Bible Study Guides – Thought and Speech

May 22, 2011 – May 28, 2011

Key Text

“The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.” Proverbs 10:20.

Study Helps: Christ’s Object Lessons, 335–339; The Review and Herald, June 12, 1888.


“If we are pure in heart, our words will be pure, our actions will be holy.” The Youth’s Instructor, January 9, 1896.


  • What do our habits of speech reveal about our true character? Proverbs 15:28; 18:21.
  • How may we be grieving the Holy Spirit and jeopardizing our faith by careless speech? Matthew 12:36, 37.

Note: “Closely connected with Christ’s warning in regard to the sin against the Holy Spirit is a warning against idle and evil words. The words are an indication of that which is in the heart. ‘Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh’ [Luke 6:45 ]. But the words are more than an indication of character; they have power to react on the character. Men are influenced by their own words. Often under a momentary impulse, prompted by Satan, they give utterance to jealousy or evil surmising, expressing that which they do not really believe; but the expression reacts on the thoughts. They are deceived by their words, and come to believe that true which was spoken at Satan’s instigation. Having once expressed an opinion or decision, they are often too proud to retract it, and try to prove themselves in the right, until they come to believe that they are. It is dangerous to utter a word of doubt, dangerous to question and criticize divine light. The habit of careless and irreverent criticism reacts upon the character, in fostering irreverence and unbelief. Many a man indulging this habit has gone on unconscious of danger, until he was ready to criticize and reject the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, ‘Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned’ [Matthew 12:36, 37].” The Desire of Ages, 323.


  • What suffering comes from lies? Proverbs 12:20; 20:17.

Note: “Parents and teachers, be true to God. Let your life be free from deceitful practices. Let no guile be found in your lips. However disagreeable it may be to you at the time, let your ways, your words, and your works show uprightness in the sight of a holy God. Oh, the effect of the first lesson in deceit is terrible! Shall any who claim to be sons and daughters of God give themselves up to deceitful practices and lying?

“Never let your children have the semblance of an excuse for saying, Mother does not tell the truth. Father does not tell the truth. When you are tried in the heavenly courts, shall the record be made against your name, A deceiver? Shall your offspring be perverted by the example of those who ought to guide them in the way of truth? Instead of this, shall not the converting power of God enter the hearts of mothers and fathers? Shall not the Holy Spirit of God be allowed to make its mark upon their children?” Child Guidance, 150.

  • What must we recognize about gossip? Proverbs 10:18; 11:12, 13; 20:3.

Note: “Floating rumors are frequently the destroyers of unity among brethren. There are some who watch with open mind and ears to catch flying scandal. They gather up little incidents which may be trifling in themselves, but which are repeated and exaggerated until a man is made an offender for a word. Their motto seems to be, ‘Report, and we will report it.’ These tale-bearers are doing the devil’s work with surprising fidelity, little knowing how offensive their course is to God. If they would spend half the energy and zeal that is given to this unholy work in examining their own hearts, they would find so much to do to cleanse their souls from impurity that they would have no time or disposition to criticize their brethren, and they would not fall under the power of this temptation. The door of the mind should be closed against ‘they say’ or ‘I have heard.’ Why should we not, instead of allowing jealousy or evil surmising to come into our hearts, go to our brethren, and, after frankly but kindly setting before them the things we have heard detrimental to their character and influence, pray with and for them?” The Review and Herald, June 3, 1884.


  • How do wrong attitudes tend to spread? Proverbs 17:20. What warnings are we given about this? Hebrews 12:14, 15.

Note: “I beseech all who engage in the work of murmuring and complaining because something has been said or done that does not suit them, and that does not, as they think, give them due consideration, to remember that they are carrying on the very work begun in heaven by Satan. They are following in his track, sowing unbelief, discord, and disloyalty; for no one can entertain feelings of disaffection, and keep them to himself. He must tell others that he is not treated as he should be. Thus they are led to murmur and complain. This is the root of bitterness springing up, whereby many are defiled.” The Review and Herald, September 14, 1897.

  • What general guidance does the Bible give concerning speech? Proverbs 10:19; 17:27, 28; Ecclesiastes 5:2.

Note: “Too often, fretful, impatient words are spoken, words which stir the worst passions of the human heart. Such ones need the abiding presence of Christ in the soul. Only in His strength can they keep guard over the words and actions.” Our High Calling, 161.

“If we desire to see the King in His beauty we must here behave worthily. We must outgrow our childishness. When provocation comes let us be silent. There are times when silence is eloquence.” Maranatha, 327.

“The Christian can not always be in the position of prayer, but his thoughts and desires can always be upward. Our self-confidence would vanish, did we talk less and pray more.” The Youth’s Instructor, March 5, 1903.

  • What makes our speech refreshing to others? Proverbs 16:24; 27:2.

Note: “When we can associate together to help one another heavenward, when the conversation is upon divine and heavenly things, then it amounts to something to talk; but when the conversation centers upon self and upon earthly and unimportant matters, silence is golden.” Sons and Daughters of God, 166.


  • What is the real source of our words? Luke 6:45.

Note: “Our minds take the level of the things on which our thoughts dwell, and if we think upon earthly things, we shall fail to take the impress of that which is heavenly. We would be greatly benefited by contemplating the mercy, goodness, and love of God; but we sustain great loss by dwelling upon those things which are earthly and temporal.” The Faith I Live By, 222.

  • What is the key to improving our speech? Proverbs 10:20; 25:11, 12.

Note: “As God works upon the heart by his Holy Spirit, man must co-operate with him. The thoughts must be bound about, restricted, withdrawn from branching out and contemplating things that will only weaken and defile the soul. The thoughts must be pure, the meditations of the heart must be clean, if the words of the mouth are to be words acceptable to Heaven, and helpful to your associates.” The Review and Herald, June 12, 1888.

  • How is moral backbone formed? Proverbs 12:5; 21:5; 20:11.

Note: “Your thoughts must be brought into subjection to the will of God and your feelings under the control of reason and religion. Your imagination was not given you to be allowed to run riot and have its own way without any effort at restraint or discipline. If the thoughts are wrong the feelings will be wrong, and the thoughts and feelings combined make up the moral character.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 310.

“Our thoughts are to be strictly guarded; for one impure thought makes a deep impression on the soul. An evil thought leaves an evil impress on the mind. If the thoughts are pure and holy, the man is better for having cherished them. By them the spiritual pulse is quickened, and the power for doing good is increased. And as one drop of rain prepares the way for another in moistening the earth, so one good thought prepares the way for another.” The Faith I Live By, 222.


  • How do the apostles confirm the idea of tightening the reins of the mind for God? I Peter 1:13–16; II Corinthians 10:5; Philippians 4:8.

