Bible Study Guides – God’s New World Order

September 22–28, 2002

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

SUGGESTED READING: The Great Controversy, 662–678; Prophets and Kings, 729–733.

INTRODUCTION: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away. . . . And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Revelation 21:1, 2.

“And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” Revelation 21:23.

“Between the school established in Eden at the beginning and the school of the hereafter there lies the whole compass of this world’s history—the history of human transgression and suffering, of divine sacrifice, and of victory over death and sin. Not all the conditions of that first school of Eden will be found in the school of the future life. No tree of knowledge of good and evil will afford opportunity for temptation. No tempter is there, no possibility of wrong. Every character has withstood the testing of evil, and none are longer susceptible to its power.” Education, 301.

1 For what purpose did God originally create the earth? Isaiah 45:18.

NOTE: “In the creation it was His purpose that the earth be inhabited by beings whose existence should be a blessing to themselves and to one another, and an honor to their Creator. All who will may identify themselves with this purpose. Of them it is spoken, ‘This people have I formed for Myself; they shall show forth My praise.’ Isaiah 43:21.” Education, 173.

2 What events will bring to an end the present world order? 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; Revelation 20:5, 9; 2 Peter 3:9–12.

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 honor 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.’” The Desire of Ages, 632.

3 What are we told about God’s new world order? 2 Peter 3:13; Matthew 5:5; Proverbs 11:31. Compare Isaiah 65:17.

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. [2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 22:3 quoted.]

“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.

4 Why is it impossible to adequately describe the new heaven and earth? 1 Corinthians 2:9.

NOTE: “Paul had a view of heaven, and in discoursing on the glories there, the very best thing he could do was to not try to describe them. He tells us that eye had not seen nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for those that love Him. So you may put your imagination to the stretch, you may try to the very best of your abilities to take in and consider the eternal weight of glory, and yet your finite senses, faint and weary with the effort, cannot grasp it, for there is an infinity beyond. It takes all of eternity to unfold the glories and bring out the precious treasures of the Word of God.” Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, 73.

5 What was Isaiah inspired to tell us about the new earth? Isaiah 65:17–19; 35:1, 2.

NOTE: “In the Bible the inheritance of the saved is called a country. There the heavenly Shepherd leads His flock to fountains of living waters. The tree of life yields its fruit every month, and the leaves of the tree are for the service 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.

“The grass will be a living green, and will never wither. There will be roses and lilies and all kinds of flowers there. They will never blight or fade or lose their beauty and fragrance.” My Life Today, 354.

6 In what activities will the saints participate in heaven? Isaiah 65:21, 22.

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. [Isaiah 65:21, 22 quoted.]

“There every power will be developed, every capability increased. The grandest enterprises will be carried forward, the loftiest aspirations will be reached, the highest ambitions realized. And still there will arise new heights to surmount, new wonders to admire, new truths to comprehend, fresh objects to call forth the powers of body and mind and soul.” The Adventist Home, 549.

7 How does the prophet Isaiah describe living conditions in the new earth? Isaiah 65:23, 24; 32:18; 33:24.

NOTE: “In the City of God ‘there shall be no night.’ None will need or desire repose. There will be no weariness in doing the will of God and offering praise to His name. We shall ever feel the freshness of the morning and shall ever be far from its close. ‘And they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light.’ Revelation 22:5. The light of the sun will be superseded by a radiance which is not painfully dazzling, yet which immeasurably surpasses the brightness of our noontide. The glory of God and the Lamb floods the Holy City with unfading light. The redeemed walk in the sunless glory of perpetual day.” The Great Controversy, 676.

“Christ came to restore to its original loveliness a world ruined by sin. . . . In the new earth there will be no sin nor disease. . . . And the body will be restored to its original perfection. We shall wear the spotless image of our Lord. . . .” My Life Today, 153.

8 Where will God’s dwelling place be and how is it described? Revelation 21:1–4; 22:1–5.

NOTE: “God’s original purpose in the creation of the earth is fulfilled as it is made the eternal abode of the redeemed. . . .

“God created the earth to be the abode of holy, happy beings. That purpose will be fulfilled when, renewed by the power of God and freed from sin and sorrow, it shall become the eternal home of the redeemed.” The Adventist Home, 540.

“There is the New Jerusalem, ‘having the glory of God,’ her light ‘like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.’ Revelation 21:11. Saith the Lord, ‘I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people.’ Isaiah 65:19.” The Story of Redemption, 431.

9 How will the regular system of worship be carried on in the new earth? Isaiah 66:22, 23.

NOTE: “The nations of the saved will know no other law than the law of heaven. All will be a happy, united family, clothed with the garments of praise and thanksgiving. Over the scene the morning stars will sing together, and the sons of God will shout for joy. . . .

“So long as the heavens and the earth endure, the Sabbath will continue as a sign of the Creator’s power. And when Eden shall bloom on earth again, God’s holy rest day will be honored by all beneath the sun.” My Life Today, 364.

10 Who are the people who will be with Christ when He overcomes the beast power? Revelation 17:12–14.

NOTE: “Communion with Christ—how unspeakably precious! Such communion it is our privilege to enjoy if we will seek it, if we will make any sacrifice to secure it. When the early disciples heard the words of Christ, they felt their need of Him. They sought, they found, they followed Him. They were with Him in the house, at the table, in the closet, in the field. They were with Him as pupils with a teacher, daily receiving from His lips lessons of holy truth. They looked to Him as servants to their master, to learn their duty. They served Him cheerfully, gladly. They followed Him, as soldiers follow their commander, fighting the good fight of faith. ‘And they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.’” Testimonies, vol. 5, 223.

11 Through what relationship do we inherit the promises made to God’s faithful followers? Romans 8:14, 17.

NOTE: “We are children of the heavenly King, members of the royal family, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ. The mansions Jesus has gone to prepare are to receive only those who are true, who are pure, who love and obey His words. . . . If we would enjoy eternal bliss, we must cultivate religion in the home. . . . Peace, harmony, affection, and happiness should be perseveringly cherished every day, until these precious things abide in the hearts of those who compose the family.

“That which will make the character lovely in the home is that which will make it lovely in the heavenly mansions.” The Faith I Live By, 279.

12 How do we become heirs to heaven? Galatians 3:29; 2:20; Philippians 4:13.

NOTE: “Now is the time to receive grace and strength and power to combine with our human efforts that we can form characters for everlasting life. When we do this we will find that the angels of God will minister unto us, and we shall be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. And when the last trump shall sound, and the dead shall be called from their prison house and changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, the crowns of immortal glory shall be placed upon the heads of the overcomers. The pearly gates will swing back for the nations that have kept the truth and they will enter in. The conflict is ended.” In Heavenly Places, 369.

13 What assuring promises are given to those who seek this eternal inheritance? 1 John 3:1–3.

NOTE: “God regards us as His children. He has redeemed us out of the careless world and has chosen us to become members of the royal family, sons and daughters of the heavenly King. He invites us to trust in Him with a trust deeper and stronger than that of a child in his earthly father. Parents love their children, but the love of God is larger, broader, deeper, than human love can possibly be. It is immeasurable. Then if earthly parents know how to give good gifts to their children, how much more shall our Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” Christ’s Object Lessons, 142.

