Bible Study Guides – The Samaritan Woman (I)

May 21, 2017 – May 27, 2017

Key Text

“Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14).

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 183–188.


“He who seeks to quench his thirst at the fountains of this world will drink only to thirst again.” The Desire of Ages, 187.



  • On His journey to Galilee, where did Jesus stop with His disciples? John 4:5, 6.

Note: “As Jesus sat by the well side, He was faint from hunger and thirst. The journey since morning had been long, and now the sun of noontide beat upon Him. His thirst was increased by the thought of the cool, refreshing water so near, yet inaccessible to Him; for He had no rope nor water jar, and the well was deep. The lot of humanity was His, and He waited for someone to come to draw.” The Desire of Ages, 183.

  • Who came to the well, and what favor did Jesus ask of her? John 4:7.

Note: “A woman of Samaria approached, and seeming unconscious of His presence, filled her pitcher with water. As she turned to go away, Jesus asked her for a drink. Such a favor no Oriental would withhold. In the East, water was called ‘the gift of God.’ To offer a drink to the thirsty traveler was held to be a duty so sacred that the Arabs of the desert would go out of their way in order to perform it. The hatred between Jews and Samaritans prevented the woman from offering a kindness to Jesus; but the Saviour was seeking to find the key to this heart, and with the tact born of divine love, He asked, not offered, a favor. The offer of a kindness might have been rejected; but trust awakens trust. The King of heaven came to this outcast soul, asking a service at her hands.” The Desire of Ages, 183, 184.



  • How did Jesus call the woman’s attention to the gift of salvation? John 4:10.

  • What was the woman’s reaction to Christ’s offer? John 4:11, 12.

Note: “The woman had not comprehended the words of Christ, but she felt their solemn import. Her light, bantering manner began to change. Supposing that Jesus spoke of the well before them, she said, ‘Sir, Thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast Thou that living water? Art Thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself?’ (John 4:11, 12). She saw before her only a thirsty traveler, wayworn and dusty. In her mind she compared Him with the honored patriarch Jacob. She cherished the feeling, which is so natural, that no other well could be equal to that provided by the fathers. She was looking backward to the fathers, forward to the Messiah’s coming, while the Hope of the fathers, the Messiah Himself, was beside her, and she knew Him not. How many thirsting souls are today close by the living fountain, yet looking far away for the wellsprings of life! ‘Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) … The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: … if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved’ (Romans 10:6–9).” The Desire of Ages, 184.

“Christ’s gracious presence in His word is ever speaking to the soul, representing Him as the well of living water to refresh the thirsting soul. It is our privilege to have a living, abiding Saviour. He is the source of spiritual power implanted within us, and His influence will flow forth in words and actions, refreshing all within the sphere of our influence, begetting in them desires and aspirations for strength and purity, for holiness and peace, and for that joy which brings no sorrow with it. This is the result of an indwelling Saviour.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 390.

“How much interest Christ manifested in this one woman! How earnest and eloquent were His words! They stirred the heart of the listener.” Gospel Workers, 195.



  • With what words did Jesus establish the difference between one kind of water and another? John 4:13, 14.

Note: “Jesus did not immediately answer the question in regard to Himself, but with solemn earnestness He said, ‘Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life’ (John 4:13, 14).

“He who seeks to quench his thirst at the fountains of this world will drink only to thirst again. Everywhere men are unsatisfied. They long for something to supply the need of the soul. Only One can meet that want. The need of the world, ‘The Desire of all nations’ (Haggai 2:7), is Christ. The divine grace which He alone can impart, is as living water, purifying, refreshing, and invigorating the soul.” The Desire of Ages, 187.

  • How did the Samaritan woman show that she did not understand Christ’s words? John 4:15.

Note: “Jesus did not convey the idea that merely one draft of the water of life would suffice the receiver. He who tastes of the love of Christ will continually long for more; but he seeks for nothing else. The riches, honors, and pleasures of the world do not attract him. The constant cry of his heart is, More of Thee. And He who reveals to the soul its necessity is waiting to satisfy its hunger and thirst. Every human resource and dependence will fail. The cisterns will be emptied, the pools become dry; but our Redeemer is an inexhaustible fountain. We may drink, and drink again, and ever find a fresh supply. He in whom Christ dwells has within himself the fountain of blessing—‘a well of water springing up into everlasting life’ (John 4:14). From this source he may draw strength and grace sufficient for all his needs.

“As Jesus spoke of the living water, the woman looked upon Him with wondering attention. He had aroused her interest, and awakened a desire for the gift of which He spoke. She perceived that it was not the water of Jacob’s well to which He referred; for of this she used continually, drinking, and thirsting again. ‘Sir,’ she said, ‘give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw’ (verse 15).” The Desire of Ages, 187.



  • What new subject did Jesus introduce in His conversation with the Samaritan woman? John 4:16.

  • What was her response? John 4:17, first part.

Note: “Jesus now abruptly turned the conversation. Before this soul could receive the gift He longed to bestow, she must be brought to recognize her sin and her Saviour. He ‘saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.’ She answered, ‘I have no husband’ (John 4:16, 17). Thus she hoped to prevent all questioning in that direction.” The Desire of Ages, 187.

  • How did Jesus supplement her answer? John 4:17, last part, 18.

Note: “But the Saviour continued, ‘Thou hast well said, I have no husband: for thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly’ (John 4:17, 18).” The Desire of Ages, 187.



  • What did the woman realize about Jesus? John 4:19. Was this recognition sufficient?

Note: “The listener trembled. A mysterious hand was turning the pages of her life history, bringing to view that which she had hoped to keep forever hidden. Who was He that could read the secrets of her life? There came to her thoughts of eternity, of the future Judgment, when all that is now hidden shall be revealed. In its light, conscience was awakened.

“She could deny nothing; but she tried to evade all mention of a subject so unwelcome. With deep reverence, she said, ‘Sir, I perceive that Thou art a prophet’ (John 4:19). Then, hoping to silence conviction, she turned to points of religious controversy. If this was a prophet, surely He could give her instruction concerning these matters that had been so long disputed.” The Desire of Ages, 187, 188.

  • When the woman manifested hope in the coming of the Messiah, what did Jesus say to her? John 4:25, 26.

Note: “The gospel invitation is not to be narrowed down, and presented only to a select few, who, we suppose, will do us honor if they accept it. The message is to be given to all. Wherever hearts are open to receive the truth, Christ is ready to instruct them. He reveals to them the Father, and the worship acceptable to Him who reads the heart. For such He uses no parables. To them, as to the woman at the well, He says, ‘I that speak unto thee am He’ (John 4:26).” The Desire of Ages, 194.