Note: “The noble powers of the mind have been given to us by the Lord, that we may employ them in contemplating heavenly things … and yet how often the mind is given to the contemplation of that which is earthly, sensual, and base! We give our time and thought to the trivial and commonplace things of the world, and neglect the great interests that pertain to eternal life. The noble powers of the mind are dwarfed and enfeebled by lack of exercise on themes that are worthy of their concentration. …

“Let every one who desires to be a partaker of the divine nature, appreciate the fact that he must escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. There must be a constant, earnest struggling of the soul against the evil imaginings of the mind. There must be a steadfast resistance of temptation to sin in thought or act.” The Review and Herald, June 12, 1888.

  • How can we tone up our mental powers? Proverbs 16:1–3; Colossians 3:1–3.

Note: “By beholding we are to become changed, and as we meditate upon the perfections of our divine Model, we shall desire to become wholly transformed and renewed in the image of his purity. There will be a hungering and thirsting of soul to be made like Him whom we adore. The more our thoughts are upon Christ, the more we shall speak of him to others, and represent him to the world.” The Review and Herald, June 12, 1888.

Review and Thought Questions

1 Where do words often leave their strongest influence?

2 What is our duty with regard to gossip?

3 How does a root of bitterness grow like a weed?

4 How can we better carry out the words of Romans 14:19?

5 What deep wisdom can we gain from Proverbs 16:1–3?

Copyright © 2002 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – A Teachable Spirit

May 15, 2011 – May 21, 2011

Key Text

“Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.” Proverbs 8:33.

Study Helps: Testimonies, vol. 5, 682–691; Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 313–316.


“The obedient ear will receive reproof with humility, patience, and teachableness.” Sons and Daughters of God, 166.


  • Name one of life’s first duties. Proverbs 1:8, 9.

Note: “You must not walk independently of all counsel. It is your duty to counsel with your brethren. This may touch your pride, but the humility of a mind taught by the Holy Spirit will listen to counsel, and will banish all self-confidence. When counsel is given that conflicts with your personal wishes, you are not to think that your own wisdom is sufficient for you to give counsel to others, or that you can afford to neglect the counsel given.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 315.

  • How does God regard the unteachable? Proverbs 12:15.

Note: “Some who are imperfect in character are connected with solemn, sacred interests; and when chosen for a special work, they should not feel that their own wisdom is sufficient, that they need not be counseled, reproved, and instructed. Brethren, if you feel thus, you will separate from the Source of your strength, and will be in peril. You may be left to your own supposed sufficiency, to do as Judas did—betray your Lord.” Gospel Workers, 414.

  • How should we regard counsel? Proverbs 25:9–12.

Note: “Those who are the most closely connected with God are the ones who know His voice when He speaks to them. Those who are spiritual discern spiritual things. Such will feel grateful that the Lord has pointed out their errors.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 134.


  • How can a healthy church relationship foster the making of wise plans? Proverbs 11:14; 15:22.

Note: “The evils of self-esteem and an unsanctified independence, which most impair our usefulness and which will prove our ruin if not overcome, spring from selfishness. ‘Counsel together’ is the message which has been again and again repeated to me by the angel of God. By influencing one man’s judgment, Satan may endeavor to control matters to suit himself. He may succeed in misleading the minds of two persons; but, when several consult together, there is more safety. Every plan will be more closely criticized; every advance move more carefully studied. Hence there will be less danger of precipitate, ill-advised moves, which would bring confusion, perplexity, and defeat. In union there is strength. In division there is weakness and defeat.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 29, 30.

  • In what ways do we each benefit from the knowledge and experience of one another? Proverbs 15:31, 32; 20:5.

Note: “Let us cherish a spirit of confidence in the wisdom of our brethren. We must be willing to take advice and caution from our fellow laborers. …

“It is a mistake to withdraw from those who do not agree with our ideas. This will not inspire our brethren with confidence in our judgment. It is our duty to counsel with our brethren, and to heed their advice. We are to seek their counsel, and when they give it, we are not to cast it away, as if they were our enemies. Unless we humble our hearts before God, we shall not know His will.

“Let us be determined to be in unity with our brethren. This duty God has placed upon us. We shall make their hearts glad by following their counsel, and make ourselves strong through the influence that this will give us. Moreover, if we feel that we do not need the counsel of our brethren, we close the door of our usefulness as counselors to them.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 500.


  • What do we too often forget about Godly counsel? Proverbs 13:1, 8, 10; 27:9.

Note: “There will be men and women who despise reproof and whose feelings will ever rise up against it. It is not pleasant to be told of our wrongs. In almost every case where reproof is necessary, there will be some who entirely overlook the fact that the Spirit of the Lord has been grieved and His cause reproached. These will pity those who deserved reproof, because personal feelings have been hurt. All this unsanctified sympathy places the sympathizers where they are sharers in the guilt of the one reproved. In nine cases out of ten if the one reproved had been left under a sense of his wrongs, he might have been helped to see them and thereby have been reformed. But meddlesome, unsanctified sympathizers place altogether a wrong construction upon the motives of the reprover and the nature of the reproof given, and by sympathizing with the one reproved lead him to feel that he has been really abused; and his feelings rise up in rebellion against the one who has only done his duty. Those who faithfully discharge their unpleasant duties under a sense of their accountability to God will receive His blessing. God requires His servants to be always in earnest to do His will. In the apostle’s charge to Timothy he exhorts him to ‘preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine’ [II Timothy 4:2].” Testimonies, vol. 3, 359, 360.

  • What balanced understanding is needed when seeking counsel from others? Jeremiah 17:5–7.

Note: “Some of our conferences are weak in Christian experience because their leading men—and the people have followed their example—have sought for the approval of man with far greater anxiety than for the approval of God. They have looked to man for help and counsel more than to God. They have made men their burden-bearers, and have accepted human wisdom just when and where they should have depended upon God. And too often those of whom they sought counsel needed help themselves; for their souls were not right with God.” Gospel Workers, 414.


  • How and why are we to avoid excessive or unnecessary burdening of others for counsel? Galatians 6:3–5.

Note: “There must be far more personal responsibility, far more thinking and planning, far more mental power brought into the labor put forth for the Master. This would enlarge the capacity of the mind, and give keener perceptions as to what to do and how.” Gospel Workers, 416.

  • How can we know God will answer as we counsel directly with Him? Proverbs 4:1, 2; 1 John 2:3–5; 5:13–15.
  • Why do prayers sometimes seem to go unanswered? Proverbs 8:33; 19:20; 28:9; James 4:3.