14 What will bring the greatest satisfaction to the redeemed? Revelation 22:4.

NOTE: “Only by looking to Jesus, the Lamb of God, and following in His steps, can you prepare to meet God. Follow Him, and you will one day walk the golden streets of the city of God. You will see Him who laid aside His royal garments and His kingly crown, and disguising Himself with humanity, came to our world and bore our sins, that He might lift us up and give us a revelation of His glory and majesty. We shall see Him face to face if we now give ourselves up to be molded and fashioned by Him and prepared for a place in the kingdom of God.

“Those who consecrate their lives to the service of God will live with Him through the ceaseless ages of eternity. ‘God himself shall be with them, and be their God’ (Revelation 21:3). . . .

“Their minds were given to God in this world; they served Him with their heart and intellect, and now He can put His name in their foreheads. ‘And there shall be no night there; . . . for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever’ (Revelation 22:5). They do not go in as those that beg a place there, for Christ says to them, ‘Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world’ (Matthew 25:34). He takes them as His children, saying, Enter ye into the joy of your Lord. The crown of immortality is placed on the brow of the overcomers. They take their crowns and cast them at the feet of Jesus, and touching their golden harps, they fill all heaven with rich music in songs of praise to the Lamb. Then ‘they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.’” That I May Know Him, 364.

Bible Study Guides – Heart Obedience

September 15–21, 2002

MEMORY VERSE: “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5.

SUGGESTED READING: Patriarchs and Prophets, 627–636.

INTRODUCTION: “Satan represents God’s law of love as a law of selfishness. He declares that it is impossible for us to obey its precepts. The fall of our first parents, with all the woe that has resulted, he charges upon the Creator, leading men to look upon God as the author of sin, and suffering, and death. Jesus was to unveil this deception. As one of us He was to give an example of obedience. For this He took upon Himself our nature, and passed through our experiences. ‘In all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren.’ Hebrews 2:17. If we had to bear anything which Jesus did not endure, then upon this point Satan would represent the power of God as insufficient for us. Therefore Jesus was ‘in all points tempted like as we are.’ Hebrews 4:15. He endured every trial to which we are subject. And He exercised in His own behalf no power that is not freely offered to us. As man, He met temptation, and overcame in the strength given Him from God. He says, ‘I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart.’ Psalm 40:8. As He went about doing good, and healing all who were afflicted by Satan, He made plain to men the character of God’s law and the nature of His service. His life testifies that it is possible for us also to obey the law of God.” The Desire of Ages, 24.

1 How important is obedience? Romans 6:16–18.

NOTE: “Obedience is not a mere outward compliance, but the service of love. The law of God is an expression of His very nature; it is an embodiment of the great principle of love, and hence is the foundation of His government in heaven and earth. If our hearts are renewed in the likeness of God, if the divine love is implanted in the soul, will not the law of God be carried out in the life? When the principle of love is implanted in the heart, when man is renewed after the image of Him that created him, the new-covenant promise is fulfilled, ‘I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them.’ Hebrews 10:16. And if the law is written in the heart, will it not shape the life? Obedience—the service and allegiance of love—is the true sign of discipleship.” Steps to Christ, 60.

2 What kind of an example did Christ set for His followers? Philippians 2:8; 1 Peter 2:21–23.

NOTE: “In the precepts of His holy law, God has given a perfect rule of life; and He has declared that until the close of time this law, unchanged in a single jot or tittle, is to maintain its claim upon human beings. Christ came to magnify the law and make it honorable. He showed that it is based upon the broad foundation of love to God and love to man, and that obedience to its precepts comprises the whole duty of man. In His own life He gave an example of obedience to the law of God. In the Sermon on the Mount He showed how its requirements extend beyond the outward acts and take cognizance of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” The Acts of Apostles, 505.

3 What was the basic reason for Saul’s disobedience? 1 Samuel 15:23, 24. Compare John 12:42, 43.

NOTE: “Saul, after he had disobeyed the requirement of God to destroy the Amalekites, met Samuel, and said, ‘Blessed be thou of the Lord; I have performed the commandment of the Lord.’ And Samuel said, ‘What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?’ The answer was the same that we have heard in similar cases,—an excuse, a falsehood: ‘The people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God.’ Saul did not say my or our but thy God. Many who profess to be serving God are in the same position as Saul,—covering over ambitious projects, pride, or display, with a garment of pretended righteousness. The Lord’s cause is made a cloak to hide the deformity of injustice, but it makes the sin of tenfold greater enormity.” Pamphlet 028, 14.

4 Why do men take the liberty to do evil? Ecclesiastes 8:11.

NOTE: “The power of Satan, his arts and machinations,—who can know them? Those who, in defiance of all the warnings and entreaties of God’s Word, venture to indulge in sin are sleeping on the very brink of eternal ruin. Because God bears long with transgressors, of His law, because He sends them warnings and entreaties, because punishment does not immediately follow their evil deeds, they abuse His mercy and forbearance, and blindly rush on in a course of crime. When assailed by temptation, many have not moral strength to say, as did Joseph, ‘How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?’ They do not give a decided refusal to the first invitation to transgress the law of God, and soon unlawful indulgence becomes habitual, and they are ready to deny that it is a sin.” Signs of The Times, July 1, 1903.

5 Why was Moses not permitted to enter Canaan? Numbers 20:7–12.

NOTE: “‘The Lord was wroth with me for your sakes,” said Moses. The eyes of all Israel were upon Moses, and his sin cast a reflection upon God, who had chosen him as the leader of His people. The transgression was known to the whole congregation; and had it been passed by lightly, the impression would have been given that unbelief and impatience under great provocation might be excused in those in responsible positions. But when it was declared that because of that one sin Moses and Aaron were not to enter Canaan, the people knew that God is no respecter of persons, and that He will surely punish the transgressor.

“The history of Israel was to be placed on record for the instruction and warning of coming generations. Men of all future time must see the God of heaven as an impartial ruler, in no case justifying sin. But few realize the exceeding sinfulness of sin. Men flatter themselves that God is too good to punish the transgressor. But in the light of Bible history it is evident that God’s goodness and His love engage Him to deal with sin as an evil fatal to the peace and happiness of the universe.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 420.

6 Why did God destroy Nadab and Abihu? Leviticus 10:1, 2.

NOTE: “Both tobacco and liquor break down nerve force, and dull the finer perceptions, so that the slaves to these habits cannot discern between sacred and common things. An example of the demoralizing effect of intoxicants is seen in the case of Nadab and Abihu. They ventured to partake of wine before they entered the tabernacle to perform the duties of their sacred office, and the result was, they could not distinguish between common fire and that which was consecrated to the holy service. For this breach of trust they were slain. Some will say, ‘If they were intoxicated, and could not discern the difference between these fires, why should they be punished?’ When they placed the cup to their lips, they made themselves responsible for all their deeds committed while under its influence.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 18, 19.

7 What was the result of Uzzah’s failure to honor the sacredness of the ark? 1 Chronicles 13:9, 10.

NOTE: “The fate of Uzzah was a divine judgment upon the violation of a most explicit command. Through Moses the Lord had given special instruction concerning the transportation of the ark. None but the priests, the descendants of Aaron, were to touch it, or even to look upon it uncovered. . . .” Conflict and Courage, 176.

