Bible Study Guides – Hebrews 13:1–21

September 20, 2003 – September 26, 2003

Memory Verse

“Let brotherly love continue.” Hebrews 13:1.

Suggested Reading: Sons and Daughters of God, 80.


“The religion of Jesus Christ means something more than talk. The righteousness of Christ consists in right actions and good works from pure, unselfish motives. . . . Christ came to do His Father’s will. Are we following in His steps? All who have named the name of Christ should be constantly seeking for a more intimate acquaintance with Him, that they may walk even as He walked, and do the works of Christ. . . .” My Life Today, 217.

1 What is the first exhortation of Hebrews 13? Hebrews 13:1.

note: “[Hebrews 13:1 quoted.] Do not flatter yourselves that there is a time when this exhortation will not be needed; when brotherly love may cease. . . . [Verse 2 quoted.] Please read Matthew 25:31 and onward. Read it, brethren, the next time you take the Bible at your morning or evening family devotions. The good works performed by those who are to be welcomed to the kingdom were done to Christ in the person of His suffering people. Those who had done these good works did not see that they had done anything for Christ. They had done no more than their duty to suffering humanity. Those on the left hand could not see that they had abused Christ in neglecting the wants of His people. But they had neglected to do for Jesus in the person of His saints, and for this neglect they were to go away into everlasting punishment. And one definite point of their neglect is thus stated: ‘I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in.’ [Verse 43.]” Testimonies, vol. 1, 679, 680.

2 Of what must we not be forgetful? Hebrews 13:2; 1 Peter 4:9.

note: “Angels, as travelers, visited Abraham, and his courtesy to them, whom he supposed to be men like himself, was rewarded with the promise from God that Sarah should have a son. Lot, also, urging the strangers to abide with him because it was unsafe to remain in the street, entertained angels, and was blessed by being delivered from the city that was doomed to destruction.

“But there is a fulfillment of this scripture in a broader sense. No child of God, however poor or oppressed, is neglected or passed by; for heavenly angels minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. As you open your doors to the children of God, whether high or low, rich or poor, and extend to them your hospitality, you invite these unseen visitors with them. Could your eyes be opened, you would see that you were not only entertaining the guests who needed the comforts and attentions you could bestow, but that guests from heaven were also partakers of your hospitality, you were entertaining angels unawares.” The Signs of the Times, August 3, 1891.

3 How should we remember them that are in bonds and them that suffer adversity? Hebrews 13:3.

note: “You are not controlled by the Spirit of Christ when you select a few associates congenial to your own mind, and lavish favors upon them, while you neglect those who most need the help you can give them. Yet how often the encouraging words, the kindly acts, are all given to a few whom you estimate by your finite judgment to be worthy of them; while the very ones whom the Lord would have you regard and bless receive no particular favor, no words of sympathy or compassion. These things need to be considered. The admonitions of God should be heeded in our everyday life.” The Signs of the Times, August 3, 1891.

4 How does the apostle Paul describe marriage? Hebrews 13:4.

note: “In this age of our world the marriage vows are often disregarded. God never designed that marriage should cover the multitude of sins that are practiced. Sensuality and base practices in a marriage relation are educating the mind and moral taste for demoralizing practices outside the marriage relation. God is purifying a people to have clean hands and pure hearts to stand before him in the Judgment. The standard must be elevated, the imagination purified; the infatuation clustering around debasing practices must be given up, and the soul uplifted to pure thoughts, holy practices. All who will stand the test and trial just before us, will be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped, not participated in, the corruptions that are in the world through lust. The works of Satan are not half discerned, because purity and holiness do not mark the life and character of those who claim to be ministers of Christ. Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, we are thus fortified against the temptations of Satan. Christ and his purity and his matchless charms should be the soul’s contemplation. There is spiritual power for all, which they may have if they will, that they may resist temptation, that duty may be done and the soul hold fast its integrity. Those who feel their need of being strengthened by might by God’s Spirit in the inner man, will not lose their integrity. Earnest prayer and watching thereunto will carry them through temptations. We must be united to Christ by living faith.” Review and Herald, May 24, 1887.

5 Why should we be free from covetousness? Hebrews 13:5, 6.

note: “The principle of worldlings is to get all they can of the perishable things of this life. Selfish love of gain is the ruling principle in their lives. But the purest joy is not found in riches nor where covetousness is always craving, but where contentment reigns and where self-sacrificing love is the ruling principle. There are thousands who are passing their lives in indulgence and whose hearts are filled with repining. They are victims of selfishness and discontent in the vain effort to satisfy their minds with indulgence. But unhappiness is stamped upon their very countenances, and behind them is a desert, because their course is not fruitful in good works.

“In proportion as the love of Christ fills our hearts and controls our lives, covetousness, selfishness, and love of ease will be overcome, and it will be our pleasure to do the will of Christ, whose servants we claim to be. Our happiness will then be proportionate to our unselfish works, prompted by the love of Christ.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 382.

6 Who are to be held in special reverence? Hebrews 13:7, 17. Compare 1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13.

note: “Reverence should be shown for God’s representatives—for ministers, teachers, and parents who are called to speak and act in His stead. In the respect shown to them He is honored.” Child Guidance, 544.

7 What comforting assurance have we in depending upon Christ? Hebrews 13:8.

note: “Christ’s love for His children is as tender as it is strong. And it is stronger than death; for He died to purchase our salvation, and to make us one with Him, mystically and eternally one. So strong is His love that it controls all His powers, and employs the vast resources of heaven in doing His people good. It is without variableness or shadow of turning—the same yesterday, today, and forever. Although sin has existed for ages, trying to counteract this love and obstruct its flowing earthward, it still flows in rich currents to those for whom Christ died.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 519.

8 What counsel is given concerning stability? Hebrews 12:9. Compare Ephesians 4:14; Colossians 2:8; 1 John 4:1.

note: “We should pray as earnestly for the descent of the Holy Spirit as the disciples prayed on the Day of Pentecost. If they needed it at that time, we need it more today. Moral darkness, like a funeral pall, covers the earth. All manner of false doctrines, heresies, and satanic deceptions are misleading the minds of men. Without the Spirit and power of God it will be in vain that we labor to present the truth.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 158.

“The days are fast approaching when there will be great perplexity and confusion. Satan, clothed in angel robes, will deceive, if possible, the very elect. There will be gods many and lords many. Every wind of doctrine will be blowing. Those who have rendered supreme homage to ‘science falsely so called’ will not be the leaders then. Those who have trusted to intellect, genius, or talent will not then stand at the head of rank and file. They did not keep pace with the light. Those who have proved themselves unfaithful will not then be entrusted with the flock. In the last solemn work few great men will be engaged. They are self-sufficient, independent of God, and He cannot use them. The Lord has faithful servants, who in the shaking, testing time will be disclosed to view. There are precious ones now hidden who have not bowed the knee to Baal. They have not had the light which has been shining in a concentrated blaze upon you. But it may be under a rough and uninviting exterior the pure brightness of a genuine Christian character will be revealed.” Ibid., 80, 81.

9 What contrast is made between Christians and those who hold to the old covenant? Hebrews 13:10.

note: “The reference [Hebrews 13:10] is undoubtedly to the feeding upon Christ, which is both the privilege and the duty of every Christian. (See John 6:51–57.) But the text must not be understood as implying that Christ is the altar. The priests in the earthly sanctuary did not eat the altar, but they ate the flesh of [the] victim offered upon it. Christ is not the altar, but the Lamb slain. Of him we eat.” International Sabbath School Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Co., Oakland, California, February 1890, 39.