Note: “Let none deceive themselves with the belief that God will pardon and bless them while they are trampling upon one of His requirements. The willful commission of a known sin silences the witnessing voice of the Spirit, and separates the soul from God. Whatever may be the ecstasies of religious feeling, Jesus cannot abide in the heart that disregards the divine law. God will honor those only who honor Him.” Messages to Young People, 114.

“When we make request of Him [God], He may see that it is necessary for us to search our hearts and repent of sin. Therefore He takes us through test and trial, He brings us through humiliation, that we may see what hinders the working of His Holy Spirit through us.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 143.

  • What will come to those who reject God’s counsel as given through the Spirit of Prophecy? Proverbs 29:18.

Note: “The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish.’ Proverbs 29:18. Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God’s remnant people in the true testimony. He will bring in spurious visions, to mislead and mingle the false with the true, and so disgust people that they will regard everything that bears the name of visions, as a species of fanaticism; but honest souls, by contrasting false and true, will be enabled to distinguish between them.” The Faith I Live By, 296.


  • What type of counsel is increasing? Proverbs 19:27.

Note: “We are to treat with kindness and courtesy those who refuse to be loyal to God, but we are never, never to unite with them in counsel regarding the vital interests of His work.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 108.

“Teachers of falsehood will arise to draw you away from the narrow path and the strait gate. Beware of them; though concealed in sheep’s clothing, inwardly they are ravening wolves. …

“We are not bidden to prove them by their fair speeches and exalted professions. They are to be judged by the word of God. [Isaiah 8:20; Proverbs 19:27 quoted.] What message do these teachers bring? Does it lead you to reverence and fear God? Does it lead you to manifest your love for Him by loyalty to His commandments?” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 145.

  • How are we warned against the extreme of totally submitting our mind to another’s will? I Timothy 6:20, 21; Jeremiah 17:5.

Note: “Satan often finds a powerful agency for evil in the power which one human mind is capable of exerting on another human mind. This influence is so seductive that the person who is being molded by it is often unconscious of its power. God has bidden me speak warning against this evil.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, 23.

“This entering in of Satan through the sciences is well devised. Through the channel of phrenology, psychology, and mesmerism, he comes more directly to the people of this generation and works with that power which is to characterize his efforts near the close of probation.” Ibid., 19.

Review and Thought Questions

1 How will the godly respond to difficult reproofs?

2 Why is there benefit in “a multitude of counselors”?

3 Explain the problems that arise from false sympathy.

4 What should we realize about the Spirit of Prophecy?

5 When can counsel become dangerous?

Copyright © 2002 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Mercy and Truth

May 8, 2011 – May 14, 2011

Key Text

“Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart.” Proverbs 3:3.

Study Helps: The Review and Herald, October 8, 1895; Testimonies, vol. 4, 330–340.


“Life’s best things—simplicity, honesty, truthfulness, purity, integrity—cannot be bought or sold. They are as free to the ignorant as to the educated, to the humble laborer as to the honored statesman.” The Ministry of Healing, 198.


  • Name one principle which God would have us understand about all human beings. Proverbs 22:2.

Note: “Caste is hateful to God. He ignores everything of this character. In His sight the souls of all men are of equal value. … Without distinction of age, or rank, or nationality, or religious privilege, all are invited to come unto Him and live.” The Desire of Ages, 403.

  • Name some examples of warnings that have been given against the spirit of envy. Proverbs 14:30; 23:4, 17, 18.

Note: “So far as talk is concerned, A B is qualified to lead the meetings; but when moral fitness is weighed, he is found wanting. His heart is not right with God. When others are placed in a leading position, they have the opposing spirit of himself and his wife to meet. This unsanctified spirit is not manifested openly, but works secretly to hinder, perplex, and discourage those who are trying to do the very best they can. God sees this, and it will in due time receive its just reward.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 333.


  • By what attitudes do people often offend God? Proverbs 6:16–19. Why must we be more careful with our speech? Matthew 12:36, 37.

Note: “Satan would be pleased to have anyone and everyone become his allies in the work of weakening the confidence of brother in brother, and sowing discord among those who profess to believe the truth.” Maranatha, 63.

“No man who does not utter the real sentiment of his heart can be called a truthful man. Falsehood virtually consists in an intention to deceive; and this may be shown by a look or a word. Even facts may be so arranged and stated as to constitute falsehoods. Some are adept at this business, and they will seek to justify themselves for departing from strict veracity. There are some who, in order to tear down or injure the reputation of another, will, from sheer malice, fabricate falsehoods concerning them. Lies of self-interest are uttered in buying and selling goods, cattle, or any kind of merchandise. Lies of vanity are uttered by men who love to appear what they are not. A story cannot pass through their hands without embellishment. Oh, how much is done in the world which the doers will one day wish to undo! But the record of words and deeds in the books of heaven will tell the sad story of falsehoods spoken and acted.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 335.

  • How serious of a matter is lying? Leviticus 19:11; Acts 5:4.

Note: “ ‘All liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death’ [Revelation 21:8]. God is a God of sincerity and truth. The word of God is a book of truth. Jesus is a faithful and true witness. The church is the witness and ground of the truth. All the precepts of the Most High are true and righteous altogether. How, then, must prevarication and any exaggeration or deception appear in His sight? For the falsehood he uttered because he coveted the gifts which the prophet refused, the servant of Elisha was struck with leprosy, which ended only with death.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 336.


  • How much should we value real truth? Proverbs 3:3, 4.

Note: “Even life itself should not be purchased with the price of falsehood. By a word or a nod the martyrs might have denied the truth and saved their lives. By consenting to cast a single grain of incense upon the idol altar they might have been saved from the rack, the scaffold, or the cross. But they refused to be false in word or deed, though life was the boon they would receive by so doing. Imprisonment, torture, and death, with a clear conscience, were welcomed by them, rather than deliverance on condition of deception, falsehood, and apostasy. By fidelity and faith in Christ they earned spotless robes and jeweled crowns. Their lives were ennobled and elevated in the sight of God because they stood firmly for the truth under the most aggravated circumstances.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 336.

  • How can we avoid much of the resentment and bitterness which result from careless talking among brethren or sisters? Ecclesiastes 7:21, 22.

Note: “What a world of gossip would be prevented if every man would remember that those who tell him the faults of others will as freely publish his faults at a favorable opportunity. We should endeavor to think well of all men, especially our brethren, until compelled to think otherwise. We should not hastily credit evil reports. These are often the result of envy or misunderstanding, or they may proceed from exaggeration or a partial disclosure of facts. Jealousy and suspicion, once allowed a place, will sow themselves broadcast, like thistledown. Should a brother go astray, then is the time to show your real interest in him. Go to him kindly, pray with and for him, remembering the infinite price which Christ has paid for his redemption. In this way you may save a soul from death, and hide a multitude of sins.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 58, 59.

