of Jehovah, gave further opportunity for making plain the divine requirements.” Prophets and Kings, 437.

10 What should we realize today from this experience? Ecclesiastes 1:9.

Note: “Many now despise the faithful reproof given of God in testimony. I have been shown that some in these days have even gone so far as to burn the written words of rebuke and warning, as did the wicked king of Israel. But opposition to God’s threatenings will not hinder their execution. To defy the words of the Lord, spoken through His chosen instruments, will only provoke His anger and eventually bring certain ruin upon the offender. Indignation often kindles in the heart of the sinner against the agent whom God chooses to deliver His reproofs. It has ever been thus, and the same spirit exists today that persecuted and imprisoned Jeremiah for obeying the word of the Lord.

“While men will not heed repeated warnings, they are pleased with false teachers who flatter their vanity and strengthen their iniquity, but who will fail to help them in the day of trouble. God’s chosen servants should meet with courage and patience whatever trials and sufferings befall them through reproach, neglect, or misrepresentations because they faithfully discharge the duty that God has given them to do.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 180.

“Those who valiantly take their position on the right side, who encourage submission to God’s revealed will and strengthen others in their efforts to put away their wrong-doings, are the true friends of the Lord, who in love is trying to correct the errors of His people, that He may wash them and, cleansing them from every defilement, fit them for His holy kingdom.” Ibid., vol. 4, 181.

Additional Reading

“Christ did not fail, neither was He discouraged; and His followers are to manifest a faith of the same enduring nature. They are to live as He lived, and work as He worked, because they depend on Him as the great Master-worker.

“Courage, energy, and perseverance they must possess. Though apparent impossibilities obstruct their way, by His grace they are to go forward. Instead of deploring difficulties, they are called upon to surmount them. They are to despair of nothing, and to hope for everything. With the golden chain of His matchless love, Christ had bound them to the throne of God. It is His purpose that the highest influence in the universe, emanating from the Source of all power, shall be theirs. They are to have power to resist evil, power that neither earth, nor death, nor hell can master, power that will enable them to overcome as Christ overcame.” Gospel Workers, 39.

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” I Corinthians 15:58.

“Those who stand in defense of the honor of God, and maintain the purity of truth at any cost, will have manifold trials, as did our Saviour in the wilderness of temptation. The yielding temperaments, who have not courage to condemn wrong, but keep silent when their influence is needed to stand in the defense of right against any pressure, may avoid many heartaches and escape many perplexities, and lose a very rich reward, if not their own souls.

“Those who in harmony with God, and through faith in Him, receive strength to resist wrong, and stand in defense of the right, will always have severe conflicts and will frequently have to stand almost alone. But precious victories will be theirs while they make God their dependence. His grace will be their strength. Their moral sense will be keen, clear, and sensitive. Their moral powers will be equal to withstand wrong influences. Their integrity, like that of Moses, of the purest character.

“It will require moral courage to do God’s work unflinchingly. Those who do this can give no place to self-love, to selfish considerations, ambition, love of ease, or desire to shun the cross. … Shall we obey His voice, or shall we listen to the soothing voice of the evil one, and be rocked to a fatal slumber just on the eve of eternal realities?

“Our Saviour longs to save the young. … He is waiting to place upon their heads the crown of life and hear their happy voices join in ascribing honor and glory and majesty to God and the Lamb in the song of victory that shall echo and re-echo throughout the courts of heaven.” My Life Today, 320.

“The very contempt that is shown to the law of God is sufficient reason why His commandment-keeping people should come to the front and show their esteem and reverence for His downtrodden law.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 136.

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

Bible Study Guides – Parallels for Today

May 17, 2009 – May 23, 2009

Key Text

“For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” John 3:20, 21.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 4, 174–176; “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1163.


“In this generation, when God’s servants speak the word of the Lord to reprove wrong-doers, to rebuke those who bring in wrong principles, have they not had an experience similar to that which Jeremiah had?” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1156.

1 How did Jeremiah feel about uttering the warnings he was directed to give, and how did God constrain His servant? Jeremiah 20:9.

Note: “So strong was the opposition against Jeremiah’s message, so often was he derided and mocked, that he said, ‘I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name.’ [Jeremiah 20:9.] Thus it has ever been. Because of the bitterness, hatred, and opposition manifested against the word of God spoken in reproof, many other messengers of God have decided to do as Jeremiah decided. But what did this prophet of the Lord do after his decision? Try as much as he would, he could not hold his peace. As soon as he came into the assemblies of the people, he found that the Spirit of the Lord was stronger than he was. … [Jeremiah 20:9, 10 quoted.]” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1156.

2 Why do those who call sin by its right name face such opposition? John 3:19, 20. Of what has God assured His faithful witnesses, both anciently and today? John 3:21; Joshua 1:8, 9.

Note: “When a course of action to pervert justice and judgment is introduced, the word of the Lord must be spoken in reproof. In this our day we find the very same difficulties that the Lord’s servants found in the days of ancient Israel when they were sent to expose existing evils that were corrupting in their influence.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” iThe Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1156, 1157.

3 What reproof did the Lord command Jeremiah to give regarding the Sabbath? Jeremiah 17:19–22. What would have been the result if the Israelites had accepted this truth? Jeremiah 17:24–26.

Note: “On one occasion, by command of the Lord, the prophet took his position at one of the principal entrances to the city and there urged the importance of keeping holy the Sabbath day. The inhabitants of Jerusalem were in danger of losing sight of the sanctity of the Sabbath, and they were solemnly warned against following their secular pursuits on that day.” Prophets and Kings, 411.

“God has designated the seventh day as His Sabbath. [Exodus 31:13, 17, 16 quoted.] … True observance of the Sabbath is the sign of loyalty to God.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 981.

“Had Israel as a nation preserved her allegiance to Heaven, Jerusalem would have stood forever, the elect of God.” The Great Controversy, 19.

4 What should we realize about the Sabbath? Exodus 31:13. What would be the result if all would hallow the Sabbath day?

Note: “If man had always kept the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, there never would have been an atheist or an infidel in the world.” The Review and Herald, April 15, 1890.

5 What message was Jeremiah directed to give the people? What would be the result of rejecting this message? Jeremiah 26:4–6.

Note: “A refusal to heed the invitation of mercy that God was now offering would bring upon the impenitent nation the judgments that had befallen the northern kingdom of Israel over a century before.” Prophets and Kings, 415.

6 When Jeremiah delivered the message to the people, what did they clearly understand, and what action did they take? Jeremiah 26:9.

Note: “Those who stood in the temple court listening to Jeremiah’s discourse understood clearly this reference to Shiloh, and to the time in the days of Eli when the Philistines had overcome Israel and carried away the ark of the testament.