10 What is the significance of the fact that the bodies of those beasts whose blood was brought into the sanctuary were burned without the camp? Hebrews 13:11–14.

note: “Christ suffered without the gates of Jerusalem, for Calvary was outside the city walls. This was to show that Christ did not die for the Hebrews alone, but for all mankind. He proclaims to a fallen world that He has come to be their Redeemer, and urges them to accept the salvation which He offers.” Review and Herald, January 9, 1883.

11 What sacrifices are we to render? Hebrews 13:15, 16. Compare Psalm 116:12–14.

note: “We need to offer praise and thanksgiving to God, not only in the congregation, but in the home life. Let the voices of His heritage be heard recounting the works of the Lord. Speak of His goodness, tell of His power. . . .” In Heavenly Places, 96.

“While in this world, men are tested by the society they choose, and by the attributes of character they develop. All who belong to the kingdom of Christ are of one family. They love God supremely, and their neighbors as themselves. ‘Therefore, as ye abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also,’—the grace of Christian liberality. [11 Corinthians 8:7.] ‘To do good and to communicate forget not.’ [Hebrews 13:16.] By ‘communicate,’ the apostle does not here mean ‘to speak;’ for in the verse previous he has said, ‘By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.’ [Verse 15.] By this ‘communicating’ the apostle means Christian liberality. God desires that the bounties which he has freely given to his children shall be communicated to those who are in need. By this communication, by the utterance of kindly words, accompanied by deeds of love, those who work for God will find entrance to hearts, and will win others to Christ.” Review and Herald, December 14, 1897.

12 With what wonderful prayer does the apostle Paul conclude his letter? Hebrews 13:20, 21.

note: “Paul wrote to these brethren as ‘saints in Christ Jesus;’ but he was not writing to those who were perfect in character. He wrote to them as men and women who were striving against temptation and who were in danger of falling. He pointed them to ‘the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the sheep.’ He assured them that ‘through the blood of the everlasting covenant’ He will ‘make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ.’ Hebrews 13:20, 21.” The Ministry of Healing, 167.

“It is Christ that loves the world with a love that is infinite. He gave His precious life. He was the Only Begotten of the Father. He is risen again from the dead, and is at the right hand of God, making intercession for us. That same Jesus, with His humanity glorified, with no cessation of His love, is our Saviour. He has enjoined upon us to love one another as He has loved us. Will we then cultivate this love? Shall we be like Jesus?” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 157, 158.

The “Letter to the Hebrews” Bible Study Guide has been adapted from the International Sabbath School Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Co., Oakland, California, 1889 and 1890.

Bible Study Guides – Hebrews 12:18–29

September 13, 2003 – September 19, 2003

Memory Verse

“They that trust in the Lord [shall be] as mount Zion, [which] cannot be removed, [but] abideth for ever.” Psalm 125:1.

Suggested Reading: Early Writings, 269–273.


“We are living in the perils of the last days. A superficial faith results in a superficial experience. There is a repentance that needs to be repented of. All genuine experience in religious doctrines will bear the impress of Jehovah. All should see the necessity of understanding the truth for themselves individually. We must understand the doctrines that have been studied out carefully and prayerfully. . . .

“The light given me has been very forcible that many would go out from us, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. The Lord desires that every soul who claims to believe the truth shall have an intelligent knowledge of what is truth. False prophets will arise and will deceive many. Everything is to be shaken that can be shaken. Then does it not become everyone to understand the reasons of our faith? In place of having so many sermons there should be a more close searching of the Word of God, opening the Scriptures, text by text, and searching for the strong evidences that sustain the fundamental doctrines that have brought us where we now are, upon the platform of eternal truth.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 392.

1 Unto what are we told we have not come? Hebrews 12:18–21.

note: “As the eyes of all the people were turned toward the mount [Sinai], its summit was covered with a thick cloud, which grew more black and dense, sweeping downward until the entire mountain was wrapped in darkness and awful mystery. Then a sound as of a trumpet was heard, summoning the people to meet with God; and Moses led them forth to the base of the mountain. From the thick darkness flashed vivid lightnings, while peals of thunder echoed and re-echoed among the surrounding heights. . . . So terrible were the tokens of Jehovah’s presence that the hosts of Israel shook with fear, and fell upon their faces before the Lord. Even Moses exclaimed, ‘I exceedingly fear and quake.’ Hebrews 12:21.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 304.

2 Unto what have we come? Hebrews 12:22–24.

note: “Christ was the foundation of the whole Jewish economy. The death of Abel was in consequence of Cain’s refusing to accept God’s plan in the school of obedience to be saved by the blood of Jesus Christ typified by the sacrificial offerings pointing to Christ. Cain refused the shedding of blood which symbolized the blood of Christ to be shed for the world. This whole ceremony was prepared by God, and Christ became the foundation of the whole system. This is the beginning of its work as the schoolmaster to bring sinful human agents to a consideration of Christ the Foundation of the whole Jewish economy.

“All who did service in connection with the sanctuary were being educated constantly in regard to the intervention of Christ in behalf of the human race. This service was designed to create in every heart a love for the law of God, which is the law of His kingdom. The sacrificial offering was to be an object lesson of the love of God revealed in Christ—in the suffering, dying victim, who took upon Himself the sin of which man was guilty, the innocent being made sin for us.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 233.

3 How are we admonished? Hebrews 12:25.

note: “If the servants of God will walk with Him in faith, He will give power to their message. They will be enabled so to present His love and the danger of rejecting the grace of God that men will be constrained to accept the gospel. Christ will perform wonderful miracles if men will but do their God-given part. In human hearts today as great a transformation may be wrought as has ever been wrought in generations past. . . . Through human agents who co-operate with the divine, many a poor outcast will be reclaimed, and in his turn will seek to restore the image of God in man. There are those who have had very meager opportunities, who have walked in ways of error because they knew no better way, to whom beams of light will come. As the word of Christ came to Zacchaeus, ‘Today I must abide at thy house’ (Luke 19:5), so the word will come to them; and those who were supposed to be hardened sinners will be found to have hearts as tender as a child’s because Christ has deigned to notice them. Many will come from the grossest error and sin, and will take the place of others who have had opportunities and privileges but have not prized them. They will be accounted the chosen of God, elect, precious; and when Christ shall come into His kingdom, they will stand next [to] His throne.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 236.

4 Why must we take heed not to refuse? Hebrews 12:25.

note: “But ‘see that ye refuse not Him that speaketh.’ Hebrews 12:25. Jesus said, ‘None of those men which were bidden shall taste of My supper.’ [Luke 14:24.] They had rejected the invitation, and none of them were to be invited again. In rejecting Christ, the Jews were hardening their hearts, and giving themselves into the power of Satan so that it would be impossible for them to accept His grace. So it is now. If the love of God is not appreciated and does not become an abiding principle to soften and subdue the soul, we are utterly lost. The Lord can give no greater manifestation of His love than He has given. If the love of Jesus does not subdue the heart, there are no means by which we can be reached.

“Every time you refuse to listen to the message of mercy, you strengthen yourself in unbelief. Every time you fail to open the door of your heart to Christ, you become more and more unwilling to listen to the voice of Him that speaketh. You diminish your chance of responding to the last appeal of mercy.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 236, 237.

5 When was God’s voice heard speaking on earth? Hebrews 12:18, 19; Exodus 19:18, 19.

note: “The thunders ceased; the trumpet was no longer heard; the earth was still. There was a period of solemn silence, and then the voice of God was heard. Speaking out of the thick darkness that enshrouded Him, as He stood upon the mount [Sinai], surrounded by a retinue of angels, the Lord made known His law.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 304.