1 Why did Jesus never perform a miracle on His own behalf?

2 What resource did Jesus use to call the attention of the Samaritan woman to the gospel?

3 What did the Master say concerning the water of life?

4 What power did Christ evidence in revealing the secret of life to the Samaritan woman?

Copyright © 2004 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Jesus and John the Baptist

May 14, 2017 – May 20, 2017

Key Text

“He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 178–182.


“John the Baptist was pronounced by our Saviour the greatest of prophets. Yet what a contrast between the language of this man of God and that of many who profess to be ministers of the cross. When asked if he was the Christ, John declares himself unworthy even to unloose his Master’s sandals.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 224.



  • What question arose between some of John’s disciples and the Jews? John 3:25.

Note: “A question arose between them [John’s disciples] and the Jews as to whether baptism availed to cleanse the soul from sin; they maintained that the baptism of Jesus differed essentially from that of John. Soon they were in dispute with Christ’s disciples in regard to the form of words proper to use at baptism, and finally as to the right of the latter to baptize at all.” The Desire of Ages, 178.

  • How did the disciples of John display their envy at Christ’s work? John 3:26.

  • What noble answer did John give to his disciples? John 3:27.

Note: “John had by nature the faults and weaknesses common to humanity, but the touch of divine love had transformed him. He dwelt in an atmosphere uncontaminated with selfishness and ambition, and far above the miasma of jealousy. He manifested no sympathy with the dissatisfaction of his disciples, but showed how clearly he understood his relation to the Messiah, and how gladly he welcomed the One for whom he had prepared the way.” The Desire of Ages, 179.



  • How did John demonstrate that he knew his mission? John 3:28, 29.

Note: “He [John] said, ‘A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before Him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice’ (John 3:27–29). John represented himself as the friend who acted as a messenger between the betrothed parties, preparing the way for the marriage. When the bridegroom had received his bride, the mission of the friend was fulfilled. He rejoiced in the happiness of those whose union he had promoted. So John had been called to direct the people to Jesus, and it was his joy to witness the success of the Saviour’s work. He said, ‘This my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease’ (Verses 29, 30).” The Desire of Ages, 179.

  • What was John’s work? John 1:23, 29.

  • What is our work?

Note: “Looking in faith to the Redeemer, John had risen to the height of self-abnegation. He sought not to attract men to himself, but to lift their thoughts higher and still higher, until they should rest upon the Lamb of God. He himself had been only a voice, a cry in the wilderness. Now with joy he accepted silence and obscurity, that the eyes of all might be turned to the Light of life.

“Those who are true to their calling as messengers for God will not seek honor for themselves. Love for self will be swallowed up in love for Christ. No rivalry will mar the precious cause of the gospel. They will recognize that it is their work to proclaim, as did John the Baptist, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29). They will lift up Jesus, and with Him humanity will be lifted up. ‘Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones’ (Isaiah 57:15).” The Desire of Ages, 179, 180.



  • How did the majority of the people react to Christ’s message? John 3:32.

Note: “The disciples of John had declared that all men were coming to Christ; but with clearer insight, John said, ‘No man receiveth His witness;’ so few were ready to accept Him as the Saviour from sin. But ‘he that hath received His witness hath set his seal to this, that God is true’ (John 3:32, 33, R.V.). ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.’ No need of disputation as to whether Christ’s baptism or John’s purified from sin. It is the grace of Christ that gives life to the soul. Apart from Christ, baptism, like any other service, is a worthless form. ‘He that believeth not the Son shall not see life’ (John 3:36).” The Desire of Ages, 181.

  • To whom is the gift of the Holy Spirit bestowed? John 3:34.

Note: “The soul of the prophet, emptied of self, was filled with the light of the divine. As he witnessed to the Saviour’s glory, his words were almost a counterpart of those that Christ Himself had spoken in His interview with Nicodemus. John said, ‘He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: He that cometh from heaven is above all. … For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him.’ Christ could say, ‘I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me’ (John 5:30). To Him it is declared, ‘Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows’ (Hebrews 1:9). The Father ‘giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him.’

“So with the followers of Christ. We can receive of heaven’s light only as we are willing to be emptied of self. We cannot discern the character of God, or accept Christ by faith, unless we consent to the bringing into captivity of every thought to the obedience of Christ. To all who do this the Holy Spirit is given without measure. In Christ ‘dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and in Him ye are made full’ (Colossians 2:9, 10, RV).” The Desire of Ages, 180, 181.

“The talents that Christ entrusts to His church represent especially the gifts and blessings imparted by the Holy Spirit. … All men do not receive the same gifts, but to every servant of the Master some gift of the Spirit is promised.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 327.



  • What value does baptism have without the grace of Christ? John 3:36, last part.

  • On the other hand, when is baptism of real value? John 3:36, first part.

Note: “Christ has made baptism the sign of entrance to His spiritual kingdom. He has made this a positive condition with which all must comply who wish to be acknowledged as under the authority of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Before man can find a home in the church, before passing the threshold of God’s spiritual kingdom, he is to receive the impress of the divine name, ‘The Lord our Righteousness’ (Jeremiah 23:6).” Testimonies, vol. 6, 91. [Emphasis author’s.]

“The vows which we take upon ourselves in baptism embrace much. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit we are buried in the likeness of Christ’s death and raised in the likeness of His resurrection, and we are to live a new life. Our life is to be bound up with the life of Christ. Henceforth the believer is to bear in mind that he is dedicated to God, to Christ, and to the Holy Spirit. He is to make all worldly considerations secondary to this new relation. Publicly he has declared that he will no longer live in pride and self-indulgence. …

“The obligations in the spiritual agreement entered into at baptism are mutual. As human beings act their part with wholehearted obedience, they have a right to pray: ‘Let it be known, Lord, that Thou art God in Israel.’ The fact that you have been baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is an assurance that, if you will claim Their help, these powers will help you in every emergency. The Lord will hear and answer the prayers of His sincere followers who wear Christ’s yoke and learn in His school His meekness and lowliness.

“ ‘If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God’ (Colossians 3:1–3).

“ ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness’ (verses 12–14).” Ibid., 98, 99.



  • Upon realizing that the Pharisees were trying to create a crisis between John and Himself, what did Jesus do? John 4:1–3.