  • What happens in our hearts when we choose to follow truth? Proverbs 8:6–8.


  • For what type of wisdom did Solomon specifically pray? I Kings 3:9.
  • What should we remember when tempted by apostates to condemn and betray our brethren in the faith? Proverbs 12:22, 23.

Note: “Those who apostatize in time of trial will, to secure their own safety, bear false witness, and betray their brethren. Christ has warned us of this, that we may not be surprised at the unnatural, cruel course of those who reject the light.” The Desire of Ages, 630.

“As in the days of Christ spies were on His track, so they are on ours now. If Satan can employ professed believers to act as accusers of the brethren, he is greatly pleased; for those who do this are just as truly serving him as was Judas when he betrayed Christ, although they may be doing it ignorantly.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1163.

“The world crucified Jesus Christ, and is at enmity with Christ and with those who love truth, because the truth condemns the children of this world in their sinful, Christless lives. The worldling will betray the children of God, will speak against them, and falsely accuse them. But let no one who claims to be a follower of Christ receive the accusations that spring from the envyings and jealousies of those who love not truth. If you listen to accusations and charges against the children of God who are striving to obey the truth, you thereby become seduced by the enemy, and he will use you as his agent. Those who live in daily communion with Christ will learn to place a proper estimate upon their brethren, and will respect and sympathize with those who are in harmony with the pure, the good, and the true, and will condemn the course of those who are vile, profligate, and unclean before God, and despisers of his truth and righteousness. They will not help the enemy in his work of condemning the righteous and clearing the guilty.” The Review and Herald, December 11, 1894.

  • What danger do we face under persecution? Matthew 24:10.


  • How can our own standard of mercy and truth either win others to Christ or repel them from Him? Proverbs 16:6,7.

Note: “He who has the Spirit of Christ will have modesty of demeanor, and his words will reveal that the Holy Spirit is cherished. Christians will not be bold, rash, dictatorial, boastful, denunciatory, and revengeful, but will manifest an unassuming, gentle spirit, and will show that they discern and appreciate the virtues of others.

“They will give due respect to all saints, counting them members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. They will speak kindly when in conversation, whether they are young or old, high or low, learned or unlearned. Their words will not be like piercing swords. They will not have a spirit to humble their brethren by accusing and condemning them for their faults or errors.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 21, 182.

“Christians are to be indeed the representatives of Jesus Christ; they are not to be pretenders. Shall the world form its conceptions of God by the course of those who only take the name of Christ, and do not His works? Shall they point to those who claim to be believers, but who are not believers at heart, who betray sacred trusts, and work the works of the enemy, and say, ‘O these are Christians, and they will cheat and lie, and they cannot be trusted’? These are not the ones who truly represent God. But God will not leave the world to be deceived. The Lord has a peculiar people on the earth, and He is not ashamed to call them brethren; for they do the works of Christ. They make it manifest that they love God, because they keep His commandments. They bear the divine image. They are a spectacle unto the world, to angels, and to men.” Our High Calling, 123.

Review and Thought Questions

1 How does envy manifest itself even among capable men?

2 How does God view exaggerations against brethren?

3 What must we consider when an evil report comes to us?

4 Why is just discernment needed today?

5 What are people waiting to see in us?

Copyright © 2002 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Temperance and Purity

May 1, 2011 – May 7, 2011

The Character of the Wise

Lessons from the Writings of Solomon

Key Text

“Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 3, 135–148; vol. 2, 439–484.


“There must be a warfare of the spirit against the flesh, and through the grace of Christ we may obtain the victory.” The Review and Herald, March 12, 1889.


  • What does the Bible plainly declare about the use of intoxicating substances? Proverbs 20:1; 23:29–35.

Note: “Satan tempts men to indulgence that will becloud reason and benumb the spiritual perceptions, but Christ teaches us to bring the lower nature into subjection. He never places before men that which would be a temptation. His whole life was an example of self-denial. It was to break the power of appetite that in the forty days’ fast in the wilderness He suffered in our behalf the severest test that humanity could endure. It was Christ who directed that John the Baptist should drink neither wine nor strong drink. It was He who enjoined similar abstinence upon the wife of Manoah. Christ did not contradict His own teaching. The unfermented wine that He provided for the wedding guests was a wholesome and refreshing drink. This is the wine that was used by our Saviour and His disciples in the first Communion. It is the wine that should always be used on the Communion table as a symbol of the Saviour’s blood. The sacramental service is designed to be soul-refreshing and life-giving. There is to be connected with it nothing that could minister to evil.” The Ministry of Healing, 333.

  • Why is this warning especially important for men in positions of trust? Proverbs 31:4, 5; Ecclesiastes 10:17.


  • How is intemperance a problem even among many who abstain from alcohol? Proverbs 23:1–3, 20, 21; 25:16, 27.

Note: “It is not necessary to drink alcoholic liquors in order to be intemperate. The sin of intemperate eating—eating too frequently, too much, and of rich, unwholesome food—destroys the healthy action of the digestive organs, affects the brain, and perverts the judgment, preventing rational, calm, healthy thinking and acting.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 50.

“I frequently sit down to the tables of the brethren and sisters, and see that they use a great amount of milk and sugar. These clog the system, irritate the digestive organs, and affect the brain. Anything that hinders the active motion of the living machinery affects the brain very directly. And from the light given me, sugar, when largely used, is more injurious than meat.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 370.

  • What is true temperance, and how can it help us endure the trials of the last days? Proverbs 11:16; 24:10, 5; I Corinthians 9:25.

Note: “True temperance teaches us to dispense entirely with everything hurtful and to use judiciously that which is healthful.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 562.

“Reform, continual reform, must be kept before the people, and by our example we must enforce our teaching. True religion and the laws of health go hand in hand. It is impossible to work for the salvation of men and women without presenting to them the need of breaking away from sinful gratifications, which destroy the health, debase the soul, and prevent divine truth from impressing the mind.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 137.

“They [children] should be disciplined carefully, and educated to take their position upon the side of right, of reform and abstinence. In every crisis they will then have moral independence to breast the storm of opposition sure to assail those who take their stand in favor of true reform.” Temperance, 215.


  • What warnings are given to protect us from temptations toward sexual immorality? Proverbs 2:11, 16–20; 5:3–13, 18, 21.

Note: “The religion of Jesus Christ is first pure, then peaceable, full of righteousness and good fruits. Many have fallen into the sad error which is so prevalent in this degenerate age, especially with females. They are too fond of the other sex. They love their society. Their attentions are to them flattering, and they encourage, or permit, a familiarity which does not always accord with the exhortation of the apostle, to ‘abstain from all appearance of evil’ [I Thessalonians 5:22].

