Bible Study Guides – I Create New Heavens and a New Earth

September 20, 1999 – September 27, 1999

MEMORY VERSE: “For behold I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come upon the heart.” Isaiah 65:17, marginal reading.

STUDY HELP: Revelation 21, 22, Great Controversy, pages 674, 678.


“The great controversy is ended. Sin and sinners are no more. The entire universe is clean. One pulse of harmony and gladness beats through the vast creation. From Him who created all, flow life and light and gladness, throughout the realms of illimitable space. From the minutest atom to the greatest world, all things, animate and inanimate, in their unshadowed beauty and perfect joy, declare that God is love.” Great Controversy, 678.

“God Himself Shall Be Their God”

  •  How does John describe the new creation? Revelation 21:1–2.

NOTE: “This is glad news to all who love God; but is it a matter of rejoicing to those who delight in feeding the mind on commonplace and trivial things? Those who take no pleasure in thinking and talking of God in this life, will not enjoy the life that is to come, where God is ever present, dwelling among His people. But those who love to think of God will be in their element, breathing in the atmosphere of heaven. Those who on earth love the thought of heaven, will be happy in its holy associations and pleasures. The prophet says, ‘And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.’ ‘And there shall be no more curse; but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him; and they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads.’” Review and Herald, May 13, 1890.

  • What promise is given to those who inherit the new earth? Isaiah 65:17.

NOTE: “Fellow pilgrim, we are still amid the shadows and turmoil of earthly activities; but soon our Saviour is to appear to bring deliverance and rest. Let us by faith behold the blessed hereafter as pictured by the hand of God. He who died for the sins of the world is opening wide the gates of Paradise to all who believe on Him. Soon the battle will have been fought, the victory won. Soon we shall see Him in whom our hopes of eternal life are centred. And in His presence the trials and sufferings of this life will seem as nothingness. The former things ‘shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.’ ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry.’ ‘Israel shall be saved . . . with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.’ Isaiah 65:17; Hebrews 10:35–37; Isaiah 45:17.” Prophets and Kings, page 732.

  • In view of the nearness of the day of the Lord, what admonition does Peter give to God’s people? 2 Peter 3:10–11.

NOTE: “The time has come when those who choose the Lord for their present and future portion must trust in Him alone. Everyone professing Godliness must have an experience of his own. The recording angel is making a faithful record of the words and acts of God’s people. Angels are watching the development of character and weighing moral worth. Those who profess to believe the truth should be right themselves and exert all their influence to enlighten and win others to the truth. Their words and works are the channel through which the pure principles of truth and holiness are conveyed to the world. They are the salt of the earth and the light thereof. I saw that in looking heavenward we shall see light and peace, but in looking to the world we shall see that every refuge must soon fail us and every good soon pass away. There is no help for us but in God; in this state of earth’s confusion we can be composed, strong, or safe only in the strength of living faith; nor can we be at peace, only as we rest in God and wait for His salvation. Greater light shines upon us than shone upon our fathers. We cannot be accepted or honoured of God in rendering the same service, or doing the same works, that our fathers did. In order to be accepted and blessed of God as they were, we must imitate their faithfulness and zeal,—improve our light as they improved theirs,—and do as they would have done had they lived in our day. We must walk in the light which shines upon us, otherwise that light will become darkness. God requires of us to exhibit to the world, in our character and works, that measure of the spirit of union and oneness which is in accordance with the sacred truths we profess and with the spirit of those prophecies that are fulfilling in these last days. The truth which has reached our understanding, and the light which has shone on the soul, will judge and condemn us, if we turn away and refuse to be led by them.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 262.

“According to His Promise”

  • Besides looking for the day of God, what does Peter also admonish God’s people to do? 2 Peter 3:12. (See margin)

NOTE: “It is the privilege of every Christian not only to look for but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, (2 Peter 3:12, margin). Were all who profess His name bearing fruit to His glory, how quickly the whole world would be sown with the seed of the gospel. Quickly the last great harvest would be ripened, and Christ would come to gather the precious grain.’ Christ’s Object Lessons, 69.

  • While this old world is to be destroyed by fire, what wonderful prospect does God’s people have? 2 Peter 3:13.

NOTE: “The meek ‘shall inherit the earth.’ It was through the desire for self-exaltation that sin entered into the world, and our first parents lost the dominion over this fair earth, their kingdom. It is through self-abnegation that Christ redeems what was lost. And He says we are to overcome as He did. Revelation 3:21. Through humility and self-surrender we may become heirs with Him when ‘the meek shall inherit the earth.’ Psalm 37:11. The earth promised to the meek will not be like this, darkened with the shadow of death and the curse. ‘We, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.’ ‘There shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him.’ 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 22:3. There is no disappointment, no sorrow, no sin, no one who shall say, I am sick; there are no burial trains, no mourning, no death, no partings, no broken hearts; but Jesus is there, peace is there. There ‘they shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for He that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall He guide them.’ Isaiah 49:10.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 17.

“No More . . . ”

  •  What things are we assured will have no place in that new heaven and earth? Revelation 21:4, Isaiah 35:5, 6; 51:11; 65:19.

NOTE: “Let those who break God’s law and teach others to do so, denounce us as fallen from grace because we keep all ten of His immutable precepts; it will not harm us. We have the satisfaction of knowing that, while they curse, Jesus has pronounced a blessing. Says the true Witness, the only Begotten of the Father, ‘Blessed are they that do His [the Father’s] commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the City.’ Revelation 22:14. Think ye that the commandment-keepers will be sorry, and mourn when the pearly gates of the Golden City of God are swung back upon their glittering hinges, and they are welcomed in? No, never. They will then rejoice, that they are not under the bondage of the law, but that they have kept God’s law, and therefore are free from it. They will have right to the tree of life, a right to its healing leaves. They will hear the lovely voice of Jesus, richer than any music that ever fell on mortal ear, saying, There will be no more sorrow, pain or death; sighing and crying have fled away.” Review and Herald, June 10, 1852.

  •  What change will God’s people see in the animal creation? Isaiah 65:25; 11:6–9; 35:9; Hosea 2:18.

NOTE: “There man will be restored to his lost kingship, and the lower order of beings will again recognize his sway; the fierce will become gentle, and the timid trustful. ‘The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox . . . They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain’ (Isaiah 11:6-9), saith the Lord.” Review and Herald, July 1, 1915.

  • What changes will be seen in the plant creation? Isaiah 55:13; 35:1, 2, 7.

NOTE: “The earth promised to the meek will be a better one than this. It will be purified from all sin and defilement, and will bear the image of the divine. Satan has placed his throne in the earth; but where the usurper has set up his rule, there will Jesus place his throne, and there shall be no more curse. The glory of the Lord is to cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. Jesus desires to give his children a home where there will be no more sin, no more sorrow, no more death, but all will be joy and gladness. He says: ‘The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing; the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.’” Bible Echo, June 1, 1892.

“Raised in Incorruption”

  •  What great lesson does Paul draw from the resurrection of Jesus? 1 Corinthians 15:12, 23.

NOTE: “The resurrection of Jesus was a type of the final resurrection of all who sleep in Him. The countenance of the risen Saviour, His manner, His speech, were all familiar to His disciples. As Jesus arose from the dead, so those who sleep in Him are to rise again. We shall know our friends, even as the disciples knew Jesus. They may have been deformed, diseased, or disfigured, in this mortal life, and they rise in perfect health and symmetry; yet in the glorified body their identity will be perfectly preserved. Then shall we know even as also we are known. 1 Corinthians 13:12. In the face radiant with the light shining from the face of Jesus, we shall recognise the lineaments of those we love.” Desire of Ages, 804.

  • How does Paul describe the change that will take place in redeemed humanity? 1 Corinthians 15:51–54.

NOTE: “Christ is coming with clouds and with great glory. A multitude of shining angels will attend Him. He will come to raise the dead, and to change the living saints from glory to glory. He will come to honour those who have loved Him, and kept His commandments, and to take them to Himself. He has not forgotten them nor His promise. There will be a relinking of the family chain. When we look upon our dead, we may think of the morning when the trump of God shall sound, when ‘the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.’ 1 Corinthians 15:52. A little longer, and we shall see the King in His beauty. A little longer, and He will wipe all tears from our eyes. A little longer, and He will present us ‘faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.’ Jude 24. Wherefore, when He gave the signs of His coming He said, ‘When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.’” Desire of Ages, 632.

“Pleasures for Evermore”

  •  What will God’s people experience when they come into the presence of God? Psalm 16:11.

NOTE: “‘No sickness, sorrow, pain, or death shall reach that blissful shore:’ there is nothing in the kingdom of God to disturb or annoy. This is the life that is promised to the overcomer,—a life of happiness and peace, a life of love and beauty. This ‘exceeding great reward’ is within our reach, and can be gained simply by a life of obedience. But we have the privilege of choosing for ourselves. We can take this present life, so poor, so marred with sin, so filled with care and perplexity, or we can have eternal life where there is no sin, no distracting care, nothing to mar the peace of the inhabitant. It is strange that the majority, looking only to the pleasures of the world, choose this fleeting life, and fix their hopes here. Here, then, are two classes: one seeking for the pleasures of this mortal life, the other for the enduring joys of immortality; one class are far from Christ, and satisfied with their condition, the other are seeking for the forgiveness of sins and for the Spirit of God; one class are battling against God and his truth, the other are warring against the lusts of the flesh, the spirit of the world, and Satan. One class are dreading the appearing of Christ, the Son of man, feeling that to them it is an overwhelming calamity; the other are looking for the coming of Christ the second time, without sin unto salvation. The one class will be rejected from the presence of God, and finally suffer the pangs of the second death; the other will have everlasting life at the right hand of God, where are pleasures for evermore.’ Signs of the Times, November 10, 1887.

  • What brief picture of the new earth reveals the real and practical nature of life then? Isaiah 65:21–23.

NOTE: “In the earth made new, the redeemed will engage in the occupations and pleasures that brought happiness to Adam and Eve in the beginning. The Eden life will be lived, the life in garden and field. ‘They shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of My people, and Mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.’ Isaiah 65:21, 22.” Prophets and Kings, 730, 731.

  • What are we told about the worship of God in that earth made new? Revelation 21:22–26, Isaiah 66:22, 23.