Note: “Jesus knew that they would spare no effort to create a division between His own disciples and those of John. He knew that the storm was gathering which would sweep away one of the greatest prophets ever given to the world. Wishing to avoid all occasion for misunderstanding or dissension, He quietly ceased His labors, and withdrew to Galilee. We also, while loyal to truth, should try to avoid all that may lead to discord and misapprehension. For whenever these arise, they result in the loss of souls. Whenever circumstances occur that threaten to cause division, we should follow the example of Jesus and of John the Baptist.” The Desire of Ages, 181.

  • What attitude did John take to defuse the crisis? John 3:30.

Note: “John had been called to lead out as a reformer. Because of this, his disciples were in danger of fixing their attention upon him, feeling that the success of the work depended upon his labors, and losing sight of the fact that he was only an instrument through which God had wrought. But the work of John was not sufficient to lay the foundation of the Christian church. When he had fulfilled his mission, another work was to be done, which his testimony could not accomplish. His disciples did not understand this. When they saw Christ coming in to take the work, they were jealous and dissatisfied.

“The same dangers still exist. God calls a man to do a certain work; and when he has carried it as far as he is qualified to take it, the Lord brings in others, to carry it still farther. But, like John’s disciples, many feel that the success of the work depends on the first laborer. Attention is fixed upon the human instead of the divine, jealousy comes in, and the work of God is marred. The one thus unduly honored is tempted to cherish self-confidence. He does not realize his dependence on God. The people are taught to rely on man for guidance, and thus they fall into error, and are led away from God.

“The work of God is not to bear the image and superscription of man. From time to time the Lord will bring in different agencies, through whom His purpose can best be accomplished. Happy are they who are willing for self to be humbled, saying with John the Baptist, ‘He must increase, but I must decrease’ (John 3:30).” The Desire of Ages, 181, 182.



1 Why did John’s disciples become jealous of Christ’s work?

2 What did John declare to his disciples?

3 For what purpose is the gift of the Holy Spirit granted?

4 How does baptism fulfill its true objective?

5 What did Jesus and John do when they realized the danger of a crisis between their respective disciples?

Copyright © 2004 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Nicodemus (II)

May 7, 2017 – May 13, 2017

Key Text

“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:14, 15).

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 172–177; Steps to Christ, 37–41.


“There are thousands today who need to learn the same truth that was taught to Nicodemus by the uplifted serpent. They depend on their obedience to the law of God to commend them to His favor. When they are bidden to look to Jesus, and believe that He saves them solely through His grace, they exclaim, ‘How can these things be’ (John 3:9)?” The Desire of Ages, 175.



  • How did Nicodemus consider himself, and what ironic question did he ask Jesus? John 3:4, 9.

Note: “By virtue of his birth as an Israelite he [Nicodemus] regarded himself as sure of a place in the kingdom of God. He felt that he needed no change. Hence his surprise at the Saviour’s words. He was irritated by their close application to himself. The pride of the Pharisee was struggling against the honest desire of the seeker after truth. He wondered that Christ should speak to him as He did, not respecting his position as ruler in Israel.” The Desire of Ages, 171.

  • On what did the Pharisees pride themselves in the days of Christ? Luke 18:9–12.

Note: “The Jews had been first called into the Lord’s vineyard, and because of this they were proud and self-righteous. Their long years of service they regarded as entitling them to receive a larger reward than others. Nothing was more exasperating to them than an intimation that the Gentiles were to be admitted to equal privileges with themselves in the things of God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 400.



  • How did Jesus illustrate the work of the Holy Spirit within the human heart? John 3:8.

Note: “The wind is heard among the branches of the trees, rustling the leaves and flowers; yet it is invisible, and no man knows whence it comes or whither it goes. So with the work of the Holy Spirit upon the heart. It can no more be explained than can the movements of the wind. A person may not be able to tell the exact time or place, or to trace all the circumstances in the process of conversion; but this does not prove him to be unconverted. By an agency as unseen as the wind, Christ is constantly working upon the heart.” The Desire of Ages, 172.

  • How are the divine impressions fixed upon the human heart? Psalms 63:6; 32:8; Jeremiah 42:3; I Corinthians 2:10.

Note: “Little by little, perhaps unconsciously to the receiver, impressions are made that tend to draw the soul to Christ. These may be received through meditating upon Him, through reading the Scriptures, or through hearing the word from the living preacher. Suddenly, as the Spirit comes with more direct appeal, the soul gladly surrenders itself to Jesus. By many this is called sudden conversion; but it is the result of long wooing by the Spirit of God—a patient, protracted process.” The Desire of Ages, 172.

“The mere hearing of sermons Sabbath after Sabbath, the reading of the Bible through and through, or the explanation of it verse by verse, will not benefit us or those who hear us, unless we bring the truths of the Bible into our individual experience. The understanding, the will, the affections, must be yielded to the control of the word of God. Then through the work of the Holy Spirit the precepts of the word will become the principles of the life.” The Ministry of Healing, 514.

“The work of the Holy Spirit is to enlighten the darkened understanding, to melt the selfish, stony heart, to subdue the rebellious transgressor, and save him from the corrupting influences of the world. The prayer of Christ for His disciples was: ‘Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth’ (John 17:17). The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, pierces the heart of the sinner and cuts it in pieces.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 441.



  • How are internal workings of the Holy Spirit manifested externally? Galatians 5:22–25.

Note: “While the wind is itself invisible, it produces effects that are seen and felt. So the work of the Spirit upon the soul will reveal itself in every act of him who has felt its saving power. When the Spirit of God takes possession of the heart, it transforms the life. Sinful thoughts are put away, evil deeds are renounced; love, humility, and peace take the place of anger, envy, and strife. Joy takes the place of sadness, and the countenance reflects the light of heaven.” The Desire of Ages, 173.

  • When does a person receive the blessing of a transformation? Romans 10:9, 10; I John 1:9.

Note: “No one sees the hand that lifts the burden, or beholds the light descend from the courts above. The blessing comes when by faith the soul surrenders itself to God. Then that power which no human eye can see creates a new being in the image of God.

“It is impossible for finite minds to comprehend the work of redemption. Its mystery exceeds human knowledge; yet he who passes from death to life realizes that it is a divine reality. The beginning of redemption we may know here through a personal experience. Its results reach through the eternal ages.