“The sin of Eli had consisted in passing lightly over the iniquity of his sons in sacred office, and over the evils prevailing throughout the land. His neglect to correct these evils had brought upon Israel a fearful calamity. His sons had fallen in battle, Eli himself had lost his life, the ark of God had been taken from the land of Israel, thirty thousand of the people had been slain—and all because sin had been allowed to flourish unrebuked and unchecked. Israel had vainly thought that, notwithstanding their sinful practices, the presence of the ark would ensure them victory over the Philistines. In like manner, during the days of Jeremiah, the inhabitants of Judah were prone to believe that a strict observance of the divinely appointed services of the temple would preserve them from a just punishment for their wicked course.” Prophets and Kings, 415, 416.

7 What illustration did Jeremiah use to instruct the people? Jeremiah 35:1–10.

Note: “To illustrate the importance of yielding implicit obedience to the requirements of God, Jeremiah gathered some Rechabites into one of the chambers of the temple and set wine before them, inviting them to drink. As was to have been expected, he met with remonstrance and absolute refusal.” Prophets and Kings, 423.

8 Explain the significance of the illustration of the Rechabites, both in Jeremiah’s day and for us. Jeremiah 35:13–19.

Note: “The Rechabites were commended for their ready and willing obedience, while God’s people refused to be reproved by their prophets. Because He had spoken unto them but they had not heard, because He had called unto them but they had not answered, therefore God pronounced judgment against them. Jeremiah repeated the words of commendation from the Lord to the faithful Rechabites and pronounced blessings upon them in His name.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 175.

“Thus God taught His people that faithfulness and obedience would be reflected back upon Judah in blessing, even as the Rechabites were blessed for obedience to their father’s command.

“The lesson is for us. If the requirements of a good and wise father, who took the best and most effectual means to secure his posterity against the evils of intemperance, were worthy of strict obedience, surely God’s authority should be held in as much greater reverence as He is holier than man. Our Creator and our Commander, infinite in power, terrible in judgment, seeks by every means to bring men to see and repent of their sins. By the mouth of His servants He predicts the dangers of disobedience; He sounds the note of warning and faithfully reproves sin.” Prophets and Kings, 425, 426.

9 In our days, what solemn responsibility rests upon those holding positions in the church? Titus 1:13.

Note: “Those whom God has set apart as ministers of righteousness have solemn responsibilities laid upon them to reprove the sins of the people. Paul commanded Titus: ‘These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.’ [Titus 2:15.] There are ever those who will despise the one who dares to reprove sin; but there are times when reproof must be given. Paul directs Titus to rebuke a certain class sharply, that they may be sound in the faith. Men and women who, with their different organizations, are brought together in church capacity have peculiarities and faults. As these are developed, they will require reproof. If those who are placed in important positions never reproved, never rebuked, there would soon be a demoralized condition of things that would greatly dishonor God. But how shall the reproof be given? Let the apostle answer: ‘With all long-suffering and doctrine.’ [II Timothy 4:2.] Principle should be brought to bear upon the one who needs reproof, but never should the wrongs of God’s people be passed by indifferently.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 358, 359.

10 What does God require of those who claim to be His followers? Job 8:20; Ecclesiastes 8:11–13.

Note: “In the days of Samuel, Israel thought that the presence of the ark containing the commandments of God would gain them the victory over the Philistines, whether or not they repented of their wicked works. Just so, in Jeremiah’s time, the Jews believed that the strict observance of the divinely appointed services of the temple would preserve them from the just punishment of their evil course.

“The same danger exists today among the people who profess to be the depositaries of God’s law. They are too apt to flatter themselves that the regard in which they hold the commandments will preserve them from the power of divine justice. They refuse to be reproved for evil, and charge God’s servants with being too zealous in putting sin out of the camp. A sin-hating God calls upon those who profess to keep His law to depart from all iniquity.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 166, 167.

Additional Reading

“ ‘Ye shall be witnesses unto Me.’ [Acts 1:8.] These words of Jesus have lost none of their force. Our Saviour calls for faithful witnesses in these days of religious formalism; but how few, even among the professed ambassadors for Christ, are ready to give a faithful, personal testimony for their Master! Many can tell what the great and good men of generations past have done, and dared, and suffered, and enjoyed. They become eloquent in setting forth the power of the gospel, which has enabled others to rejoice in trying conflicts, and to stand firm against fierce temptations. But while so earnest in bringing forward other Christians as witnesses for Jesus, they seem to have no fresh, timely experience of their own to relate.

“What have you to say for yourselves? What soul conflicts have you experienced that have been for your good, for the good of others, and for the glory of God? You who profess to be proclaiming the last solemn message of mercy to the world, what is your experience in the knowledge of the truth, and what has been its effect upon your own hearts? Does your character testify for Christ? Can you speak of the refining, ennobling, sanctifying influence of the truth as it is in Jesus? What have you seen, what have you known, of the power of Christ? This is the kind of witness for which the Lord calls, and for which the churches are suffering.

“Without a living faith in Christ as a personal Saviour, it is impossible to make your faith felt in a skeptical world. If you would draw sinners out of the swift-running current, your own feet must not stand on slippery places.

“We need constantly a fresh revelation of Christ, a daily experience that harmonizes with His teachings. High and holy attainments are within our reach. Continual progress in knowledge and virtue is God’s purpose for us. His law is the echo of His own voice, giving to all the invitation, ‘Come up higher; be holy, holier still.’ Every day we may advance in perfection of Christian character.

“Those who are engaged in service for the Master need an experience much higher, deeper, broader, than many have yet thought of having. Many who are already members of God’s great family know little of what it means to behold His glory, and to be changed from glory to glory. Many have a twilight perception of Christ’s excellence, and their hearts thrill with joy. They long for a fuller, deeper sense of the Saviour’s love. Let these cherish every desire of the soul after God.

“The Holy Spirit works with those who will be worked, moulds those who will be moulded, fashions those who will be fashioned. Give yourselves the culture of spiritual thoughts and holy communings. … As you follow on to know the Lord, you will know that the ‘path of the righteous is as the light of dawn, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.’ [Proverbs 4:18, R. V.]” Gospel Workers, 273, 274.

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

Bible Study Guides – The Temple of the Lord

May 10, 2009 – May 16, 2009

Key Text

“Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, are these.” Jeremiah 7:4.

Study Help: Sons and Daughters of God, 314; Prophets and Kings, 412–414.


“Notwithstanding their claim to be the chosen people of God, reformation of heart and of the life practice alone could save them from the inevitable result of continued transgression.” Prophets and Kings, 414.