NOTE: “In the beginning the Father and the Son had rested upon the Sabbath after Their work of creation. When ‘the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them’ (Gen. 2:1), the Creator and all heavenly beings rejoiced in contemplation of the glorious scene. ‘The morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.’ Job 38:7. Now Jesus rested from the work of redemption; and though there was grief among those who loved Him on earth, yet there was joy in heaven. Glorious to the eyes of heavenly beings was the promise of the future. A restored creation, a redeemed race, that having conquered sin could never fall,—this, the result to flow from Christ’s completed work, God and angels saw. With this scene the day upon which Jesus rested is forever linked. For ‘His work is perfect;’ and ‘whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever.’ Deuteronomy 32:4; Ecclesiastes 3:14. When there shall be a ‘restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began’ (Acts 3:21), the creation Sabbath, the day on which Jesus lay at rest in Joseph’s tomb, will still be a day of rest and rejoicing. Heaven and earth will unite in praise, as ‘from one Sabbath to another’ (Isaiah 66:23) the nations of the saved shall bow in joyful worship to God and the Lamb.” Desire of Ages, 769.

Bible Study Guides – For in Six Days the Lord Made Heaven and Earth

September 12, 1999 – September 19, 1999

MEMORY VERSE: “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.” Genesis 2:2–3.

STUDY HELP: Desire of Ages, 281–289.


“The Sabbath is a golden clasp that unites God and His people. But the Sabbath command has been broken. God’s holy day has been desecrated. The Sabbath has been torn from its place by the man of sin, and a common working day has been exalted in its stead. A breach has been made in the law, and this breach is to be repaired. The true Sabbath is to be exalted to its rightful position as God’s rest day. In the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah is outlined the work which God’s people are to do. They are to magnify the law and make it honourable, to build up the old waste places, and to raise up the foundations of many generations. To those who do this work God says: ‘Thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.’” Testimonies, vol. 6, 352.

“Call the Sabbath a Delight”

  •  When was the Sabbath instituted? Genesis 2:2, 3.

NOTE: “The object of the Sabbath was that all mankind might be benefited. Man was not made to fit the Sabbath; for the Sabbath was made after the creation of man, to meet his necessities. After God had made the world in six days, He rested and sanctified and blessed the day upon which He rested from all His work which He had created and made. He set apart that special day for man to rest from his labour, that, as he should look upon the earth beneath and the heavens above, he might reflect that God made all these in six days and rested upon the seventh; and that, as he should behold the tangible proofs of God’s infinite wisdom, his heart might be filled with love and reverence for his Maker.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 583.

  • What indication are we given that Noah was aware of the days of the week? Genesis 7:4, 10, 8:10, 12. (Compare Genesis 31:23, 50:10, Exodus 7:25, 12:15, 19, 13:6, 7.)

NOTE: Unlike the day, month and year, the week has no astronomical origin. The day, month and year are fixed by astronomical cycles. The day is the period in which the earth rotates upon its axis. The Month was designed to reflect the period during which the moon circles the earth while the year is the period during which the earth revolves about the sun. The week alone has no natural origin and comes only from the word of God.

“The Sabbath was hallowed at the creation. As ordained for man, it had its origin when ‘the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.’ Job 38:7. Peace brooded over the world; for earth was in harmony with heaven. ‘God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good;’ and He rested in the joy of His completed work. Gen. 1:31. Because He had rested upon the Sabbath, God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it,’—set it apart to a holy use. He gave it to Adam as a day of rest. It was a memorial of the work of creation, and thus a sign of God’s power and His love. The Scripture says, ‘He hath made His wonderful works to be remembered.’ ‘The things that are made,’ declare ‘the invisible things of Him since the creation of the world,’ ‘even His everlasting power and divinity.’ Gen. 2:3; Ps. 111:4; Romans 1:20, R. V.” Desire of Ages, page 281.

  • For whom was the Sabbath made? Mark 2:27.

NOTE: Though there are still some who claim that Sabbath-keeping was confined to the Jews, the testimony of history does not support this opinion.

“It is a well-attested historical fact that the weekly cycle was observed and the seventh day was kept sacred by nearly all the most ancient nations of the earth beside the Jews. There are decisive evidences to show that the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Arabians, Greeks and Romans and even the Chinese knew of the Sabbath and at an early period regarded at as a sacred day . . . John G. Butler, a Free-Will Baptist author, in his Natural and Revealed Theology, page 396 says: ‘We learn also, from the testimony of Philo, Hesiod, Josephus, Porphyry and others, that the division of time into weeks and the observance of the seventh day were common to the nations of antiquity. They would not have adopted such a custom from the Jews. Whence, then, could it have been derived but through tradition, from its original institution in the Garden of Eden?’ The Asiatic Journal says: ‘The prime minister of the empire affirms that the Sabbath was anciently observed by the Chinese, in conformity to the directions of the king.’ The Congregationalist (Boston) November 15, 1882, referring to the Creation Tablets found by Mr Smith on the banks of the Tigris near Nineveh, gives the following: ‘Mr George Smith says in his Assyrian Discoveries (1875): ‘In the year 1869 I discovered, among other things, a curious religious calendar of the Assyrians, in which every month is divided into four weeks and the seventh days, or Sabbaths, are marked out as days on which no work should be undertaken…The calendar contains lists of work forbidden to be done on these days, which evidently correspond to the Sabbaths of the Jews.’” George I. Butler, The Change of the Sabbath, 20, 21.

“That I May Prove Them”

  •  What example of Sabbath-keeping is recorded before the giving of the Ten Commandments at Sinai? Exodus 16:11–26.

NOTE: “Every week during their long sojourn in the wilderness the Israelites witnessed a threefold miracle, designed to impress their minds with the sacredness of the Sabbath: a double quantity of manna fell on the sixth day, none on the seventh, and the portion needed for the Sabbath was preserved sweet and pure, when if any were kept over at any other time it became unfit for use.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 296.

  • What purpose did God have for the giving of the manna? Exodus 16:4, 28.

NOTE: “In the circumstances connected with the giving of the manna, we have conclusive evidence that the Sabbath was not instituted, as many claim, when the law was given at Sinai. Before the Israelites came to Sinai they understood the Sabbath to be obligatory upon them. In being obliged to gather every Friday a double portion of manna in preparation for the Sabbath, when none would fall, the sacred nature of the day of rest was continually impressed upon them. And when some of the people went out on the Sabbath to gather manna, the Lord asked, ‘How long refuse ye to keep My commandments and My laws?’” Patriarchs and Prophets, 296, 297.

“The Seventh Day is the Sabbath of Rest”

  • For what purpose was the Sabbath made? Exodus 20:10. (Compare Nehemiah 13:13–19)

NOTE: “Those who are not fully converted to the truth frequently let their minds run freely upon worldly business, and, although they may rest from physical toil upon the Sabbath, their tongues speak out what is in their minds; hence these words concerning cattle, crops, losses, and gains. All this is Sabbath breaking. If the mind is running upon worldly matters, the tongue will reveal it, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 703.

  • What other purpose does the Sabbath afford? Leviticus 23:3. (Compare Isaiah 66:23.)

NOTE: Among the advocates of Sunday observance, the claim is made that the Sabbath was for rest only and not for God’s people to meet for worship. It is Sunday, they claim that is, in contrast, a day for worship. The Hebrew word ‘miqra’ ranslated as “convocation” has the meaning of a public meeting or assembly.

“Those who receive the light of truth are to have lesson upon lesson to educate them not to keep silent, but to speak often one to another. They are to keep in mind the Sabbath meeting, when those who love and fear God, and who think upon his name, can have opportunity to express their thoughts in speaking one to another. Let not the little companies think that they can have no meeting when they have no minister. Let them not think that one of their members must stand in the pulpit and preach to them. The time and season are very precious. The assembled believers are in the audience chamber of the universe of Heaven. They are to witness for God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave his life for the world. The little company are to do service to God by offering to him spiritual worship. When there is no delegated minister to speak to the little companies, let each one witness to the truth, and be faithful to speak often one to another of the love of God, and thus train and educate the soul. Let each one seek to become an intelligent Christian, bearing his responsibility, and acting his personal part to make the meeting interesting and profitable.” Review and Sabbath, September 10, 1895.

“Lawful to Do Well on the Sabbath Day”

  •  What other activity did Jesus describe as lawful for the Sabbath day? Matthew 12:10–13.

NOTE: “He had chosen the Sabbath upon which to perform the act of healing at Bethesda. He could have healed the sick man as well on any other day of the week; or He might simply have cured him, without bidding him bear away his bed. But this would not have given Him the opportunity He desired. A wise purpose underlay every act of Christ’s life on earth. Everything He did was important in itself and in its teaching. Among the afflicted ones at the pool He selected the worst case upon whom to exercise His healing power, and bade the man carry his bed through the city in order to publish the great work that had been wrought upon him. This would raise the question of what it was lawful to do on the Sabbath, and would open the way for Him to denounce the restrictions of the Jews in regard to the Lord’s day, and to declare their traditions void. Jesus stated to them that the work of relieving the afflicted was in harmony with the Sabbath law. It was in harmony with the work of God’s angels, who are ever descending and ascending between heaven and earth to minister to suffering humanity.” Desire of Ages, 206.

  • How was this teaching of Jesus regarded by the Pharisees? Matthew 12:14.

NOTE: “The Jews had so perverted the law that they made it a yoke of bondage. Their meaningless requirements had become a byword among other nations. Especially was the Sabbath hedged in by all manner of senseless restrictions. It was not to them a delight, the holy of the Lord, and honourable. The scribes and Pharisees had made its observance an intolerable burden. A Jew was not allowed to kindle a fire nor even to light a candle on the Sabbath. As a consequence the people were dependent upon the Gentiles for many services which their rules forbade them to do for themselves. They did not reflect that if these acts were sinful, those who employed others to perform them were as guilty as if they had done the work themselves. They thought that salvation was restricted to the Jews, and that the condition of all others, being already hopeless, could be made no worse. But God has given no commandments which cannot be obeyed by all. His laws sanction no unreasonable or selfish restrictions.” Desire of Ages, 204.

“Hallow My Sabbaths”

  •  What special significance did the Lord attach to the Sabbath? Exodus 31:13, Ezekiel 20:12.

NOTE: “The Sabbath given to the world as the sign of God as the Creator is also the sign of Him as the Sanctifier. The power that created all things is the power that re-creates the soul in His own likeness. To those who keep holy the Sabbath day it is the sign of sanctification. True sanctification is harmony with God, oneness with Him in character. It is received through obedience to those principles that are the transcript of His character. And the Sabbath is the sign of obedience. He who from the heart obeys the fourth commandment will obey the whole law. He is sanctified through obedience. To us as to Israel the Sabbath is given ‘for a perpetual covenant.’ To those who reverence His holy day the Sabbath is a sign that God recognises them as His chosen people. It is a pledge that He will fulfil to them His covenant. Every soul who accepts the sign of God’s government places himself under the divine, everlasting covenant. He fastens himself to the golden chain of obedience, every link of which is a promise.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 350.