8 What is the importance of obedience in contrast to forms and ceremonies? Psalm 40:6; 1 Samuel 15:22, 23, first half.

NOTE: “The gospel of good news was not to be interpreted as allowing men to live in continued rebellion against God by transgressing His just and holy law. Why cannot those who claim to understand the Scriptures, see that God’s requirement under grace is just the same He made in Eden,—perfect obedience to his law. In the Judgment, God will ask those who profess to be Christians, Why did you claim to believe in My Son, and continue to transgress my law? Who required this at your hands—to trample upon my rules of righteousness? ‘Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.’ The gospel of the New Testament is not the Old Testament standard lowered to meet the sinner and save him in his sins. God requires of all his subjects obedience, entire obedience to all his commandments. He demands now as ever perfect righteousness as the only title to heaven.” Review and Herald, September 21, 1886.

9 How important is it to hear the voice of God? Isaiah 30:21; Matthew 11:15; John 10:27.

NOTE: “All who are under the training of God need the quiet hour for communion with their own hearts, with nature, and with God. In them is to be revealed a life that is not in harmony with the world, its customs, or its practices; and they need to have a personal experience in obtaining a knowledge of the will of God. We must individually hear Him speaking to the heart. When every other voice is hushed, and in quietness we wait before Him, the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God. He bids us, ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’ Psalm 46:10. This is the effectual preparation for all labor for God. Amidst the hurrying throng, and the strain of life’s intense activities, he who is thus refreshed will be surrounded with an atmosphere of light and peace. He will receive a new endowment of both physical and mental strength. His life will breathe out a fragrance, and will reveal a divine power that will reach men’s hearts.” The Ministry of Healing, 58.

10 How is true obedience to be demonstrated? Psalm 40:8.

NOTE: “The law of love being the foundation of the government of God, the happiness of all intelligent beings depends upon their perfect accord with its great principles of righteousness. God desires from all His creatures the service of love—service that springs from an appreciation of His character. He takes no pleasure in a forced obedience; and to all He grants freedom of will, that they may render Him voluntary service.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 34.

11 How are we to regard the law of God? Psalm 119:97; Romans 7:22. Compare Hebrews 8:10.

NOTE: “In the precepts of His holy law, God has given a perfect rule of life; and He has declared that until the close of time this law, unchanged in a single jot or tittle, is to maintain its claim upon human beings. Christ came to magnify the law and make it honorable. He showed that it is based upon the broad foundation of love to God and love to man, and that obedience to its precepts comprises the whole duty of man. In His own life He gave an example of obedience to the law of God. In the Sermon on the Mount He showed how its requirements extend beyond the outward acts and take cognizance of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” The Acts of the Apostles, 505.

12 What promises are given to the obedient? Isaiah 1:19; Revelation 22:14.

NOTE: “We cannot overestimate the value of simple faith and unquestioning obedience. It is by following in the path of obedience in simple faith that the character obtains perfection (MS 5a, 1895).” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1137.

“The redeemed saints, who have loved God and kept His commandments here, will enter in through the gates of the city, and have right to the tree of life. They will eat freely of it as our first parents did before their fall. The leaves of that immortal widespread tree will be for the healing of the nations. All their woes will then be gone. Sickness, sorrow, and death they will never again feel, for the leaves of the tree of life have healed them. Jesus will then see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied, when the redeemed, who have been subject to sorrow, toil, and afflictions, who have groaned beneath the curse, are gathered up around that tree of life to eat of its immortal fruit, that our first parents forfeited all right to, by breaking God’s commands. There will be no danger of their ever losing right to the tree of life again, for he that tempted our first parents to sin will be destroyed by the second death.” My Life Today, 355.

Bible Study Guides – Prepare to Meet thy God

September 8–14, 2002

MEMORY VERSE: “Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.” Mark 13:35–37

SUGGESTED READING: Early Writings, 111–116; The Great Controversy, 309–316.

INTRODUCTION: “‘Be ye also ready: for in an such hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.’ People are now settling to rest, imagining themselves secure under the popular churches; but let all beware, lest there is a place left open for the enemy to gain an entrance. Great pains should be taken to keep this subject before the people. The solemn fact is to be kept not only before the people of the world, but before our own churches also, that the day of the Lord will come suddenly, unexpectedly. The fearful warning of the prophecy is addressed to every soul. Let no one feel that he is secure from the danger of being surprised. Let no one’s interpretation of prophecy rob you of the conviction of the knowledge of events which show that this great event is near at hand.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 335.

1 Why should we be prepared at all times for the coming of Christ? Mark 13:32–36.

NOTE: “Because we know not the exact time of His coming, we are commanded to watch. ‘Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when He cometh shall find watching.’ Luke 12:37. Those who watch for the Lord’s coming are not waiting in idle expectancy. The expectation of Christ’s coming is to make men fear the Lord, and fear His judgments upon transgression. It is to awaken them to the great sin of rejecting His offers of mercy. Those who are watching for the Lord are purifying their souls by obedience to the truth. With vigilant watching they combine earnest working. Because they know that the Lord is at the door, their zeal is quickened to co-operate with the divine intelligences in working for the salvation of souls.” The Desire of Ages, 634.

2 Why does Jesus urge His people to watch and to be ready? Matthew 24:42, 44.

NOTE: “The things that concern our eternal welfare are now to absorb our attention. We cannot afford to give heavenly things the second place. . . . The judgments of God are in the land. They speak in solemn warning, saying, ‘Be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.’” Maranatha, 106.

3 What should be our reaction to the signs of the times? Luke 21:28, 36.

NOTE: “The words of Jesus Christ are spoken to us living down here in the close of this earth’s history. [Luke 21:28 quoted.] The nations are in unrest. Times of perplexity are upon us. The waves of the sea are roaring; men’s hearts are failing them for fear and for expectation of those things that are coming upon the earth; but those who believe on the Son of God will hear His voice amid the storm, saying, ‘It is I; be not afraid.’ . . . We see the world lying in wickedness and apostasy. Rebellion to the commandments of God seems almost universal. Amid the tumult of excitement with confusion in every place, there is a work to be done in the world.—Manuscript 44, 1900.” Evangelism, 18.

4 What particular type of adversaries may we encounter? 2 Peter 3:3–7.

NOTE: “The world, full of rioting, full of godless pleasure, is asleep, asleep in carnal security. Men are putting afar off the coming of the Lord. They laugh at warnings. The proud boast is made, ‘All things continue as they were from the beginning.’ ‘Tomorrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.’ 2 Peter 3:4; Isaiah 56:12. We will go deeper into pleasure loving. But Christ says, ‘Behold, I come as a thief.’ Revelation 16:15. At the very time when the world is asking in scorn, ‘Where is the promise of His coming?’ the signs are fulfilling. While they cry, ‘Peace and safety,’ sudden destruction is coming. When the scorner, the rejecter of truth, has become presumptuous; when the routine of work in the various money-making lines is carried on without regard to principle; when the student is eagerly seeking knowledge of everything but his Bible, Christ comes as a thief.” The Desire of Ages, 635.

5 Why is it necessary to be in a state of constant spiritual wakefulness? Romans 13:11.

NOTE: “Brethren and sisters, wake up, wake up! Proclaim the gospel in its simplicity. Listen as for your life to ‘what saith the Scriptures.’ It is of supreme importance that you hear aright, that you purify your hearts from selfishness, for your eternal welfare is at stake. Are you seeking for the Pearl of Great Price? Are you guarding yourselves against the deceptions of Satan, or do you stand ready to receive the suggestions of those who have departed from the faith, and given heed to seducing spirits? Your salvation depends on your hearing aright, and receiving with meekness the engrafted Word.” The Upward Look, 50.