1 What was the spiritual condition of God’s professed people, and what appeal was made? Jeremiah 8:5.

Note: “The prophet stood firmly for the sound principles of right living so clearly outlined in the book of the law. But the conditions prevailing in the land of Judah were such that only by the most decided measures could a change for the better be brought about; therefore he labored most earnestly in behalf of the impenitent.” Prophets and Kings, 412.

2 At the beginning of Jehoiakim’s reign, what was Jeremiah commanded to do? Jeremiah 7:1–3.

Note: “Those who had remained loyal to God must be encouraged to persevere in rightdoing, and sinners must, if possible, be induced to turn from iniquity.

“The crisis demanded a public and far-reaching effort. Jeremiah was commanded by the Lord to stand in the court of the temple and speak to all the people of Judah who might pass in and out. From the messages given him he must diminish not a word, that sinners in Zion might have the fullest possible opportunity to hearken and to turn from their evil ways.” Prophets and Kings, 412, 413.

3 In what were the Jews confidently placing their trust, and what appeal did the Lord make to them? Jeremiah 7:4.

Note: “He [The Lord] had brought the Israelites out of bondage that they might serve Him, the only true and living God. Though they had wandered long in idolatry and had slighted His warnings, yet He now declares His willingness to defer chastisement and grant yet another opportunity for repentance. He makes plain the fact that only by the most thorough heart reformation could the impending doom be averted. In vain would be the trust they might place in the temple and its services. Rites and ceremonies could not atone for sin.” Prophets and Kings, 413.

4 How does this appeal echo down to our day? Revelation 3:17, 18.

Note: “The steady progress of our work, and our increased facilities, are filling the hearts and minds of many of our people with satisfaction and pride, which we fear will take the place of the love of God in the soul. Busy activity in the mechanical part of even the work of God may so occupy the mind that prayer shall be neglected, and self-importance and self-sufficiency, so ready to urge their way, shall take the place of true goodness, meekness, and lowliness of heart. The zealous cry may be heard: ‘The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, are these.’ [Jeremiah 7:4.] ‘Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord.’ [11 Kings 10:16.] But where are the burden bearers? where are the fathers and mothers in Israel? Where are those who carry upon the heart the burden for souls and who come in close sympathy with their fellow men, ready to place themselves in any position to save them from eternal ruin?” Testimonies, vol. 4, 535.

“Love of self excludes the love of Christ. Those who live for self are ranged under the head of the Laodicean church who are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot. The ardor of the first love has lapsed into a selfish egotism. The love of Christ in the heart is expressed in the actions. If love for Christ is dull, the love for those for whom Christ has died will degenerate. There may be a wonderful appearance for zeal and ceremonies, but this is the substance of their self-inflated religion. Christ represents them as nauseating to His taste.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 962.

5 What effect did the beauty of the temple have upon the people and their leaders? Jeremiah 7:8–10; Micah 3:11.

Note: “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. … It is impossible to describe the beauty and splendor of this tabernacle.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 113, 114.

“The Jews flattered themselves that in spite of departure from him, the Lord would protect from injury their temple and those who worshiped in it. They put their trust in outward advantages, and overlooked the necessity of purity of character, which alone God could bless.” The Review and Herald, April 2, 1908.

6 What did God desire the temple and His people to be, and why did they fall short? Isaiah 56:7; Deuteronomy 28:10.

Note: “Concerning the temple at Jerusalem, the Lord declared through Isaiah, ‘Mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all peoples.’ Isaiah 56:7, R. V.” The Desire of Ages, 27.

“God surrounded Israel with every facility, gave them every privilege, that would make them an honor to His name and a blessing to surrounding nations. If they would walk in the ways of obedience, He promised to make them ‘high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor.’ ‘All people of the earth,’ He said, ‘shall hear that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee.’ The nations which shall hear all these statutes shall say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ Deuteronomy 26:19; 28:10; 4:6.” Education, 40.

7 What abominations done by the Israelites provoked the Lord’s anger? Jeremiah 7:17–19, 30, 31.

Note: “While the Israelites were in Egyptian bondage, they were surrounded by idolatry. The Egyptians had received traditions in regard to sacrificing. … After they had erected their altars, they required their children to leap over the altars through the fire. If they could do this without their being burned, the idol priests and people received it as an evidence that their god accepted their offerings, and favored especially the person who passed through the fiery ordeal. He was loaded with benefits, and was ever afterward greatly esteemed by all the people. He was never allowed to be punished, however aggravating might be his crimes. If another person who leaped through the fire was so unfortunate as to be burned, then his fate was fixed; for they thought that their gods were angry, and would be appeased with nothing short of the unhappy victim’s life, and he was offered up as a sacrifice upon their idol altars.

“Even some of the children of Israel had so far degraded themselves as to practice these abominations, and God caused the fire to kindle upon their children, whom they made to pass through the fire. They did not go to all the lengths of the heathen nations; but God deprived them of their children by causing the fire to consume them in the act of passing through it.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1119.

8 Because they refused to repent and to return from their evil work, what message was the prophet Jeremiah instructed to give to the people? Jeremiah 7:23–26; 8:6; 7:32­–34.

9 What is God longing to see in us? Micah 6:8; Psalm 50:23.

Note: “It is when the vital principles of the kingdom of God are lost sight of, that ceremonies become multitudinous and extravagant. It is when the character building is neglected, when the adornment of the soul is lacking, when the simplicity of godliness is despised, that pride and love of display demand magnificent church edifices, splendid adornings, and imposing ceremonials. But in all this God is not honored. He values His church, not for its external advantages, but for the sincere piety which distinguishes it from the world. He estimates it according to the growth of its members in the knowledge of Christ, according to their progress in spiritual experience. He looks for the principles of love and goodness. Not all the beauty of art can bear comparison with the beauty of temper and character to be revealed in those who are Christ’s representatives.

“A congregation may be the poorest in the land. It may be without the attractions of any outward show; but if the members possess the principles of the character of Christ, angels will unite with them in their worship. The praise and thanksgiving from grateful hearts will ascend to God as a sweet oblation.” Prophets and Kings, 565, 566.

10 What has always been God’s plan for man? I Corinthians 3:16, 17.

Note: “No man can of himself cast out the evil throng that have taken possession of the heart. Only Christ can cleanse the soul temple. But He will not force an entrance. He comes not into the heart as to the temple of old; but He says, ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him.’ Revelation 3:20. … His presence will cleanse and sanctify the soul, so that it may be a holy temple unto the Lord, and ‘an habitation of God through the Spirit.’ Ephesians 2:21, 22.” The Desire of Ages, 161, 162.