  • What further significance has God revealed in Sabbath observance? Ezekiel 20:20.

NOTE: “The Sabbath is the Lord’s test, and no man, be he king, priest, or ruler, is authorized to come between God and man. Those who seek to be conscience for their fellow men, place themselves above God. Those who are under the influence of a false religion, who observe a spurious rest day, will set aside the most positive evidence in regard to the true Sabbath. They will try to compel men to obey the laws of their own creation, laws that are directly opposed to the law of God. Upon those who continue in this course, the wrath of God will fall. Unless they change, they cannot escape the penalty.’ Testimonies, vol. 9, 234, 235.

“When the claims of the Sabbath are presented, there are many who ask, What difference does it make what day we keep as the Sabbath, so long as we observe one day in seven? We answer, It makes all possible difference whether we obey or disregard the word of God. God has given us the Sabbath as a memorial of the great work of creation . . . He declares through Moses, ‘It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever.’ And the children of Israel include all who believe in Christ. For ‘if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed.’ Again, by the prophet Ezekiel, the Lord says, ‘Hallow my Sabbaths; for they shall be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God.’ The Sabbath is a sign of God’s creative power; it shows him to be supreme, the Maker and Upholder of the universe, the One from whom we receive ‘life and breath and all things,’ and hence the One to whom our allegiance is due.” Signs of the Times, June 12, 1893.

“Turn Away thy Foot From the Sabbath”

  •  What attitude towards the Sabbath will bring the blessings that God placed upon the Sabbath? Isaiah 58:13.

NOTE: “To all who receive the Sabbath as a sign of Christ’s creative and redeeming power, it will be a delight. Seeing Christ in it, they delight themselves in Him. The Sabbath points them to the works of creation as an evidence of His mighty power in redemption. While it calls to mind the lost peace of Eden, it tells of peace restored through the Saviour. And every object in nature repeats His invitation, ‘Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.’ Matt 11:28.” Desire of Ages, 289.

  • What special promises are for those who remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy? Isaiah 58:14.

NOTE: “Great blessings are enfolded in the observance of the Sabbath, and God desires that the Sabbath day shall be to us a day of joy. There was joy at the institution of the Sabbath. God looked with satisfaction upon the work of His hands. All things that He had made He pronounced ‘very good.’ Genesis 1:31. Heaven and earth were filled with rejoicing. ‘The morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.’ Job 38:7. Though sin has entered the world to mar His perfect work, God still gives to us the Sabbath as a witness that One omnipotent, infinite in goodness and mercy, created all things. Our heavenly Father desires through the observance of the Sabbath to preserve among men a knowledge of Himself. He desires that the Sabbath shall direct our minds to Him as the true and living God, and that through knowing Him we may have life and peace.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 349.

Bible Study Guides – Behold, God Exalteth by His Power

September 4, 1999 – September 11, 1999

MEMORY VERSE: “God is my strength and power: and He maketh my way perfect.” 2 Samuel 22:33.

STUDY HELP: Testimonies, vol. 8, 255–264.


“In his isolated home John was able to study more closely than ever before the manifestations of divine power as recorded in the book of nature and in the pages of inspiration. To him it was a delight to meditate on the work of creation and to adore the divine Architect. In former years his eyes had been greeted by the sight of forest-covered hills, green valleys, and fruitful plains; and in the beauties of nature it had ever been his delight to trace the wisdom and skill of the Creator. He was now surrounded by scenes that to many would appear gloomy and uninteresting; but to John it was otherwise. While his surroundings might be desolate and barren, the blue heavens that bent above him were as bright and beautiful as the skies above his loved Jerusalem. In the wild, rugged rocks, in the mysteries of the deep, in the glories of the firmament, he read important lessons. All bore the message of God’s power and glory.” Acts of the Apostles, 571, 572.

“Power Belongeth Unto God”

  •  Whom did David identify as the source of all power? Psalm 62:11.

NOTE: “In dwelling upon the laws of matter and the laws of nature, many lose sight of, if they do not deny, the continual and direct agency of God. They convey the idea that nature acts independently of God, having in and of itself its own limits and its own powers wherewith to work. In their minds there is a marked distinction between the natural and the supernatural. The natural is ascribed to ordinary causes, unconnected with the power of God. Vital power is attributed to matter, and nature is made a deity. It is supposed that matter is placed in certain relations and left to act from fixed laws with which God Himself cannot interfere; that nature is endowed with certain properties and placed subject to laws, and is then left to itself to obey these laws and perform the work originally commanded. This is false science.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 259.

  • What lesson did Jeremiah learn by understanding the power of God in creation? Jeremiah 32:17.

NOTE: “‘The word of the Lord unto Jeremiah’ in that hour of distress, when the faith of the messenger of truth was being tried as by fire, was: ‘Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for Me?” Verses 26, 27. The city was soon to fall into the hand of the Chaldeans; its gates and palaces were to be set on fire and burned; but, notwithstanding the fact that destruction was imminent and the inhabitants of Jerusalem were to be carried away captive, nevertheless the eternal purpose of Jehovah for Israel was yet to be fulfilled.’ Prophets and Kings, 471.

  •  What manifestation of the power of God is of vital importance to mankind? Romans 1:16.

NOTE: The good news that Jesus brought is that God has sufficient power to save every man from every one of his sins, if only he will believe that this is possible. It is sad, therefore, to read in a popular Calvinist reference book: “Sanctification is a work of God’s free grace, whereby the entire person is renewed after the image of God and enabled more and more to refrain from sinning and to live righteously . . . Scripture does not teach that one can become sinless in this life.” Nave’s Study Bible, 1978,, 1842. Thus they deny the Gospel, teaching that the power of God cannot make one sinless, only help one to sin less.

“It is our privilege to have faith and salvation. The power of God has not decreased. His power, I saw, would be just as freely bestowed now as formerly. It is the church of God that have lost their faith to claim, their energy to wrestle, as did Jacob, crying: ‘I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me.’ Enduring faith has been dying away. It must be revived in the hearts of God’s people. There must be a claiming of the blessing of God. Faith, living faith, always bears upward to God and glory; unbelief, downward to darkness and death.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 144.

“The Worlds Were Framed by the Word of God”

  •  By what means was the work of creation accomplished? Psalm 33:6, Hebrews 11:3.

NOTE: “Men of the greatest intellect cannot understand the mysteries of Jehovah as revealed in nature. Divine inspiration asks many questions which the most profound scholar cannot answer. These questions were not asked that we might answer them, but to call our attention to the deep mysteries of God and to teach us that our wisdom is limited; that in the surroundings of our daily life there are many things beyond the comprehension of finite minds; that the judgment and purposes of God are past finding out. His wisdom is unsearchable. Sceptics refuse to believe in God because with their finite minds they cannot comprehend the infinite power by which He reveals Himself to men. But God is to be acknowledged more from what He does not reveal of Himself than from that which is open to our limited comprehension. Both in divine revelation and in nature, God has given to men mysteries to command their faith. This must be so. We may be ever searching, ever inquiring, ever learning, and yet there is an infinity beyond.” Isaiah 40:12–31 quoted. Testimonies, vol. 8, 261.

  • What evidence may we have today of the continuing creative power of God? 2 Corinthians 5:17. Compare Psalm 51:10.

NOTE: “The miracle-working power of Christ’s grace is revealed in the creation in man of a new heart, a higher life, a holier enthusiasm. God says: ‘A new heart also will I give you.’ Ezekiel 36:26. Is not this, the renewal of man, the greatest miracle that can be performed? What cannot the human agent do who by faith takes hold of the divine power? Remember that in working with Christ as your personal Saviour lies your strength and your victory. This is the part all are to act. Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. He declares: ‘Without Me ye can do nothing.’ John 15:5. And the repentant, believing soul responds: ‘I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.’ Philippians 4:13. To those who do this comes the assurance: ‘As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God.’ John 1:12.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 152.

“These All Wait Upon Thee”

  •  How does the Bible reveal God’s continued care over His creation? Psalm 104:10–28.

NOTE: “Upon all created things is seen the impress of the Deity. Nature testifies of God. The susceptible mind, brought in contact with the miracle and mystery of the universe, cannot but recognize the working of infinite power. Not by its own inherent energy does the earth produce its bounties, and year by year continue its motion around the sun. An unseen hand guides the planets in their circuit of the heavens. A mysterious life pervades all nature—a life that sustains the unnumbered worlds throughout immensity, that lives in the insect atom which floats in the summer breeze, that wings the flight of the swallow and feeds the young ravens which cry, that brings the bud to blossom and the flower to fruit.” Education, 99.

  • In these uncertain days, what lesson can we learn from the care that God has for His creation? Matthew 6:26–30.

NOTE: “Can you not trust in your heavenly Father? Can you not rest upon His gracious promise? ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ Precious promise! Can we not rely upon it? Can we not have implicit trust, knowing that He is faithful who hath promised? I entreat you to let your trembling faith again grasp the promises of God. Bear your whole weight upon them with unwavering faith; for they will not, they cannot, fail.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 497.

  • In what way can we show our gratitude for God’s blessings to us? 1 Corinthians 16:2.

NOTE: “And what more appropriate time could be chosen for setting aside the tithe and presenting our offerings to God? On the Sabbath we have thought upon His goodness. We have beheld His work in creation as an evidence of His power in redemption. Our hearts are filled with thankfulness for His great love. And now, before the toil of the week begins, we return to Him His own, and with it an offering to testify our gratitude. Thus our practice will be a weekly sermon, declaring that God is the possessor of all our property, and that He has made us stewards to use it to His glory. Every acknowledgement of our obligation to God will strengthen the sense of obligation. Gratitude deepens as we give it expression; and the joy it brings is life to soul and body.” Review and Herald, November 10, 1896.

“The Lord God Planted a Garden”

  • What relation was Adam created to have towards the animal creation? Genesis 1:26, Psalm 8:6–8.

NOTE: “He was placed, as God’s representative, over the lower orders of being. They cannot understand or acknowledge the sovereignty of God, yet they were made capable of loving and serving man. The psalmist says, ‘Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet: . . . the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, . . . and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.’ Psalm 8:6–8.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 45.

