Bible Study Guides – Victorious Temperance

September 21, 2008 – September 27, 2008

Key Text

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22, 23.

Study Help: Child Guidance, 394-400; The Desire of Ages, 114-123.


“As the youth are educated, and as their characters are molded in their childhood to virtuous habits, self-control, and temperance, so will their influence be upon society.” The Adventist Home, 15.

1 How do our appetites and passions affect our ability to perform noble service? Ecclesiastes 10:17.

Note: “You need to exercise temperance in all things. Cultivate the higher powers of the mind, and there will be less strength of growth of the animal. It is impossible for you to increase in spiritual strength while your appetite and passions are not under perfect control.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 63.

2 What effect do appetite and passions have upon spiritual life? Luke 21:34.

Note: “Every true Christian will have control of his appetite and passions. Unless he is free from the bondage and slavery of appetite, he cannot be a true, obedient servant of Christ. It is the indulgence of appetite and passion which makes the truth of none effect upon the heart. It is impossible for the spirit and power of the truth to sanctify a man, soul, body, and spirit, when he is controlled by appetite and passion.” Counsels on Health, 86.

3 What does the Bible say about the bodies of true Christians? I Corinthians 6:19, 20.

4 What practical illustration did Paul use in regard to the Christian life? I Corinthians 9:24, 25.

Note: “In the hope of impressing vividly upon the minds of the Corinthian believers the importance of firm self-control, strict temperance, and unflagging zeal in the service of Christ, Paul in his letter to them made a striking comparison between the Christian warfare and the celebrated foot races held at stated intervals near Corinth. … Young men of rank and wealth took part in them and shrank from no effort or discipline necessary to obtain the prize.” The Acts of the Apostles, 309.

5 What testimony did the apostle give about his own struggle? I Corinthians 9:26, 27.

Note: “In referring to these races as a figure of the Christian warfare, Paul emphasized the preparation necessary to the success of the contestants in the race—the preliminary discipline, the abstemious diet, the necessity for temperance. … How much more important that the Christian, whose eternal interests are at stake, bring appetite and passion under subjection to reason and the will of God! Never must he allow his attention to be diverted by amusements, luxuries, or ease. All his habits and passions must be brought under the strictest discipline. Reason, enlightened by the teachings of God’s word and guided by His Spirit, must hold the reins of control.

“And after this has been done, the Christian must put forth the utmost exertion in order to gain the victory. In the Corinthian games the last few strides of the contestants in the race were made with agonizing effort to keep up undiminished speed. So the Christian, as he nears the goal, will press onward with even more zeal and determination than at the first of his course.

“To win a perishable prize, the Grecian runners spared themselves no toil or discipline. We are striving for a prize infinitely more valuable, even the crown of everlasting life. How much more careful should be our striving, how much more willing our sacrifice and self-denial!” The Acts of the Apostles, 311, 312.

“That he might not run uncertainly or at random in the Christian race, Paul subjected himself to severe training. The words, ‘I keep under my body,’ [I Corinthians 9:27] literally mean to beat back by severe discipline the desires, impulses, and passions.” Ibid., 314.

6 From what history had Daniel and his fellow captives been warned early in youth? Leviticus 10:1, 2.

Note: “From the fate of the sons of Aaron, they [the Hebrew worthies] knew that the use of wine would confuse their senses, that the indulgence of appetite would becloud their powers of discernment; and as wine had been prohibited to all who should engage in the service of God, they resolved that they would not partake of it.” The Youth’s Instructor, October 29, 1907.

7 Besides refusing strong drink, what further stand did they maintain even under the pressure facing them in the Babylonian court? Daniel 1:8.

Note: “As they [the Hebrew worthies] were brought to the test, they placed themselves fully on the side of truth and righteousness. By earnest prayer and study of the Scriptures, they were prepared to act intelligently in the matter. Flesh meat had not composed their diet in the past, and they determined that it should not come into their diet in the future.” The Youth’s Instructor, October 29, 1907.
“Daniel and his companions knew not what would be the result of their decision; they knew not but that it would cost them their lives; but they determined to keep the straight path of strict temperance even when in the courts of licentious Babylon.” Ibid, August 18, 1898.

8 How did these young men distinguish themselves—both initially and then after a three-year period of training? Daniel 1:11–15, 18–20.

Note: “The four Hebrew youth … did not feel that the blessing of the Lord was a substitute for the taxing effort required of them. They were diligent in study; for they discerned that through the grace of God their destiny depended upon their own will and action. …

“Here are revealed the conditions of success. To make God’s grace our own, we must act our part. The Lord does not propose to perform for us either the willing or the doing. His grace is given to work in us to will and to do, but never as a substitute for our effort.” The Youth’s Instructor, August 20, 1903.