6 When the Lord spake on earth, what was the result? Hebrews 12:26, first part.

note: “Never since man was created had there been witnessed such a manifestation of divine power as when the law was proclaimed from Sinai. ‘The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel.’ Psalm 68:8. Amid the most terrific convulsions of nature the voice of God, like a trumpet, was heard from the cloud. The mountain was shaken from base to summit, and the hosts of Israel, pale and trembling with terror, lay upon their faces upon the earth.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 340.

7 What will take place when He speaks again from heaven? Hebrews 12:26, last part. Compare Haggai 2:6.

note: “Those who here acknowledge God as their ruler, by obeying the laws of his government, will be accounted worthy of a place in his family in heaven; for they have proved that they will reverence him and obey his will in the future life. When the final hour of trial comes, God will send his angels to guard them. When the voice that once shook the earth shall shake not only the earth but also heaven, then the voice of our Lord will be heard saying, ‘Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’ [Matthew 25:34.]” Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, 198.

8 What will the final shaking by His voice signify? Hebrews 12:27.

note: “Not all in this world have taken sides with the enemy against God. Not all have become disloyal. There are a faithful few who are true to God; for John writes: ‘Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.’ Revelation 14:12. Soon the battle will be waged fiercely between those who serve God and those who serve Him not. Soon everything that can be shaken will be shaken, that those things that cannot be shaken may remain.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 15.

9 What will God remove during this shaking time? Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 3:8.

note: “Some had been shaken out and left by the way. The careless and indifferent, who did not join with those who prized victory and salvation enough to perseveringly plead and agonize for it, did not obtain it, and they were left behind in darkness, and their places were immediately filled by others taking hold of the truth and coming into the ranks. Evil angels still pressed around them, but could have no power over them.” Early Writings, 271.

“As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the third angel’s message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position, and join the ranks of the opposition. By uniting with the world and partaking of its spirit, they have come to view matters in nearly the same light; and when the test is brought, they are prepared to choose the easy, popular side. Men of talent and pleasing address, who once rejoiced in the truth, employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls. They become the most bitter enemies of their former brethren.” The Faith I Live By, 336.

“We are coming to a crisis, and I am in terror for our souls. Why is it that we find men leaving the faith? Are we in a position where we shall know what we believe, and shall not be shaken out? That souls leave the truth should not discourage us in the least, but only make us seek more earnestly for the blessing of God. It is not the education, or the talents, or the position of men, that is to save them. We are to be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.” Ye Shall Receive Power, 129.

10 What cannot be moved? Psalm 125:1; 112:1–6.

note: “Those who would follow Christ must be grounded upon the principles of truth. They need to understand what the Bible teaches in regard to faith, and sanctification through the truth. They must be so established in this knowledge that they cannot be moved to take false positions on the doctrine of holiness, but will be able to illustrate in their lives the practical workings of this heaven-given principle. The people of God must be able to distinguish between the genuine and the spurious.” Evangelism, 596.

“Just as soon as the people of God are sealed in their foreheads—it is not any seal or mark that can be seen, but a settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so they cannot be moved—just as soon as God’s people are sealed and prepared for the shaking, it will come. Indeed, it has begun already; the judgments of God are now upon the land, to give us warning, that we may know what is coming.” Maranatha, 200.

11 To what exhortation should we take heed? Hebrews 12:28.

note: “There should be an intelligent knowledge of how to come to God in reverence and godly fear with devotional love. There is a growing lack of reverence for our Maker, a growing disregard of His greatness and His majesty. But God is speaking to us in these last days. We hear His voice in the storm, in the rolling thunder. We hear of calamities He permits in the earthquakes, the breaking forth of waters, and the destructive elements sweeping all before them.

“In these perilous times, those who profess to be God’s commandment-keeping people should guard against the tendency to lose the spirit of reverence and godly fear. The Scriptures teach men how to approach their Maker—with humility and awe, through faith in a divine Mediator. Let man come on bended knee, as a subject of grace, a suppliant at the footstool of mercy. Thus he is to testify that the whole soul, body, and spirit are in subjection to his Creator.” God’s Amazing Grace, 91.

12 Why must we heed this exhortation (Hebrews 12:28)? Hebrews 12:29.

note: “All who became the subjects of Christ’s kingdom, he [John the Baptist] said, would give evidence of faith and repentance. Kindness, honesty, and fidelity would be seen in their lives. They would minister to the needy, and bring their offerings to God. They would shield the defenseless, and give an example of virtue and compassion. So the followers of Christ will give evidence of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. In the daily life, justice, mercy, and the love of God will be seen. Otherwise they are like the chaff that is given to the fire.” The Desire of Ages, 107.

The “Letter to the Hebrews” Bible Study Guide has been adapted from the International Sabbath School Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Co., Oakland, California, 1889 and 1890.

Bible Study Guides – Hebrews 12:14–21

September 6, 2003 – September 12, 2003

Memory Verse

“Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.” Psalm 34:14.

Suggested Reading: Life Sketches of Ellen G. White (1915), 325–328.


“As the seed sown produces a harvest, and this in turn is sown, the harvest is multiplied. In our relation to others, this law holds true. Every act, every word, is a seed that will bear fruit. Every deed of thoughtful kindness, of obedience, of self-denial, will reproduce itself in others, and through them in still others. So every act of envy, malice, or dissension is a seed that will spring up in a ‘root of bitterness’ whereby many shall be defiled. Hebrews 12:15. And how much larger number will the ‘many’ poison! Thus the sowing of good and evil goes on for time and for eternity.” Prophets and Kings, 86.

“He who opens his heart to the suggestions of the enemy, taking in evil surmisings, and cherishing jealousy, frequently misconstrues this evil-mindedness, calling it special foresight, discrimination, or discernment in detecting guilt and fathoming the evil motives of others. He considers that a precious gift has been vouchsafed to him, and he draws apart from the very brethren with whom he should be in harmony; he climbs upon the judgment seat, and shuts his heart against the one he supposes to be in error, as though he himself were above temptation. Jesus separates from him, and leaves him to walk in the sparks of his own kindling.

“Let no one among you glory any longer against the truth by declaring that this spirit is a necessary consequence of dealing faithfully with wrongdoers and of standing in defense of the truth. Such wisdom has many admirers, but it is very deceptive and harmful. It does not come from above, but is the fruit of an unregenerated heart. Its originator is Satan himself. Let no accuser of others credit himself with discernment; for in so doing he clothes the attributes of Satan with the garments of righteousness. I call upon you, my brethren, to purify the soul-temple of all these things that defile; for they are roots of bitterness.

“How true are the words of the apostle, ‘Where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.’ [James 3:16.] One person in an institution or in a church who gives loose rein to unkind thoughts by speaking evil of the brethren, may stir up the worst passions of the human heart, and spread abroad a leaven of evil that will work in all who come into association with him. In this way the enemy of all righteousness gains the victory, and the result of his work is to make of no effect the Saviour’s prayer when He pleaded that His disciples might be one as He is one with the Father.” Review and Herald, March 12, 1895.

1 What practical exhortation does the apostle give us? Hebrews 12:14; Romans 14:19.

note: “Love is the law of Christ’s kingdom. The Lord calls upon every one to reach a high standard. The lives of His people are to reveal love, meekness, long-suffering. Long-suffering bears something, yea, many things, without seeking to be avenged by word or act.

“ ‘Long-suffering’ is patience with offence; long endurance. If you are long-suffering, you will not impart to others your supposed knowledge of your brother’s mistakes and errors. You will seek to help and save him, because he has been purchased with the blood of Christ. . . . To be long-suffering is not to be gloomy and sad, sour and hardhearted; it is to be exactly the opposite.

“Try to live peaceably with all men, and let the atmosphere surrounding your soul be sweet and fragrant. . . .