“While Jesus was speaking, some gleams of truth penetrated the ruler’s mind. The softening, subduing influence of the Holy Spirit impressed his heart. Yet he did not fully understand the Saviour’s words. He was not so much impressed by the necessity of the new birth as by the manner of its accomplishment. He said wonderingly, ‘How can these things be?’ (John 3:9).” The Desire of Ages, 173.

“When we submit ourselves to Christ, the heart is united with His heart, the will is merged in His will, the mind becomes one with His mind, the thoughts are brought into captivity to Him; we live His life.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 312.

“The all-powerful grace of God, uniting with the efforts and will of man, works the transformation in the life and character of man, and brings him into a position where he can prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” The Signs of the Times, August 22, 1878.



  • With what Old Testament symbol did Jesus illustrate His crucifixion? John 3:14, 15.

Note: “Nicodemus was being drawn to Christ. As the Saviour explained to him concerning the new birth, he longed to have this change wrought in himself. By what means could it be accomplished? Jesus answered the unspoken question: ‘As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life’ (John 3:14, 15).

“Here was ground with which Nicodemus was familiar. The symbol of the uplifted serpent made plain to him the Saviour’s mission. When the people of Israel were dying from the sting of the fiery serpents, God directed Moses to make a serpent of brass, and place it on high in the midst of the congregation. Then the word was sounded throughout the encampment that all who would look upon the serpent should live. The people well knew that in itself the serpent had no power to help them. It was a symbol of Christ. As the image made in the likeness of the destroying serpents was lifted up for their healing, so One made ‘in the likeness of sinful flesh’ was to be their Redeemer (Romans 8:3). Many of the Israelites regarded the sacrificial service as having in itself virtue to set them free from sin. God desired to teach them that it had no more value than that serpent of brass. It was to lead their minds to the Saviour. Whether for the healing of their wounds or the pardon of their sins, they could do nothing for themselves but show their faith in the Gift of God. They were to look and live.” The Desire of Ages, 174, 175.

  • Why did some Israelites die when bitten by the serpents? I Corinthians 10:9; Hebrews 3:12. Why will many perish in the last day?

Note: “Many of the Israelites saw no help in the remedy which Heaven had appointed. The dead and dying were all around them, and they knew that, without divine aid, their own fate was certain; but they continued to lament their wounds, their pains, their sure death, until their strength was gone, and their eyes were glazed, when they might have had instant healing. … Jesus has pledged His word; He will save all who come unto Him. Though millions who need to be healed will reject His offered mercy, not one who trusts in His merits will be left to perish.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 432.



  • What should sinners do if they wish to be saved? Isaiah 45:22; Hebrews 12:2, 3.

Note: “The fatal effects of sin can be removed only by the provision that God has made. The Israelites saved their lives by looking upon the uplifted serpent. That look implied faith. They lived because they believed God’s word, and trusted in the means provided for their recovery. So the sinner may look to Christ, and live. He receives pardon through faith in the atoning sacrifice. Unlike the inert and lifeless symbol, Christ has power and virtue in Himself to heal the repenting sinner.

“While the sinner cannot save himself, he still has something to do to secure salvation. ‘Him that cometh to Me,’ says Christ, ‘I will in no wise cast out’ (John 6:37). But we must come to Him; and when we repent of our sins, we must believe that He accepts and pardons us. Faith is the gift of God, but the power to exercise it is ours. Faith is the hand by which the soul takes hold upon the divine offers of grace and mercy.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 431. [Emphasis author’s.]

  • What lesson finally understood by Nicodemus should also be assimilated by us? Ephesians 2:8.

Note: “Grace is an attribute of God exercised toward undeserving human beings. We did not seek for it, but it was sent in search of us. God rejoices to bestow His grace upon us, not because we are worthy, but because we are so utterly unworthy. Our only claim to His mercy is our great need.” The Ministry of Healing, 161.



1 What was the main characteristic of the Pharisees in the days of Christ?

2 Who is the principal regenerating Agent of humanity?

3 How is a transformation of the heart manifested?

4 Explain the symbol of the uplifted serpent.

5 In what do many Christians trust and what do they need to understand?

Copyright © 2004 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Nicodemus (I)

April 30, 2017 – May 6, 2017

Key Text

“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 167–172; Steps to Christ, 23–36.


“The fountain of the heart must be purified before the streams can become pure. He who is trying to reach heaven by his own works in keeping the law is attempting an impossibility.” The Desire of Ages, 172.



  • Who was Nicodemus and what position did He occupy? John 3:1.

Note: “Nicodemus held a high position of trust in the Jewish nation. He was highly educated, and possessed talents of no ordinary character, and he was an honored member of the national council. With others, he had been stirred by the teaching of Jesus. Though rich, learned, and honored, he had been strangely attracted by the humble Nazarene. The lessons that had fallen from the Saviour’s lips had greatly impressed him, and he desired to learn more of these wonderful truths.” The Desire of Ages, 167.

  1. In what esteem was Nicodemus held by the people? John 3:10.

Note: “He [Nicodemus] was a strict Pharisee, and prided himself on his good works. He was widely esteemed for his benevolence and his liberality in sustaining the temple service, and he felt secure of the favor of God.” The Desire of Ages, 171.

“This man was rich and honored of the Jews. He was famous throughout Jerusalem for his wealth, his learning and benevolence, and especially for his liberal offerings to the temple to carry out its sacred services.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 126.



  • At what hour did Nicodemus seek to meet with Jesus and why? John 3:2, first part.

Note: “When night came on, Jesus, pale with the weariness of his long-continued labors, sought for retirement and repose in the Mount of Olives. Here Nicodemus found him and desired a conference.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 126.

“He [Nicodemus] greatly desired an interview with Jesus, but shrank from seeking Him openly. It would be too humiliating for a ruler of the Jews to acknowledge himself in sympathy with a teacher as yet so little known. And should his visit come to the knowledge of the Sanhedrin, it would draw upon him their scorn and denunciation. He resolved upon a secret interview, excusing this on the ground that if he were to go openly, others might follow his example. Learning by special inquiry the Saviour’s place of retirement in the Mount of Olives, he waited until the city was hushed in slumber, and then sought Him.” The Desire of Ages, 168.

“As he had witnessed Christ’s wonderful works, the conviction had fastened itself upon his mind that this was the Sent of God. Too proud openly to acknowledge himself in sympathy with the Galilean Teacher, he had sought a secret interview.” The Acts of the Apostles, 104.