“Their keen apprehension, their choice and exact language, their extensive knowledge, testified to the unimpaired strength and vigor of their mental power.” My Life Today, 147.

9 After His baptism, how did Christ prepare Himself for the imminent temptation? Luke 4:1, 2; Matthew 4:1, 2.

Note: “When Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted, He was led by the Spirit of God. He did not invite temptation. He went to the wilderness to be alone, to contemplate His mission and work. By fasting and prayer He was to brace Himself for the bloodstained path He must travel. But Satan knew that the Saviour had gone into the wilderness, and he thought this the best time to approach Him.” The Desire of Ages, 114.

10 What was Christ’s first temptation and how did He face it? Matthew 4:3, 4.

Note: “From the time of Adam to that of Christ, self-indulgence had increased the power of the appetites and passions, until they had almost unlimited control. Thus men had become debased and diseased, and of themselves it was impossible for them to overcome. In man’s behalf, Christ conquered by enduring the severest test. For our sake He exercised a self-control stronger than hunger or death. And in this first victory were involved other issues that enter into all our conflicts with the powers of darkness.” The Desire of Ages, 117.

11 What should we learn from the second temptation? Matthew 4:5–7.

Note “The wily foe himself presents words that proceeded from the mouth of God. He still appears as an angel of light, and he makes it evident that he is acquainted with the Scriptures, and understands the import of what is written. As Jesus before used the word of God to sustain His faith, the tempter now uses it to countenance his deception.” The Desire of Ages, 124.

12 What strategy did Satan use in the third temptation, and what did Jesus answer? Matthew 4:8–10.

13 How did Christ overcome? Hebrews 5:7–9.

Note: “The Captain of our salvation was perfected through suffering. His soul was made an offering for sin. It was necessary for the awful darkness to gather about His soul because of the withdrawal of the Father’s love and favor; for He was standing in the sinner’s place, and this darkness every sinner must experience. The righteous One must suffer the condemnation and wrath of God, not in vindictiveness; for the heart of God yearned with greatest sorrow when His Son, the guiltless, was suffering the penalty of sin. This sundering of the divine powers will never again occur throughout the eternal ages.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 924.

14 What is expected from His followers? I Peter 2:21.

Note: “The Lord has a people on the earth, who follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. He has His thousands who have not bowed the knee to Baal. Such will stand with Him on Mount Zion. But they must stand on this earth, girded with the whole armor, ready to engage in the work of saving those who are ready to perish. Heavenly angels conduct this search, and spiritual activity is demanded of all who believe present truth, that they may join the angels in their work.

“We need not wait till we are translated to follow Christ. God’s people may do this here below. We shall follow the Lamb of God in the courts above only if we follow Him here. Following Him in heaven depends on our keeping His commandments now. We are not to follow Christ fitfully or capriciously, only when it is for our advantage. We must choose to follow Him. In daily life we must follow His example, as a flock trustfully follows its shepherd. We are to follow Him by suffering for His sake, saying, at every step, ‘Though he slays me, yet will I trust in him.’ His life practise [sic] must be our life practise [sic]. And as we thus seek to be like him, and to bring our wills into conformity to his will, we shall reveal him.” The Review and Herald, April 12, 1898.

Additional Reading

“Of all the lessons to be learned from our Lord’s first great temptation none is more important than that bearing upon the control of the appetites and passions. In all ages, temptations appealing to the physical nature have been most effectual in corrupting and degrading mankind. Through intemperance, Satan works to destroy the mental and moral powers that God gave to man as a priceless endowment. Thus it becomes impossible for men to appreciate things of eternal worth. Through sensual indulgence, Satan seeks to blot from the soul every trace of likeness to God.

“The uncontrolled indulgence and consequent disease and degradation that existed at Christ’s first advent will again exist, with intensity of evil, before His second coming. Christ declares that the condition of the world will be as in the days before the Flood, and as in Sodom and Gomorrah. Every imagination of the thoughts of the heart will be evil continually. Upon the very verge of that fearful time we are now living, and to us should come home the lesson of the Saviour’s fast. Only by the inexpressible anguish which Christ endured can we estimate the evil of unrestrained indulgence. His example declares that our only hope of eternal life is through bringing the appetites and passions into subjection to the will of God.” The Desire of Ages, 122.

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Warning Against Disobedience

September 14, 2008 – September 20, 2008

Key Text

“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” Romans 5:19.

Study Help: The Acts of the Apostles, 309-322.


“The basis of a right character in the future man is made firm by habits of strict temperance in the mother prior to the birth of her child.” The Health Reformer, February 1, 1880.