“Forbearance and unselfishness mark the words and deeds of those who are born again to live the new life in Christ.” My Life Today, 52.

2 How anxious should we be for peace? Romans 12:18; Psalm 34:14.

note: “To every soul things will come to provoke, to stir up anger, and if you are not under the full control of God, you will be provoked when these things come. But the meekness of Christ calms the ruffled spirit, controls the tongue, and brings the whole being into subjection to God. Thus we learn how to bear with the censure of others. We shall be misjudged, but the precious ornament of a meek and quiet spirit teaches us how to bear, how to have pity for those who utter hasty, unadvised words. Any unpleasant spirit displayed is sure to arouse the demon of passion in unguarded hearts. Unholy anger need not to be strengthened, but bridled. It is a spark which will set on fire untamed human nature. Avoid speaking words which will stir up strife. Rather suffer wrong than do wrong. God requires every one of His followers, as far as is possible, to live peaceably with all men. . . .” Our High Calling, 274.

3 Besides peace, what else should be pursued with equal ardor? Hebrews 12:14. Compare 11 Corinthians 7:1.

note: “Ample provision has been made for all who sincerely, earnestly, and thoughtfully set about the work of perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Strength and grace have been provided through Christ, to be brought by ministering angels to the heirs of salvation. None are so low, so corrupt and vile, that they cannot find in Jesus, who died for them, strength and purity and righteousness, if they will put away their sins, turn from their course of iniquity, and with full purpose of heart seek the living God. He is waiting to take away their stained garments, polluted by sin, and to put upon them the pure robe of his righteousness, to bid them live and not die. In him, as branches of the Living Vine, they may flourish. Their boughs will not wither nor be fruitless. If they abide in him, they can draw nourishment from him, be imbued with his spirit, walk as he walked, overcome as he overcame, and be exalted to his own right hand.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene (1890), 140.

“It is a duty that we owe to God to keep the spirit pure, as a temple for the Holy Ghost. If the heart and mind are devoted to the service of God, obeying all his commandments, loving him with all the heart, might, mind, and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves, we shall be found loyal and true to the requirements of Heaven.” Ibid., 161.

4 Against what are we told to diligently guard? Hebrews 12:15.

note: “That our influence should be a savor of death unto death is a fearful thought, yet it is possible. One soul misled, forfeiting eternal bliss—who can estimate the loss! And yet one rash act, one thoughtless word, on our part may exert so deep an influence on the life of another that it will prove the ruin of his soul. One blemish on the character may turn many away from Christ.” Prophets and Kings, 86.

5 What example of such bitterness are we given in the Bible? Acts 8:18–23.

note: “If men could have unveiled before them the workings of the great deceiver to keep them in the gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity, how earnest would they be to renounce the works of darkness, how guarded lest they yield to temptation, how careful to see and remove every defect which mars the image of God in them; how they would press to the side of Jesus, and what earnest supplications would ascend to heaven for a calmer, closer, happier, walk with God.” Review and Herald, August 12, 1884.

6 What further shows that sin is the “root of bitterness” to be avoided? Hebrews 12:16.

note: “Esau had a strong desire for a particular article of food, and he had so long gratified himself that he did not feel the necessity of turning from the tempting, coveted dish. He allowed his imagination to dwell upon it until the power of appetite bore down every other consideration and controlled him. He thought he would suffer great inconvenience, and even death, if he could not have that particular dish. The more he reflected upon it, the more his desire strengthened, until his birthright lost its value and sacredness in his sight, and he bartered it away. He flattered himself that he could dispose of his birthright at will and buy it back at pleasure; but when he sought to regain it, even at a great sacrifice, he was not able to do so. He then bitterly repented of his rashness, his folly, his madness, but it was all in vain. He had despised the blessing, and the Lord had removed it from him forever.” Counsels on Health, 110.

7 After Esau sold his birthright, what could he not do? Hebrews 12:17.

note: “There are many who fail to understand the true nature of repentance. Multitudes sorrow that they have sinned and even make an outward reformation because they fear that their wrongdoing will bring suffering upon themselves. But this is not repentance in the Bible sense. They lament the suffering rather than the sin. Such was the grief of Esau when he saw that the birthright was lost to him forever.” Steps to Christ, 23.

8 To what does the apostle Paul say we have not come? Hebrews 12:18–21.

Note: “[Hebrews 12:18–29 quoted.] Shall we heed the warnings that God has given? The Lord will show his loving favor to those who will keep his commandments. The Word, the living Word, received and obeyed, will be a savor of life unto life. The reception of the truth will regenerate and cleanse the sinful soul.” Review and Herald, November 8, 1906.

“It is the province of the law [of God] to condemn, but there is in it no power to pardon or to redeem. It is ordained to life; those who walk in harmony with its precepts will receive the reward of obedience. But it brings bondage and death to those who remain under its condemnation.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 236, 237.

9 What mount was it that burned with fire, and was enshrouded with darkness, and shaken by tempest? Exodus 19:16, 18; Deuteronomy 4:11.

note: “The Lord, in awful grandeur, spoke His law from Sinai, that the people might believe. He then accompanied the giving of His law with sublime exhibitions of His authority, that they might know that He is the only true and living God. Moses was not permitted to enter within the cloud of glory, but only draw nigh and enter the thick darkness which surrounded it. And he stood between the people and the Lord.” The Story of Redemption, 140.

10 What was the occasion of this great display? Deuteronomy 4:11, 12; 5:22.

note: “It was Christ who, amid thunder and flame, had proclaimed the law upon Mount Sinai. The glory of God, like devouring fire, rested upon its summit, and the mountain quaked at the presence of the Lord. The hosts of Israel, lying prostrate upon the earth, had listened in awe to the sacred precepts of the law. . . .” Reflecting Christ, 67.

11 When the Lord spoke the law, what did the people say? Exodus 20:18, 19; Deuteronomy 5:23–27; Hebrews 12:19, 20.

note: “The proclamation of the law of ten commandments was a wonderful exhibition of the glory and majesty of God. How did this manifestation of power affect the people?—They were afraid. As they saw ‘the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking,’ they ‘removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die’ (Exodus 20:18, 19). They desired Moses to be their mediator. They did not understand that Christ was their appointed mediator, and that, deprived of His mediation, they would certainly have been consumed.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 238.

12 Rather than speaking to them further, what did the Lord express as His greatest desire? Deuteronomy 5:28, 29.

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

“Thus we are to serve God. He only serves who acts up to the highest standard of obedience. All who would be sons and daughters of God must prove themselves co-workers with Christ and God and the heavenly angels. This is the test for every soul. . . .” In Heavenly Places, 128.

The “Letter to the Hebrews” Bible Study Guide has been adapted from the International Sabbath School Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Co., Oakland, California, 1889 and 1890.

Bible Study Guides – Hebrews 12:1–13

August 30, 2003 – September 5, 2003

Memory Verse

“But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” Hebrews 12:8.

Suggested Reading: The Acts of the Apostles, 480–484.


“Our sorrows do not spring out of the ground. In every affliction God has a purpose to work out for our good. Every blow that destroys an idol, every providence that weakens our hold upon earth and fastens our affections more firmly upon God, is a blessing. The pruning may be painful for a time, but afterward it ‘yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness.’ We should receive with gratitude whatever will quicken the conscience, elevate the thoughts, and ennoble the life. The fruitless branches are cut off and cast into the fire. Let us be thankful that through painful pruning we may retain a connection with the living Vine; for if we suffer with Christ, we shall also reign with Him. The very trial that taxes our faith the most severely and makes it seem as though God had forsaken us is to lead us more closely to Him, that we may lay all our burdens at the feet of Christ and experience the peace which He will give us in exchange. . . . God loves and cares for the feeblest of His creatures, and we cannot dishonor Him more than by doubting His love to us. O let us cultivate that living faith that will trust Him in the hour of darkness and trial!” My Life Today, 93.