“Some mingle with their religion a romantic, love-sick sentimentalism, which does not elevate, but only lowers.” The Review and Herald, March 12, 1872.

  • What ploy is Satan using with special intensity against God’s people in the last days? Proverbs 6:23–33.

Note: “Near the close of this earth’s history Satan will work with all his powers in the same manner and with the same temptations wherewith he tempted ancient Israel just before their entering the Land of Promise. He will lay snares for those who claim to keep the commandments of God, and who are almost on the borders of the heavenly Canaan. He will use his powers to their utmost in order to entrap souls and to take God’s professed people upon their weakest points. Those who have not brought the lower passions into subjection to the higher powers of their being, those who have allowed their minds to flow in a channel of carnal indulgence of the baser passions, Satan is determined to destroy with his temptations—to pollute their souls with licentiousness. He is not aiming especially at the lower and less important marks, but he makes use of his snares through those whom he can enlist as his agents to allure or attract men to take liberties which are condemned in the law of God.” The Adventist Home, 327.

  • How can we develop a barrier to temptation? Philippians 4:8.


  • What happens to the conscience once the barriers of godly restraint are let down? Proverbs 30:20.

Note: “When one commandment of the Decalogue is broken, the downward steps are almost certain. When once the barriers of female modesty are removed, the basest licentiousness does not appear exceeding sinful.” The Adventist Home, 58.

“Whatever have been the little sins indulged will ruin the soul, unless they are overcome. The small sins will swell into the greater sins. Impure thoughts, private, impure actions, unrefined, low, and sensual thoughts and actions in the marriage life, the giving loose reins to the baser passions under the marriage vow will lead to every other sin, the transgression of all the commandments of God. Men that God has entrusted with noble talents will be, unless closely connected with God, guilty of great weakness, and not having the grace of Christ in the soul will become connected with greater crimes. … If not overcome, the weakness will become a tyrant, a conqueror, to overcome them, and the heavenly light will become beclouded and extinguished.” The Review and Herald, May 24, 1887.

  • What must we realize in order to escape the perils of licentiousness so rampant today? Proverbs 22:14; I Peter 1:13.

Note: “We are now amid the perils of the last days. Satan has come down with great power to work his deceptions. He fastens the mind or imaginations upon impure, unlawful things. Christians become like Christ in character by dwelling upon the divine Model. That with which they come in contact has a molding influence upon life and character. I have read of a painter who would never look upon an imperfect painting for a single moment, lest it should have a deteriorating influence upon his own eye and conceptions. That which we allow ourselves to look upon oftenest, and think of most, transfers itself in a measure to us. The imagination trained to dwell upon God and his loveliness will not find delight in dwelling upon scenes that are created by the imagination that is excited by lust.” The Review and Herald, May 24, 1887.


  • Explain how deep the concept of moral purity is. Proverbs 21:8; Matthew 5:27, 28.

Note: “When the thought of evil is loved and cherished, however secretly, said Jesus, it shows that sin still reigns in the heart. The soul is still in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity. He who finds pleasure in dwelling upon scenes of impurity, who indulges the evil thought, the lustful look, may behold in the open sin, with its burden of shame and heart-breaking grief, the true nature of the evil which he has hidden in the chambers of the soul. The season of temptation, under which, it may be, one falls into grievous sin, does not create the evil that is revealed, but only develops or makes manifest that which was hidden and latent in the heart. As a man ‘thinketh in his heart, so is he;’ for out of the heart ‘are the issues of life.’ Proverbs 23:7; 4:23.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 60.

  • How can we gain the victory over all unlawful appetites and passions which clamor for the mastery? Matthew 5:29, 30; Galatians 5:16–21; I Corinthians 15:57.

Note: “Self-control can be complete only in the strength which comes from Jesus Christ, ever true to the rightful dominion of the higher powers and attributes having dominion over the lower.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 20, 54.

“In the wilderness Christ achieved a victory in behalf of the race upon the point of appetite, making it possible for man in all future time in his name to overcome the strength of appetite on his own behalf.” The Review and Herald, August 18, 1874.

Review and Thought Questions

1 What do we know about the wine that Christ used?

2 How can we uplift the temperance standard among us?

3 Discuss the perils of much of today’s social behavior.

4 What bitter consequences result from impure thoughts?

5 How does Matthew 5:8 reveal the importance of victory?

Copyright © 2002 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Recipe – Elise’s Sesame Noodles

1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti

½ cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

3 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. lime juice

1 ½ tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)

1 bunch scallions, sliced, divided

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided

4 cups snow peas, trimmed, sliced on the bias

1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced

½ cup toasted sesame seeds

Cook spaghetti until just tender, 9 to 11 minutes. Drain; rinse under cold water. Whisk Bragg’s, oil, lime juice, crushed red pepper, ¼ cup scallions and 2 Tbsp. cilantro. Add noodles, snow peas and bell pepper; toss to coat. Mix in sesame seeds. Garnish with the remaining scallions and cilantro and serve.

Food – Obesity – The Cure

There are over 100 million people in the world today who are overweight, obese or morbidly obese. Eight out of every ten Americans over the age of 25 are overweight. Our children are not immune to this growing epidemic, making it critical that childhood weight problems be addressed before poor lifestyle habits are deeply ingrained.

With these facts in mind, what are we to do? It is apparent that this cannot be reversed through dieting and pills, because despite this, we have an obesity epidemic.

When a medical condition as a causative or contributing factor has been addressed and ruled out, it is clearly then an issue of lifestyle and of the heart. “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” Jeremiah 13:23. To complicate matters even more is the issue that eating is necessary for life, and you can’t just stop eating. Therefore, we must realize that what, when, and how much we eat is the lifestyle that must change. Because of this, more than human wisdom and effort is needed.

We are God’s possession and not our own. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” I Corinthians 6:19, 20.

We must accept that when we do anything to damage our body, we are damaging the temple He has given us. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” I Corinthians 3:16, 17.

God takes it seriously when we defile His temple. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1.

Obesity is a most malignant problem that goes beyond social stigma and even health. “The controlling power of appetite will prove the ruin of thousands, when, if they had conquered on this point, they would have had moral power to gain the victory over every other temptation of Satan. But those who are slaves to appetite will fail in perfecting Christian character. The continual transgression of man for six thousand years has brought sickness, pain, and death as its fruits. And as we near the close of time, Satan’s temptation to indulge appetite will be more powerful and more difficult to overcome.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 59.

“He [the Lord] desires us to act understandingly, as wise generals in an army, as men who have perfect control over themselves.” Temperance, 119.

Let us learn to lose weight by perfect control of appetite and by doing this, gain control of the whole man, preparing us for our Saviour’s soon return.