6 What preparation should the children of God be making as they are waiting for the destruction of this world? Romans 13:14; Galatians 2:20.

NOTE: “While the outward adorning beautifies only the mortal body, the ornament of meekness adorns the soul, and connects finite man with the infinite God. This is the ornament of God’s own choice. . . . Angels of Heaven will register as best adorned, those who put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and walk with Him in meekness and lowliness of mind.” Review and Herald, January 18, 1881.

7 What is the Lord bidding us to do in the following verses? Isaiah 1:16-20; Matthew 11:28–30; Revelation 22:14, 17.

NOTE: “All are accountable for their actions while in this world upon probation. All have power to control their actions, if they will. If they are weak in virtue and purity of thoughts, and acts, they can obtain help from the Friend of the helpless. Jesus is acquainted with all the weaknesses of human nature, and if entreated, will give strength to overcome the most powerful temptations. All can obtain this strength if they seek for it in humility. Jesus gives all a blessed invitation who are burdened, and laden with sin, to come to him, the sinner’s friend. [Matthew 11:28–30 quoted.]

“Here the most inquisitive may safely learn in the school of Christ that which will prove for their present and everlasting good. The uneasy and dissatisfied will here find rest. With their thoughts and affections centered in Christ, they will obtain true wisdom, which will be worth more to them than the richest earthly treasures.” An Appeal to Mothers, 31, 32.

8 What evidence of change comes when men and women respond to Jesus? Acts 2:37–39.

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

“A revival and a reformation must take place under the ministration of the Holy Spirit. Revival and reformation are two different things. Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of mind and heart, a resurrection from the spiritual death. Reformation signifies a reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices. Reformation will not bring forth the good fruit of righteousness unless it is connected with the revival of the Spirit. Revival and reformation are to do their appointed work, and in doing this work they must blend.” Review and Herald, February 25, 1902.

9 If we are really expecting Jesus to come, how will our expectation be demonstrated? 1 Peter 4:7–10; 2 Peter 3:14.

NOTE: “It is not wealth or intellect that gives happiness; it is true moral worth and a sense of duty performed. You may have the overcomer’s reward and stand before the throne of Christ to sing His praises in the day when He assembles His saints; but your robes must be cleansed in the blood of the Lamb, and charity must cover you as a garment, and you be found spotless and without blemish.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 125.

“What are you doing, brethren, in the great work of preparation? Those who are uniting with the world are receiving the worldly mold and preparing for the mark of the beast. Those who are distrustful of self, who are humbling themselves before God and purifying their souls by obeying the truth these are receiving the heavenly mold and preparing for the seal of God in their foreheads. When the decree goes forth and the stamp is impressed, their character will remain pure and spotless for eternity.” Ibid., vol. 5, 216.

10 How should we spend our time as we are preparing for the Lord’s soon appearing? Ephesians 5:15, 16.

NOTE: “Life is short. The things of the world must perish with the using. Let us be wise, and build for eternity. We cannot afford to idle away our precious moments, or engage in busy activities that will bring forth no fruit for eternity. Let the time hitherto devoted to idleness, frivolity, worldliness, be spent in gaining a knowledge of the Scriptures, in beautifying our life, and blessing and ennobling the life and character of others. This work will meet the approval of God, and win for us the heavenly benediction of ‘Well done.’” Our High Calling, 187.

11 While we are waiting for our promised Redeemer to come, how will we be kept from the worldly influences? 1 Peter 1:3–5, Isaiah 26:3; 40:28–31.

NOTE: “If we surrender our lives to His service, we can never be placed in a position for which God has not made provision. Whatever may be our situation, we have a Guide to direct our way; whatever our perplexities, we have a sure Counselor; whatever our sorrow, bereavement, or loneliness, we have a sympathizing Friend. If in our ignorance we make missteps, Christ does not leave us. His voice, clear and distinct, is heard saying, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.’ John 14:6. ‘He shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper.’ Psalm 72:12.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 173.

12 What reason for thankfulness do the children of God have? Colossians 1:12–14.

NOTE: “The light of prophecy still burns for the guidance of souls, saying, ‘This is the way, walk ye in it.’ It shines on the pathway of the just to commend, and on the way of the unjust to lead to repentance and conversion. Through its agency sin will be rebuked and iniquity unmasked. It is progressive in the performance of its duty to reflect light on the past, the present, and the future. . . .

“He {God} has made provision that all may be holy and happy if they choose. Sufficient light has been given to this generation, that we may learn what our duties and privileges are and enjoy the precious and solemn truths in their simplicity and power.” My Life Today, 42.

13 Where is the spiritual citizenship of those who are waiting for their Lord’s return? Philippians 3:20, 21; Colossians 3:2.

NOTE: In some Bibles the marginal rendering of conversation is citizenship.

“Our minds take the level of the things on which our thoughts dwell, and if we think upon earthly things, we shall fail to take the impress of that which is heavenly. We would be greatly benefited by contemplating the mercy, goodness, and love of God; but we sustain great loss by dwelling upon those things which are earthly and temporal. We allow sorrow and care and perplexity to attract our minds to earth, and we magnify a molehill into a mountain. . . .

“Temporal things are not to engage our whole attention, or engross our minds until our thoughts are entirely of the earth and the earthly. We are to train, discipline, and educate the mind so that we may think in a heavenly channel, that we may dwell on things unseen and eternal, which will be discerned by spiritual vision. It is by seeing Him who is invisible that we may obtain strength of mind and vigor of spirit.” Signs of the Times, January 9, 1893.

Bible Study Guides – Fulfilling Signs and the Church

September 1–7, 2002

MEMORY VERSE: “[Let] love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. [Be] kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.” Romans 12:9, 10.

SUGGESTED READING: Early Writings, 285–295; The Adventist Home, 533–550.

INTRODUCTION: “Of special value to God’s church on earth today—the keepers of His vineyard—are the messages of counsel and admonition given through the prophets who have made plain His eternal purpose in behalf of mankind. In the teachings of the prophets, His love for the lost race and His plan for their salvation are clearly revealed. The story of Israel’s call, of their successes and failures, of their restoration to divine favor, of their rejection of the Master of the vineyard, and of the carrying out of the plan of the ages by a goodly remnant to whom are to be fulfilled all the covenant promises—this has been the theme of God’s messengers to His church throughout the centuries that have passed. And today God’s message to His church—to those who are occupying His vineyard as faithful husbandmen—is none other than that spoken through the prophet of old: [Isaiah 27:2, 3 quoted.]” Prophets and Kings, 22.

1 Of what did Christ caution His followers, as they see the end times approaching? Luke 21:34, 35.

NOTE: “Dear Brethren and Sisters in _____: June 12, 1868, I was shown that the love of the world was to a great extent taking the place of love to God. You are situated in a pleasant country, one that is favorable to worldly prosperity. This places you where you are in constant danger of having your interest swallowed up in the world, in laying up treasure upon the earth. Your hearts will be where your treasure is. You are situated where there are temptations to be plunging deeper and deeper into the world, to be continually accumulating; and while you are thus engaged, the mind becomes engrossed with the cares of this life to such an extent as to shut out true godliness. But few realize the deceitfulness of riches.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 183.