1 By disobeying God’s instruction, what sin, among others, did Adam and Eve commit? Genesis 3:6.

Note: “Adam and Eve lost Eden through the indulgence of appetite, and we only regain it by the denial of the same.” The Review and Herald, October 21, 1884.

2 After transgressing, whom did they blame for their fall? Genesis 3:11–13.

Note: “He [Adam] who, from love to Eve, had deliberately chosen to forfeit the approval of God, his home in Paradise, and an eternal life of joy, could now, after his fall, endeavor to make his companion, and even the Creator Himself, responsible for the transgression. So terrible is the power of sin. …

“Thus like Adam, she [Eve] charged God with the responsibility of their fall. The spirit of self-justification originated in the father of lies; it was indulged by our first parents as soon as they yielded to the influence of Satan, and has been exhibited by all the sons and daughters of Adam. Instead of humbly confessing their sins, they try to shield themselves by casting the blame upon others, upon circumstances, or upon God—making even His blessings an occasion of murmuring against Him.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 57, 58.

3 What specific instructions did God give Manoah and his wife? Judges 13:3, 4, 13, 14.

Note: “God had an important work for the promised child of Manoah to do, and it was to secure for him the qualifications necessary for this work that the habits of both the mother and the child were to be carefully regulated. ‘Neither let her drink wine or strong drink,’ was the Angel’s instruction for the wife of Manoah, ‘nor eat any unclean thing. All that I commanded her let her observe.’ [Judges 13:14.] The child will be affected for good or for evil by the habits of the mother. She must herself be controlled by principle and must practice temperance and self-denial, if she would seek the welfare of her child. Unwise advisers will urge upon the mother the necessity of gratifying every wish and impulse, but such teaching is false and mischievous. The mother is by the command of God Himself placed under the most solemn obligation to exercise self-control.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 561.

4 What will be the consequences of disobeying the divine instructions on temperance? Galatians 6:7.

Note: “Fathers as well as mothers are involved in this responsibility [to exercise self-control]. Both parents transmit their own characteristics, mental and physical, their dispositions and appetites, to their children. As the result of parental intemperance children often lack physical strength and mental and moral power. Liquor drinkers and tobacco users may, and do, transmit their insatiable craving, their inflamed blood and irritable nerves, to their children. The licentious often bequeath their unholy desires, and even loathsome diseases, as a legacy to their offspring. And as the children have less power to resist temptation than had the parents, the tendency is for each generation to fall lower and lower. To a great degree parents are responsible not only for the violent passions and perverted appetites of their children but for the infirmities of the thousands born deaf, blind, diseased, or idiotic.

“The inquiry of every father and mother should be, ‘What shall we do unto the child that shall be born unto us?’ The effect of prenatal influences has been by many lightly regarded; but the instruction sent from heaven to those Hebrew parents, and twice repeated in the most explicit and solemn manner, shows how this matter is looked upon by our Creator.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 561.

5 What was the first big mistake of Samson? How did he ignore God’s commands? Judges 14:1–3; II Corinthians 6:15, 16.

Note: “Association with idolaters corrupted him [Samson]. The town of Zorah being near the country of the Philistines, Samson came to mingle with them on friendly terms. Thus in his youth intimacies sprang up, the influence of which darkened his whole life. A young woman dwelling in the Philistine town of Timnath engaged Samson’s affections, and he determined to make her his wife. To his God-fearing parents, who endeavored to dissuade him from his purpose, his only answer was, ‘She pleaseth me well.’ [Judges 14:3.] The parents at last yielded to his wishes, and the marriage took place.

“Just as he was entering upon manhood, the time when he must execute his divine mission—the time above all others when he should have been true to God—Samson connected himself with the enemies of Israel. He did not ask whether he could better glorify God when united with the object of his choice, or whether he was placing himself in a position where he could not fulfill the purpose to be accomplished by his life. To all who seek first to honor Him, God has promised wisdom; but there is no promise to those who are bent upon self-pleasing.

“How many are pursuing the same course as did Samson! How often marriages are formed between the godly and the ungodly, because inclination governs in the selection of husband or wife! The parties do not ask counsel of God, nor have His glory in view. Christianity ought to have a controlling influence upon the marriage relation, but it is too often the case that the motives which lead to this union are not in keeping with Christian principles.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 562, 563.

6 What was the end of Samson’s wrong step? Judges 14:20.

Note: “The wife, to obtain whom Samson had transgressed the command of God, proved treacherous to her husband before the close of the marriage feast. Incensed at her perfidy, Samson forsook her for the time, and went alone to his home at Zorah. When, afterward relenting, he returned for his bride, he found her the wife of another.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 563.