“Nicodemus related to John the story of that interview, and his inspired pen recorded it for the instruction of millions. The vital truths there taught are as important today as they were that solemn night in the shadowy mountain.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 136.

  • How did Nicodemus begin his interview with Jesus? John 3:2.

Note: “In the presence of Christ, Nicodemus felt a strange timidity, which he endeavored to conceal under an air of composure and dignity. ‘Rabbi,’ he said, ‘we know that Thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that Thou doest, except God be with him’ (John 3:2). By speaking of Christ’s rare gifts as a teacher, and also of His wonderful power to perform miracles, he hoped to pave the way for his interview. His words were designed to express and to invite confidence; but they really expressed unbelief. He did not acknowledge Jesus to be the Messiah, but only a teacher sent from God.” The Desire of Ages, 168.



  • What figurative language did Jesus use to illustrate conversion? John 3:3.

Note: “Instead of recognizing this salutation, Jesus bent His eyes upon the speaker, as if reading his very soul. In His infinite wisdom He saw before Him a seeker after truth. He knew the object of this visit, and with a desire to deepen the conviction already resting upon His listener’s mind, He came directly to the point, saying solemnly, yet kindly, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God’ (John 3:3, margin).” The Desire of Ages, 168.

  • What is the importance of Christ’s words? John 3:5–8.

Note: “Nicodemus had come to the Lord thinking to enter into a discussion with Him, but Jesus laid bare the foundation principles of truth. He said to Nicodemus, It is not theoretical knowledge you need so much as spiritual regeneration. You need not to have your curiosity satisfied, but to have a new heart. You must receive a new life from above before you can appreciate heavenly things. Until this change takes place, making all things new, it will result in no saving good for you to discuss with Me My authority or My mission.

“Nicodemus had heard the preaching of John the Baptist concerning repentance and baptism, and pointing the people to One who should baptize with the Holy Spirit. He himself had felt that there was a lack of spirituality among the Jews, that, to a great degree, they were controlled by bigotry and worldly ambition. He had hoped for a better state of things at the Messiah’s coming. Yet the heart-searching message of the Baptist had failed to work in him conviction of sin.” The Desire of Ages, 171.

“It is one thing to assent in a general way to the agency of the Holy Spirit, and another thing to accept His work as a reprover calling to repentance. Many feel a sense of estrangement from God, a realization of their bondage to self and sin; they make efforts for reform; but they do not crucify self. They do not give themselves entirely into the hands of Christ, seeking for divine power to do His will. They are not willing to be molded after the divine similitude. In a general way they acknowledge their imperfections, but they do not give up their particular sins. With each wrong act the old selfish nature is gaining strength.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 48.



  • When is an individual truly born again? John 1:12, 13.

Note: “Through this simple act of believing God, the Holy Spirit has begotten a new life in your heart. You are as a child born into the family of God, and He loves you as He loves His Son.” Steps to Christ, 52.

  • What does it mean to be born of water? Mark 16:16, first part; Romans 6:3–5.

Note: “[John 3:5 quoted.] Nicodemus knew that Christ here referred to water baptism and the renewing of the heart by the Spirit of God. He was convinced that he was in the presence of the One whom John the Baptist had foretold.” The Desire of Ages, 172.

“Christ has made baptism the sign of entrance to His spiritual kingdom. He has made this a positive condition with which all must comply who wish to be acknowledged as under the authority of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Before man can find a home in the church, before passing the threshold of God’s spiritual kingdom, he is to receive the impress of the divine name, ‘The Lord our Righteousness’ (Jeremiah 23:6).

“Baptism is a most solemn renunciation of the world. Those who are baptized in the threefold name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, at the very entrance of their Christian life declare publicly that they have forsaken the service of Satan and have become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. They have obeyed the command: ‘Come out from among them, and be ye separate, … and touch not the unclean thing.’ And to them is fulfilled the promise: ‘I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty’ (2 Corinthians 6:17, 18).” Testimonies, vol. 6, 91. [Emphasis author’s.]

“Those who submit to the solemn rite of baptism pledge themselves, before the heavenly universe, to come out from the world. They have taken their position under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel, to be laborers together with God, and as such to make known His will to those who are perishing in sin. They are to search the Scriptures diligently, feeling that it is of the highest importance for them to understand what saith the Lord. Having learned His will, they are to do it heartily, remembering that the truth is the seed they must sow in order to reap a harvest for God.” The Review and Herald, September 19, 1907.



  • What did Jesus say with reference to the two natures of man? John 3:6.

Note: “It is impossible for us, of ourselves, to escape from the pit of sin in which we are sunken. Our hearts are evil, and we cannot change them. ‘Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.’ ‘The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be’ (Job 14:4; Romans 8:7). Education, culture, the exercise of the will, human effort, all have their proper sphere, but here they are powerless. They may produce an outward correctness of behavior, but they cannot change the heart; they cannot purify the springs of life.” Steps to Christ, 18.

  • By what means can a new birth be accomplished? John 3:7, 8.

Note: “There must be a power working from within, a new life from above, before men can be changed from sin to holiness. That power is Christ. His grace alone can quicken the lifeless faculties of the soul, and attract it to God, to holiness.

“The Saviour said, ‘Except a man be born from above,’ unless he shall receive a new heart, new desires, purposes, and motives, leading to a new life, ‘he cannot see the kingdom of God’ (John 3:3, margin). The idea that it is necessary only to develop the good that exists in man by nature, is a fatal deception. … Of Christ it is written, ‘In Him was life; and the life was the light of men’—the only ‘name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved’ (John 1:4; Acts 4:12).” Steps to Christ, 18, 19.



1 Because of his good works, how did Nicodemus consider himself?

2 In what manner did Nicodemus behave himself in the presence of Christ?

3 What does it mean to be “born again”?

4 How does the new birth take place?

5 Where does true conversion begin—on the inside or on the outside of a person?

Copyright © 2004 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Food – Split Pea

Split peas, which are part of the legume family, are really nutritious. They are high in protein and fiber, low in fat and there is no need for soaking before cooking. When cooked they become very creamy. Green split peas are sweeter and less starchy than the milder yellow split peas.

When I was growing up, my mom always had some kind of a bone to put into any soup, including split pea. She would cook it up with the bone and then remove the meat from it. At that time I thought her soups were always delicious. However, I learned to cook without all the bones and meat and prepare food that is just as tasty and healthier.