‘Harsh treatment, even to the brutes, is offensive to God. Those who profess to love God do not always consider that abuse to animals, or suffering brought upon them by neglect, is a sin. The fruits of divine grace will be as truly revealed in men by the manner in which they treat their beasts, as by their service in the house of God. Those who allow themselves to become impatient or enraged with their animals are not Christians. A man who is harsh, severe and domineering toward the lower animals, because he has them in his power, is both a coward and a tyrant. And he will, if opportunity offers, manifest the same cruel, overbearing spirit toward his wife and children.” Signs of the times, November 25, 1880.

  • In what environment did God intend man to work? Genesis 2:15, 3:23.

NOTE: “As a relaxation from study, occupations pursued in the open air, and affording exercise for the whole body, are the most beneficial. No line of manual training is of more value than agriculture. A greater effort should be made to create and to encourage an interest in agricultural pursuits. Let the teacher call attention to what the Bible says about agriculture: that it was God’s plan for man to till the earth; that the first man, the ruler of the whole world, was given a garden to cultivate; and that many of the world’s greatest men, its real nobility, have been tillers of the soil. Show the opportunities in such a life. The wise man says, ‘The king himself is served by the field.’ Ecclesiastes 5:9. Of him who cultivates the soil the Bible declares, ‘His God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him.’ Isaiah 28:26. And again, ‘Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof.’ Proverbs 27:18. He who earns his livelihood by agriculture escapes many temptations and enjoys unnumbered privileges and blessings denied to those whose work lies in the great cities. And in these days of mammoth trusts and business competition, there are few who enjoy so real an independence and so great certainty of fair return for their labour as does the tiller of the soil.” Education, 219.

“The New Heavens and the New Earth Which I Will Make”

  •  How is the natural beauty of the recreated earth described? Revelation 22:1, 2 (Compare Ezekiel 47:7–9) Isaiah 65:21–25, Isaiah 11:6–9.

NOTE: “No human language can fully describe the reward of the righteous. It will be known to those only who behold it. There the heavenly Shepherd leads his flock to the fountains of living water. The tree of life yields its fruit every month, and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. There are ever-flowing streams, clear as crystal, and beside them waving trees cast their shadows upon the paths prepared for the ransomed of the Lord. There the wide-spreading plains swell into hills of beauty, and the mountains of God rear their lofty summits. On those peaceful plains, beside those living streams, God’s people, so long pilgrims and wanderers, shall find a home. ‘My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting-places.’ ‘Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.’ ‘They shall build houses and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: . . . Mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.’ There will be no more tears, no funeral trains, no badges of mourning. ‘There shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying . . . for the former things are passed away.’ ‘The inhabitants shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.’ That time is near. A little while, and we shall see the King in his beauty. A little while, and he will present his faithful ones ‘faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.’” Southern Watchman, December 1, 1909.

  • How did David acknowledge the power of God in his life? 2 Samuel 22:33.

NOTE: “Faith and activity will impart assurance and satisfaction that will increase day by day. Are you tempted to give way to feelings of anxious foreboding or utter despondency? In the darkest days, when appearances seem most forbidding, fear not. Have faith in God. He knows your need. He has all power. His infinite love and compassion never weary. Fear not that He will fail of fulfilling His promise. He is eternal truth. Never will He change the covenant He has made with those who love Him. And He will bestow upon His faithful servants the measure of efficiency that their need demands. The apostle Paul has testified: ‘He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’” Prophets and Kings, 164, 165.

Bible Study Guides – “Marvelous Are Thy Works”

August 28, 1999 – September 3, 1999

MEMORY VERSE: “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.” Job 38:4.

STUDY HELP: Job 38–41.


“God’s handiwork in nature is not God Himself in nature. The things of nature are an expression of God’s character and power; but we are not to regard nature as God. The artistic skill of human beings produces very beautiful workmanship, things that delight the eye, and these things reveal to us something of the thought of the designer; but the thing made is not the maker. It is not the work, but the workman, that is counted worthy of honor. So while nature is an expression of God’s thought, it is not nature, but the God of nature, that is to be exalted.” Ministry of Healing, 413.


  1. What can we learn from studying the animals, birds and fish? Job 12:7–10.

NOTE: “Since He [Jesus] gained knowledge as we may do, His intimate acquaintance with the Scriptures shows how diligently His early years were given to the study of God’s word. And spread out before Him was the great library of God’s created works. He who had made all things studied the lessons which His own hand had written in earth and sea and sky. Apart from the unholy ways of the world, He gathered stores of scientific knowledge from nature. He studied the life of plants and animals, and the life of man.” Desire of Ages, 70.

  1. What valuable practical lessons can be learned from God’s creatures? Proverbs 6:6–8; 30:24–28.

NOTE: “We are not merely to tell the child about these creatures of God. The animals themselves are to be his teachers. The ants teach lessons of patient industry, of perseverance in surmounting obstacles, of providence for the future. And the birds are teachers of the sweet lesson of trust. Our heavenly Father provides for them; but they must gather the food, they must build their nests and rear their young. Every moment they are exposed to enemies that seek to destroy them. Yet how cheerily they go about their work! how full of joy are their little songs!” Education, 117, 118.


  1. How did God describe the design that went into the creation of the earth? Job 38:4–6.

NOTE: “In the beginning, God was revealed in all the works of creation. It was Christ that spread the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth. It was His hand that hung the worlds in space, and fashioned the flowers of the field. ‘His strength setteth fast the mountains.’ ‘The sea is His, and He made it.’ Psalms 65:6; 95:5. It was He that filled the earth with beauty, and the air with song. And upon all things in earth, and air, and sky, He wrote the message of the Father’s love. Now sin has marred God’s perfect work, yet that handwriting remains. Even now all created things declare the glory of His excellence. There is nothing, save the selfish heart of man, that lives unto itself. No bird that cleaves the air, no animal that moves upon the ground, but ministers to some other life. There is no leaf of the forest, or lowly blade of grass, but has its ministry. Every tree and shrub and leaf pours forth that element of life without which neither man nor animal could live; and man and animal, in turn, minister to the life of tree and shrub and leaf. The flowers breathe fragrance and unfold their beauty in blessing to the world. The sun sheds its light to gladden a thousand worlds. The ocean, itself the source of all our springs and fountains, receives the streams from every land, but takes to give. The mists ascending from its bosom fall in showers to water the earth, that it may bring forth and bud.” Desire of Ages, 20.

  1. What response did the psalmist make to the wisdom of the Lord in creation? Psalm 136:1–9.

NOTE: “After God had made the world in six days, He rested and sanctified and blessed the day upon which He rested from all His work which He had created and made. He set apart that special day for man to rest from his labor, that, as he should look upon the earth beneath and the heavens above, he might reflect that God made all these in six days and rested upon the seventh; and that, as he should behold the tangible proofs of God’s infinite wisdom, his heart might be filled with love and reverence for his Maker.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 582.


  1. When David considered the splendor of the heavens, the work of the Creator, how did he think of mankind in comparison? Psalm 8:3–4.

NOTE: “Christ pointed to the birds flying in the heavens, to the flowers of the field, and bade His hearers consider these objects of God’s creation. ‘Are not ye of much more value than they?’ He said. Matthew 6:26, R.V. The measure of divine attention bestowed on any object is proportionate to its rank in the scale of being. The little brown sparrow is watched over by Providence. The flowers of the field, the grass that carpets the earth, share the notice and care of our heavenly Father. The great Master Artist has taken thought for the lilies, making them so beautiful that they outshine the glory of Solomon. How much more does He care for man, who is the image and glory of God. He longs to see His children reveal a character after His similitude. As the sunbeam imparts to the flowers their varied and delicate tints, so does God impart to the soul the beauty of His own character.” Desire of Ages, 313.

  1. How important are the nations of earth in comparison with God? Isaiah 40: 15–17, 22–23.

NOTE: “‘What is man,’ the psalmist inquires, ‘that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him?’ ‘Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance; behold, He taketh up the isles as a very little thing.’ Thus, Isaiah declares, God regards the inhabitants of this world, not excepting those who stand at the head of the nobility of the earth, those who have acquired the greatest learning, those to whose lot has fallen great riches and much honour. Notwithstanding the insignificance of this world in comparison with the whole universe, Christ volunteered to take upon Himself the nature of humanity, and to bear on His divine soul the sins of mankind, in order that He might redeem the fallen race and enable them to gain life eternal. Laying aside His kingly crown and royal robe, He left His high command in the heavenly courts, clothed His divinity with humanity, and entered the world as a helpless babe. For our sakes He became poor, that through His poverty we might be made rich.” Signs of the Times, January 14, 1903.


  1. How did David describe his wonder at the complexity of the human body? Psalm 139: 14–16.

NOTE: “We are God’s workmanship, and His word declares that we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made.’ He has prepared this living habitation for the mind; it is ‘curiously wrought,’ a temple which the Lord Himself has fitted up for the indwelling of His Holy Spirit. The mind controls the whole man. All our actions, good or bad, have their source in the mind. It is the mind that worships God, and allies us to heavenly beings. Yet many spend all their lives without becoming intelligent in regard to the casket that contains this treasure. All the physical organs are the servants of the mind, and the nerves are the messengers that transmit its orders to every part of the body, guiding the motions of the living machinery. Exercise is an important aid to physical development. It quickens the circulation of the blood, and gives tone to the system. If the muscles are allowed to remain unused, it will soon be apparent that the blood does not sufficiently nourish them. Instead of increasing in size and strength, they will lose their firmness and elasticity, and become soft and weak. Inactivity is not the law the Lord has established in the human body. The harmonious action of all the parts,—brain, bone, and muscle,—is necessary to the full and healthful development of the entire human organism.” Special Testimonies on Education, 33.

  1. How is the principle behind man’s creation expressed? Genesis 1:26.

NOTE: “The true object of education is to restore the image of God in the soul. The first and most precious knowledge is the knowledge of Christ; and wise parents will keep this fact ever before the minds of their children. Should a limb be broken or fractured, parents will try every means that love or wisdom can suggest to restore the affected member to comeliness and soundness. This is right; it is their duty. But the Lord requires that still greater tact, patience, and persevering effort be employed to remedy blemishes of the soul. That father is unworthy of the name who is not to his children a Christian teacher, ruler, and friend, binding them to his heart by the strong ties of sanctified love—a love which has its foundation in duty faithfully performed.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 322.