Children’s Story – It Always Pays to be Kind

Long ago, before Jesus was born, Elimelech and his wife Naomi lived in the town of Bethlehem. There was famine in the land, so in order to provide for his family, Elimelech packed up his belongings and, with his wife and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, moved to the foreign land of Moab to find work until the end of the drought. A few years later tragedy struck, and Naomi’s husband died, leaving her there in Moab with her sons. Naomi was so sad!

In time, the boys grew to be men and married two of the local girls, Ruth and Orpah. Everything seemed good for Naomi during the next ten years until both of her sons died. Naomi’s life seemed to be one of sorrow, with one tragedy after another, and she was left alone in a foreign land with her daughters-in-law.

At last she heard news that the drought had broken and there was food again in her hometown. With nothing to keep her in Moab, Naomi decided that it was time to go home to Bethlehem. Her daughters-in-law were still young, so she suggested that they go back to their family homes where she prayed that the Lord would care for them (Ruth 1:8, 9). She kissed them goodbye, and with weeping, Orpah went on her way, but Ruth clung to Naomi, pleading that she would not leave without her. She said, “Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.” Ruth 1:16.

Ruth loved Naomi and could not bear the thought of being apart from her, and she was not willing that Naomi make the long trip home alone. By staying with Naomi, she returned the kindness shown her by her mother-in-law. Together they packed their bags and started on the long and dusty journey back to Bethlehem. When they entered the city there was great excitement at Naomi’s return. However, Naomi felt that the Lord had dealt bitterly with her, so she asked to be called Mara (meaning bitter), as almost everything had been taken away from her.

There were no men to provide for the family of Naomi and Ruth, so Ruth had to go out and work. It was the custom of the day that after the harvesters had gone through the fields to gather the grain, they would leave the corners of the fields for the poor people who were allowed to glean whatever was left. Ruth was one of the poor people who gathered grain in the field of Boaz, a very wealthy man who had large fields. Boaz was a kinsman of Elimelech, and when he saw Ruth working in his field, he made enquiry as to who she was and from where she came.

Boaz had heard of Ruth’s kindness towards Naomi, so he said to her, “Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens. … It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.” Ruth 2:8, 11, 12.

Boaz not only spoke kindly to Ruth, but he also invited her to eat with him! He ordered his men to leave extra grain for her to gather, and when she returned home to Naomi that evening she was loaded with leftover food from her lunch and had nearly a bushel of grain! That was a lot! Ruth was so amazed at Boaz’ kindness. Naomi was as well, and blessed the Lord for His provision for the two widows (Ruth 2:20).

This story of Ruth, which starts with such a lot of death and sadness, ends with a lot of joy. Boaz married Ruth, and they had a son named Obed. Years later, Obed became the grandfather of King David and the great-great-great-great grandfather of Jesus. You can find the family tree of Jesus in Matthew, chapter 1, and see the names of Boaz and Ruth listed there in verse 5. Ruth, a young widow, by faith chose to cast in her lot with Naomi, her mother-in-law, left her own home to live in a foreign place (Bethlehem), and committed to worship a foreign God. In spite of her own personal circumstances she showed kindness, and the reward of her kindness was the honor to be listed in the family tree of the Saviour of the world!

Even greater than Naomi’s example of kindness shown to Ruth and Boaz’ kindness and generosity shown to Ruth and Naomi, is the kindness shown by God to this fallen world.

Just as God wrote a beautiful ending to the story of Ruth and Boaz, He wants to write an ending for each and every one of our lives. No matter what our circumstances, nothing is too hard for the Lord.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11–13.

Customs of Bible Times – Wedding Feast

Banquet Invitations

In some parts of the East a custom of double invitations to an entertainment has been observed. Some time before the feast is to be served, an invitation is sent forth; and then, when the appointed time draws near, a servant is sent again, this time to announce that everything is ready. There are several examples of this custom in the Bible. Ahasuerus and Haman were invited by Esther to a feast, and then, when it was ready, the king’s chamberlains went to get Haman (Esther 5:8; 6:14). Another example is in the parable of the wedding of the king’s son. “The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding” (Matthew 22:2, 3). Again, the parable of the great supper has this double invitation in it: “A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready” (Luke 14:16, 17).

“Compelling” Guests to Attend

The following words of Christ’s parable need to be understood from an Oriental point of view: “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled” (Luke 14:23). The usual brief invitation in America and the ready acceptance of it would be considered in the East entirely undignified. In the East the one invited must not at first accept but is expected rather to reject the invitation. He must be urged to accept. Although all the time he expects to accept, he must allow the one inviting him the privilege of “compelling him” to accept. It was thus that Lydia must have extended, and Paul and his companions must have finally accepted, hospitality. “If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us” (Acts 16:15). When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to a meal, the Saviour did not at first accept the invitation, although He did go finally: “Now one of the Pharisees insisted that he take a meal with him” (Luke 7:36; A.T. Robertson, A Translation of Luke’s Gospel, George H. Doran Company, New York, 1923). All of this was in keeping with Oriental customs.

Posture While Eating at Feasts

The prophet Amos is the first sacred writer to refer to the custom of “stretching themselves upon their couches” when eating (Amos 6:4). By the time of Jesus, the Roman custom of reclining on couches at supper had been adopted in some Jewish circles. The Roman table and couches combined was called a triclinium. There were three couches which were located on the three sides of a square, the fourth side being left open, so that a servant could get on the inside to assist in serving the meal. The guest’s position was to recline with the body’s upper part resting on the left arm, the head raised, a cushion at the back, and the lower part of the body stretched out. The head of the second guest was opposite the breast of the first guest, so that if he wanted to speak to him in secret he would lean upon his chest.

This custom at a banquet table throws light on several passages from the four gospels. The apostle John asked Jesus a question while in this position at supper (John 13:23–25). In the story of the rich man and Lazarus, when Jesus said that “the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom” (Luke 16:22), He doubtless meant to imply that he was reclining at a heavenly table next to Abraham where he could lean upon his breast. This is clear in the light of Christ’s description of that heavenly feast: “Many shall come from the east and the west; and shall recline with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 8:11, A.R.V. margin). Also, this position of reclining at table explains how the woman could come during a dinner and take her position behind at the feet of Jesus and wash them (Luke 7:38).

Why Exclusion from a Feast was Considered to be so Terrible

Ancient banquets were usually held at night in rooms, which were brilliantly lighted, and anybody who was excluded from the feast was said to be cast out of the lighted room into “the outer darkness” of the night. In the teachings of Jesus, such exclusion is likened unto the Day of Judgment. “The children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness” (Matthew 8:12). “Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness” (Matthew 22:13). “And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:30). This expression “outer darkness” takes on a new meaning, when it is realized what a dread the middle-Easterner has for the darkness of the night. In the East a lamp is usually kept burning all night. To sleep in the dark as the Westerner usually does would be a terrible experience to the Easterner. Because of this fear of the darkness, the Saviour could have chosen no more appropriate words than “outer darkness” to represent the future punishment of the unrighteous.