“Green split peas are part of the legume family. Split peas are husked (or dehulled) and split in half. The green split pea is about 1/4 of an inch wide and pale green in color. Split peas have a mild flavor and soft texture. The split pea has more of an earthy flavor than the whole dried pea, similar to the lentil in versatility and nourishment.”

When fresh peas are not available or when you want to enjoy a starchier, hardier flavored legume, dried peas are the perfect choice; they are available any time of the year.

“Although they belong to the same family as beans and lentils, they are usually distinguished as a separate group because of the ways in which they are prepared. The different types of peas are all spherical, a feature that also sets them apart from beans and lentils. Dried peas are produced by harvesting the peapods when they are fully mature and then drying them. Once they are dried and the skins removed, they split naturally.”


Simple Yummy Split Pea Soup

4 cups water 1 bay leaf (optional)
1 cup split peas
Bring to boil and simmer for one hour or more until peas are soft. Then add:
1 onion, diced 1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. garlic powder 2 cups chopped vegetables, i.e., celery, carrots, potatoes, etc.
½–1 tsp. sweet basil More water if needed
Cook additional 20–30 minutes until vegetables are tender. Blend until smooth or eat as is.


Split Pea Hummus
3 cups water 1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup dried green split peas 1– 1½ Tbsp. lemon juice
1 garlic clove 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. salt, or to taste
Sort and wash peas. Bring water, garlic and peas to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes. Stir in salt; cook 15 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Combine peas along with rest of ingredients in a food processor with the S blade; pulse 5 to 7 times or until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Serve at room temperature.

Children’s Story – Hands Across the Wheat Field

The wheat stood bright and golden in the big field, and Peter liked to watch as puffs of wind blew across it. “It waves, Father, just like water!” he exclaimed.

Peter’s father smiled and put his rough hand on the boy’s fair head. “Yes, it does, son. And tomorrow the machines will start rolling through it.”

Peter knew what machines his father meant. They were the big combines that went around and around the field. They harvested the grain from the growing stalks of wheat and dumped it in trucks to be hauled to the market in town.

The wheat crop had been good this year in Argentina, the country where Peter and his family lived, and Peter had had lots of fun playing in the field. Now, in a way, he was a little sad to think that he wouldn’t be able to see the grain waving in the wind much longer. If the combines started in the morning, most likely by evening the whole field would be harvested.

“I’ll miss the wheat, Father,” Peter mourned.

Father smiled and nodded his head. “I guess I will too. But it is harvesttime. You know the Bible tells us that there is a time to sow and a time to harvest. We sowed the wheat at the right time, and it grew green and tall. After many weeks the wind and rain made it ripen. Now it is ready to be harvested. If it stands too long, the wheat stems will weaken and fall. Then we will lose the grain.”

Quietly Peter listened to his father, then he smiled too. He knew that his parents needed the money the wheat would bring to help them live through the coming winter. Slowly Peter reached out and took his father’s hand. “I’m glad it is harvest time,” he said.

Father squeezed Peter’s hand tightly in his. “I’m glad it is too.”

Early the next morning Peter and his small sister, Rosita, went outside to watch for the big combines to come down the road from town. The sky was clear and bright and the sun rose higher and higher. A long time passed, but the combines did not come.

Rosita grew restless. “Let’s do something else,” she begged. “I’m tired of watching for the ‘bines.”

Peter laughed. “All right. Why don’t we chase butterflies for a change? I just saw one fly into the wheat field.”

“Oh, yes!” exclaimed Rosita happily. “I see one right now.”

Away she ran toward the house as fast as her chubby little legs would carry her, following the pretty butterfly. For a few seconds Peter watched her. Then he saw a big beautiful butterfly of many colors flitting past and began a chase of his own.

Just how long Peter chased butterflies he didn’t know. He soon lost the big butterfly, but he saw others of all colors and sizes. He forgot about Rosita. And he forgot about the combines, too, until he heard them coming down the road.

“Rosita!” he shouted at his little sister, starting back toward the house. “Here comes the combines!”

But Rosita didn’t answer. Mother heard Peter and came out on the porch.

“Rosita isn’t with me,” Mother said. “I thought she went out with you to watch for the combines.”

“She did,” Peter explained, “but we began chasing butterflies. I saw her chase one toward the house.”

Peter saw his father coming from the barn, and he ran to meet him. “Father, is Rosita at the barn?” he called.

“No,” Father answered in a puzzled voice. “I thought she was with you.”

Peter wanted to cry. “She was,” he explained again, “but we began chasing butterflies, and now I don’t know where she is.”

Father looked worried, but he patted Peter’s shoulder. “We’ll find her,” he comforted. “I’ll tell the men not to start the combines. Rosita may be in the wheat field.”

With a sinking heart Peter stared across the acres and acres of waving grain. How would they ever find his little sister in such a big field?

But Father had a plan. Mother and Peter would join hands and walk across the field. “We will walk and call until we reach the back side,” Father explained. “Then we will turn and walk back again. That way we won’t miss any ground. Rosita may have sat down somewhere to rest and fallen asleep. If she had, she won’t hear us call. If we don’t join hands, in this tall wheat we may miss her.”

The men thought the plan was a good one. As they all lined up and joined hands, Father prayed and asked for Jesus’ help.

When the prayer was over, Peter took Father’s hand and looked around for someone else’s hand. But there was no one else. He was on the end of the line.

Father looked down at Peter and said softly, “Just take hold of Jesus’ hand, son. He will help us find Rosita.”

As they began moving across the field Peter almost felt that Jesus was holding his hand. The wheat was very tall. It was over his head in places, but somehow it wasn’t hard to walk through.

All up and down the line Peter could hear the men calling Rosita’s name. Mother and Father called too. Peter didn’t call. He had to keep up with his father, who could take long steps.

All at once Peter pulled his hand from Father’s and began to run through the wheat field. When he was a little way ahead of the others, he stopped and knelt down and prayed. He could hear Father calling him to come back before he got lost too. But when he had finished praying, he got up and ran in another direction. Something seemed to tell him to keep going. On and on he ran.

Then suddenly he stopped and stood still. Right in front of him was Rosita. She was fast asleep, her head pillowed on a little pile of wheat stalks.

“Father!” Peter shouted as loudly as he could. “Father, here’s Rosita. I’ve found her!”

When Father came, Rosita woke up and rubbed her eyes. “I got losted,” she sniffled. “I called and called, but no one knew where I was.”

Peter reached out and took her hand. “Jesus knew where you were,” he told her. “He helped me find you. Father told me to take Jesus’ hand when we joined hands to look for you, and Jesus told me what to do.”