“Many who profess the name of Christ and claim to be looking for His speedy coming, know not what it is to suffer for Christ’s sake. Their hearts are not subdued by grace, and they are not dead to self, as is often shown in various ways. At the same time they are talking of having trials. But the principal cause of their trials is an unsubdued heart, which makes self so sensitive that it is often crossed. . . . Give up your self-confidence and self-sufficiency, brethren, and follow the meek Pattern. Ever keep Jesus in your mind that He is your example . . . .” Early Writings, 113.

1 Remembering the examples of faith given to us in Hebrews 11, what are we called to do? Hebrews 12:1.

note: “Here [Hebrews 12:1–3] we are cited to the example of the multitude of faithful witnesses who would not sacrifice their faith and principle for the sake of enjoying ease and self-gratification, but who gave up all, not withholding their lives, for the truth of God. Their example should quicken our zeal and increase our faith. But Jesus is our perfect pattern; and when we look to him who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, we should be aroused to greater earnestness. He has led the way to the heavenly reward in glory. He passed through fiercer conflicts than man will ever be able to endure.” Review and Herald, October 18, 1881.

2 Unto whom must we continually look? Hebrews 12:2.

note: “Those who would advance in spiritual knowledge must stand by the very fount of God, and drink again and again from the wells of salvation so graciously opened unto them. They must never leave the source of refreshment; but with hearts swelling with gratitude and love at the display of the goodness and compassion of God, they must be continually partakers of the living water.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 135.

“The Pattern must be inspected often and closely in order to imitate it. As one becomes acquainted with the history of the Redeemer, he discovers in himself defects of character; his unlikeness to Christ is so great that he sees he cannot be a follower without a very great change in his life. Still he studies, with a desire to be like his great Exemplar; he catches the looks, the spirit, of his beloved Master; by beholding he becomes changed.” Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 17.

3 As we consider Christ, against what will we be guarded? Hebrews 12:3.

note: “Let everyone who professes Christ seek to overcome all unmanliness, all weakness and folly. Some men never grow up to the full stature of men in Christ Jesus. They are childish and self-indulgent. Humble piety would correct all this. Pure religion possesses no characteristics of childish self-indulgence. It is honorable in the highest degree. Then let not one of those who have enlisted as soldiers of Christ be ready to faint in the day of trial. All should feel that they have earnest work to do to elevate their fellow men. Not one has a right to rest from the warfare to make virtue desirable and vice hated. There is no rest for the living Christian this side of the eternal world. To obey God’s commandments is to do right and only right. This is Christian manliness. But many need to take frequent lessons from the life of Christ, who is the Author and Finisher of our faith. [Hebrews 12:3, 4 quoted.] You are to show a growth in the Christian graces. By manifesting meekness under provocation and growing away from low earthliness you give evidence that you have an indwelling Saviour, and every thought, word, and deed attracts men to Jesus rather than to self. There is a great amount of work to be done and but little time in which to do it. Let it be your lifework to inspire all with the thought that they have a work to do for Christ. Wherever there are duties to be done which others do not understand because they do not wish to see their lifework, accept them and do them.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 597.

4 What does the apostle Paul say we have not yet done? Hebrews 12:4.

note: “The Christian life is a warfare. The apostle Paul speaks of wrestling against principalities and powers as he fought the good fight of faith. Again, he declares: ‘Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.’ Ah, no. Today sin is cherished and excused. The sharp sword of the Spirit, the word of God, does not cut to the soul. Has religion changed? Has Satan’s enmity to God abated? A religious life once presented difficulties and demanded self-denial. All is made very easy now. And why is this? The professed people of God have compromised with the power of darkness.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 222.

5 Did Christ resist unto blood, in His struggle for us? Luke 22:44.

note: “The temptations to which Christ was subjected were a terrible reality. As a free agent, he was placed on probation, with liberty to yield to Satan’s temptations and work at cross-purposes with God. If this were not so, if it had not been possible for him to fall, he could not have been tempted in all points as the human family is tempted. The temptations of Christ, and his sufferings under them, were proportionate to his exalted, sinless character. But in every time of distress, Christ turned to his Father. He ‘resisted unto blood’ in that hour when the fear of moral failure was as the fear of death. As he bowed in Gethsemane, in his soul agony, drops of blood fell from his pores, and moistened the sods of the earth. He prayed with strong crying and tears, and he was heard in that he feared. God strengthened him, as he will strengthen all who will humble themselves, and throw themselves, soul, body, and spirit, into the hands of a covenant-keeping God.” The Youth’s Instructor, October 26, 1899.

6 What strength may we have in resisting sin? 11 Timothy 2:1; Ephesians 6:10; Colossians 1:10, 11.

note: “Before us is held out the wonderful possibility of being like Christ—obedient to all the principles of the law of God. But of ourselves we are utterly powerless to attain to this condition. All that is good in man comes to him through Christ. The holiness that God’s Word declares we must have before we can be saved is the result of the working of divine grace as we bow in submission to the discipline and restraining influence of the Spirit of truth.

“Man’s obedience can be made perfect only by the incense of Christ’s righteousness, which fills with divine fragrance every act of true obedience. The part of the Christian is to persevere in overcoming every fault. Constantly he is to pray to the Saviour to heal the disorders of his diseased soul. He has not the wisdom and strength without which he cannot overcome. They belong to the Lord, and He bestows them on those who in humiliation and contrition seek Him for help.” In Heavenly Places, 129.

7 If we murmur at trial, what have we forgotten? Hebrews 12:5.

note: “When tribulation comes upon us, how many of us are like Jacob! We think it the hand of an enemy; and in the darkness we wrestle blindly until our strength is spent, and we find no comfort or deliverance. To Jacob the divine touch at break of day revealed the One with whom he had been contending—the Angel of the covenant; and, weeping and helpless, he fell upon the breast of Infinite Love, to receive the blessing for which his soul longed. We also need to learn that trials mean benefit, and not to despise the chastening of the Lord nor faint when we are rebuked of Him.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 11.

8 Of what is chastisement evidence? Hebrews 12:6–8.

note: “The Lord can bring victory out of that which may seem to us discomfiture and defeat. We are in danger of forgetting God, of looking at the things which are seen, instead of beholding by the eye of faith the things which are unseen. When misfortune or calamity comes, we are ready to charge God with neglect or cruelty. If He sees fit to cut off our usefulness in some line, we mourn, not stopping to think that thus God may be working for our good. We need to learn that chastisement is a part of His great plan and that under the rod of affliction the Christian may sometimes do more for the Master than when engaged in active service.” The Acts of the Apostles, 481.

9 For what reason does God chastise? Hebrews 12:9, 10.

note: “The trials of life are God’s workmen, to remove the impurities and roughness from our character. Their hewing, squaring, and chiseling, their burnishing and polishing, is a painful process; it is hard to be pressed down to the grinding wheel. But the stone is brought forth prepared to fill its place in the heavenly temple. Upon no useless material does the Master bestow such careful, thorough work. Only His precious stones are polished after the similitude of a palace.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 10.

10 If chastisement is endured with patience, what will be the result? Hebrews 12:11.

note: “In order that we may die to self, we are called upon to endure trial, and when the chastening hand of the Lord is laid upon us, we are not to fret and complain, not to rebel, not to worry ourselves out of the hand of Christ. We are to humble ourselves before God, pleading with him to give us rest and peace. We enter the furnace of affliction with our hearts darkened by selfishness; but if patient under the crucial test, we shall come forth reflecting the divine image, as gold tried in the fire. [Hebrews 12:11 quoted.]” The Signs of the Times, December 10, 1896.