  1. How does God contrast the behavior of God’s creatures with the behavior of His people? Isaiah 1:3; Jeremiah 8.

NOTE: “What wonderful truths fell from the lips of Christ when He called His disciples to consider the fowls of the air and the flowers of the field, which obey the orders of God’s will. These come to us as lessons of admonition and reproof, for our ingratitude and lack of faith. Gifted with higher, nobler powers than the lower orders of creation, man has nevertheless chosen to disobey his Creator.” Special Testimonies Series B, 229.

  1. What lessons of simple trust can be learned from the things of creation? Matthew 6:25–34.

NOTE: “Can you not trust in your heavenly Father? Can you not rest upon His gracious promise? ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ Precious promise! Can we not rely upon it? Can we not have implicit trust, knowing that He is faithful who hath promised? I entreat you to let your trembling faith again grasp the promises of God. Bear your whole weight upon them with unwavering faith; for they will not, they cannot, fail.” Testimonies, vol.2, 497.


  1. How did Paul express the impossibility of fathoming the wisdom of God? Romans 11:33.

NOTE: “We can never by searching find out God. He does not lay open His plans to prying, inquisitive minds. We must not attempt to lift with presumptuous hand the curtain behind which He veils His majesty. The apostle exclaims: ‘How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!’ It is a proof of His mercy that there is the hiding of His power, that He is enshrouded in the awful clouds of mystery and obscurity; for to lift the curtain that conceals the divine presence is death. No mortal mind can penetrate the secrecy in which the Mighty One dwells and works. We can comprehend no more of His dealings with us and the motives that actuate Him than He sees fit to reveal. He orders everything in righteousness, and we are not to be dissatisfied and distrustful, but to bow in reverent submission. He will reveal to us as much of His purposes as it is for our good to know; and beyond that we must trust the hand that is omnipotent, the heart that is full of love.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 301, 302.

  1. How did David express his thoughts about the ways of God? Psalm 36:5–9.

NOTE: “Men had received their talents from God, and every gem of thought by which they had been esteemed worthy of the attention of scholars and thinkers, belongs not to them, but to the God of all wisdom, whom they did not acknowledge. Through tradition, through false education, these men are exalted as the world’s educators; but in going to them students are in danger of accepting the vile with the precious; for superstition, specious reasoning, and error are mingled with portions of true philosophy and instruction. This mingling makes a potion that is poisonous to the soul,—destructive of faith in the God of all truth. Those who have a thirst for knowledge need not go to these polluted fountains; for they are invited to come to the fountain of life and drink freely. Through searching the word of God, they may find the hidden treasure of truth that has long been buried beneath the rubbish of error, human tradition, and opinions of men.” Christian Education, 102, 103.

Recipe – Millet Supreme

Place in Mini-Crock Pot:

1 cup millet

1 teaspoon salt

4 cups water

Let cook overnight. In the morning stir well and add:

½ cup chopped nuts

½ cup date rolls or pieces.

Stir well and cook another thirty minutes. Serve as a delicious and nutritious breakfast cereal. Left over may be molded, sliced and baked. Delicious, topped with Fruit Sauce.

Food For Life – Supplying the Place of Meat

The place of meat should be supplied with wholesome foods that are inexpensive. In this matter very much depends on the cook. With care and skill, dishes may be prepared that will be both nutritious and appetizing, and will, to a great degree, take the place of flesh food.

“In all cases educate the conscience, enlist the will, supply good, wholesome food, and the change will be readily made, and the demand for flesh will soon cease.

“Is it not time that all should aim to dispense with flesh foods? How can those who are seeking to become pure, refined, and holy, that they may have the companionship of heavenly angels, continue to use as food anything that has so harmful an effect on soul and body? How can they take the life of God’s creatures that they may consume the flesh as a luxury? Let them, rather, return to the wholesome and delicious food given to man in the beginning, and themselves practice, and teach their children to practice, mercy toward the dumb creatures that God has made and has placed under our dominion.

“Not all who profess to believe in dietetic reform are really reformers. With many persons the reform consists merely in discarding certain unwholesome foods. They do not understand clearly the principles of health, and their tables, still loaded with harmful dainties, are far from being an example of Christian temperance and moderation.

“Another class, in their desire to set a right example, go to the opposite extreme. Some are unable to obtain the most desirable foods, and, instead of using such things as would best supply the lack, they adopt an impoverished diet. Their food does not supply the elements needed to make good blood. Their health suffers, their usefulness is impaired, and their example tells against, rather than in favor of, reform in diet.

“Others think that since health requires a simple diet, there need be little care in the selection or the preparation of food. Some restrict themselves to a very meager diet, not having sufficient variety to supply the needs of the system, and they suffer in consequence.

“Those who have but a partial understanding of the principles of reform are often the most rigid, not only in carrying out their views themselves, but in urging them on their families and their neighbors. The effect of their mistaken reforms, as seen in their own ill-health, and their efforts to force their views upon others, give many a false idea of dietetic reform, and lead them to reject it altogether.

“Those who understand the laws of health and who are governed by principle, will shun the extremes, both of indulgence and of restriction. Their diet is chosen, not for the mere gratification of appetite, but for the upbuilding of the body. They seek to preserve every power in the best condition for highest service to God and man. The appetite is under the control of reason and conscience, and they are rewarded with health of body and mind. While they do not urge their views offensively upon others, their example is a testimony in favor of right principles. These persons have a wide influence for good.” The Ministry of Healing, 317–319.

Children’s Story – God Can Make An Overpass

It was 1989. Our daughter, Rose, was ready for her first year in college. She had decided to attend Hartland. But how was she going to get there? My husband and son were busy with farming and could not get away. So that left me to drive her the twenty-two hours across country and then return alone.

I had never driven that far alone and knowing that conditions in our world are not getting better, a woman driving alone, so far, did not seem like a wise idea. So I started praying. Seeing that there was no other way, I found assurance in my Lord that He would travel with me. By the time we were ready to go I had full confidence that God would see me through.

Our trip to the school went smoothly. My weekend stay was delightful. Early Monday morning, I was up and headed on my way home. You can be sure I spent a lot of time in prayer and thinking of my Lord and His promises. We had a precious day of communion.

By 9:00 p.m. I was in Little Rock, Arkansas. It was past the time that I should retire for the night, but I was so anxious to get home. While driving through the city, I suddenly saw a Motel 6. “That is where I want to spend the night,” I said to myself. The big sign read, “Take the next exit and turn left.” So I did exactly as the sign had directed, or so I thought.

Suddenly, I was lost! There were no street lights, no signs, no street names, only darkness. There were men and boys walking on the edge of the road; there were dimly lit, poorly kept houses, and everything looked dangerous and frightening. I was about to panic. I certainly was not going to roll down my window and ask directions from anyone as to how to get back on the freeway or how to find Motel 6.

As soon as panic seized me, I said to myself, “God has taken care of me thus far on my journey. He will not forsake me now.” Then I began to ask God to show me how to get back on the freeway. When I would come to an intersection, I would say, “Lord, I do not know which way to go. Please turn my steering wheel the right way.” Well, He must have done just that, because it ended up that every single turn was the right one. For I soon found myself on an overpass, looking down at the freeway that I had just come off of, moments before.

“Oh, thank you Lord. But, oh no, I’m going the wrong direction. How do I get back onto I-40 West?” I was totally turned around and it seemed that I was going the opposite direction of where I needed to go.

Then, when I reached the end of the overpass, I looked up and there before me was a freeway sign, “I-40 West.” Praise the Lord! Oh, I just thanked Him over and over again! I made a left turn which was the only way I could go and was soon on my way out of town. I decided I was not going to stop until I could see a motel that was right along the freeway with a very obvious exit and entrance. I asked the Lord to help me stay awake until such a place could be found.

I drove another 30-40 miles before I found a motel right on the freeway. I was settled in for the night by 10:00 p.m. and able to call my husband and son, to let them know where I was and that I was safe. Thanks be to God!

This spring, my husband and I drove to Hartland together to see our daughter who is on the staff of Young Disciple. On our way back home, we were going through Little Rock about the same time of night. I pointed out the Motel 6 to my husband and the sign which said, “Take next exit and turn left.” Then I said, “Let’s look for the overpass where I came back onto the freeway.” So we started looking. Soon we were out of the city. I suddenly realized, there was no overpass. I exclaimed to my husband, “Honey, God must have made a special overpass. There was no overpass on I-40, west of Motel 6!” Chills went up and down my spine. What an awesome God we serve. He can do anything He needs to do in order to deliver His children out of trouble. If He can open the Red Sea for over six million people, making an overpass for one person is just a little thing!

The song, “Somebody Bigger than You and I” has even more meaning to me now. My favorite phrases are,

“He lights the way when the road is long,

Keeps you company;

With love to guide you, He walks beside you,

Just like He walks with me.

When I am weary, filled with despair,

Who gives me courage to go on from there,

And who gives me faith that will never die?

Somebody bigger than you and I.”

Do we ever have need to fear as we prepare for heaven? Let us not forget how God is able to deliver us out of all our troubles. Psalms 34:17.

The Birth of an Image, Part II

The 1903 General Conference session convened in Oakland, California, on March 27, 1903. This would be the most important point in the reorganization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, for at this General Conference a “new” constitution would be voted that would forever establish one man at the head of the Church!

The Chairman, Elder Arthur G. Daniells, called the thirty-fifth General Conference session to order at two-thirty, Friday afternoon, March 27, 1903. One hundred and thirty four delegates were seated at this 1903 session. (General Conference Bulletin, 1903, 1.)

“Since the last meeting of the General Conference we have organized twelve union conferences and twenty-three local conferences,” Daniells stated. “Most of these local conferences are within the territory of the union conferences.” Ibid.

It should be noted that the 134 delegates seated at this 1903 session were 133 short of the 267 delegates seated at the 1901 General Conference session. This was a curious aspect of the 1903 session. The membership of the Church was now larger than it had been two years earlier, but the number of delegates was smaller! Why?

Arthur G. Daniells, General Conference chairman, was about to introduce still another Constitution, which he had written, a Constitution that would establish him in the office of General Conference President. “The business of the conference proper began Monday morning at nine-thirty,” Arthur White stated. “After a roll call of the delegates, the chairman, Elder Daniells, gave his address.…” The Early Elmshaven Years, vol.5, 243. [All emphasis supplied unless otherwise stated.]

Notice that in this statement Arthur White admits that A.G. Daniells was “the chairman,” and not the president of the General Conference. Why was Daniells still the “chairman” after two years, when the delegates, two years prior in 1901, had voted that the office of chairman was to continue only one year?