By this time the others who had been looking for Rosita came up to where she was. They heard what Peter said. One of the men smiled at him and said, “Son, I think Jesus really did take your hand. I think He led you right to your little sister.”

Peter smiled back at the man. He thought that Jesus had too. In fact, he was certain that Jesus had stretched His hand across the whole wheat field!

Heaven, Please! Helena Welch, 10–15.

The Efficacy of Christ’s Blood

The children of Israel were anciently commanded to make an offering for the entire congregation to purify them from ceremonial defilement. This sacrifice was a red heifer and represented the more perfect offering that should redeem from the pollution of sin. This was an occasional sacrifice for the purification of all those who had necessarily or accidentally touched the dead. All who came in contact with death in any way were considered ceremonially unclean. This was to forcibly impress the minds of the Hebrews with the fact that death came in consequence of sin and therefore is a representative of sin. The one heifer, the one ark, the one brazen serpent, impressively point to the one great offering, the sacrifice of Christ.

This heifer was to be red, which was a symbol of blood. It must be without spot or blemish, and one that had never borne a yolk. Here, again, Christ was typified. The Son of God came voluntarily to accomplish the work of atonement. There was no obligatory yoke upon Him, for He was independent and above all law. The angels, as God’s intelligent messengers, were under the yoke of obligation; no personal sacrifice of theirs could atone for the guilt of fallen man. Christ alone was free from the claims of the law to undertake the redemption of the sinful race. He had power to lay down His life and to take it up again. “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God” (Philippians 2:6).

Yet this glorious Being loved the poor sinner and took upon Himself the form of servant, that He suffer and die in man’s behalf. Jesus might have remained at His Father’s right hand, wearing His kingly crown and royal robes. But He chose to exchange all the riches, honor, and glory of heaven for the poverty of humanity, and His station of high command for the horrors of Gethsemane and the humiliation and agony of Calvary. He became a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, that by His baptism of suffering and blood He might purify and redeem a guilty world. “Lo, I come,” was the joyful assent, “to do Thy will, O My God” (Psalm 40:7, 8).

The sacrificial heifer was conducted without the camp and slain in the most imposing manner. Thus Christ suffered without the gates of Jerusalem, for Calvary was outside the city walls. This was to show that Christ did not die for the Hebrews alone, but for all mankind. He proclaims to a fallen world that He has come to be their Redeemer and urges them to accept the salvation He offers them. The heifer having been slain in a most solemn manner, the priest, clothed in pure white garments, took the blood in his hands as it issued from the body of the victim and cast it toward the temple seven times. “And having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:21, 22).

The body of the heifer was burned to ashes, which signified a whole and ample sacrifice. The ashes were then gathered up by a person uncontaminated by contact with the dead and placed in a vessel containing water from a running stream. This clean and pure person then took a cedar stick with scarlet cloth and a bunch of hyssop, and sprinkled the contents of the vessel upon the tent and the people assembled. This ceremony was repeated several times in order to be thorough and was done as a purification from sin.

Thus Christ, in His own spotless righteousness, after shedding His precious blood, enters into the holy place to cleanse the sanctuary. And there the crimson currents is brought into the service of reconciling God to man. Some may look upon this slaying of the heifer as a meaningless ceremony, but it was done by the command of God and bears a deep significance that has not lost its application to the present time.

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

After the tent had been sprinkled with hyssop, over the door of those cleansed was written: I am not my own; Lord, I am Thine. Thus should it be with those who profess to be cleansed by the blood of Christ. God is no less exacting now than He was in olden times. The psalmist, in his prayer, refers to this symbolic ceremony when he says: “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” “Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free spirit” (Psalm 51:7, 10, 12).

The blood of Christ is efficacious, but it needs to be applied continually. God not only wants His servants to use the means He has entrusted to them for His glory, but He desires them to make a consecration of themselves to His cause. If you, my brethren, have become selfish and are withholding from the Lord that which you should cheerfully give to His service, then you need the blood of sprinkling thoroughly applied, consecrating you and all your possessions to God.

[All emphasis author’s.]

Testimony Treasures, 481–483.

Current Events – An Atheist China Warms to the Vatican

Religious Persecution “Intensifies”

A recent article written by CNN reporters James Griffiths and Matt Rivers details the growing relationship between atheist China and the Vatican. (

While noting the increasing persecution of Protestants in China, the authors write of the “warming ties” between Beijing and Rome: “As the situation has worsened for Protestants, relations between the Vatican and Beijing are at their strongest level in years.

“Pope Francis has expressed his desire to visit China, and reports last year suggested the two sides were moving to a deal on the ordination of bishops, long a sticking point. …

“Asked about the potential for a deal, the Vatican would not comment, with a spokesman saying it was a ‘work in progress.’

“Father Simon Zhu, a Chinese priest in an officially-sanctioned church, told CNN, ‘We pray for this normalization between Rome and Beijing.’ ”

While the increasing improvement in the relationship between the two is heralded by some, it is viewed with skepticism by others. Retired Cardinal Joseph Zen, former Bishop of Hong Kong, remarked, “We are afraid it’s going to be a bad deal. There’s no reason to hope the Communists will change. They already have very tight control of the above ground church, their hope is to have the underground church under their control as well.”

The ultimate goal, of course, is for Rome to control both the “above ground church” and the “underground church.”

“And let it be remembered, it is the boast of Rome that she never changes. The principles of Gregory VII and Innocent III are still the principles of the Roman Catholic Church. And had she but the power, she would put them in practice with as much vigor now as in past centuries. … While they are bent upon the accomplishment of their purpose, Rome is aiming to re-establish her power, to recover her lost supremacy.” The Great Controversy, 581.

Health – Magnesium – Why You Need It

Researchers have found magnesium to be a vital mineral that can lower blood pressure, protects the heart, and prevents stroke.

It has been shown to boost everything from heart health to bone density, and it can lower the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke. It even improves memory, eases anxiety, treats headaches, and targets depression.

Magnesium is an inexpensive, readily available essential nutrient that many health experts are calling a “miracle mineral.”

But chances are that you, like most people, don’t get enough of it. Carolyn Dean, M.D., author of The Magnesium Miracle tells Newsmax that it is the most beneficial health-boosting mineral available. Yet most people have never heard of it … .