11 Instead of murmuring when faced with trials, what should be our response? Hebrews 12:12.

note: “The feeble hands are not to be deterred from doing something for the Master. Those whose knees are weak are not to be caused to stumble. God desires us to encourage those whose hands are weak, to grasp more firmly the hand of Christ, and to work hopefully. Every hand should be outstretched to help the hand that is doing something for the Master. The time may come when the hands that have upheld the feeble hands of another may, in turn, be upheld by the hands to whom they ministered. God has so ordered matters that no man is absolutely independent of his fellowmen.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 496.

12 In what kind of paths must we run and why? Hebrews 12:13.

note: “If from the beginning we had walked in the counsel of God, thousands more would have been converted to the present truth. But many have made crooked paths for their feet. My brethren, make straight paths, lest the lame be turned out of the way. Let no one follow a crooked path that some one else has made, for thus you would not only go astray yourself, but would make this crooked path plainer for some one else to follow. Determine that as for yourself, you will walk in the path of obedience. Know for a certainty that you are standing under the broad shield of Omnipotence. Realize that the characteristics of Jehovah must be revealed in your life, and that in you a work must be accomplished that will mold your character after the divine similitude. Yield yourself to the guidance of Him who is the Head over all.” Sons and Daughters of God, 192.

The “Letter to the Hebrews” Bible Study Guide has been adapted from the International Sabbath School Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Co., Oakland, California, 1889 and 1890.

Food for Life – Bit-O-Honey

Favorite Recipes from Staff and Friends of Steps to Life

“How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Psalm 119:103.

God has given us His Word as a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. Its teachings have a vital bearing on our prosperity in all the relations of life. Even in our temporal affairs it will be a wiser guide than any other counselor. . . .

The appreciation of the Bible grows with its study. Whichever way the student may turn he will find displayed the infinite wisdom and love of God. To him who is truly converted the Word of God is the joy and consolation of the life. The Spirit of God speaks to him, and his heart becomes like a watered garden.

There is nothing more calculated to strengthen the intellect than a study of the Bible. No other book is so potent to elevate the thoughts, to give vigor to the faculties, as the broad, ennobling truths of the Bible. If God’s Word were studied as it should be, men would have a breadth of mind, a nobility of character, that is rarely seen in these times.

No knowledge is so firm, so consistent, so far reaching, as that obtained from a study of the Word of God. If there were not another book in the wide world, the Word of God, lived out through the grace of Christ, would make man perfect in this world, with a character fitted for the future, immortal life. Those who study the Word, taking it in faith as the truth and receiving it into the character, will be complete in Him who is all in all. Thank God for the possibilities set before humanity. . . .

The time devoted to a study of God’s Word and to prayer will bring a hundredfold return. In Heavenly Places, 135.

Recipe – Bit-O-Honey

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup molasses

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup + 2 Tablespoons soy milk powder

Stir together first 4 ingredients, then add milk powder, mixing well. Flatten the mixture into an 8″ x 8″ dish. Sprinkle top with sesame seeds, pressing them lightly into the dough. Cut into squares. Freeze. Serve slightly thawed.

Submitted by Ann Meeker, a LandMarks reader, who lives near Rago, Kansas, with her husband, Craig.

Ask the Pastor – Can We Now Eat Anything and Everything?


I have been told that chapter 10 of Acts teaches that we can now eat anything and everything without any condemnation of the Lord. Is this true? If it is not true, with what does Acts 10 deal?


You have asked a very good question. Acts 10 has been terribly misunderstood for many, many centuries. And it seems that if something has age on its side that people think this makes it truth. Age never makes error truth.
As you read the book of Acts, it becomes apparent that God is making an attempt to reach all peoples, nations, and tongues everywhere. We see this during Pentecost in Acts 2:5, 9–11. This sets the stage for the Book of Acts. God loves all people and wants everyone to be saved that chooses to be saved. He is no respecter of persons. Acts 10:34 gives us a clue that this chapter is not talking about what to eat but is talking about how God feels about people. “I perceive that God is no respecter of persons [shows no partiality].” If you read Acts 10 from verse 1 to verse 34, it tells the story of mission outreach to those who had previously been looked upon as “unclean.” Acts 10 deals with the prejudice mind set against those who are different than we are. Let us face the fact that the apostle Peter was a man of learned prejudice. He suffered from his upbringing just like many of us today. Prejudice is a learned character defect. God loved Peter and wanted to use him to reach the lost, but He had to re-educate Peter concerning his prejudice so Peter could teach the truth without any hindrances. Prejudice is a hindrance to the gospel. The story of Acts 10 unfolds about a Roman centurion named Cornelius who was different from Peter as far as his ethnic background was concerned. Cornelius calls for Peter to come and teach him and his household the truth. But Peter, having the prejudice that he had, needed to be corrected of these unholy attitudes before he would be ready to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. God gives to Peter a dream in which various animals are shown to him—clean and unclean. (Acts 10:12.) These animals represented all the various ethnic classes of humanity. (See Daniel 7.)

This dream was designed to teach Peter an important lesson in regard to the introduction of all nations to the gospel. The teaching here is not what to eat, but how to love humanity enough to call them brethren. This is reaffirmed in verses 34 and 35 when Peter states: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him, and works righteousness, is accepted by Him.”

The devil has so perverted this portion of Scripture that the work of spreading the gospel has just crawled forward rather than going like one running a race. What would it have been like if the truth of this passage had always been taught correctly rather than centering on one’s belly! What would the world be like not to have any prejudice in it? How much faster the Gospel would have done its work!

Prejudice in any form is hated by God. It has no place in God’s work. He was trying to teach this to Peter and consequently to those who followed in every age, but this message has been twisted and distorted. Prejudices still hamper the work, and we are still in this world, as a result. This chapter needs to be studied in depth so that the truth of the crowning text can be understood that “God hath shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.” Acts 10:28.

Pastor Mike Baugher is Associate Speaker for Steps to Life Ministry. If you have a question you would like Pastor Mike to answer, e-mail it to:, or mail it to: LandMarks, P. O. Box 782828, Wichita, KS 67278.

Nature Nugget – Dragons

Found on a few small islands in the Indonesian archipelago, the world’s largest lizard, the Komodo Dragon, reigns as top predator in its world. Reaching 10 feet in length and capable of weighing well over 300 pounds, the Komodo Dragon is a member of the monitor lizard family. Local names for the giant lizard include buaja darat meaning land crocodile and Ora meaning mouth. No doubt these names originated from the ferocious appetite and predatory nature of this reptile. Able to consume up to 80 percent of its own body weight in a single meal, Komodo Dragons are carnivores and feed mostly on carrion but are quite able to make their own kills. Although they can run briefly at speeds of up to 12 mph, they prefer to hunt by ambushing with stealth and power and are capable of taking large prey such as wild boar, deer, goats, water buffalo, and occasionally humans.

The Komodo Dragon’s teeth are its most dangerous weapon. Besides being large, curved, and serrated, they contain large numbers of bacteria, which are harbored in the teeth’s serrations due to meat residues from previous meals. Some fifty different bacterial strains, of which at least seven are known to be highly septic, have been found in their saliva. Any bite from one of these dragons is fatal and will kill the victim within a few days. Komodo Dragons are immune to each other’s bite, which is of great interest to the scientific community.