On Monday morning, Ellen White spoke to the delegates instead of the regular business meeting. She had received a vision the night before and wished to convey the message to the church leadership. She stated in part: “Today God is watching His people. We should seek to find out what He means when He sweeps away our sanitarium and our publishing house. Let us not move along as if there were nothing wrong.…God wants us to come to our senses, He wants us to seek for the meaning of the calamities that have overtaken us, that we may not tread in the footsteps of Israel, and say, ‘The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord are we,’ when we are not this at all.” General Conference Bulletin, 1903, 31.

What Might Have Been

In her morning talk, Ellen White made reference to a vision she was given in regard to the past 1901 General Conference session: “The Lord has shown me what might have been had the work been done that ought to have been done. In the night season I was present in a meeting where brother was confessing to brother. Those present fell upon one another’s necks, and made heart-broken confessions. The Spirit and power of God were revealed. No one seemed too proud to bow before God in humility and contrition. Those who led in this work were the ones who had not before had the courage to confess their sins.” Ibid.

“This might have been,” Ellen White continued. “All this the Lord was waiting to do for His people. All heaven was waiting to be gracious.” Ibid.

(The complete vision Ellen White referred to is found in Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 104–106, under the title, “What Might Have Been.” The testimony was sent to the Battle Creek Church from St. Helena, California, January 5, 1903.)

Debate Over A New Constitution

“The second major debate of the 1903 General Conference session, which came toward the end of the meeting, was centered upon the new constitution, specifically the provision for the election of a president.” The Early Elmshaven Years, vol. 5, 256. This was a major step backward! Two years prior, the 267 delegates had voted unanimously that there would be no president of the General Conference, but merely a new chairman to be elected each year. Now the proposed “new” Constitution would reinstate the office of president of the General Conference. “But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us.” I Samuel 8:6a.

“Two reports were filed with the session from the Committee on Plans and Constitution,” Arthur White wrote. “The majority report supported the new constitution, which would provide for the leading officers of the General Conference to be chosen by the delegates, thus giving them a mandate from the church.” Ibid.

In this “new” Constitution, Arthur White referred to the “leading officers,” but the central issue was the provision for a new General Conference President, and it was this new General Conference President who would be given “a mandate from the church.” Arthur White had stated before that A. G. Daniells, the General Conference “chairman,” did not have a mandate from the church. Today, in political circles of the United States Congress we hear much about “mandates,” and “term-limits.” The political leaders and church leaders indeed claim a “mandate” from the people that would give them complete authority to enact what they think the people should have. But what does God say about this worldly policy in the church? “Vengeance will be executed,” Ellen White warned, “against those who sit in the gates deciding what the people should have.” Manuscript 15, 1886.

Obviously, political and church leaders want a “mandate” of authority. However, neither political nor church leaders want “term-limits.” Why is this? Because “term-limits” would put them out of power and out of office in a relatively short period of time.

“Christ foresaw that the undue assumption of authority indulged by the scribes and Pharisees would not cease with the dispersion of the Jews. He had a prophetic view of the work of exalting human authority to rule the conscience, which has been so terrible a curse to the church in all ages. And His fearful denunciations of the scribes and Pharisees, and His warnings to the people not to follow these blind leaders, were placed on record as an admonition to future generations.” The Great Controversy, 596.

The Minority Report

“The minority report, signed by three men [E. J. Waggoner, David Paulson, and P. T. Magan] largely connected with institutional interests, claimed that the proposed new constitution would reverse the reformatory steps taken at the General Conference of 1901.” Arthur White wrote, “These men argued that the constitution of 1901, which provided that the General Conference Committee could choose its officers, should not be ‘annihilated’ without giving it a fair trial.” These men on the minority committee did indeed argue that “the constitution of 1901…should not be ‘annihilated’ without giving it a fair trial.” However, the 1903 General Conference Bulletin reveals that “these three men” did not object to the new plan that the delegates at large should elect the General Conference committee members. What they did object to was the establishment of a permanent General Conference “President,” instead of a temporary General Conference Chairman. They also objected to the fact that the 1901 Constitution had only been tested for two years.

Actual Words Of the Minority Report

“The minority of your Committee on Plans and Constitution beg leave to submit that the Constitution proposed by the majority of the Committee appears to us to be so subversive of the principles of organization given to us at the General Conferences of 1897 and 1901 that we can not possibly subscribe to it.

“The proposed new Constitution reverses the reformatory steps that were taken, and the principles which were given and adopted as the principles of reorganization, in the General Conferences of 1897 and 1901, and embodied in the present Constitution; and this before that Constitution or the organization according to it, has ever had adequate trial.

“We therefore recommend that the Constitution of 1901 be given a fair trial before it be annihilated.” General Conference Bulletin, 1903, 146, 147.

Notice that the major contention of the Minority Committee was that the first constitutional revision in the history of the church, that had been voted two years prior in 1901 by 267 delegates, had not been in effect long enough for a just evaluation.

The “new” Constitution proposed by the majority of the committee reinstated the office of “President” of the General Conference. The new president would serve as chairman of the Executive Committee, and would continue in office for years. (A. G. Daniells, who was elected president at this 1903 General Conference, served as president for over twenty years). The Majority Committee Report on this point was as follows:

“Article iv—Executive Committee, Section 1. At each session the Conference shall elect an Executive Committee for the carrying forward of its work between the sessions.

“The Executive Committee shall consist of the president, two vice‑presidents, the presidents of Union Conferences, the superintendents of organized Union Missions, and twelve other persons, among whom there shall be representatives of all the leading departments of conference work, including the publishing, medical, educational, Sabbath‑School, and religious liberty.

“Article ii—Executive Committee, Section 1. During the intervals between sessions of the Conference, the Executive Committee shall have full administrative power, and shall fill for the current term any vacancies that may occur in its offices, boards, committees, or agents, by death, resignation, or otherwise, except in cases where other provisions for filling such vacancies shall be made by vote of the General Conference.

“Section 2. Any five members of the Executive Committee, including the president or vice‑president, shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of such business as is in harmony with the general plans outlined by the Committee, but the concurrence of four members shall be necessary to pass any measure before the Committee.

“Section 3. Meetings of the Executive Committee may be called at any time or place, by the president or vice‑president, or upon the written request of any five members of the Committee.” Ibid.

The Majority Committee Report was signed by ten men:

H.W. Cottrell, E. T. Russell, C. W. Flaiz, W. C. White, W. T. Knox, E. H. Gates, G. E. Langdon, C. N. Woodward, Smith Sharp, S. B. Horton

The next action was that W. T. Knox made a motion for the “adoption of the majority report.” D. E Lindsey seconded the motion. (See Ibid.)

“Now, if it is the wish of the delegates, this report may be read through entirely; or, if you desire, it can be taken up one section or article at a time,” said the Chairman, H. W. Cottrell. “If this be the mind of the delegates, the secretary may read the first article.” Ibid., 147.

Percy T. Magan Speaks

“The congregation will all see that the minority report deals only with certain general vital principles, which we believe are transgressed in the proposed new constitution,” P. T. Magan stated, “and therefore, in order that that matter may be brought before the house, as it is the vital thing in the consideration of the whole subject, I move that the report of the minority be substituted now for consideration in place of the report of the majority.” Ibid. E. J. Waggoner seconded the motion.

The motion for the minority position was put, and was lost!

E.J. Waggoner Speaks

“My dissent from the report of the majority of the committee is on two lines,” Waggoner stated. “I will give those two lines as briefly and concisely as possible, and dispassionately.”

“The first objection I have to the report is that it is fundamentally and diametrically opposed to the principles of organization as set forth in the Bible,” Waggoner continued, “and as, up to the present time, adhered to in the main by this body. This being so, I regard the [majority] report as revolutionary and inconsistent.” Ibid.

Waggoner Defines the Concept of Who and What Is the Church

“I think we are all agreed in this, that the church, the local body of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, in any place, is the unit of organization and the standard,” Waggoner stated. “Thus in any company of believers, wherever they may be, in whatever city, we have there the epitome of the whole body of believers throughout the world.”

“Now the movement, although I am sure unconscious and unintentional on the part of the brethren, toward the adoption of this [majority] report does essentially lie in the line of the adoption of a creed,” Waggoner continued, “and that, although the churches of the world and the people of the world regard as essential to organization, we who know the Scriptures and know the falling away that came in the early days and has been perpetuated until this present time, —we know is essentially disorganization.”

“The Bible organization is opposed to the exaltation of any person over others,” Waggoner said. “Now the question will arise and be presented to me: ‘Why, then, do you sign this report, which recommends that we maintain the present constitution?’”

“I am not inconsistent,” Waggoner concluded. “My second objection is to this constitution itself, which, in some of its particulars, I regard as the worst constitution ever devised among Seventh-day Adventists.” Ibid.

Percy T. Magan Speaks

“As a member of the minority of the Committee on Plans, and as a man, if I had not been on the Committee on Plans at all, I am conscientiously opposed to the proposed new constitution,” Magan stated. “I have always felt that the hardest place that any man could be put in this life is to have to stand conscientiously opposed to what the majority of his brethren believe to be right.” Ibid., 150.

“To me it has always appeared to be a much easier thing to stand in a position of opposition to the world, and even to have to face a court of justice in the world, for your faith, than to have to face your brethren for your faith,” Magan continued. “And therefore I shall say today, as briefly and modestly as I know how, what I have to say.” Ibid., 159.

“The minority report expresses in a word the feelings which actuated the minority in making the report, because we believe that the constitution proposed by the majority of the committee appears to us to be so subversive of the principles of organization given to us at the General Conferences of 1897 and 1901,” Magan continued. “Those principles were given to us by the Spirit of God. In my judgment, and in the judgment of the minority of the committee, this constitution is absolutely subversive of those principles.” Ibid., 150.

“It may be stated there is nothing in this new constitution which is not abundantly safeguarded by the provisions of it,” Magan concluded, “but I want to say to you that any man who has ever read ‘Neander’s History of the Christian Church,’ Mosheim’s, or any of the other of the great church historians,—any man who has ever read those histories can come to no other conclusion but that the principles which are to be brought in through this proposed constitution, and in the way in which they are brought in, are the same principles, and introduced in precisely the same way, as they were hundreds of years ago when the Papacy was made.”

“Further,” Magan emphasized, “this whole house must recognize this, before we are through with this discussion, that the proposed new constitution, whatever improvements may be claimed for it, whatever advantages it may be stated that it contains, that, in principle, as far as the head of the work is concerned, it goes back precisely where we were before the reformatory steps of two years ago.” Ibid.