7 What other commandment did Samson break? Judges 16:1.

Note: “The Philistines were well acquainted with the divine law, and its condemnation of sensual indulgence. They kept a vigilant watch over all the movements of their enemy, and when he degraded himself by this new attachment, and they saw the bewitching power of the enchantress, they determined, through her, to accomplish his ruin.” The Signs of the Times, October 13, 1881.

“Samson, that mighty man of valor, was under a solemn vow to be a Nazarite during the period of his life; but becoming infatuated by the charms of a lewd woman, he rashly broke that sacred pledge. Satan worked through his agents to destroy this ruler of Israel, that the mysterious power which he possessed might no longer intimidate the enemies of God’s people. It was the influence of this bold woman that separated him from God, her artifices that proved his ruin. The love and service which God claims, Samson gave to this woman. This was idolatry. He lost all sense of the sacred character and work of God, and sacrificed honor, conscience, and every valuable interest, to base passion.” The Signs of the Times, July 1, 1903.

8 What was the final result of his temerarious actions? Judges 16:20, 21.

Note: “When he had been shaven, Delilah began to annoy him and cause him pain, thus making a trial of his strength; for the Philistines dared not approach him till fully convinced that his power was gone. Then they seized him and, having put out both his eyes, they took him to Gaza. Here he was bound with fetters in their prison house and confined to hard labor.

“What a change to him who had been the judge and champion of Israel!—now weak, blind, imprisoned, degraded to the most menial service! Little by little he had violated the conditions of his sacred calling. God had borne long with him; but when he had so yielded himself to the power of sin as to betray his secret, the Lord departed from him. There was no virtue in his long hair merely, but it was a token of his loyalty to God; and when the symbol was sacrificed in the indulgence of passion, the blessings of which it was a token were also forfeited.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 566.

9 What is the evidence that, by God’s mercy, Samson found repentance, and how is his final exercise of faith enshrined in Scripture? Judges 16:28–30; Hebrews 11:32.

Note: “In suffering and humiliation, a sport for the Philistines, Samson learned more of his own weakness than he had ever known before; and his afflictions led him to repentance. As his hair grew, his power gradually returned; but his enemies, regarding him as a fettered and helpless prisoner, felt no apprehensions.

“The Philistines ascribed their victory to their gods; and, exulting, they defied the God of Israel. A feast was appointed in honor of Dagon, the fish god, ‘the protector of the sea.’ From town and country throughout the Philistine plain the people and their lords assembled. Throngs of worshipers filled the vast temple and crowded the galleries about the roof. It was a scene of festivity and rejoicing. There was the pomp of the sacrificial service, followed by music and feasting. Then, as the crowning trophy of Dagon’s power, Samson was brought in. Shouts of exultation greeted his appearance. People and rulers mocked his misery and adored the god who had overthrown ‘the destroyer of their country.’ [Judges 16:24.] After a time, as if weary, Samson asked permission to rest against the two central pillars which supported the temple roof. Then he silently uttered the prayer, ‘O Lord God, remember me, I pray Thee, and strengthen me, I pray Thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines.’ With these words he encircled the pillars with his mighty arms; and crying, ‘Let me die with the Philistines!’ he bowed himself, and the roof fell, destroying at one crash all that vast multitude. ‘So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.’ [Judges 16: 28, 30.]

“The idol and its worshipers, priest and peasant, warrior and noble, were buried together beneath the ruins of Dagon’s temple. And among them was the giant form of him whom God had chosen to be the deliverer of His people.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 566, 567.

Additional Reading

“The principles of justice required a faithful narration of facts for the benefit of all who should ever read the Sacred Record. Here we discern the evidences of divine wisdom. We are required to obey the law of God, and are not only instructed as to the penalty of disobedience, but we have narrated for our benefit and warning the history of Adam and Eve in Paradise, and the sad results of their disobedience of God’s commands. The account is full and explicit. The law given to man in Eden is recorded, together with the penalty accruing in case of its disobedience. Then follows the story of the temptation and fall, and the punishment inflicted upon our erring parents. Their example is given us as a warning against disobedience, that we may be sure that the wages of sin is death, that God’s retributive justice never fails, and that He exacts from His creatures a strict regard for His commandments. When the law was proclaimed at Sinai, how definite was the penalty annexed, how sure was punishment to follow the transgression of that law, and how plain are the cases recorded in evidence of that fact!