2 What other peril will confront the church in the last days? Matthew 24:48–51.

NOTE: “The evil servant says in his heart, ‘My lord delayeth his coming.’ He does not say that Christ will not come. He does not scoff at the idea of His second coming. But in his heart and by his actions and words he declares that the Lord’s coming is delayed. He banishes from the minds of others the conviction that the Lord is coming quickly. His influence leads men to presumptuous, careless delay. They are confirmed in their worldliness and stupor. Earthly passions, corrupt thoughts, take possession of the mind. The evil servant eats and drinks with the drunken, unites with the world in pleasure seeking.” The Desire of Ages, 634.

3 In the parable of the ten virgins, how did Jesus illustrate the attitude of His people immediately before His return? Matthew 25:5.

NOTE: “Here [Matthew 25] is brought to view the church living in the last days, the same that is pointed out in the close of chapter 24. In this parable their experience is illustrated by the incidents of an Eastern marriage. . . .

“Two classes are represented. All had taken their lamps, the Bible, and by its light had gone forth to meet the Bridegroom. . . .

“By the tarrying of the bridegroom is represented the passing of the time when the Lord was expected, the disappointment, and the seeming delay. . . . ‘They all slumbered and slept;’ one class in unconcern and abandonment of their faith, the other class patiently waiting till clearer light should be given. Yet in the night of trial the latter seemed to lose, to some extent, their zeal and devotion. The halfhearted and superficial could no longer lean upon the faith of their brethren. Each must stand or fall for himself.” The Great Controversy, 393–395.

4 What should our first priority now be? Romans 13:12–14

NOTE: “Not one is to feel that he can use his time as he chooses. Heavenly requirements are not to be ignored. It is the universal tendency of men to subordinate the eternal realities to temporal matters, to make the claims of the future, immortal life subservient to the commonplace affairs of this fleeting life.” Signs of The Times, July 30, 1894.

5 What urgent counsel has Christ left on record for His remnant church? Revelation 3:15–19.

NOTE: “Christ now calls them [professed Christians]: ‘Be zealous and repent.’ He kindly and faithfully admonishes them to buy gold, white raiment, and eyesalve. They can choose either to be zealous, and partake largely of salvation, or be spewed out of the mouth of the Lord as disgusting, and be thrust from Him. God will not bear always. He is of tender pity, yet His Spirit will be grieved away for the last time. Mercy’s sweet voice will be no more heard. Its last precious notes will have died away, and those described will be left to their own ways, to be filled with their own doings.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 153.

6 What is the duty of God’s people as the end of time approaches? Revelation 14:6.

NOTE: “In the prophecy this warning of the judgment, with its connected messages, is followed by the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven. The proclamation of the judgment is an announcement of Christ’s second coming as at hand. And this proclamation is called the everlasting gospel. Thus the preaching of Christ’s second coming, the announcement of its nearness, is shown to be an essential part of the gospel message.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 227.

7 What response does God expect from His church to this message? Revelation 14:7.

NOTE: “The gospel invitation is to be given to all the world—‘to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.’ Revelation 14:6. The last message of warning and mercy is to lighten the whole earth with its glory. It is to reach all classes of men, rich and poor, high and low. ‘Go out into the highways and hedges,’ Christ says, ‘and compel them to come in, that My house may be filled.’

“The world is perishing for want of the gospel. There is a famine for the word of God. There are few who preach the word unmixed with human tradition. Though men have the Bible in their hands, they do not receive the blessing that God has placed in it for them. The Lord calls upon His servants to carry His message to the people. The word of everlasting life must be given to those who are perishing in their sins.

“In the command to go into the highways and hedges, Christ sets forth the work of all whom He calls to minister in His name. The whole world is the field for Christ’s ministers. The whole human family is comprised in their congregation. The Lord desires that His word of grace shall be brought home to every soul.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 228, 229.

8 How are the members of the remnant church to manifest their faithfulness? Hebrews 10:23–25.

NOTE: “You need to take a decided interest in religious meetings. You have no strength to keep yourself under the sharp assaults of the enemy. You are kept by the power of God through faith. Make earnest and determined efforts to be to every meeting possible. The divine direction is, Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together as the manner of some is, but so much the more as you see the day approaching. [See Hebrews 10:25]. You are to be found among the little few who meet to worship God. The help of every soul who loves the truth is needed to bear testimony of the truth and act as missionaries of God, home missionaries to strengthen the things that remain, that are ready to die. Every jot of influence from Christ’s soldiers is now called for on the Lord’s side. Where two or three are assembled together in My name, there am I in the midst and that to bless. [See Matthew 18:20.]” Manuscript Releases, vol. 12, 105.

9 How should the remnant church relate to the needs of mankind? Matthew 25:31–40.

NOTE: “All His gifts are to be used in blessing humanity, in relieving the suffering and the needy. We are to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to care for the widow and the fatherless, to minister to the distressed and downtrodden. God never meant that the widespread misery in the world should exist. He never meant that one man should have an abundance of the luxuries of life, while the children of others should cry for bread. The means over and above the actual necessities of life are entrusted to man to do good, to bless humanity. The Lord says, ‘Sell that ye have, and give alms.’ Luke 12:33. Be ‘ready to distribute, willing to communicate.’ 1 Timothy 6:18. ‘When thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind.’ Luke 14:13. ‘Loose the bands of wickedness,’ ‘undo the heavy burdens,’ ‘let the oppressed go free,’ ‘break every yoke.’ ‘Deal thy bread to the hungry,’ ‘bring the poor that are cast out to thy house.’ ‘When thou seest the naked, . . . cover him.’ ‘Satisfy the afflicted soul.’ Isaiah 58:6, 7, 10. ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.’ Mark 16:15. These are the Lord’s commands. Are the great body of professed Christians doing this work?” Christ’s Object Lessons, 370, 371.

10 What should be the spiritual objective of the church that is waiting for Christ to come? 2 Peter 3:18; Ephesians 4:14, 15.

NOTE: “Christ is soon coming in the clouds of heaven, and we must be prepared to meet Him, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing. . . . The converting power of God must be upon our hearts. We must study the life of Christ, and imitate the divine Pattern. We must dwell upon the perfection of His character, and be changed into His image. No one will enter the kingdom of God unless his will is brought into captivity to the will of Christ.” In Heavenly Places, 285.

11 What will be the highest goal of every true Christian? 1 John 3:2, 3.

NOTE: “Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 214.

12 What reward awaits those who persevere to the end? Revelation 2:10; Matthew 24:13.

NOTE: “If we move forward where Jesus leads the way we shall see His triumph, we shall share His joy. We must share the conflicts if we wear the crown of victory. Like Jesus, we must be made perfect through suffering. Had Christ’s life been one of ease, then might we safely yield to sloth. Since His life was marked with continual self-denial, suffering, and self-sacrifice, we shall make no complaint if we are partakers with Him. We can walk safely in the darkest path if we have the Light of the world for our guide.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 71.

13 How much is promised to the faithful? Matthew 19:29; Revelation 21:7.

NOTE: “Says John: ‘Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.’ Sons of God, members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King! Can there be any other honor equal to this bestowed on finite man? Yet the world does not discern our relationship to the divine, nor know the source of our strength. They know not that we are heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ to an immortal inheritance. We may inherit all things. We may have a home where there will be no more death, neither sorrow nor sighing.” Review and Herald, October 7, 1884.