Komodo Dragons have fairly good sight and hearing, but their sense of smell is their primary food detector. They smell by the use of their long, yellow, forked tongues with which they gather airborne molecules and touch them to the roof of their mouths where there are special organs called Jacobson’s Organs that act as chemical analyzers. This system, along with an undulatory walk in which the head swings from side to side, helps the dragon sense the existence and direction of odoriferous carrion from as far away as 2.5 miles when the wind is right.

Males maintain and defend a territory and patrol up to 1.2 miles per day. Territories are dependent on the size of the animal. Feeding territories extend further and are often shared with other males. Komodo Dragons are generally solitary except during the breeding season and when feeding at carcasses. Females lay 20 to 40 eggs in the ground, and the young hatch in about 8 months. The young are 15 inches at hatching and spend the first year of their life living in the trees feeding on insects. The average life span for a Komodo Dragon is around 20 years. The Komodo Dragon is listed as an endangered species, as the total world population is around 5,000 with only 350 of them being breeding age females.

There is another dragon in this world besides the Komodo Dragon, and the Bible warns us about him: “The great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 12:9, 17.

Children’s Story- Tales of a Tennessee Chain Gang, Part II

By the time of the arrests in Graysville, Tennessee, 53 Sabbathkeepers had been convicted of Sunday violations, and 30 had gone to prison. Prior to the Supreme Court’s “Christian Nation” decision in 1892, Sabbathkeepers had spent thousands of dollars on lawyers’ fees to escape conviction, usually without success. After 1892, they considered the cause hopeless, and spoke the best they could in their own defense.

But though the beleaguered Graysville Sabbathkeepers had little hope in the court, they had plenty of help outside. The American Sentinel, an eight-year-old journal of religious liberty, sent reporters to cover the trials.

The three newspapers in Dayton, Tennessee, were outspoken in defense of the Sabbathkeepers, and before the Graysville cases finally were resolved, more than 250 newspapers across the country sided with the Sabbathkeepers.

Anyone arriving in Dayton by rail on Sunday, March 4, the day before the trial began, could have gathered ample evidence that what Sabbathkeepers faced was religious discrimination rather than simple prosecution under the law.

The fact that one could get to Dayton on a Sunday train would have been the first proof. Then, walking down the street toward the courthouse, doubtlessly one would see three small boys sucking hard candy in front of the drugstore and hear the cash-register bell jangle periodically inside.

From the courthouse, one could see the belching smokestack of the Dayton Coal and Iron Company. Like a black flag, the smoke signaled that 400 or more workmen were keeping the furnaces hot on Sunday. The switch engine as it coughed and whistled away with its load of slag could also be heard. But only the Sabbathkeepers were charged with working on Sunday.

A little investigation by Dayton’s local papers revealed that members of the grand jury that indicted the Sabbathkeepers were hiring extra help to pick their strawberries on Sundays just as on other days. (The defendant, G. W. Colcord, was arrested, not for working himself, but for letting his students wash clothes and saw wood on Sunday.)

Bill Burchard pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, saying he had not violated the Sabbath, because the Bible says Saturday is the Sabbath. Colcord—stoop-shouldered, aging, and wearing a giant patriarchal beard—appealed to the Declaration of Rights in the Tennessee Constitution, which said that “no human authority can, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience.” The Declaration also forbade any preference to any religious establishment or mode of worship.

Judge J. G. Parks was sympathetic, but he said his was a secular not a religious court. The only question for the jury, he said, was what the law said and whether it had been violated. He pointed out that he had a sworn duty to enforce the law and ensure its respect.

Judge Parks then argued weakly that the Sunday law was not one that protects a particular belief but one that “protects the unanimous belief of nearly all Christian denominations.”

Then he presented his dilemma: “But here we have a very respectable element of Christian believers who are an honest, inoffensive, law-abiding people in all matters not conflicting with their sense of duty, who believe they are under divine command to observe the seventh day as the Sabbath. . . . If there were only one of them, he would be entitled not only to his honest belief but to the exercise of that belief, so long as in so doing he did not interfere with some natural right of his neighbors. . . . Do the defendants in keeping the seventh day and working on the first thereby interfere with any natural right of their neighbors? Or is it an artificial right created by human law?

To be continued . . .

Restoring The Temple – Depression and Diet

“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and [why] art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, for the help of his countenance.” —Psalm 42:5.

Depression affects 200 million people world- wide, which is one person out of thirty of the world’s population. In the United States, it will affect 19 million Americans this year, or one person out of sixteen. In the United States alone, the cost of dealing with this disease is $70 billion per year. It approaches the amount spent on heart disease, the number one cause of death in this country. The United States antidepressant drug sales have risen 800 percent to $10.2 billion since 1990. The number of people taking antidepression medication has also steadily increased. The World Health Organization reports that, by the year 2020, depression will likely be the second leading cause of disease worldwide.

Depression knows no cultural, social, or economic barriers. It afflicts people of every age, race, religion, and educational background. More people are suffering from depression now than in previous generations.

For deliverance from depression to take place, we must determine what the causes and symptoms of the depression are. Depression is one of the most common forms of mental illness, a common mood disorder. Some of the symptoms of depression which are often present include feelings of persistent sadness and gloom, reduced physical activity, feelings of irrational anxiety, and a sense of hopelessness. Depressed people may have other symptoms such as difficulty concentrating; their sleep and appetite may be affected; they may feel tired all the time, may lose interest in life, experience negative thinking, and have thoughts of suicide.

What brings about such a condition as depression? What are some of the causative factors? Some cases of depression appear suddenly for no apparent reason; others are brought about by stressful life events such as the death of a loved one, divorce, or job loss. Research has also confirmed that some cases of depression are brought on slowly and subtly over time by poor lifestyle habits. Science has identified several factors, which can promote and even intensify feelings of hopelessness and despair. Some of these factors include alcohol, smoking, caffeine, physical inactivity, improper diet, stressful living circumstances, food allergies, high blood pressure medication, and various other medications.

How can one be delivered from depression? While medication can sometimes provide temporary relief from symptoms, we find chronic use of antidepressants can lead to physical and emotional dependency and may actually deepen the depression. God has something better; there is a way out. Nearly all types of depression will respond to some fundamental basic methods. The eight principles of GOD’S PLAN—Godly trust, Open air, Daily exercise, Sunshine, Proper rest, Lots of water, Always temperate, and Nutrition—can be incorporated in one’s life to bring about the positive results.

There is deliverance from depression. We must have a firm trust and hold upon God. And in conjunction with this, we need to develop proper lifestyle habits. We need tasks with a purpose. We all need to be productive. We need to have a feeling of accomplishment, completion, and satisfaction in doing something useful each day. We need to have structure and regularity, observing regular hours for eating, sleeping, and working. We need to have a healthful diet, eating fresh natural foods, which give an increase of mental and physical energy. Eating plenty of fresh fruits for a day or two can do wonders in clearing the mind; going on a one or two-day fast, getting adequate rest, and incorporating periods of quietness and calm are especially important. Sleep deprivation can set off or intensify depression. Most people feel their best with seven to eight hours of sleep, daily exercise, and 30 to 40 minutes of aerobic- type activity such as brisk walking, bicycling, or hiking. These stimulate the release of mood altering natural chemicals called endorphins. Ecclesiastes 11:7 says, “Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun.” Daily sunlight has been used successfully for many years in the treatment of many types of depression. Trust in God is very important. Bearing heavy burdens alone is enough to crush one’s spirit. The Bible encourages us to cast all our cares upon Him who cares about us and He will sustain us. 1 Peter 5:7; Psalm 55:22. We need to educate ourselves to express thanks, praising God for the many blessings that He has given us. Learn to talk hope and faith; this can have a positive impact upon your life.