“The pen of inspiration, true to its task, tells us of the sins that overcame Noah, Lot, Moses, Abraham, David, and Solomon, and that even Elijah’s strong spirit sank under temptation during his fearful trial. Jonah’s disobedience and Israel’s idolatry are faithfully recorded. Peter’s denial of Christ, the sharp contention of Paul and Barnabas, the failings and infirmities of the prophets and apostles, are all laid bare by the Holy Ghost, who lifts the veil from the human heart. There before us lie the lives of the believers, with all their faults and follies, which are intended as a lesson to all the generations following them. If they had been without foible they would have been more than human, and our sinful natures would despair of ever reaching such a point of excellence. But seeing where they struggled and fell, where they took heart again and conquered through the grace of God, we are encouraged, and led to press over the obstacles that degenerate nature places in our way.

“God has ever been faithful to punish crime. He sent His prophets to warn the guilty, denounce their sins, and pronounce judgment upon them. Those who question why the word of God brings out the sins of His people in so plain a manner for scoffers to deride and saints to deplore, should consider that it was all written for their instruction, that they may avoid the evils recorded and imitate only the righteousness of those who served the Lord.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 11, 12.

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – The True Vine

September 7, 2008 – September 13, 2008

Key Text

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” John 15:5.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 674-678; Christ’s Object Lessons, 139-149.


“Do not disappoint Him who so loved you that He gave His own life to cancel your sins. He says, ‘Without Me ye can do nothing.’ John 15:5. Remember this. If you have made mistakes, you certainly gain a victory if you see these mistakes and regard them as beacons of warning. Thus you turn defeat into victory, disappointing the enemy and honoring your Redeemer.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 332.

1 How can one profess to be “in Christ,” yet bear no fruit? John 15:1, 2, 6.

Note: “Since Christ has paid the price for all the service that we should give Him, we are His servants by purchase. Although we are in Christ Jesus by His covenant of promise, yet if we stand in a position of perfect indifference, without acknowledging Him as our Saviour, we bear no fruit. If by failing to be a partaker of His divine nature we bear no fruit, we are taken away. Worldly influences take us away from Christ, and our portion is the same as that of the unfruitful branch.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1143.

2 What is the work of Christ in behalf of those who bear fruit? John 15:2.

Note: “If we do not bear any fruit, the powers of darkness take possession of our minds, our affections, our service, and we are of the world, though we profess to be children of God. This is neither a safe nor a pleasant position, because we lose all the beauty and the glory and the satisfaction that it is our privilege to have. By abiding in Christ, we may have His sweetness, His fragrance, His light. Christ is the Light of the world. He shines in our hearts. His light in our hearts shines forth from our faces. By beholding the beauty and the glory of Christ, we become changed into the same image.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1143.

3 How can we have our character purified? John 15:3.

Note: “The truths of the word of God meet man’s great practical necessity—the conversion of the soul through faith. These grand principles are not to be thought too pure and holy to be brought into the daily life. They are truths which reach to heaven and compass eternity, yet their vital influence is to be woven into human experience. They are to permeate all the great things and all the little things of life.

“Received into the heart, the leaven of truth will regulate the desires, purify the thoughts, and sweeten the disposition. It quickens the faculties of the mind and the energies of the soul. It enlarges the capacity for feeling, for loving.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 100, 101.

4 What changes will be revealed in the life of true believers? Isaiah 1:16, 17.

Note: “The selfish, money-loving man lives only to secure for himself the riches, honors, and pleasures of this world. He loses the eternal world from his reckoning. But with the follower of Christ these things will not be all-absorbing. For Christ’s sake he will labor and deny self, that he may aid in the great work of saving souls who are without Christ and without hope in the world. Such a man the world cannot understand; for he is keeping in view eternal realities. The love of Christ with its redeeming power has come into the heart. This love masters every other motive, and raises its possessor above the corrupting influence of the world.

“The word of God is to have a sanctifying effect on our association with every member of the human family. The leaven of truth will not produce the spirit of rivalry, the love of ambition, the desire to be first. True, heaven-born love is not selfish and changeable. It is not dependent on human praise. The heart of him who receives the grace of God overflows with love for God and for those for whom Christ died. Self is not struggling for recognition. He does not love others because they love and please him, because they appreciate his merits, but because they are Christ’s purchased possession. If his motives, words, or actions are misunderstood or misrepresented, he takes no offense, but pursues the even tenor of his way. He is kind and thoughtful, humble in his opinion of himself, yet full of hope, always trusting in the mercy and love of God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 101, 102.

5 How can we live a fruitful spiritual life? John 15:4, 5.

Note: “A union with Christ by living faith is enduring; every other union must perish. Christ first chose us, paying an infinite price for our redemption; and the true believer chooses Christ as first and last and best in everything. But this union costs us something. It is a union of utter dependence, to be entered into by a proud being. All who form this union must feel their need of the atoning blood of Christ. They must have a change of heart. They must submit their own will to the will of God. There will be a struggle with outward and internal obstacles. There must be a painful work of detachment as well as a work of attachment. Pride, selfishness, vanity, worldliness—sin in all its forms—must be overcome if we would enter into a union with Christ. The reason why many find the Christian life so deplorably hard, why they are so fickle, so variable, is that they try to attach themselves to Christ without first detaching themselves from these cherished idols. Testimonies, vol. 5, 231.