Additional Reading

“In the cleansing of the temple, Jesus was announcing His mission as the Messiah, and entering upon His work. That temple, erected for the abode of the divine Presence, was designed to be an object lesson for Israel and for the world. From eternal ages it was God’s purpose that every created being, from the bright and holy seraph to man, should be a temple for the indwelling of the Creator. Because of sin, humanity ceased to be a temple for God. Darkened and defiled by evil, the heart of man no longer revealed the glory of the Divine One. But by the incarnation of the Son of God, the purpose of Heaven is fulfilled. God dwells in humanity, and through saving grace the heart of man becomes again His temple. God designed that the temple at Jerusalem should be a continual witness to the high destiny open to every soul. But the Jews had not understood the significance of the building they regarded with so much pride. They did not yield themselves as holy temples for the Divine Spirit. The courts of the temple at Jerusalem, filled with the tumult of unholy traffic, represented all too truly the temple of the heart, defiled by the presence of sensual passion and unholy thoughts. In cleansing the temple from the world’s buyers and sellers, Jesus announced His mission to cleanse the heart from the defilement of sin,—from the earthly desires, the selfish lusts, the evil habits, that corrupt the soul.” The Desire of Ages, 161.

“The only satisfaction Satan takes in playing the game of life for the souls of men is the satisfaction he takes in hurting the heart of Christ. Though He was rich, for our sake Christ became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. Yet in view of this great fact, the majority of the world permit earthly possessions to eclipse heavenly attractions. They set their affections upon earthly things, and turn away from God. What a grievous sin it is that men will not come to their senses, and understand how foolish it is to permit inordinate affections for earthly things to expel the love of God from the heart. When the love of God is expelled, the love of the world quickly flows in to supply the vacuum. The Lord alone can cleanse the soul temple from the moral defilement.

“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. …

“The Christian will be filled with joy in proportion as he is a faithful steward of his Lord’s goods. Christ yearns to save every son and daughter of Adam. He lifts His voice in warning, in order to break the spell which has bound the soul in captivity to the slavery of sin. He beseeches men to turn from their infatuation. He brings the nobler world before their vision, and says, ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon the earth.’ [Matthew 6:20.]” Counsels on Stewardship, 136, 137.

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

Bible Study Guides – The Impending Judgment

May 3, 2009 – May 9, 2009

Key Text

“Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God; and the Lord will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you.” Jeremiah 26:13.

Study Help: Our High Calling, 349; The Review and Herald, March 22, 1887.


“God does not send judgments upon His people without first warning them to repent. He uses every means to bring them back to obedience and does not visit their iniquity with judgments until He has given them ample opportunity to repent.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 179.

1 What calamity was predicted to come upon Judah? Jeremiah 4:5–8. What nation was identified as being the lion of verse 7? Jeremiah 50:43, 44.

Note: “All unexpectedly a new world power, the Babylonian Empire, was rising to the eastward and swiftly overshadowing all other nations.

“Within a few short years the king of Babylon was to be used as the instrument of God’s wrath upon impenitent Judah. Again and again Jerusalem was to be invested and entered by the besieging armies of Nebuchadnezzar.” Prophets and Kings, 422.

2 What prophecy, applicable to the time of the end, was given to Isaiah, Joel, and Jeremiah? Isaiah 24:1–8; Joel 1:15–18; Jeremiah 4:19, 20, 23–27.

Note: “That the expression ‘bottomless pit’ represents the earth in a state of confusion and darkness is evident from other scriptures. Concerning the condition of the earth ‘in the beginning,’ the Bible record says that it ‘was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.’ … Genesis 1:2. Prophecy teaches that it will be brought back, partially at least, to this condition.” The Great Controversy, 658, 659.

“In visions of the great judgment day the inspired messengers of Jehovah were given glimpses of the consternation of those unprepared to meet their Lord in peace. …

“ ‘I am pained at my very heart,’ Jeremiah exclaims as he beholds the desolations wrought during the closing scenes of earth’s history.” Prophets and Kings, 726, 727.

3 What promise is given to the faithful people of God living in the time of universal calamity? Jeremiah 30:5–7; Isaiah 26:20, 21.

Note: “The people of God will then be plunged into those scenes of affliction and distress described by the prophet as the time of Jacob’s trouble. …

“Jacob’s night of anguish, when he wrestled in prayer for deliverance from the hand of Esau (Genesis 32:24–30), represents the experience of God’s people in the time of trouble.” The Great Controversy, 616.

4 What must we do to be among those who will be saved from destruction? Isaiah 55:6, 7.

Note: “Now, while our great High Priest is making the atonement for us, we should seek to become perfect in Christ. Not even by a thought could our Saviour be brought to yield to the power of temptation. … Satan could find nothing in the Son of God that would enable him to gain the victory. He had kept His Father’s commandments, and there was no sin in Him that Satan could use to his advantage. This is the condition in which those must be found who shall stand in the time of trouble.

“It is in this life that we are to separate sin from us, through faith in the atoning blood of Christ. Our precious Saviour invites us to join ourselves to Him, to unite our weakness to His strength, our ignorance to His wisdom, our unworthiness to His merits. God’s providence is the school in which we are to learn the meekness and lowliness of Jesus. The Lord is ever setting before us, not the way we would choose, which seems easier and pleasanter to us, but the true aims of life. It rests with us to co-operate with the agencies which Heaven employs in the work of conforming our characters to the divine model. None can neglect or defer this work but at the most fearful peril to their souls.” The Great Controversy, 623.

5 Why were the appeals of God through Jeremiah unable to save the people of Judah? Jeremiah 5:3, 23; 6:16, 17.

Note: “Israel’s experience from the days of the Exodus was briefly reviewed. God’s covenant with them had been, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be My people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.’ Shamelessly and repeatedly had this covenant been broken. The chosen nation had ‘walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.’ Jeremiah 7:23, 24.

“ ‘Why,’ the Lord inquired, ‘is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding?’ Jeremiah 8:5. In the language of the prophet it was because they had obeyed not the voice of the Lord their God and had refused to be corrected.” Prophets and Kings, 414.

6 Summarize the description of the predicted doom and its cause. Jeremiah 6:10–13; 15:1–4.

Note: “The time had come for deep heart searching. While Josiah had been their ruler, the people had had some ground for hope. But no longer could he intercede in their behalf, for he had fallen in battle. The sins of the nation were such that the time for intercession had all but passed by.” Prophets and Kings, 415.

7 What appeal did the Lord direct the prophet to make to the people? Jeremiah 3:22. What should this appeal cause us to consider in our day?