“Magnesium affects every organ, tissue, and cell in the body,” said Dean, a Hawaii-based physician and holistic specialist. “Magnesium deficiency is killing people, and it’s a simple solution to many of our chronic diseases.” Government studies going back more than two decades have found the standard American diet fails to meet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recommended daily allowance of magnesium, which is 400–420 mg per day for men, and 310–320 for women. Dean believes health officials and the mainstream medical establishment need to do more to raise the public awareness of magnesium’s many benefits.

“A hundred years ago we were getting 500 mg in our daily diet,” she said. “Today we are fortunate to get 200 mg. Most people think that their doctors would have warned them about this problem. But doctors are as ignorant as the public about magnesium’s health effects.”

Nature’s Disease Fighter

Magnesium is one of the body’s most common essential minerals. It is found in the body’s muscles, bones, blood, and tissues. It is involved in regulating everything from blood pressure to heart activity, energy production, nervous system function, cell growth, bone density, muscle strength, and metabolism.

Magnesium is present in a range of foods, including spinach, wheat germ, bran cereals, brown rice, beans, tofu, soybeans, and nuts. But the problem is that decades of commercial agricultural processes have depleted the levels of magnesium and other nutrients in farm soils. This has resulted in less of the nutrients being in fruits and vegetables.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found the levels of nutrients in American-grown produce were as much as 38 percent higher in 1950 than they are today. A growing body of scientific evidence has shown that magnesium deficiency can raise the risk of a range of diseases.

Blood pressure: Over a four-year period, men with sufficient magnesium had a lower risk of hypertension than men consuming lower levels, according to a study of 30,000 men. A second survey of 8,000 women also found that the risk of hypertension decreased as dietary magnesium intake increased.

Heart disease, stroke: Magnesium helps regulate heart rate, says Chauncey Crandall, M.D., director of preventive medicine at the Palm Beach Cardiovascular Clinic. “The mineral is particularly important for people who have had an irregular heartbeat,” he told Newsmax. “Magnesium helps suppress extra heartbeats.”

A 2011 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a 40 percent greater risk of sudden cardiac death among women with low levels of magnesium.

Several other studies have linked higher blood levels of magnesium to a lower risk of heart disease and stroke.

Diabetes: Magnesium is a key regulator of carbohydrate metabolism. It influences the release and activity of insulin, the hormone that helps control blood sugar levels. Low blood levels of magnesium are often seen in Type 2 diabetes patients.

Two major research projects, the “Nurses’ Health Study” and the “Health Professionals’ Follow-Up Study,” that followed more than 170,000 people, have found the risk for Type 2 diabetes is greater in people with lower magnesium.

Osteoporosis: Calcium and vitamin D are important for bone health. But studies also show magnesium deficiency is a risk factor for postmenopausal osteoporosis. This is probably because magnesium deficiency alters calcium metabolism and the hormones that regulate calcium absorption. Several studies have found that magnesium supplements and diets that meet the recommended daily allowances for the mineral improve bone mineral density.

In addition, Dean noted dozens of other studies have linked magnesium to a host of mental health benefits – in treating migraines, tension headaches, insomnia, depression, panic attacks, stress, and anxiety.

She said research has also found that adequate intake of magnesium can help in the prevention and treatment of such conditions as pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, premenstrual syndrome, dysmenorrhea, kidney stones, fibromyalgia, blood clots, fibrositis, tooth decay, insomnia, and muscle and nerve problems.

Are You At Risk?

One of the major problems with magnesium is that current diagnostic tests do not provide an accurate indication of whether a patient has a deficiency. “Doctors don’t have the tools to measure magnesium levels properly,” Dean explains. The best way to tell if you’re getting enough is to consider the long list of symptoms deficiency can cause.

Here are the most common: muscle cramps, twitching, heart palpitations, migraines, angina, irregular heartbeat, asthma, anxiety, fatigue, poor concentration, depression, numbness of hands or feet, back pain, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, PMS, and seizures. If you suffer from any of these problems regularly, you may have low levels of magnesium.

Finding the right supplement: However, not all magnesium supplements are the same. The primary side effects of taking the mineral are digestion problems and possible diarrhea. Cheaper supplements have a laxative effect. The solution is to take a quality, time-released supplement that allows your body to absorb the mineral slowly.

Seek out also pesticide free magnesium rich foods in the diet, which include seeds, whole grains, avocados, bananas, dried fruit, figs, artichokes, potatoes and especially leafy green vegetables. Add to these a high quality magnesium supplement, assuring the body of obtaining the level of magnesium it needs for highest function.

Question & answer – Explain “build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity” in Micah 3:10

“They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity” (Micah 3:10).

“These words faithfully described the corrupt and self-righteous inhabitants of Jerusalem. While claiming to observe rigidly the precepts of God’s law, they were transgressing all its principles. They hated Christ because His purity and holiness revealed their iniquity; and they accused Him of being the cause of all the troubles which had come upon them in consequence of their sins. Though they knew Him to be sinless, they had declared that His death was necessary to their safety as a nation. ‘If we let Him thus alone,’ said the Jewish leaders, ‘all men will believe on Him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation’ (John 11:48). If Christ were sacrificed, they might once more become a strong, united people. Thus they reasoned, and they concurred in the decision of their high priest, that it would be better for one man to die than for the whole nation to perish.

“Thus the Jewish leaders had built up ‘Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity’ (Micah 3:10). And yet, while they slew their Saviour because He reproved their sins, such was their self-righteousness that they regarded themselves as God’s favored people and expected the Lord to deliver them from their enemies. ‘Therefore,’ continued the prophet, ‘shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest’ (verse 12).” The Great Controversy, 27.

“The long-suffering of God toward Jerusalem only confirmed the Jews in their stubborn impenitence. In their hatred and cruelty toward the disciples of Jesus they rejected the last offer of mercy. … Men did not reason; they were beyond reason—controlled by impulse and blind rage. They became satanic in their cruelty. In the family and in the nation, among the highest and the lowest classes alike, there was suspicion, envy, hatred, strife, rebellion, murder. There was no safety anywhere. Friends and kindred betrayed one another. Parents slew their children, and children their parents. The rulers of the people had no power to rule themselves. Uncontrolled passions made them tyrants. The Jews had accepted false testimony to condemn the innocent Son of God. Now false accusations made their own lives uncertain. By their actions they had long been saying: ‘Cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us’ (Isaiah 30:11). Now their desire was granted. The fear of God no longer disturbed them. Satan was at the head of the nation, and the highest civil and religious authorities were under his sway.” Ibid. 28, 29.