“There is much hard work to be done for the Master, and much wisdom must be brought into the work. It is the unconquerable perseverance, the never-failing endurance, which will bring the victory. Many have a theory of truth, but know scarcely anything of the sweet victories through that faith which overcometh the world. An experience must be gained by each one for himself, or we shall never sit down with the suffering Man of Calvary. It will cost us all we have, but as a reward we shall inherit all things.” Signs of the Times, September 7, 1891.

Food for Life – Tofu Cheese Cake and Peanut Butter Carob Pie

“Plain, simple pie may serve as dessert, but when one eats two or three pieces merely to gratify an inordinate appetite, he unfits himself for the service of God.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 333.

Recipe – Tofu Cheese Cake

2 Tablespoons unflavored Emes Kosher-Jel

½ cup pineapple juice

Blend together to dissolve gelatin.

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

¼ cup oil

½ cup honey

¾ teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons vanilla

½ teaspoon coriander

1 pound mashed tofu

Combine in blender and blend till smooth. Fill two crumb-crust pie shells and bake at 350 degrees about 30-40 minutes, until edges are lightly browned and middle is firm. Chill until ready to serve. Top with your favorite fruit topping.

Recipe – Peanut Butter Carob Pie

1 ½ cups water

2 cups carob chips

pinch of salt

½ cup soy milk powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

½-1 cup peanut butter

Blend all ingredients, except peanut butter, until smooth (about two minutes). Add peanut butter while still blending, until mixture thickens. May add more peanut butter if needed to reach desired consistency. Pour into prepared pie shell. Freeze until ready to serve.

Nature Nugget – Treefrogs

Treefrogs are adapted for an arboreal (in the trees) existence, with long limbs and digits that help them cling to twigs and bark. They also have large suction pads or adhesive discs at the tips of their toes, which gives them the ability to climb vertical surfaces, including glass windows. Mucus can be secreted from these toe pads to enable climbing on dry surfaces.

In North America, treefrogs come in various colors such as gray, green, or brown and may be patterned or plain. Many can change their color and pattern depending on conditions of light, moisture, temperature, stress, or general activity. In the tropics, where treefrog varieties are especially abundant, they are often brightly colored with various patterns and shades of red, blue, yellow, and green. Many treefrogs have flash colors on their hind legs and on the sides of their body, which are seen when the frog leaps but disappear from view when it lands and folds its legs.

With treefrogs, as well as with all amphibians, much of their respiration takes place through the skin, which must be kept moist for a useful exchange of gases. For this reason they can only survive in moist environments or in areas near water. For example, the Canyon Treefrog lives on boulders along permanent streams in canyons of the arid North American southwest.

Even though they are well adapted for an arboreal existence, only a few species ascend high into the trees. More common habitats include brushy thickets, swampland vegetation, moist woodlands, or even on the ground or burrowed into it.

Like most frogs, the treefrog’s diet consists mainly of insects and other small invertebrates, and it is not uncommon for them to visit windows and porches at night to feed on insects attracted by lights. Most are two inches or less in length, but the five-inch Cuban Treefrog, an immigrant from the West Indies to southern Florida, is the largest treefrog in North America and is cannibalistic toward smaller native treefrogs.

Many treefrogs are known as “rain frogs” because it is believed that their calls predict coming rain. The ears of treefrogs are well developed. Their calls, which are clear and melodious, are distinct and identifiable to species. This helps prevent mating between different species.

During the breeding season, male treefrogs sing to attract females, while perched on vegetation near water. Most males have paired or single vocal pouches that swell while they are calling. In some species the pouches puff out on either side on the back of the head. Other species have no sacs and apparently no voice. During breeding, females lay up to several dozen eggs in patches that float at the surface of the water in thin films. Eggs hatch within a week and the larvae, called tadpoles, transform into adults in about two months.

The Bible has very little to say about frogs, but in Exodus 8 is the story of the plague of frogs that the Lord sent against Pharaoh and all of Egypt, except the land of Goshen where the Israelites lived. Can you imagine not only frogs all over the ground and floor but all over the walls and furniture too! The Egyptians worshipped the Nile River and many of its creatures, including the frogs. Because they thought the frogs were sacred, they would not kill them. So as quick as they were removed from the houses and palaces, they would come back in. God used a plague of frogs against them to show that He had power over their gods and that He was the one and only true God!

Exodus 20:3 says, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Even today some people worship the creation over the Creator. We have to be careful not to make a god out of any creature or thing. Anything that keeps us from our daily prayer and study time with God, that we put first before Him or that we spend too much time with is a god to us! This can be our job, our pets, and very often the television set. Let us always put God first in our lives.

Children’s Story – Two Trees

On a day when the spring blossoms scented the air and soft breezes came as from heaven, two saplings were planted on the side of a lovely hill. Being nothing more than twigs, they needed to be nurtured and to be protected from many things.

The man who planted them was very wise. He was diligent and faithful in caring for these baby trees. He had chosen a location on the hill where the sky expanded in glory above them.

The saplings longed to reach the heights of the sky and to be in the freedom of its atmosphere. They longed to be as strong and majestic as the older trees higher up on the hill. They both wanted to be as great as a tree could be.

The man wanted the same for them, so with twine he tied each sapling to a stake, which he had driven into the ground next to them. This would prevent a strong wind from blowing them over and possibly uprooting them.

The first sapling understood its restraint and support and was grateful to have a caring man watch over it. The second sapling wanted no such discipline and struggled to free itself by bending and twisting this way and that as it grew.

The seasons changed—spring to summer to fall to winter. Round and round the seasons went, until years had passed. The young trees had been tenderly watered, pruned, and protected. However, while the first tree allowed the man to direct its growth, the second tree fought all the time against everything the man tried to do for it. It attempted to become great and mighty on its own.

The day at long last came when it was time to remove the stakes and twine. The man examined the trees. The first tree gave great pleasure to the man. It was full of fine, colored leaves and sturdy, thick branches. It waved in the breeze, tall and proud. It gave glory to its kind. It surpassed the height of the older trees and was admired by all that saw it. Birds had deemed it one of the finest trees around, and the many, different nests among the branches testified to that.

The second tree baffled the man. It was in the same soil as the first tree, and it had received the same care, yet it looked sickly. Only half the size of the first tree, its branches were bent and weak. The trunk looked as though it had been pushed over. It lived in the shadow of the first tree, and it sadly had lost its desire to reach the sky.

By obeying Jesus, we can grow to be like the first tree, strong and firm. (See Psalms 1:3; 92:12; Jeremiah 17:8.) However, when we choose our own way, we can become weak and twisted like the second tree. (See Matthew 3:10; 7:19.) Jesus wants to make you mighty. Will you let Him?

Restoring the Temple – The Cell

“[God] who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” 11 Timothy 1:9.

Before the world began, God knew us. He not only knew every cell, every tissue, and every synapse but every thought, every action, and our very purpose. A worldly, myopic view asks “What is the meaning of life?” Jesus, our Savior and Creator, has given us the meaning: He is the meaning. As we continue our study of God’s creation, let us learn of His works and learn a little more about Him.