Note: “By the great mass of the people the call to repentance and reformation was unheeded. Since the death of good King Josiah, those who ruled the nation had been proving untrue to their trust and had been leading many astray. Jehoahaz, deposed by the interference of the king of Egypt, had been followed by Jehoiakim, an older son of Josiah. From the beginning of Jehoiakim’s reign, Jeremiah had little hope of saving his beloved land from destruction and the people from captivity. Yet he was not permitted to remain silent while utter ruin threatened the kingdom.” Prophets and Kings, 412.

“The Lord has often spoken to His people in warning and reproof. He has revealed Himself in mercy, love, and kindness. He has not left His backsliding people to the will of the enemy, but has borne long with them, even during obdurate apostasy. But after appeals have been made in vain, He prepares the rod for punishment.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1132.

8 How did God make it clear that even His patience has its limits? Jeremiah 9:25; 11:14.

Note: “Jesus is about to leave the mercy seat of the heavenly sanctuary to put on garments of vengeance and pour out His wrath in judgments upon those who have not responded to the light God has given them. ‘Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.’ Instead of being softened by the patience and long forbearance that the Lord has exercised toward them, those who fear not God and love not the truth strengthen their hearts in their evil course. But there are limits even to the forbearance of God, and many are exceeding these boundaries. They have overrun the limits of grace, and therefore God must interfere and vindicate His own honor.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 207, 208.

9 What very important work must men in responsible positions perform when wrongs exist among God’s people? Titus 2:15; Matthew 18:15–17.

Note: “We are certainly living in the closing days of this earth’s history. We need to devote much time to our spiritual interests, if we would experience the spiritual growth that is essential in this age. We are to make decided reforms. The Voice said: The watchmen need to awake, and give the trumpet a certain sound. The morning cometh; and also the night. Wake up, My watchmen. Voices that should now be heard presenting the truth are silent. Souls are perishing in their sins, and ministers and physicians and teachers are asleep. Wake up the watchmen!” Pacific Union Recorder, February 20, 1908.

10 How should we respond when admonished by God’s servants? Hebrews 12:13; 13:17.

Note: “Let none who claim to be the depositaries of God’s law flatter themselves that the regard they may outwardly show toward the commandments will preserve them from the exercise of divine justice. Let none refuse to be reproved for evil, nor charge the servants of God with being too zealous in endeavoring to cleanse the camp from evil-doing. A sin-hating God calls upon those who claim to keep His law to depart from all iniquity. A neglect to repent and to render willing obedience will bring upon men and women today as serious consequences as came upon ancient Israel. There is a limit beyond which the judgments of Jehovah can no longer be delayed. The desolation of Jerusalem in the days of Jeremiah is a solemn warning to modern Israel, that the counsels and admonitions given them through chosen instrumentalities cannot be disregarded with impunity.” Prophets and Kings, 416, 417.

Additional Reading

“God stands toward His people in the relation of a father, and He has a father’s claim to our faithful service. Consider the life of Christ. Standing at the head of humanity, serving His Father, He is an example of what every son should and may be. The obedience that Christ rendered God requires from human beings today. He served His Father with love, in willingness and freedom. ‘I delight to do Thy will, O My God,’ He declared; ‘yea, Thy law is within My heart.’ Psalm 40:8. Christ counted no sacrifice too great, no toil too hard, in order to accomplish the work which He came to do. At the age of twelve He said, ‘Wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business?’ Luke 2:49. He had heard the call, and had taken up the work. ‘My meat,’ He said, ‘is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work.’ John 4:34.

“Thus we are to serve God. He only serves who acts up to the highest standard of obedience. All who would be sons and daughters of God must prove themselves co-workers with God and Christ and the heavenly angels. This is the test for every soul. Of those who faithfully serve Him the Lord says, ‘They shall be Mine, … in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.’ Malachi. 3:17.

“God’s great object in the working out of His providences is to try men, to give them opportunity to develop character. Thus He proves whether they are obedient or disobedient to His commands. Good works do not purchase the love of God, but they reveal that we possess that love. If we surrender the will to God, we shall not work in order to earn God’s love. His love as a free gift will be received into the soul, and from love to Him we shall delight to obey His commandments.

“There are only two classes in the world today, and only two classes will be recognized in the judgment—those who violate God’s law and those who obey it. Christ gives the test by which to prove our loyalty or disloyalty. ‘If ye love Me,’ He says, ‘keep My commandments. … He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me. And he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him. … He that loveth Me not keepeth not My sayings; and the word which ye hear is not Mine, but the Father’s which sent Me.’ ‘If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.’ John 14:15–24; 15:10.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 282, 283.

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

Bible Study Guides – God Pleads With His People

April 26, 2009 – May 2, 2009

Key Text

“Thus saith the Lord, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?” Jeremiah 2:5.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 4, 621–625; Messages to Young People, 275-281.


“The Lord will not compel men to deal justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with their God; He sets before the human agent good and evil, and makes plain what will be the sure result of following one course or the other.” Counsels on Stewardship, 138.

1 At the beginning of Jeremiah’s ministry, how did God seek to awaken the conscience of His people? Jeremiah 2:1–3, 9. What can ministers learn from this today? II Timothy 2:24–26.

Note: “There is delicate work for the minister to do as he meets with alienation, bitterness, and opposition. More than others, he needs that wisdom which ‘is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.’ [James 3:17.] As the dew and the still showers fall gently upon withering plants, so his words are to fall gently when he proclaims the truth. He is to win souls, not to repulse them. He is to study to be skilful when there are no rules to meet the case.

“Many souls have been turned in the wrong direction, and thus lost to the cause of God, by a lack of skill and wisdom on the part of the worker. Tact and good judgment increase the usefulness of the laborer a hundredfold.” Gospel Workers, (1915), 119.

2 What specific method did the Lord use in seeking to win His people back to Him? Jeremiah 2:4, 5; Isaiah 1:18.

Note: “Christ invites us, saying, ‘Follow Me.’ But we are never forced to walk in His footsteps. If we do walk in His footsteps, it is the result of deliberate choice. As we see the life and character of Christ, strong desire is awakened to be like Him in character.” Counsels on Stewardship, 138.

3 What work was needed in Jeremiah’s day in order to bring God’s people back to Him? Jeremiah 4:3, 14.

Note: “The garden of the heart must be cultivated. The soil must be broken up by deep repentance for sin. Poisonous, Satanic plants must be uprooted. The soil once overgrown by thorns can be reclaimed only by diligent labor. So the evil tendencies of the natural heart can be overcome only by earnest effort in the name and strength of Jesus.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 56.