6 How is it possible to preserve our union with Christ? Hebrews 12:1, 2.

Note: “After the union with Christ has been formed, it can be preserved only by earnest prayer and untiring effort. We must resist, we must deny, we must conquer self. Through the grace of Christ, by courage, by faith, by watchfulness, we may gain the victory.

“Believers become one in Christ, but one branch cannot be sustained by another. The nourishment must be obtained through the vital connection with the vine. We must feel our utter dependence on Christ. We must live by faith on the Son of God. That is the meaning of the injunction: ‘Abide in Me.’ The life we live in the flesh is not to the will of men, not to please our Lord’s enemies, but to serve and honor Him who loved us and gave Himself for us. A mere assent to this union, while the affections are not detached from the world, its pleasures and its dissipations, only emboldens the heart in disobedience.

“As a people we are sadly destitute of faith and love. Our efforts are altogether too feeble for the time of peril in which we live. The pride and self-indulgence, the impiety and iniquity, by which we are surrounded have an influence upon us. Few realize the importance of shunning, so far as possible, all associations unfriendly to religious life.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 231, 232.

7 What are the key conditions for obtaining answers to our prayers? John 15:7; I John 2:3–5.

Note: “Many are forfeiting the condition of acceptance with the Father. We need to examine closely the deed of trust wherewith we approach God. If we are disobedient, we bring to the Lord a note to be cashed when we have not fulfilled the conditions that would make it payable to us. We present to God His promises, and ask Him to fulfill them, when by so doing He would dishonor His own name. …

“One of Christ’s last commands to His disciples was ‘Love one another as I have loved you.’ (John 13:34). Do we obey this command, or are we indulging sharp, unchristlike traits of character? If we have in any way grieved or wounded others, it is our duty to confess our fault and seek for reconciliation. This is an essential preparation that we may come before God in faith, to ask His blessing.

“There is another matter too often neglected by those who seek the Lord in prayer. Have you been honest with God? By the prophet Malachi the Lord declares, ‘Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from Mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto Me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed Thee? In tithes and offerings.’ Malachi 3:7, 8.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 143, 144.

8 With what other conditions must we comply before God can answer our prayers? Psalm 66:18; Mark 11:24.

Note: “If we regard iniquity in our hearts, if we cling to any known sin, the Lord will not hear us; but the prayer of the penitent, contrite soul is always accepted. When all known wrongs are righted, we may believe that God will answer our petitions. Our own merit will never commend us to the favor of God; it is the worthiness of Jesus that will save us, His blood that will cleanse us; yet we have a work to do in complying with the conditions of acceptance.” Steps to Christ, 95.

“The beloved John, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, speaks with great plainness and assurance: ‘If we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us: and if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.’ I John 5:14, 15. Then press your petition to the Father in the name of Jesus. God will honor that name.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 148.

9 On what condition can we abide in Christ’s love? John 15:9, 10.

Note: “Always kind, courteous, ever taking the part of the oppressed, whether Jew or Gentile, Christ was beloved by all. By His perfect life and character, He answered the question asked in the fifteenth Psalm: ‘Lord, who shall abide in Thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in Thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.’ [Verses 1, 2.] In childhood and youth His course was such that when engaged in work as a teacher, He could say to His disciples, ‘If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love: even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.’ [John 15:10.]” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 402.

10 How did Christ summarize the law and reveal its essence? John 15:12, 13.

Note: “Christ has given us an example of pure, disinterested love. You have not as yet seen your deficiency in this respect, and your great need of this heavenly attainment, without which all your good purposes, and your zeal, even if it be of that nature that you could give your goods to feed the poor and your body to be burned, is nothing. You need that charity which suffereth long, is not easily provoked, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Without the spirit of love, no one can be like Christ. With this living principle in the soul, no one can be like the world.

“The conduct of Christians is like that of their Lord. He erected the standard, and it is left for us to say whether or not we will rally around it. Our Lord and Saviour laid aside His dominion, His riches and glory, and sought after us, that He might save us from misery and make us like Himself.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 169, 170.

Additional Reading

“Jesus and the disciples were on the way to Gethsemane, at the foot of Mount Olivet, a retired spot which He had often visited for meditation and prayer. The Saviour had been explaining to His disciples His mission to the world, and the spiritual relation to Him which they were to sustain. Now He illustrates the lesson. The moon is shining bright, and reveals to Him a flourishing grapevine. Drawing the attention of the disciples to it, He employs it as a symbol.