A proper tutorial of the human body systems cannot begin without a discussion of the cell. The level of organization is thus: cells, tissues, organs, systems. The cell—which in itself is of a marvelous and awe-inspiring design—was first described by Robert Hooke, an English Scientist, in 1665. Somewhat later, other scientists began to develop the cell theory, which states that cells are the fundamental units, or building blocks of all plant and animal tissues. As mentioned in the previous article, our bodies contain trillions of cells, and any given activity, such as typing text on a computer or reading, requires the combined and coordinated responses of millions, even billions of cells. A thorough study of the cell would take up a large text, but a brief overview should be enough to show the wonder of one of God’s smaller creations.

Just as the body has anatomy, so it is with the cell. The cell’s “skin” is called the cellular membrane. Inside the cell are tiny organs floating in a gelatinous fluid called cytoplasm. These microscopic organs are called organelles. Like our body systems, the organelles work both separately and exquisitely in tandem. Remember the term homeostasis? Part of the cell theory states that not only does the body maintain homeostasis (the balance of the internal environment) at the tissue, organ, system, and organism level, but also at the cellular level. In other words, not only does the cell work in beautiful balance with other cells but also maintains its own. Cells are not static but are in constant complex activity. Let’s do a brief overview of the cell’s parts.

The cellular membrane does much more than keep the organelles together. It performs many tasks critical to the function of the cell.
A couple of these functions include regulating everything that enters and exits the cell; in multicellular organisms it allows self-recognition, so the body can tell the difference between its own cells and a foreign invader. The membrane is made up of fats and proteins.

One of the largest organelles is the endoplasmic reticulum or ER. It is a series of transparent membranes that look like a ribbon and loop back and forth inside the cell. There are two kinds of ER: smooth ER and rough ER. The rough ER looks bumpy because it has ribosomes sticking to it, and they help make protein. The smooth ER does not have any ribosomes and acts like a pathway inside the cell. Its main task is to produce lipids (fats).

The Golgi body, a network of thread-like structures and small sacs (vesicles) in the cytoplasm of nerve cells, was named after the scientist who discovered it: Camillo Golgi (1844–1926). After being manufactured by the ER, tiny proteins go to the Golgi body where they are packaged. In the Golgi body, the proteins enter little sacks called cisternae and are then pinched off into neat little packages called lysosomes, which drift off into the cytoplasm. The proteins contained by the lysosomes are powerful digestive enzymes and in certain circumstances the lysosome will self-destruct, breaking open and destroying harmful bacteria and other foreign bodies. Not only do these released enzymes protect the cell by destroying bacteria but they also cause self-destruction of the entire cell, which is how the body gets rid of old or damaged cells. Think of lysosomes as the clean-up crew of the cell.

Although it sounds like it might be haphazard, lysosomes work in a highly controlled manner, doing only that which benefits the cell or the body. Another example of their work is evident in your fingers. When the human hand first forms in the tiny embryo, the fingers are all joined together. It is the work of the lysosomes to break down the webbing, forming individual fingers.

Another type of organelles is called mitochondria. Mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell. Here is where cellular respiration takes place, which is the process by which the cell takes the oxygen you breathe in and glucose from the food you eat and converts it to energy. Mitochondria are also particularly interesting because they are the only organelle that contains its own DNA. You inherit your mitochondria from your mother only, so that is one way inheritance can be tested. You got your mitochondria from your mother, hers from her mother, and so on, all the way back to Eve. This is how the remains of Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra of Russia were authenticated. Their mitochondrial DNA was matched with a known living maternal relative, Prince Phillip (the spouse of the current Queen of England, Elizabeth II). Mitochondria are very interesting, but we must move on.

The nucleus is the headquarters of the cell. Not all cells have a nucleus. Red blood cells, for example, lose their nucleus early in their life span before entering circulation. The nucleus contains the genetic material—DNA—and controls all the activities of the cell by coordinating protein synthesis. Inside the nucleus is thick, ropy material, which is called chromatin. This is simply strands of DNA packed tightly, but neatly, around histone proteins. There is a smaller round object called the nucleolus inside, and it is a ball of packed chromatin. It manufactures ribosomes. The newly made ribosomes then leave the nucleus. Ribosomes are present in great numbers in the cell and most of them are attached to rough ER. These little organelles contain RNA (another form of genetic material, copied from DNA) and help manufacture proteins when the cells need them.

What is DNA? Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the blueprint for life. Everything about you from your eye color to how your liver works is coded for and controlled by DNA. American biochemist James Watson and British biochemist Frances Crick discovered, in 1953, that DNA was made of base molecules linked together to form a twisted ladder, called the double helix. It takes two base molecules to make a base-pair, which is what makes up each rung of the ladder. Each human cell has approximately three feet of DNA inside, all coiled up. This astoundingly complex molecule is a very obvious example of supernatural design. When a new strand of DNA is made, or synthesized, it is done with perfection. It is so perfect that an average of only one error per billion base-pairs occurs during duplication. “In the visible creation, divine wisdom is manifested in an endless variety of processes.” This Day With God, 67. Evolution? I think not.

“The work of creation cannot be explained by science. What science can explain the mystery of life?” The Ministry of Healing, 414. God’s own hands made us. In His mind, at the moment of our creation, was the purpose of our being. “Thy hands have made me and fashioned me.” Psalm 119:73.

From the Pen of Inspiration – Christ, The Center of the Message

The Third Angel’s Message calls for the presentation of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and this truth must be brought before the world; but the great Center of attraction, Jesus Christ, must not be left out of the Third Angel’s Message. By many who have been engaged in the work for this time, Christ has been made secondary, and theories and arguments have had the first place. The glory of God that was revealed to Moses in regard to the divine character has not been made prominent. The Lord said to Moses, “I will make all My goodness pass before thee.” “And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty.” [Exodus 33:19; 34:6, 7.]

A veil has seemed to be before the eyes of many who have labored in the cause, so that when they presented the law, they have not had views of Jesus, and have not proclaimed the fact that, where sin abounded, grace doth much more abound. It is at the cross of Calvary that mercy and truth meet together, where righteousness and peace kiss each other. The sinner must ever look toward Calvary; and with the simple faith of a little child, he must rest in the merits of Christ, accepting his righteousness and believing in his mercy. Laborers in the cause of truth should present the righteousness of Christ, not as new light, but as precious light that has for a time been lost sight of by the people. We are to accept Christ as our personal Saviour, and he imputes unto us the righteousness of God in Christ. Let us repeat and make prominent the truth that John has portrayed: “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” [1 John 4:10.]

In the love of God has been opened the most marvelous vein of precious truth, and the treasures of the grace of Christ are laid open before the church and the world. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] What love is this,—what marvelous, unfathomable love!—that would lead Christ to die for us while we were yet sinners. What a loss it is to the soul who understands the strong claims of the law, and who yet fails to understand the grace of Christ which doth much more abound. It is true that the law of God reveals the love of God when it is preached as the truth in Jesus; for the gift of Christ to this guilty world must be largely dwelt upon in every discourse. It is no wonder that hearts have not been melted by the truth, when it has been presented in a cold and lifeless manner. No wonder faith has staggered at the promises of God, when ministers and workers have failed to present Jesus in his relation to the law of God. How often should they have assured the people that “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” [Romans 8:32.]