4 How did the Lord reveal His patience and unwillingness to punish His people? Jeremiah 9:23, 24.

Note: “The unwillingness of the Lord to chastise is here vividly shown. He stays His judgments that He may plead with the impenitent. He who exercises ‘loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth’ yearns over His erring children; in every way possible He seeks to teach them the way of life everlasting. Jeremiah 9:24. He had brought the Israelites out of bondage that they might serve Him, the only true and living God. Though they had wandered long in idolatry and had slighted His warnings, yet He now declares His willingness to defer chastisement and grant yet another opportunity for repentance. He makes plain the fact that only by the most thorough heart reformation could the impending doom be averted. In vain would be the trust they might place in the temple and its services. Rites and ceremonies could not atone for sin. Notwithstanding their claim to be the chosen people of God, reformation of heart and of the life practice alone could save them from the inevitable result of continued transgression.” Prophets and Kings, 413, 414.

5 With what words was backsliding Israel invited to return to God? Jeremiah 3:12, 14. What was expected from them as the first step in reconciliation? Jeremiah 3:13.

Note: “As a wise master builder, Jeremiah at the very beginning of his lifework sought to encourage the men of Judah to lay the foundations of their spiritual life broad and deep, by making thorough work of repentance. Long had they been building with material likened by the apostle Paul to wood, hay, and stubble, and by Jeremiah himself to dross. ‘Refuse silver shall men call them,’ he declared of the impenitent nation, ‘because the Lord hath rejected them.’ Jeremiah 6:30, margin. Now they were urged to begin building wisely and for eternity, casting aside the rubbish of apostasy and unbelief, and using as foundation material the pure gold, the refined silver, the precious stones—faith and obedience and good works—which alone are acceptable in the sight of a holy God.” Prophets and Kings, 409, 410.

6 What did God desire from His backslidden people? Jeremiah 3:23–25. Describe the urgency of the situation.

Note: “The reformation under Josiah had cleansed the land of the idolatrous shrines, but the hearts of the multitude had not been transformed. The seeds of truth that had sprung up and given promise of an abundant harvest had been choked by thorns. Another such backsliding would be fatal; and the Lord sought to arouse the nation to a realization of their danger. Only as they should prove loyal to Jehovah could they hope for the divine favor and for prosperity.” Prophets and Kings, 410, 411.

7 To what did the Lord compare Israel? Jeremiah 2:21. Explain the contrast between what He intended Israel to be to other nations and what they actually were. Isaiah 5:1, 2, 7; Hosea 10:1.

Note: “Through the chosen nation, God had purposed to bring blessing to all mankind.” Prophets and Kings, 17.

“But more often in their history they forgot God and lost sight of their high privilege as His representatives. They robbed Him of the service He required of them, and they robbed their fellow men of religious guidance and a holy example. They desired to appropriate to themselves the fruits of the vineyard over which they had been made stewards. Their covetousness and greed caused them to be despised even by the heathen.” Ibid., 20.

8 Because the people of Israel did not fulfill their high calling, what were the consequences? Matthew 21:40–43; 23:38. What have always been the results of unbelief? Romans 11:20, 21.

Note: “As a people the Jews had failed of fulfilling God’s purpose, and the vineyard was taken from them. The privileges they had abused, the work they had slighted, was entrusted to others.

“The parable of the vineyard applies not alone to the Jewish nation. It has a lesson for us. The church in this generation has been endowed by God with great privileges and blessings, and He expects corresponding returns.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 296.

“That which God purposed to do for the world through Israel, the chosen nation, He will finally accomplish through His church on earth today. He has ‘let out His vineyard unto other husbandmen,’ even to His covenant-keeping people, who faithfully ‘render Him the fruits in their seasons.’ [Matthew 21:41.] Never has the Lord been without true representatives on this earth who have made His interests their own. These witnesses for God are numbered among the spiritual Israel, and to them will be fulfilled all the covenant promises made by Jehovah to His ancient people.” Prophets and Kings, 713, 714.

9 For what was the Jewish nation responsible? Isaiah 62:6, 7. What should we take into serious consideration today?

Note: “Consider how little we are willing to sacrifice for the salvation of the precious souls around us. We are not compelled to go away from home, on a long and tedious journey, to save the life of a perishing mortal. At our very doors, all about us, on every side, there are souls to be saved, souls perishing,—men and women dying without hope, without God,—and yet we feel unconcerned, virtually saying by our actions, if not by our words, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ These men who lost their lives in trying to save others are eulogized by the world as heroes and martyrs. How should we who have the prospect of eternal life before us feel, if we do not make the little sacrifices that God requires of us, for the salvation of the souls of men?” Christian Service, 93, 94.

10 What solemn responsibility rests today, not only upon ministers and parents, but upon all believers? Ezekiel 3:17–19.

Note: “The charge given to Peter by Christ just before His ascension was, ‘Feed My lambs;’ [John 21:15] and this charge is given to every minister. … He was speaking to His disciples in all ages.

“Very much has been lost to the cause of truth by a lack of attention to the spiritual needs of the young. Ministers of the gospel should form a happy acquaintance with the youth of their congregations. Many are reluctant to do this, but their neglect is a sin in the sight of Heaven. There are among us many young men and women who are not ignorant of our faith, yet whose hearts have never been touched by the power of divine grace. How can we who claim to be the servants of God pass on day after day, week after week, indifferent to their condition? If they should die in their sins, unwarned, their blood would be required at the hands of the watchman who failed to give them warning.

“Why should not labor for the youth in our borders be regarded as missionary work of the highest kind? It requires the most delicate tact, the most watchful consideration, the most earnest prayer for heavenly wisdom. The youth are the objects of Satan’s special attacks; but kindness, courtesy, and the sympathy which flows from a heart filled with love to Jesus, will gain their confidence, and save them from many a snare of the enemy.” Gospel Workers, 207.

Additional Reading

“The whole heart must be yielded to God, or the change can never be wrought in us by which we are to be restored to His likeness. By nature we are alienated from God. The Holy Spirit describes our condition in such words as these: ‘Dead in trespasses and sins;’ ‘the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint;’ ‘no soundness in it.’ We are held fast in the snare of Satan, ‘taken captive by him at his will.’ Ephesians 2:1; Isaiah 1:5, 6; II Timothy 2:26. God desires to heal us, to set us free. But since this requires an entire transformation, a renewing of our whole nature, we must yield ourselves wholly to Him.

“The warfare against self is the greatest battle that was ever fought. The yielding of self, surrendering all to the will of God, requires a struggle; but the soul must submit to God before it can be renewed in holiness.