“ ‘I am the true Vine,’ [John 15:1] He says. Instead of choosing the graceful palm, the lofty cedar, or the strong oak, Jesus takes the vine with its clinging tendrils to represent Himself. The palm tree, the cedar, and the oak stand alone. They require no support. But the vine entwines about the trellis, and thus climbs heavenward. So Christ in His humanity was dependent upon divine power. ‘I can of Mine own self do nothing,’ He declared. John 5:30.

“ ‘I am the Vine, ye are the branches,’ [John 15:5] Christ said to His disciples. Though He was about to be removed from them, their spiritual union with Him was to be unchanged. The connection of the branch with the vine, He said, represents the relation you are to sustain to Me. The scion is engrafted into the living vine, and fiber by fiber, vein by vein, it grows into the vine stock. The life of the vine becomes the life of the branch. So the soul dead in trespasses and sins receives life through connection with Christ. By faith in Him as a personal Saviour the union is formed. The sinner unites his weakness to Christ’s strength, his emptiness to Christ’s fullness, his frailty to Christ’s enduring might. Then he has the mind of Christ. The humanity of Christ has touched our humanity, and our humanity has touched divinity. Thus through the agency of the Holy Spirit man becomes a partaker of the divine nature. He is accepted in the Beloved.

“This union with Christ, once formed, must be maintained. Christ said, ‘Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me.’ [John 15:4] This is no casual touch, no off-and-on connection. The branch becomes a part of the living vine. The communication of life, strength, and fruitfulness from the root to the branches is unobstructed and constant. Separated from the vine, the branch cannot live. No more, said Jesus, can you live apart from Me. The life you have received from Me can be preserved only by continual communion. Without Me you cannot overcome one sin, or resist one temptation.” The Desire of Ages, 674, 675.

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – A New Creation

August 31, 2008 – September 6, 2008

Key Text

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” II Corinthians 5:17.

Study Help: John 3:1-21; I Peter 1:1-25; The Desire of Ages, 167-177.


“Through the power of Christ, men and women have broken the chains of sinful habit. They have renounced selfishness. The profane have become reverent, the drunken sober, the profligate pure. Souls that have borne the likeness of Satan have become transformed into the image of God.” The Acts of the Apostles, 476.

1 What basic truth did Christ tell Nicodemus? John 3:3, 5.

Note: “Nicodemus had come to the Lord thinking to enter into a discussion with Him, but Jesus laid bare the foundation principles of truth. He said to Nicodemus, It is not theoretical knowledge you need so much as spiritual regeneration. You need not to have your curiosity satisfied, but to have a new heart. You must receive a new life from above before you can appreciate heavenly things. Until this change takes place, making all things new, it will result in no saving good for you to discuss with Me My authority or My mission.” The Desire of Ages, 171.

2 When does this new birth take place, and what should be our immediate response to it? John 1:12, 13.

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

“Jesus leads the way. Do not wait and continue in disobedience, hoping circumstances may change, making it easier for you to obey. Go forward, for you know the will of God.” The Signs of the Times, April 10, 1893.

3 What happens when the repentant sinner is justified or forgiven? I John 1:9; Psalm 51:10.

Note: “God’s forgiveness is not merely a judicial act by which He sets us free from condemnation. It is not only forgiveness for sin, but reclaiming from sin. It is the outflow of redeeming love that transforms the heart.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 114.

4 How will forgiven sinners deal with others? Matthew 6:12, 14, 15.

Note: “He who is unforgiving cuts off the very channel through which alone he can receive mercy from God. We should not think that unless those who have injured us confess the wrong we are justified in withholding from them our forgiveness. It is their part, no doubt, to humble their hearts by repentance and confession; but we are to have a spirit of compassion toward those who have trespassed against us, whether or not they confess their faults. However sorely they may have wounded us, we are not to cherish our grievances and sympathize with ourselves over our injuries; but as we hope to be pardoned for our offenses against God we are to pardon all who have done evil to us.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 113, 114.

5 What is essential for us so that we may forgive others? I Corinthians 13:1–8; I John 4:16.

Note: “The one thing essential for us in order that we may receive and impart the forgiving love of God is to know and believe the love that He has to us. 1 John 4:16. Satan is working by every deception he can command, in order that we may not discern that love. He will lead us to think that our mistakes and transgressions have been so grievous that the Lord will not have respect unto our prayers and will not bless and save us. In ourselves we can see nothing but weakness, nothing to recommend us to God, and Satan tells us that it is of no use; we cannot remedy our defects of character. When we try to come to God, the enemy will whisper, It is of no use for you to pray; did not you do that evil thing? Have you not sinned against God and violated your own conscience? But we may tell the enemy that ‘the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.’ 1 John 1:7. When we feel that we have sinned and cannot pray, it is then the time to pray. Ashamed we may be and deeply humbled, but we must pray and believe.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 115.