“Ellen White did not enter into the debate on the question of the constitution,” Arthur White wrote. “W. C. White spoke strongly in support of the changes proposed, as did some of the other respected leaders, such as Loughborough and Butler.”

“The opinions of learned men…the creeds or decisions of ecclesiastic councils, as numerous and discordant as are the churches which they represent, the voice of the majority—not one nor all of these should be regarded as evidence for or against any point of religious faith,” Ellen White wrote. “God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible, and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrines and the basis of all reforms.” The Great Controversy, 595.

The New Constitution Voted and Ratified

That very evening, April 9, 1903, the vote was taken. The new Constitution was ratified. The minority report was rejected. The plea by P. T. Magan that the principles of the new Constitution, “are the same principles, and introduced in precisely the same way, as they were hundreds of years ago when the Papacy was made,” was also ignored. At that very hour, an image to the Papacy was established in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. For ninety five years that image has prospered and increased until institutions of the SDA Church are merging with those of the Roman Catholic Church.

“The matter was not settled quickly,” Arthur White stated. “A vote with a three‑fourths majority was needed.” One hundred and eight delegates were present. Eighty-five voted for the new Constitution, “carrying the action by a majority of four.” Early Elmshaven Years, 257. How sad that an image to the Papacy was carried by a slim margin of only four votes.

“When men who profess to serve God ignore His parental character, and depart from honor and righteousness in dealing with their fellow‑men, Satan exults, for he has inspired them with his attributes,” Ellen White stated. “They are following in the track of Romanism.” 1888 Materials, 1435.

“We have far more to fear from within than from without. The hindrances to strength and success are far greater from the church itself than from the world.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 122.

Notice that Ellen White did not say, “We have more to fear from within.” What she said was that we have “far” more to fear from within than from without. How sad it is that “the hindrances to strength and success are far greater from the church itself than from the world.”

Daniells’ Later Confession

“In 1946, I was in the U.S.A. and the General Conference asked me to take meetings at various Camps,” George Burnside, noted Australian SDA evangelist stated . “I roomed at two camps—New Jersey and East Pennsylvania—with Pastor Meade MacGuire and we chatted much about the old days.”

“He had known A. T. Jones,” Burnside continued. “Pastor MacGuire spoke highly of Jones, especially of his knowledge of Church history.”

“His [Jones’] big concern was the trends in SDA organization,” Burnside recalled. “Jones opposed A. G. Daniells (then Gen. Conference president) on church organization as Jones felt it was drifting Romeward. Finally Daniells broke Jones, with the result that Jones finally left the church.”

“Years later, Daniells and Pastor MacGuire were attending Camps in California. They were returning to Washington D. C. by train. Pastor MacGuire said Pastor Daniells was sitting looking out of the carriage window thinking. He [Daniells] looked up and said, ‘You know, Meade, I believe Jones was right and I was wrong.’ He was referring to the question of organization.

“Pastor MacGuire said that Pastor Daniells did all he could to rectify things, but as he was then out of the presidency no one paid much attention to him,” Burnside concluded. “This is the account as I recall it.” The document was dated February 7, 1987, and signed, George Burnside, Wahroonga, N. S. W. Australia.

Testimony Given Immediately Following the 1903 General Conference

“Ellen White returned home to Elmshaven from the [1903] session some time between April 10 and 12,” Arthur White wrote. “Of the significant and far-reaching events in the early summer of 1903 she wrote: ‘My strength was severely taxed while at the conference, but the Lord sustained me through the meeting, and by His blessing, I am recovering from the strain.…’” The Early Elmshaven Years, vol. 5, 259.

One week after returning home from the 1903 General Conference session, Ellen White wrote the following testimony dated at St. Helena, California, April 21, 1903: “In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the sentence: ‘Found want­ing.’ By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 247.

How does the contemporary Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1999 measure up to “the privile­ges and advantages that she has had”? How does the corporate church measure up to “her spiritual experience”? How does the church measure up to “the advantages that Christ…has bestowed on her”? How does the church measure up to “the blessings conferred” upon her? Has the SDA Church been faithful to the truth that would “qualify her to do the work entrusted to her”? And the most important questions of all—Has the contemporary Seventh-day Adventist Church already been judged? And if so, has she been found wanting?

Inspired Statements Regarding Men Physicians Attending Women Patients

“There should be in our sanitariums lady physicians who understand well their profession, and who can attend women at the time of childbirth. Light has been given me that women instead of men should take the responsibility in such cases. I was directed to the Bible plan, in which at such times women acted the part of the physician. This plan should be carried out by us; for it is the Lord’s plan.

“Again and again light has been given me that women should be chosen and educated for this line of work. Now the time has come when we should face the matter clearly. More women should be educated for this work, and thus a door of temptation may be closed. We should allow no unnecessary temptation to be placed in the way of physicians and nurses, or the people for whom they minister.” Medical Ministry, 61.

“Women should be educated and trained to act skillfully as midwives and physicians to their sex. This is the Lord’s plan. Let us educate ladies to become intelligent in the work of treating the diseases of their sex. We ought to have a school where women can be educated by women physicians to do the best possible work in treating the diseases of women. Among us as a people the medical work should stand at its highest.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 176.

“When women who are sick are treated and cared for by women, a door through which Satan tries to enter is closed against him. Many cases have been presented to me where Satan has entered through this door to ruin families. Let him not obtain any advantage upon any point. I wish all understood this matter.” Medical Ministry, 140.

“We are living in a time when the world is represented as Noah’s time, and as in the time of Sodom. . . . The light given me of the Lord regarding this matter is that as far as possible lady physicians should care for lady patients, and gentlemen physicians have the care of gentlemen patients. Every physician should respect the delicacy of the patients. Any unnecessary exposure of ladies before male physicians is wrong. Its influence is detrimental.” Counsels on Health, 363.

“Delicate treatments should not be given by male physicians to women in our institutions. [Notice that this is an unqualified statement—it should not be done.] Never [for any other reason] should a lady patient be alone with a gentleman physician, either for special examination or for treatment. Let the physicians be faithful in preserving delicacy and modesty under all circumstances.” Counsels on Health, 364.

What God Hath Joined

The first institution ever established on earth was the family. Before governments or churches, before sin or sacrifices, even before the Sabbath—the family was instituted in Eden.

“God celebrated the first marriage. Thus the institution has for its originator the Creator of the universe. ‘Marriage is honorable;’ it was one of the first gifts of God to man, and it is one of the two institutions that, after the fall, Adam brought with him beyond the gates of Paradise. When the divine principles are recognized and obeyed in this relation, marriage is a blessing; it guards the purity and happiness of the race, it provides for man’s social needs, it elevates the physical, the intellectual, and the moral nature.” The Adventist Home, 25, 26.

The family was the center of God’s creation. It was not the Sabbath (Mark 2:27), or the tree of life, and certainly not the tree of knowledge. It was not Adam; it was not Eve, but it was Adam and Eve together as a family. The family was the center of creation and today it is still the center of creation. The center of all society, and the center of every nation, and the center of the church is the family.

“Society is composed of families, and is what the heads of families make it. Out of the heart are ‘the issues of life’; and the heart of the community, of the church, and of the nation is the household. The well-being of society, the success of the church, the prosperity of the nation, depend upon home influences.” The Adventist Home, 15.

As the last act of creation week and as the first institution on earth, God established marriage and created the family. God is the creator of this institution—He is the manufacturer. (Matthew 19:6.) And one of the reasons why marriage has not been working in the twentieth century is that man has forgotten the family’s Creator. Man has been trying a do-it-yourself job with the marriage institution.

There is a sign that hangs in many repair shops: “When all else fails, try the manufacturer’s instructions.” That is the sign that should hang in more marriage chambers and in more pastor’s offices and in the waiting rooms of marriage counselors. But is it not a shame that we have to try everything else first, and make a total mess of things before we will try God’s way (if we will then).

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to Me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” Hosea 4:6.

Peter said: “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them [your wives] according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7.

Oh, you mean this can even hinder prayers from being answered? That is what it says. If we are not living up to the “manufacturer’s instructions,” not only will the home be a failure, but God will not answer the prayers that ascend from that family. The way the family is run is not a take it or leave it situation. The family is a sacred institution to be honored according to the laws of God, just as is the Sabbath.

Thought Question:

If the marriage institution is to be run according to the Law of God, can these laws be learned from worldly sources any more than the true laws of the Sabbath can be learned from worldly sources?

Besides it being a duty to God to follow the manufacturer’s instructions in the marriage, and besides it being necessary for prayers to be answered, it is also the only way that will make the marriage work. There is only one way that marriage will work! Only one!

There are several different answers to home government, but only one that works. Is it so hard to understand? When a person makes a car to run on gasoline, that is the only substance that will make it run. Oh, sure, there are many things you can put in the gas tank, but only one substance will make it run.

That is exactly the way it is with marriage and that is exactly the reason marriages are not working right today. God has the answers, the only answers for running a home, but we want to try every other way. We want to find out the answers from every other source but the manufacturer. And the world’s principles of home management and the manufacturer’s principles are opposite. They do not go together! They do not mix. There is no worldly university in the land where you can go and find out God’s principles of how to run a home. And even if it is an Adventist teacher or counselor that learns his principles from worldly sources, they are still wrong principles and they still will not work.

How many answers are there to the equation 2 + 2? Only one? Isn’t that narrow minded? Three point nine is very close, wouldn’t that work? How about 3.99999? Only one right answer? Yes, but let me ask you friend, how many wrong answers are there? Many. There are always many wrong answers. That is why there are so many churches and that is why there are so many philosophies and “answers” to marriage problems, and that is why so few homes work. They work just to the proportion that they are run according to God’s principles.

The Devil Has An Advantage Over God

God has only one answer, but the devil has many. He has one for every personality. And he will have one that just fits your personality. He can manufacturer one that might even seem better than God’s plan. That is why we have to manage our homes by faith. We must study God’s way and follow it—not from feeling, but from principles. Let us throw out all the worldly books on marriage—whether written by Adventists or non-Adventists—and come to the true source of knowledge.

“Those who would have that wisdom which is from God must become fools in the sinful knowledge of this age, in order to be wise. They should shut their eyes, that they may see and learn no evil. They should close their ears, lest they hear that which is evil and obtain that knowledge which would stain their purity of thoughts and acts. And they should guard their tongues, lest they utter corrupt communications and guile be found in their mouths.” The Adventist Home, 404.