“The government of God is not, as Satan would make it appear, founded upon a blind submission, an unreasoning control. It appeals to the intellect and the conscience. ‘Come now, and let us reason together’ is the Creator’s invitation to the beings He has made. Isaiah 1:18. God does not force the will of His creatures. He cannot accept an homage that is not willingly and intelligently given. A mere forced submission would prevent all real development of mind or character; it would make man a mere automaton. Such is not the purpose of the Creator. He desires that man, the crowning work of His creative power, shall reach the highest possible development. He sets before us the height of blessing to which He desires to bring us through His grace. He invites us to give ourselves to Him, that He may work His will in us. It remains for us to choose whether we will be set free from the bondage of sin, to share the glorious liberty of the sons of God.

“In giving ourselves to God, we must necessarily give up all that would separate us from Him. Hence the Saviour says, ‘Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple.’ Luke 14:33. Whatever shall draw away the heart from God must be given up.” Steps to Christ, 43.

“Christ saw in Jerusalem a symbol of the world hardened in unbelief and rebellion, and hastening on to meet the retributive judgments of God. The woes of a fallen race, pressing upon His soul, forced from His lips that exceeding bitter cry. He saw the record of sin traced in human misery, tears, and blood; His heart was moved with infinite pity for the afflicted and suffering ones of earth; He yearned to relieve them all. But even His hand might not turn back the tide of human woe; few would seek their only Source of help. He was willing to pour out His soul unto death, to bring salvation within their reach; but few would come to Him that they might have life.” The Great Controversy, 22.

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

Recipe – Tabouleh Salad

1 ½ cups bulgar wheat

1 ½ cups boiling water

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

⅓ cup fresh lemon juice

1 cup finely chopped onion

½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley

2 cups diced tomato

1-2 cloves crushed garlic

14 chopped fresh mint leaves

½ -1 tsp. salt

Option: Add diced cucumbers and sliced olives for slight variation.

Pour boiling water over bulgar wheat in a mixing bowl. Set aside to cool. Mix remaining ingredients and toss with cooled bulgar wheat. Chill several hours before serving. Adapted from Cooking vegetarian for Normal People, Transition to Vegan by Mindy Breckenridge.

Food – Pancreas

The pancreas is a fish-shaped grayish-pink organ of the abdominal cavity that has a dual function. It is about 6 inches long and stretches across the back and left side of the abdomen, just behind the stomach. The two major roles of the pancreas are the digestion of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, and to control the amount of sugar in the bloodstream.

The process by which the pancreas works in digestion is through a number of enzymes that are secreted into the pancreatic duct, which connects into the common bile duct. They then connect to the duodenum, the first section of the small intestine. The pancreatic enzymes can be divided into three major groups: proteases, pancreatic lipase, and amylase. The digestion of proteins is started in the stomach, but the major digestion of proteins occurs in the small intestines as a result of the proteases secreted by the pancreas. Triglyceride is a major component of dietary fat, and it cannot be absorbed directly into the bloodstream from the small intestines. It must be broken down into monoglycerides and fatty acids. This is the role of pancreatic lipase, so without this pancreatic enzyme, our body could not break down and utilize the fat that we eat. Finally, pancreatic amylase is responsible to finalize the breakdown of starch or carbohydrate and turn them into a form that is capable of absorption and utilization by our body. As the pancreas secretes these enzymes and releases them into the pancreatic duct for transportation to the small intestines, it becomes a very large player in the role of digestion.

The second major role of the pancreas is in the regulation of our blood sugar. This is accomplished through several very important hormones, including insulin, glucagon, and somatostatin. These hormones are made in the islets of Langerhans, located within the pancreas, and are not excreted into the small intestine, but are released directly into the bloodstream. There they work to keep our blood sugar at a fairly constant level. Impairment of this function of the pancreas results in diabetes, which is a growing concern in the health management across our nation and the world.

Children’s Story – It comes from Above

In a humble cottage in France, a poor godly man was dying. Calling his only son to him, he said, “My dear little Pierre, you will soon be left alone, and many troubles will come to you in this world; but always remember that all comes from above; then you will find it easy to bear everything with patience.”

Shortly after this, the poor man died, and little Pierre found himself quite alone in the world. The only thing he could do for a living was to go out and beg. As he went from door to door in the villages, he would sing for the people receiving from them just enough to keep him alive. Every time anybody gave him some food or money, he would say, “It comes from above,” remembering his father’s last words. It became a habit with him to use these words whatever happened to him, and he found that they did indeed help him to bear everything with patience.

One day, as he was passing through a village, a sudden gust of wind blew a tile off the roof of a nearby house. It struck Pierre on the shoulder, knocking him to the ground.

“It comes from above,” were his first words as he got back on his feet. But, as you can imagine, the people standing around nearby laughed heartily.

A minute later, however, another gust of wind tore off the entire roof of a cottage a little farther down the street. Had little Pierre gone on, he might have been killed by it. So he thought to himself that the tile that had struck and hurt him had indeed “come from above.”

On another occasion, little Pierre was employed by a wealthy gentleman to carry an important letter to a businessman in a neighboring town. As he was told to be quick, Pierre ran as fast as he could. Coming to a stream, he tried to jump over it, but, he fell in and was nearly drowned. When he finally climbed out onto the bank drenched and weary, he found that the precious letter had disappeared. He tried, but could not find it anywhere in the muddy water. “It comes from above,” he murmured to himself as he sadly made his way back to the rich gentleman’s house.

Naturally enough, the gentleman was very angry with him. In fact, he drove him out of his house. But all Pierre could say was, “It comes from above.”

The next day, however, the gentleman sent for him. “Your falling into that stream was a fortunate accident for me,” he said. “Circumstances have changed overnight. If that letter had been delivered, I should have been involved in serious loss. Please accept this little gift as a token of my gratitude.” And the gentleman put more money in little Pierre’s hand than he had seen in a long time.

“It comes from above,” he said, as he went down the steps smiling.

And so Pierre grew up always believing that the hand of God was ordering his life, confident that, as it says in Romans 8:28: “All things work together for good to them that love God.” One day he, too, became a successful businessman.

We too should have such a faith in our heavenly Father. It will save us much needless sorrow and discouragement, and will fill our hearts with a quiet peace and confidence to bear everything with patience, as we remember that “all comes from above.” Try it for yourself and see how God can work in your life!

Health – Detoxification

It is well-known today that we are all exposed to harmful chemicals and toxins. It is impossible to completely escape being exposed to harmful chemicals. Our bodies are magnificently designed with a very sophisticated system for the removal of harmful substances. When during a period of time the body is contaminated with more toxic substances than it can remove, some of the toxins are retained in body tissues and fluids.