Places of Honor at the Table

When the Pharisees were invited to a banquet, they were very covetous of having the highest places of distinction at the table. Jesus condemned them for this proud spirit. He said concerning them: “They … love the chief place at feasts” (Matthew 23:6, ARV). When Jesus was guest at a meal in a Pharisee’s house, He told a parable, when He noticed how they sought the chief places at the table. Here is the parable as given by A. T. Robertson (Luke 14:8–10).

“When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not recline in the post of honor, lest one more honored than you be invited by him, and lest the man who invited you both come and say to you, ‘Make room for this man;’ and then you will begin with shame to take and keep the last place. But, when you are invited, go and recline in the last place, so that, when the man who has invited you comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, come up much higher.’ Then you will have honor in the presence of all your fellow guests.”

In many native homes, one room has a higher floor, and in this room the guests of honor are assigned places, and those of less honor on the lower floor or level. A place of special honor would be on the right of the host, and the next highest place on his left. James and John asked for such positions in Christ’s kingdom (Mark 10:35–37). But Jesus advised guests to take the last place. Where was this place located? It was on the lower level and nearest the door. The guest who would take this humble place might be invited by the master of the house to take a place on a higher plane and farther from the door.

Excerpts from Manners and Customs of Bible Lands, 61–65, by Fred H. Wight (The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, 1953).

Health – Infection, The Killer

The human body need never know sickness if proper health laws are observed. However, when they are not followed, the toxic condition of the system increases, causing infection to begin. Over 90 percent of all diseases, according to some of the most prominent physicians, are caused by constipation. One of these many diseases is infection. This could never be if there was a good, clean bowel and an uncontaminated bloodstream.

A free running mountain stream clears itself of pollution quickly and does not suffer with the problems of stagnation.

The same principle is demonstrated in the human body. A free flowing bloodstream, an uncongested bowel, and easy elimination of urine are all three examples of free flowing streams in the body of man. If we encourage this condition we will assure ourselves of no stagnation (infection disease) of any kind with the resulting sluggish life.

By keeping our bodies in a clean free flowing automatic cleaning condition, the stagnation problem will be no worry to us. The sluggish, poor circulating system leaves the stagnant condition in the lymph system with toxic poisons accumulating and plugging the flow toward the liver. If the liver is allowed to do its job properly, it can save our lives. It is the largest gland in the body, acting like a magnet, drawing toxins and poisons to it, neutralizing them as they are turned into beneficial bile, which in turn acts as a laxative. As the liver draws toxins and poisons to it, it must have the help of the lymphatic system to speed the delivery of these materials to the liver and gallbladder area.

Following are some interesting points brought to light by the staff of Prevention magazine in The Encyclopedia of Common Disease (Rodale Press, 1976):

Lymphoid tissue, which appears in the appendix, is also present in the thymus, the spleen and the tonsils. These tissues are recognized as interceptors of infectious organisms. Lymphoid tissues collect in the appendix where the number of lymph follicles reaches a peak in people between the ages of 10 and 20. After 30 there is an abrupt reduction to less than half the number of follicles, and it tapers off to only a trace after age 60. This phenomenon is also repeated in the tonsils, presumably because the body’s major threats from infectious diseases occur early in life.

The tonsils, and often the adenoids, have fallen victim to unnecessary surgery. For years swollen tonsils, and often healthy ones, have been removed for the mistaken purpose of preventing future throat infections and even colds. The operation is usually of no value.

The body’s lymphatic system, of which these organs are a part, is relatively unknown. One thing that is known about it, however, is that it plays a decisive role in the body’s defense against invading organisms.

When infection attacks the lymph system—whether the lymph glands, tonsils, adenoids, and/or appendix—this is evidence that the body has a high toxic level, and infection in these parts is our control sign to clean up the body or later face more severe conditions.

When the lymph system is showing signs of being overloaded with toxic wastes, the intelligent thing to do is to start cleaning up this condition immediately. Beat this criminal to the draw by eliminating mucus-making materials (oft times it’s hard to label some of the merchandise we eat as “food”), and use fresh fruit and vegetables, juices, and plenty of distilled water. During the cleaning up period, it is good to use a special herbal food for the cleansing and feeding of the lymph system—a combination of mullein herb and a small part of lobelia herb (such as three parts mullein and one part lobelia). For instance, the adult dose for tonsillitis is a cup of the tea three or more times in a day; for younger people twelve years and older it is a full adult dose, one half dose eight to twelve years, one fourth dose four to eight years, and under age four in careful proportion.

In addition to the oral use of the tea (infusion of one ounce of the combined herbs to a pint of boiling water, poured over the herbs, covered, and allowed to steep approximately 20 minutes), it is also to be used externally. After straining the herbal tea, soak flannel cloth (never man-made synthetic cloth) in the remaining tea and apply over the swollen gland areas. Cover the fomentation cloth with plastic to keep the moisture in. It is good to do this procedure in the evening, leaving the fomentation on all night. Some cases take more than one application, but many see the finest results with the overnight program.

One time, after coming home from a lecture series, it was good to see the grandchildren from the family of one of our daughters, who were visiting with us (Dr. Christopher and his wife). That evening one of the little granddaughters, then about seven years old, came to me crying because the glands in her throat area and behind the ears had swollen up and it was very difficult for her to swallow. I mixed up three parts of mullein and one part of lobelia, made a fomentation, and pinned it around her throat. The next morning she came downstairs, all smiles and no pain, and paid me well for my services with a big kiss.

This formula is excellent, not only in aiding the healing in a glandular area, but also to counterattack infection in the glandular system.

Infection does not need any encouragement, especially when there is a sluggish unclean lymphatic system. Dr. Christopher noted: A man came to my office in Olympia, Washington, with an arm that was held away from the body proper because he could not bear to drop the arm down to his side. The reason for this was a painful lump in the armpit, the lump being the size of a baseball. A red streak was also running up the length of the arm starting at the point of infection in the hand. A few days prior to this, the man had cut the palm of his hand with a chisel. He felt he could not take off time to go to the doctor, so he wrapped a rag around the wound to stop the bleeding and went on with his work. In a day or two he noticed swelling and fever in his damaged hand and, naturally, became concerned because a friend of his had had a similar experience and because the infection had gotten so bad his friend’s arm had been amputated. The patient informed me he didn’t want to lose his arm and was willing to try some other unorthodox procedure to clear the condition, so he came to me to see if herbs could save the arm.