The Story of Eve

In the beginning God made man, but He saw that he was lonely. God does not want anyone to be lonely, so He made a companion for Adam. Using a very graphic illustration, as God often does, He took a rib from Adam’s side to make a helpmeet for him. She was not to rule over him, neither was she to be trampled under foot, but she was to be loved, guided and protected. She was an equal and yet God made her the weaker vessel and ordained that Adam should be her rightful protector—to protect her equality, purity and happiness.

God made Eve weaker than Adam—not just physically, but emotionally. God made Eve to want to be noticed and He knew that this desire could be taken advantage of. Adam was to see that no one took advantage of this attribute. In later years after sin, it would be part of Adam’s job to protect Eve from needlessly exposing herself to temptation by the way she dressed and enticed other men. Adam would better understand than Eve the wondering and lusting eye of man and the subtlety of his words and compliments. He would understand from experience that: “Chaste simplicity in dress, when united with modesty of demeanor, will go far toward surrounding a young woman with that atmosphere of sacred reserve which will be to her a shield from a thousand perils.” Education, 248.

But even in the Garden of Eden there were dangers to beware of. They were to be a veil and a wall of protection to each other.

“The angels warned them of Satan, and cautioned them not to separate from each other in their employment, for they might be brought in contact with this fallen foe. The angels enjoined upon them to closely follow the directions God had given them, for in perfect obedience only were they safe. And if they were obedient, this fallen foe could have no power over them. “Satan commenced his work with Eve, to cause her to disobey. She first erred in wandering from her husband. . . .” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, 20.

The instruction to remain by the side of her companion was especially given to Eve (Patriarchs and Prophets, 53), but unconsciously she wandered from Adam’s side.

“On perceiving that she was alone, she felt an apprehension of danger, but dismissed her fears, deciding that she had sufficient wisdom and strength to discern evil and to withstand it.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 53, 54.

Eve was a mature woman, and wise enough to take care of herself, or so she thought. But Satan came in an unsuspecting way. He came through a close and trusted acquaintance—an animal friend of theirs—and “with subtle praise of her surpassing loveliness” began to play on her natural, God given feelings of wanting to be noticed. And it worked.

Two Trees

There were two trees in the Garden of Eden. One was a tree of life and the other was a tree of knowledge. That is not to say that the tree of life did not contain knowledge. It just did not contain as much knowledge—it presented only one side of things. But the tree of knowledge presented both sides of the picture and offered many answers to life.

The serpent was found in the tree of knowledge. He first commenced to recognize Eve’s true qualities. But as she received the attentions from another than her husband, her confidence and love for that one was increased. And as the serpent offered his own personal testimony as to the help this knowledge had brought him, Eve was induced into partaking of this knowledge herself.

“Eve really believed the words of Satan, but her belief did not save her from the penalty of sin. She disbelieved the words of God, and this was what led to her fall.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 55.

You may truly believe Satan, you may have true confidence and trust in your friends’ and acquaintances’ testimonials and theories, but this will not save you from the consequences of a broken home. What will save you is belief in Christ and His word. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Not knowledge from the tree of knowledge, but knowledge from the tree of life.

“The serpent plucked the fruit of the forbidden tree and placed it in the hands of the half-reluctant Eve.” (Being half-reluctant did not save her either.) “Perceiving no evil results from what she had done [receiving the fruit], Eve grew bolder.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 55, 56. Eve did not rush into things. She took them a step at a time. As she saw that there was no harm resulting from what she had done and as she saw the fruit was good for food, she ate.

And low and behold, the serpent was right.

“As she ate, she seemed to feel a vivifying power; and imagined herself entering upon a higher state of existence.” Ibid.

The serpent was right! Now she had a personal testimony of her own to give to her husband! “Look what it has done for me.” This knowledge (this book, this course, this magazine, etc.) has really helped me. This is what you need to help you in your problems. And if you do not have any problems it will still make life better.

“Ah,” says Adam, “I don’t believe that fruit will really help you.” “But have you tried it?” replied Eve. “You cannot criticize something you have not tried!” (That argument gets more people than any other.) “Just try it and see for yourself. Be more open minded. Try it with an open mind and you will find that it is true.” And so Adam fell, too.

Get the Good and Reject the Bad

The tree was a tree of knowledge of good (and a little bad). Why should not Eve get all of the good she could? Would God deprive her of that? Why should not she just eat the good part of the fruit and leave the bad?

And so we have the same philosophy today in marriage books and in almost every other source of information. “You cannot expect anything to be perfect, so go through the book (or course) and get what good there is in it and leave the rest.” When we follow this counsel, we usually end up doing as good a job as Eve.


And so the devil works today mixing truth and error. He is not always as bold as he is in the religion of Taoism where they teach that the whole universe came into existence through the blending of good and evil (yang and yin), and it is only as these two qualities are maintained in equilibrium that peace and health are preserved.

The Mormons teach the same thing in just a little less blatant form. They teach that sin had to be in order for us to ever understand righteousness, happiness and purity. They, like Satan, teach that sin was a necessity in order for righteousness to exist. Sin was a necessity; God’s program would have never worked without Satan; there had to be a blending of the two.

All such philosophy is straight from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. To put the finishing proof on where this philosophy came from, Mormons teach that Jesus Christ Himself came down and told Joseph Smith that He had changed the Sabbath to Sunday. Who was this? Who is trying to change God’s law? As in Daniel 7:25, the devil is the originator of any such teaching.

And yet Adventists will study “Fascinating Womanhood” without any qualms—and it is straight from Mormonism! Oh, but there is so much good in it! So was there in the tree of knowledge of good (and evil.) Oh, but I got such a benefit! So thought Eve. Oh, but I will just get the good and discard the evil! You will do as good a job at that as did Eve.

We have been feasting at the tree of knowledge of good and evil and that is why we are having so many marriage problems in our church. And the devil enjoys it, for he knows that the heart… of the church…is the household. The well-being…of the church…depend(s) upon home influences.” The Adventist Home, 15.

As long as he can keep this situation existing in the church; as long as he can keep Adventists feasting on the tree of knowledge of good and evil so they will not be able to have good homes, Satan knows that he can prevent Jesus from coming. But there is coming a time when the church and the families that are “the heart” of the church will be purified.


The results of eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil can be seen all around. We can see it in the lukewarm state of our church. We can see it in the divorce rate among Seventh-day Adventist couples. (But the actual divorces are only the mere tip of the iceberg of the marriage problems. More than any other place, we can see the results in our philosophies, practices and thinking.)

Mrs. White says: “It is not in harmony with the instructions given at Sinai that gentlemen physicians should do the work of midwives. The Bible speaks of women at childbirth being attended by women, and thus it ought always to be.” Counsels on Health, 365. Notice, that this problem of women going to women for their female problems (both mental and physical) is not just a matter of modesty—it is a matter of keeping or breaking God’s law.

And if you think this might just be an isolated quotation, see the shaded box with just a few more of the many times Sister White wrote on this subject.

Sister White applies the same principle for female health-care workers and male patients.

“Women physicians should utterly refuse to look upon the secret parts of men. Women should be thoroughly educated to work for women, and men to work for men. Let men know that they must go to their own sex and not apply to lady physicians. It is an insult to women, and God looks upon these things of commonness with abhorrence.” Ibid.

Why have I included all of this counsel from God’s prophet on this delicate and unpopular subject? Only for the reason that we stated at the beginning: this was only an example to show how much we have been influenced by the world’s knowledge of good and evil. How many today even consider this subject when they choose a physician? There are even some people that feel that it is not a woman’s job to deliver babies and deal with female problems. All such thinking is a gross perversion of the devil and must be cleaned out of our midst before we will be a pure people for God to come and take home. We have a long ways to go, don’t we? We have been feasting at the tree of knowledge of good and evil—it is time we come back to the tree of life.

This was but an example so obvious that no one could miss it and so simple that all can understand it. It is an example of mixing good with evil. It is good to treat people and maintain health, but it is bad to do it in an immoral way.

In this world of sin, God’s ways are always hard—they are contrary to the popular way of doing things. The Sabbath is not popular either. But God’s ways can be followed if we really want to follow them. It just depends how badly we want to follow. If we want excuses, we can find them. If we want to find reasons for not following God’s plan, the devil will supply us with what we want. If we want another way than God’s way, there are plenty. But if we are determined to follow God’s way and only God’s way, we can do it—and we will have successful homes. “Whatever is to be done at His command may be accomplished in His strength. All His biddings are enablings.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 333.

Thought Question:

The example of following the world’s customs of male-female relationships in medicine was just an example. In how many other areas do you suppose we have been influenced by eating of the tree of knowledge of good (and a little evil)?

Friends, we do not have to go to the tree with the serpent in it for our knowledge. We have the tree of life and it is all sufficient. The tree of life was symbolic of Jesus and the fruit was symbolic of His words. Jesus also likened His words to another kind of sustaining food—the bread of life. He said, “Labor not for the meat which perisheth [the worldly sources of knowledge], but for the meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you.

“My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.…And Jesus said…I am the bread of life; he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.

“Verily, verily I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life…I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever.

“As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live forever.

“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” John 6:27, 32–35, 47–51, 57–58, 63.

The tree of life is where we should be feasting. From this tree we can find all the answers for our homes today. This is the sacred institution of God, created in the Garden of Eden along with the Sabbath. “The Sabbath and the family were alike instituted in Eden, and in God’s purpose they are indissolubly linked together.” Education, 250.

If you can go to the world to learn how to keep the Sabbath, then you can go to the world to learn how to keep the marriage. If the Sabbath is just a matter of convenience, than so is keeping the marriage institution.

Eating from the Tree of Life

But friend, it is not just important that we do not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It is just as important that we do eat of the tree of life. The home is based on true love. What should be in the home is true, sanctified love. This is the basis of a sanctified home. And this can only be found at the tree of life.

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” 1 John 4:7, 8.

If you love, you know God.

If you do not love, you do not know God.

If you know God, you love.

If you do not know God, you do not love.

Therefore, if you want more love, where is the only place you can go to find it? God is the only one you can get love from and if you do not know Him, you do not have it.

The only way you can have love is to know God. The only way you can have love daily is to know God daily. The only way you can know God is through devotions (prayer, meditation and the study of His word). Friend, if you are not having daily devotions, you do not have a good home! No gimmicks will work. No courses will work. No books will work. Only daily communing with God will work. Make the choice today to start having daily devotions always. Make this your first work.

“The presence of Christ alone can make men and women happy. All the common waters of life Christ can turn into the wine of heaven. The home then becomes as an Eden of bliss; the family, a beautiful symbol of the family in heaven.” The Adventist Home, 28.