Our bodies are always attempting to maintain a balance. There are many ways that a state of homeostasis is maintained. Everyone who took biology in high school has had the structural system of the body memorized: cells make tissues, tissues make organs, organs make systems, and systems make an organism—in this case the human body. With the understanding of the structural makeup, it is easy to see that the health of our individual cells comprises our overall health. And the toxic body burden acquired over a lifetime of intake inhibits the cell’s ability to function properly, in turn affecting the body’s ability to operate as a whole.

This was demonstrated in a study conducted by Dr. Alexis Carrell in 1912. In his experiment, he confirmed the power of proper nourishment and detoxification. Dr. Carrell, in collaboration with Rockefeller Institute, took healthy, living tissue from a chicken and immersed it in a solution that provided optimal nutrition and no harmful chemicals. The solution was changed regularly to eliminate toxic waste produced for a time by the cell. Carrell’s objective was to prove that cells could live for a long period of time when provided with optimal nutrition free of harmful substances. Under these conditions, the cultivated cells lived for 34 years! The tissue finally died only when a lab assistant forgot one day to change the solution. Under the best of conditions, the cell’s life was extended not just days but decades beyond expectancy! In fact, it was 21 years past the life expectancy of the organism from which it came!

God designed the human body with systems to eliminate harmful substances from our bodies. The process of toxic waste elimination begins at the cellular level. The cells carry out their duties related to detoxification in several ways. One way this is done is by the cell’s ability to engulf, devour, and destroy a toxin. In other cases, the body releases free radicals (a molecule with one unpaired electron) to rid the body of toxic material. Another method that is employed primarily by the liver, but occurs also in the cells, neutralizes toxic chemical compounds in a two-phase process. The first phase is a biochemical transformation of a toxin into a secondary substance. Phase two neutralizes the altered substance and transforms it to an element the body can easily eliminate.

In addition to this, practically every system of the body is involved in detoxification. The organs designed for this are, of course, the liver, kidneys, and the systems particularly pertaining to the lymphatic system, the respiratory system, the skin or the alimentary tract and the circulatory system, including the lymphatic system.

Yet, even with the entire body working as a unit to keep a healthy balance, the intake of harmful substances can be greater than the body can keep up with. Because of the intensity of the pollution in air, water and food, it is needful for optimal health to evaluate a person’s home environment, diet, workplace and hygienic practices. Some helpful questions are, Am I drinking pure soft water, and am I breathing pure air, and am I eating food that has not been chemically manipulated? Because of air pollution some people living in large cities have been able to obtain relief from various maladies by installing an air purification system in their home.

“The medicine of the future will be found in food.” (Oliver Wendell Holmes.) God created in nature everything that we would need to keep our bodies healthy, and it has long been recognized, although not generally accepted, that nutrition is a key component to healthy lives. Hippocrates, 460 to 370 B.C. understood this principle well. “Let thy medicine be thy food and thy food thy medicine.” Certain herbs contain properties useful for detoxification.

Just as we clean our houses, our cars, and our outer bodies, the inner body too needs to be clean. Often times it is best done once a year to restore our bodies to a natural state, void of built-up poisons.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 80% of the world uses herbs as the basis of their medical practices. These herbs are used for preventative medicine and cleansing, as well as for healing. This practice has allowed other cultures to aid their bodies in combating illnesses and terminal diseases that would otherwise be more prevalent and maintain a more ideal environment for the basic units of life—cells.

There are many cleansing programs that are available now, but not all are effective.

Children and pregnant women should not attempt any detoxification program without medical advice. Some people believe that nobody should attempt any type of bodily cleansing program without a physician’s advice, but at the present time in most c0untries herbal cleansing programs are available in health food stores and have been used by millions of people on their own. But if you have a chronic disease of any kind or have any hesitation because of any physical problem, it would certainly be wise for you to consult a physician prior to beginning a cleansing program. A cleansing program should be for a limited time only (a few days) and not repeated over and over again without medical advice. Once you are through with a cleansing regimen, it is important to maintain your body’s cleanliness to experience the greatest results. A diet rich in fresh, unprocessed foods reduces the amount of toxins ingested; it also boosts the body’s ability to eliminate what toxins are unavoidable in the environment. A diet derived from fresh foods provides nutrients that we do not get from foods that are processed. “Between the mind and the body there is a mysterious and wonderful relation. They react upon each other. To keep the body in a healthy condition to develop its strength, that every part of the living machinery may act harmoniously, should be the first study of our life. To neglect the body is to neglect the mind.” Counsels on Health, 122.

Question – How do we know if God is among us or not?

The children of Israel asked Moses that question when they rebelled in the wilderness and were thirsty with apparently no water to drink. They lost faith in the Lord and chided Moses. “And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the Lord, saying, ‘Is the Lord among us, or not?’ ” Exodus 17:7.

We have been in the wilderness longer than the children of Israel were in the wilderness, and the devil has been trying us on every point, but we must not lose faith in God. We are nearing the borders of our heavenly Canaan. Actually, we have been on the borders of Canaan a couple of times before and have been turned back into the wilderness of sin because of unbelief and insubordination.

Satan is determined to disrupt God’s plan, so no one will be ready to meet the Lord when He comes. But Satan is no match for the Lord. God will have a people. Our problem is, will we be among the Lord’s elect, or will we let Satan disrupt our faith?

Praise God, He has not left His people; His hand is over us yet. “The church of God, enfeebled and defective though it is through yielding to temptation, is the only object upon earth on which he bestows his supreme regard. His interest, with all the interest of the heavenly host, is all with his people, who, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, are to shine as lights in the world. His Holy Spirit is giving rich and constant supplies of grace for every emergency. Not one needs to stumble, for Christ has said, ‘He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ ” General Conference Bulletin, April 1, 1897.

There are many inconsistencies among God’s professed people today. Just as when Elijah thought that he was the only one left who was following the Lord, the Lord told him that He had seven thousand who had not bowed their knees to Baal. So today, God has His jewels who love Him and are keeping His commandments, in spite of the apostasy in the professed church.

It may look as though the church is about to fall, but it does not. The problem is in knowing who and what the church is. Some people think it is an organization, but no organization is equivalent to the church. The church uses the organization to accomplish its goals. If an organization becomes corrupt, or is destroyed, that does not mean that there is no church. “God has a church. It is not the great cathedral, neither is it the national establishment, neither is it the various denominations; it is the people who love God and keep His commandments. ‘Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.’ Matthew 18:20. Where Christ is even among the humble few, this is Christ’s church, for the presence of the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity can alone constitute a church.” The Upward Look, 315. God has a church, and His presence is with His church.