I took him out onto the lawn in front of my office and showed him some plantain growing there. He was familiar with the plant, as he had been trying to dig it up at his home to keep this weed from taking over. I instructed him to have his wife or someone get a number of the plants, rinse off the dirt, and bruise the plants with a mortar and pestle, a hammer, a blender, a food or meat grinder, or something else, and put the bruised plantain herb, root, leaves, seed, stem and all right over the cut area. The plantain was then to be covered with gauze and bandaged to hold it in place. He was also told that as the plantain would start to dry he should continue adding more fresh bruised herb to it. The gentleman asked what else to do besides the bandaging, and we instructed him to drink some of the plantain tea, three or more cups a day. He asked if he should come to see us the next day. He was told that the procedure he had just been given, as simple as it was, was a do-it-yourself kit and he would heal if he followed instructions. The man left the office but was back in several days. He had come in to pay for the office call and to gratefully show me a hand that was healing rapidly, with no evidence of scarring. He also said that right after using the poultice, things started to happen rapidly. He said the excruciatingly painful and throbbing hand and arm was eased of pain within one-half hour and the red streak faded away, and the lump in the armpit started getting smaller within hours. By the time of his visit, the streak and lump were entirely gone, and he had full use of the hand and arm again at work—good as ever, he concluded.

Over the years we have had many cases of infection that have been cleared up quickly, as in this case. Some infections come on feet, legs, and various parts of the body, but all can be handled if you act as quickly as possible.

Plantain is an herb that cannot be gathered all year in areas where cold winter kills vegetation. It is good to have concentrates, tinctures and/or ointments to use in emergencies.

I remember early one morning a lady was on the phone and asked me to make a house call, as her son, age about ten, had been stung by a wasp. His hand was swollen, and he had passed out from the pain.

Before getting my bag ready to go, I stepped out onto the lawn to get some fresh plantain leaves to poultice the sting with, but it was too early in the year and the plantain had not yet “leafed out.” With no fresh herb to take, I went into the office and got a small jar of plantain ointment and put it into the bag and left.

When I arrived, the boy was unconscious on the floor; his hand was swollen to nearly twice its normal size. The wasp had stung him on the top of the hand. Using a spatula, I put right over the sting area enough plantain ointment to cover the size of about a silver dollar and about a quarter to half inch thick, placed a gauze patch over the ointment, and then with additional gauze put a bandage on the hand to hold the ointment in place.

The boy had regained consciousness and was sitting up, by the time I was ready to leave. The mother said, “Is that all you are going to do?” I told her yes; it would take care of the sting and give relief from the pain in a short time. Within the half hour, after applying the ointment, the boy said the pain was not as severe as it had been.

The next day I was told that the boy was out playing baseball that afternoon, with no discomfort; the swelling was gone, and the hand was its normal size.

One of the finest teachers Dr. Christopher said he had ever known was a man by the name of Dr. H. Nowell, the founder of Dominion Herbal College, Ltd., of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In the lesson manual from his school is the following story:

Dr. H. Nowell’s baby, two years of age, was severely stung by a hornet on the neck while away on holiday. The neck swelled so much that it caused real alarm, as no help of a professional nature was within 20 miles. The doctor’s daughter, aged 16, remembered hearing of the healing power of plantain, gathered four leaves growing near the camp and bound them on the baby’s neck. Upon removing the bandage one hour later no trace of the trouble could be found.

When individuals get infection from a small cut, a sliver, or most any little injury, it means the bloodstream and body as a whole is loaded with mucus and waste materials. This is the open door to invite the germs of infection into the system. Germs cannot live on healthy tissue, because germs are scavengers and can only live on filth and waste materials.

It would be better for each of us to work on the cause by keeping the waste out of the body. This is far better than working on the effect after trouble has been established.

An ounce of prevention is far better than a pound of cure.

Excerpts from Dr. John R. Christopher, Newsletters, Volume One, Issue 9.

Keys to the Storehouse – The Serpent’s Meat

Satan is filled with wrath against anyone who professes to be a follower of Jesus—the Christian. Many of us have too well felt his wrath. The only way that Satan can wound the Saviour is by ruining the souls of His saints through his deceptive devices. We need to recognize temptations in order to resist them and endure the trials.

Satan, the serpent, spreads an attractive table to lure the unsuspecting away from the Lord’s table to eat his meat. The world-loving majority is attracted by the delicacies offered there, but at what cost?

“Shall we allow ourselves to be separated from Christ, and thus lose the eternal reward, the great gift of everlasting life? Shall we not accept the enmity which Christ has placed between man and the serpent? Shall we not eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God, which means to live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God? Or shall we become earthly, eating the serpent’s meat, which is selfishness, hypocrisy, evil-surmising, envy, and covetousness?” Manuscript Releases, vol. 18, 344. [Emphasis supplied.]

We all have a choice to make. Will we eat and grow in grace at the Lord’s table, living by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4)? Or will we gorge on the serpent’s fare, developing characters fit only to be tied into bundles ready to be burned (Matthew 13:30)? If you find yourself at the wrong table today, don’t finish that meal! It may be sweet in the mouth, but it will be bitter in the stomach and be the cause of much spiritual sickness, sorrow and hurt to all around you. The serpent serves morsels of profession that come to naught—the soup of evil surmising which sours all around you, stones of self-indulgence, greed, self-centeredness and unkindness with chunks of impatience, resentment, spite, grudging and discontentment.

This is the meat that the serpent provides to entice you to feast upon. Feasting at this table pleases its Satanic host, while causing untold suffering to Jesus and darkening the lives of all around. Please do not finish that meal!

“Satan is filled with wrath against Jesus. But he cannot hurt the Saviour except by conquering those for whom Christ died. He knows that when through his devices souls are ruined, the Saviour is wounded.” Ibid.

We want to resist the temptation to chew on anything that the serpent may want to offer, whether it be impatience, complaining, murmuring, selfishness or anything else that may be sour or distasteful. We are being watched to see at which table we are seated when temptations come.

“The heavenly universe is watching with the deepest interest the conflict between Christ in the person of His saints, and the great deceiver. Those who recognize and resist temptation are fighting the Lord’s battles.” Ibid.

Oh Lord: Rescue me from the serpent’s meat if I should ever thoughtlessly sit at his table and cause sorrow and heartache to all around. I choose to sup with Thee. Fill me to overflowing with heavenly fruits that I will have no room to drink the soup of evil surmising which is very sour to all around, or to crunch on the stones of self-indulgence, greed, self-centeredness, unkindness or to chew on the chunks of impatience, resentment, spite, grudging and discontentment. I come to Your table asking You to feed me and nourish me to overflowing so there will be no room for the serpent’s meat. Amen!