Satan is determined that men shall not see the love of God, which led him to give his only begotten Son to save the lost race; for it is the goodness of God that leads men to repentance. O, how shall we succeed in setting forth before the world the deep, precious love of God? In no other way can we compass it than by exclaiming, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God”! [1 John 3:1.] Let us say to sinners, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!” [John 1:29.] By presenting Jesus as the representative of the Father, we shall be able to dispel the shadow that Satan has cast upon our pathway, in order that we shall not see the mercy and love of God’s inexpressible love as manifested in Jesus Christ.

Look at the cross of Calvary. It is a standing pledge of the boundless love, the measureless mercy, of the heavenly Father. O that all might repent and do their first works. When the churches do this, they will love God supremely and their neighbors as themselves. Ephraim will not envy Judah, and Judah will not vex Ephraim. [See Isaiah 11:13.] Divisions will then be healed, the harsh sounds of strife will no more be heard in the borders of Israel. Through the grace freely given them of God, all will seek to answer the prayer of Christ, that his disciples should be one, even as he and the Father are one. Peace, love, mercy, and benevolence will be the abiding principles of the soul. The love of Christ will be the theme of every tongue, and it will no more be said by the true Witness, ” I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” [Revelation 2:4.] The people of God will be abiding in Christ, the love of Jesus will be revealed, and one Spirit will animate all hearts, regenerating and renewing all in the image of Christ, fashioning all hearts alike. As living branches of the true Vine, all will be united to Christ, the living head. Christ will abide in every heart, guiding, comforting, sanctifying, and presenting to the world the unity of the followers of Jesus, thus bearing testimony that the heavenly credentials are supplied to the remnant church. In the oneness of Christ’s church it will be proved that God sent his only begotten Son into the world.

When God’s people are one in the unity of the Spirit, all of Phariseeism, all of self-righteousness, which was the sin of the Jewish nation, will be expelled from all hearts. The mold of Christ will be upon each individual member of his body, and his people will be new bottles into which he can pour his new wine, and the new wine will not break the bottles. God will make known the mystery which hath been hidden for ages. He will make known what are the “riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you the hope of glory: whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: whereunto I also labor, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.” [Colossians 1:27–29.]

Jesus came to impart to the human soul the Holy Spirit, by which the love of God is shed abroad in the heart; but it is impossible to endow men with the Holy Spirit, who are set in their ideas, whose doctrines are all stereotyped and unchangeable, who are walking after the traditions and commandments of men, as were the Jews in the time of Christ. They were very punctilious in the observances of the church, very rigorous in following their forms, but they were destitute of vitality and religious devotion. They were represented by Christ as like the dry skins which were then used as bottles. The gospel of Christ could not be placed in their hearts; for there was no room to contain it. They could not be the new bottles into which he could pour his new wine. Christ was obliged to seek elsewhere than among the scribes and the Pharisees for bottles for his doctrine of truth and life. He must find men who were willing to have regeneration of heart. He came to give to men new hearts. He said, “A new heart also will I give you.” [Ezekiel 36:26.] But the self-righteous of that day and of this day feel no need of having a new heart. Jesus passed by the scribes and the Pharisees, for they felt no need of a Saviour. They were wedded to forms and ceremonies. These services had been instituted by Christ; they had been full of vitality and spiritual beauty; but the Jews had lost the spiritual life from their ceremonies, and clung to the dead forms after spiritual life was extinct among them. When they departed from the requirements and commandments of God, they sought to supply the place of that which they had lost, by multiplying their own requirements, and making more rigorous demands than had God; and the more rigid they grew, the less of the love and Spirit of God they manifested. Christ said to the people: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do ye not after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. . . . Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” [Matthew 23:2–7, 23.]

The remnant church is called to go through an experience similar to that of the Jews; and the true Witness, who walks up and down in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, has a solemn message to bear to his people. He says: “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” [Revelation 2:4, 5.] The love of God has been waning in the church, and as a result, the love of self has sprung up into new activity. With the loss of love for God there has come the loss of love for the brethren. The church may meet all the description that is given of the Ephesian church, and yet fail in vital godliness. Of them Jesus said, “I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: and hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast labored, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” [Revelation 2:2–4.]

A legal religion has been thought quite the correct religion for this time. But it is a mistake. The rebuke of Christ to the Pharisees is applicable to those who have lost from the heart their first love. A cold, legal religion can never lead souls to Christ; for it is a loveless, Christless religion. When fastings and prayers are practiced in a self-justifying spirit, they are abominable to God. The solemn assembly for worship, the round of religious ceremonies, the external humiliation, the imposed sacrifice,—all proclaim to the world the testimony that the doer of these things considers himself righteous. These things call attention to the observer of rigorous duties, saying, This man is entitled to heaven. But it is all a deception. Works will not buy for us an entrance into heaven. The one great Offering that has been made is ample for all who will believe. The love of Christ will animate the believer with new life. He who drinks from the water of the fountain of life, will be filled with the new wine of the kingdom. Faith in Christ will be the means whereby the right spirit and motive will actuate the believer, and all goodness and heavenly-mindedness will proceed from him who looks unto Jesus, the author and finisher of his faith. Look up to God, look not to men. God is your heavenly Father who is willing patiently to bear with your infirmities, and to forgive and heal them. “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” By beholding Christ, you will become changed, until you will hate your former pride, your former vanity and self-esteem, your self-righteousness and unbelief. You will cast these sins aside as a worthless burden, and walk humbly, meekly, trustfully, before God. You will practice love, patience, gentleness, goodness, mercy, and every grace that dwells in the child of God, and will at last find a place among the sanctified and holy. The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, vol. 3, 1225, 1226.

Prisoners Can be Redeemed – Bible Notes from Inside Prison Walls

Our situation, our race, or gender should have no bearing on our acceptance or our relationship with fellow believers. But our faith
and loyalty toward Jesus Christ should.


“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also [is] Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free . . . .” 1 Corinthians 12:12, 13.

To the Galatians, Paul wrote, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28.

The thief on the cross is a primary example of how God uses each member of Christ to the advantage of glorifying His Son. The illustration also reveals that even a criminal can truly repent, defend the truth, and be accepted by Jesus: “And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, ‘Verily I say unto thee to day, shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:39–43.

The thief on the cross, in that day, believed and defended the truth. The Lord, through Paul and Silas, also drew the hearts of the prisoners, and a keeper of the prison sought salvation and was baptized. (See Acts 16:25–34.)

There were and will be individuals, convicted of wrongdoing, who follow the apostles’ ministry, who have and will continue to win souls in their situation. “Therefore judge nothing before the time.” 1 Corinthians 4:5.

Do We Remember Those in Bonds?

“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; [and] them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” Hebrews 13:3. Why? “The members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; . . . Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” 1 Corinthians 12:25–27.


Paul revealed in his letter to the Romans, “The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.” Romans 15:3. And the reverse is true; the same reproaches that fell on Jesus will also fall on us. “If they have persecuted me,” says Jesus, “they will also persecute you.” (See John 15:20–23.) Therefore, there is no room for anyone doing the Lord’s work to be reluctant or half-hearted in communicating with and encouraging those of us within prison walls who are receptive to the truth.


Jude wrote, “It was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Jude 3. Did this counsel end with the apostles? As evil as these days are, it would be a shame if it did. The conclusion, according to the Bible is this:

“If ye fulfil the royal law according to the Scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin.” James 2:8, 9.