Many who are depressed do not know that the kinds of foods they partake of is a causative factor in determining their mental state. With this concept in mind, we need to explore the different kinds of foods that can cause depression. It is also important to examine the scientific evidence of how food affects the mental state of individuals.

What kinds of foods do people turn to when depressed? The most common foods to cause mental disturbance are sugar, milk, and milk products. “Sugars are closely linked to feelings of despair, depression, alienation, and sugar strengthens feelings of individuality.” Annemarie Colbin, Food and Healing, Ballantine Books, New York, 1986, 290.

Wheat can cause unpleasant allergic reactions, often in the form of moodiness and depression. Wheat is an ingredient found in many of the foods we eat. Other common culprits are caffeine, coffee, carbonated beverages, and chocolate. “By restricting the sugar and caffeine intake of people with depression, it has been reported to elevate moods in preliminary research.” W. Lininger Schuyler (Editor), et. al., The Natural Pharmacy, Prima Publishing, New York, 1999, 50.

Sugar, food colorings, and foods that are low in folic acid and vitamin B12 are associated with and can contribute to depression. Here we see scientific research has shown that foods can cause depression. Eating for comfort or overindulging often leads to obesity and bulimia, which is a part of the depression cycle.

Let’s review some scientific facts in regard to foods that can cause depression. In the book Depression: The Way Out, Dr. Neil Nedly states, “Diet has such a profound effect on human metabolism that it comes as no surprise that there are many interrelationships between the foods we eat and our risk of depression.” (Nedly Publishing, Ardmore, Oklahoma, 2001, 34.) The absence of Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids causes an imbalance in the brain, thereby affecting mental health.

How can we overcome? By using God’s Life Activating Diet (G.L.A.D.), a diet low in fat, low in protein, high in fiber, and high in nutrients. It provides the tools necessary for overcoming depression. The highest source of fiber is whole grains. When we make the change to GOD’S PLAN, then we can ask God to give us victory over depression because “with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26.

We need to bring into balance the chemical makeup of our brains by making proper food choices. Leviticus 17:11 states, “The life of the flesh [is] in the blood.” “The brain is the organ and instrument of the mind, and controls the whole body. In order for the other parts of the system to be healthy, the brain must be healthy. And in order for the brain to be healthy, the blood must be pure. If by correct habits of eating and drinking the blood is kept pure, the brain will be properly nourished.” Medical Ministry, 291. It is our responsibility to choose the necessary nutrients that will nourish our brains and not eat those things that will strip and rob the brain, causing us to be in a state of mental depression.

In validation of the G.L.A.D. diet, there is documented proof of research done that states that the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.), which is high in fat and protein and low in fiber and nutrients, contributes to bipolar disorder and other mental depression. If you use a low fat and low protein, high fiber and high nutrient diet, it will improve the mental state. “Those who consume a low fat and high complex carbohydrate diet show significantly greater improvement when dealing with depression.” Melvyn R. Werbach, M.D., Nutritional Influence on Mental Illness, Third Line Press, Inc., Tarzana, California, 1999, 221.

LaVerne Jackson is Associate Director and Business Manager of Missionary Education and Evangelistic Training (M.E.E.T.) Ministry in Huntingdon, Tennessee. She has a Masters Degree in Nutrition and is a Nutritional Consultant. She may be contacted by e-mail at: or by telephone at: 731-986-3518.

From the Pen of Inspiration – The Leaven of Evil Speaking

It pains me to say that there are unruly tongues among church members. There are false tongues that feed on mischief. There are sly, whispering tongues. There is tattling, impertinent meddling, adroit quizzing. Among the lovers of gossip some are actuated by curiosity, others by jealousy, many by hatred against those through whom God has spoken to reprove them. All these discordant elements are at work. Some conceal their real sentiments, while others are eager to publish all they know, or even suspect, of evil against another.

I saw that the very spirit of perjury, that would turn truth into falsehood, good into evil, and innocence into crime, is now active. Satan exults over the condition of God’s professed people. While many are neglecting their own souls, they eagerly watch for an opportunity to criticize and condemn others. All have defects of character, and it is not hard to find something that jealousy can interpret to their injury. “Now,” say these self-constituted judges, “we have facts. We will fasten upon them an accusation from which they can not clear themselves.” They wait for a fitting opportunity and then produce their bundle of gossip and bring forth their tidbits.

In their efforts to carry a point, persons who have naturally a strong imagination are in danger of deceiving themselves and deceiving others. They gather up unguarded expressions from another, not considering that words may be uttered hastily and hence may not reflect the real sentiments of the speaker. But those unpremeditated remarks, often so trifling as to be unworthy of notice, are viewed through Satan’s magnifying glass, pondered, and repeated until molehills become mountains. Separated from God, the surmisers of evil become the sport of temptation. They scarcely know the strength of their feelings or the effect of their words. While condemning the errors of others, they indulge far greater errors themselves. Consistency is a jewel.

Is there no law of kindness to be observed? Have Christians been authorized of God to criticize and condemn one another? Is it honorable, or even honest, to win from the lips of another, under the guise of friendship, secrets which have been entrusted to him, and then turn the knowledge thus gained to his injury? Is it Christian charity to gather up every floating report, to unearth everything that will cast suspicion on the character of another, and then take delight in using it to injure him? Satan exults when he can defame or wound a follower of Christ. He is “the accuser of our brethren.” Shall Christians aid him in his work?

God’s all-seeing eye notes the defects of all and the ruling passion of each, yet He bears with our mistakes and pities our weakness. He bids His people cherish the same spirit of tenderness and forbearance. True Christians will not exult in exposing the faults and deficiencies of others. They will turn away from vileness and deformity, to fix the mind upon that which is attractive and lovely. To the Christian every act of faultfinding, every word of censure or condemnation, is painful.

There have always been men and women who profess the truth, who have not conformed their lives to its sanctifying influence; men who are unfaithful, yet deceiving themselves and encouraging themselves in sin. Unbelief is seen in their life, their deportment, and character, and this terrible evil acts as does a canker.

Would all professed Christians use their investigative powers to see what evils needed to be corrected in themselves, instead of talking of others’ wrongs, there would be a more healthy condition in the church today. . . .

All should wait patiently until they hear both sides of the question, and then believe only what stern facts compel them to believe.

Testimonies, vol. 5, 94–97.

Reprinted from LandMarks, October 1995.

Those who separate from God and lose their spirituality, do not fall back all at once into a state which the true Witness calls lukewarm. They conform to the world little by little. As its influence steals upon them, they fail to resist it and maintain the warfare. After the first step is taken to have friendship with the world, darkness follows and they are prepared for the next. At every step they take in the downward course darkness gathers about them, until they are enshrouded. As they conform to the world they lose the transforming influence of the Spirit of God. They do not realize their distance from God. They think themselves in good case because they profess to believe the truth. They grow weaker and weaker, until the Spirit of God is withdrawn, and God bids his angels, Let them alone! Jesus spues them out of his mouth. He has borne their names to his Father; he has interceded for them, but he ceases his pleadings. Their names are dropped, and they are left with the world. They realize no change. Their profession is the same. There has not been so glaring a departure from the appearance of right. They had become so assimilated to the world that when heaven’s light was withdrawn they did not miss it. Review and Herald, November 26, 1861.

Reprinted from LandMarks, April 1994.

Ellen G. White (1827–1915) wrote more than 5,000 periodical articles and 40 books during her lifetime. Today, including compilations from her 50,000 pages of manuscript, more than 100 titles are available in English. She is the most translated woman writer in the entire history of literature, and the most translated American author of either gender. Seventh-day Adventists believe that Mrs. White was appointed by God as a special messenger to draw the world’s attention to the Holy Scriptures and help prepare people for Christ’s second advent.