6 Besides accepting Christ as our Saviour, what is essential for us to begin a new life? Colossians 2:6; I John 1:7.

Note: “Now that you have given yourself to Jesus, do not draw back, do not take yourself away from Him, but day by day say, ‘I am Christ’s; I have given myself to Him;’ and ask Him to give you His Spirit and keep you by His grace. As it is by giving yourself to God, and believing Him, that you become His child, so you are to live in Him. The apostle says, ‘As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him.’ Colossians 2:6.” Steps to Christ, 52.

“As the flower turns to the sun, that the bright beams may aid in perfecting its beauty and symmetry, so should we turn to the Sun of Righteousness, that heaven’s light may shine upon us, that our character may be developed into the likeness of Christ.” Steps to Christ, 67, 68.

“You are just as dependent upon Christ, in order to live a holy life, as is the branch upon the parent stock for growth and fruitfulness. Apart from Him you have no life. You have no power to resist temptation or to grow in grace and holiness. Abiding in Him, you may flourish. Drawing your life from Him, you will not wither nor be fruitless. You will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water. God’s Amazing Grace, 300.

“Many have an idea that they must do some part of the work alone. They have trusted in Christ for the forgiveness of sin, but now they seek by their own efforts to live aright. But every such effort must fail. Jesus says, ‘Without Me ye can do nothing.’ [John 15:5]. Our growth in grace, our joy, our usefulness—all depend upon our union with Christ. It is by communion with Him, daily, hourly—by abiding in Him—that we are to grow in grace.” God’s Amazing Grace, 293.

7 How did Enoch walk with God? Genesis 5:22–24; Hebrews 11:5.

Note: “Enoch’s walk with God was not in a trance or a vision, but in all the duties of his daily life. He did not become a hermit, shutting himself entirely from the world; for he had a work to do for God in the world. In the family and in his intercourse with men, as a husband and father, a friend, a citizen, he was the steadfast, unwavering servant of the Lord. …

“There are few Christians who would not be far more earnest and devoted if they knew that they had but a short time to live, or that the coming of Christ was about to take place. But Enoch’s faith waxed the stronger, his love became more ardent, with the lapse of centuries.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 85.

8 What message did God Himself convey to Abraham? Genesis 17:1–5; John 8:56.

Note: “There is hope for us only as we come under the Abrahamic covenant, which is the covenant of grace by faith in Christ Jesus. The gospel preached to Abraham, through which he had hope, was the same gospel that is preached to us today, through which we have hope. Abraham looked unto Jesus, who is also the Author and the Finisher of our faith.” The Youth’s Instructor, September 22, 1892.

9 What are the various ways by which today’s true children of Abraham will reflect the character of that patriarch of old? Hebrews 11:8–10; Galatians 3:6–9.

Note: “The ten holy precepts had not been written upon the tables of stone by the finger of God in Abraham’s day. But Abraham was acquainted with them. They had been handed down from generation to generation; parents had taught their children the will of the Creator. Having educated himself to obey the law of God, the spirit of the commandments given in Eden was woven into the character of Abraham, fashioning his life after the divine pattern; and as a result his family was enlightened. He feared the Lord with all his house; for God’s standard of holiness was made known by Abraham to both masters and servants.

“He who combines faith and works will command his household after him, and like Abraham, will fear the Lord with all his house.” The Gospel Herald, August 1, 1906.

“The faith of Abraham should be our example, yet how few will patiently endure a simple test of reproof for the sins which imperil their eternal welfare. How few receive reproof with humility, and profit by it. God’s claim upon our faith, our services, our affections, should meet with a cheerful response. We are infinite debtors to the Lord and should unhesitatingly comply with the least of His requirements.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 253.

“We must dwell as pilgrims and strangers here if we would gain ‘a better country, that is, an heavenly.’ Hebrews 11:16. Those who are children of Abraham will be seeking the city which he looked for, ‘whose builder and maker is God.’ [Hebrews 11:10].” Patriarchs and Prophets, 170.

10 What will be realized by all who will inhabit the New Earth? Matthew 5:5; Revelation 21:1–7; 22:14.

Note: “ ‘I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.’ Revelation 21:6. This promise is only to those that thirst. None but those who feel their need of the water of life, and seek it at the loss of all things else, will be supplied. ‘He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son.’ verse 7. Here, also, conditions are specified. In order to inherit all things, we must resist and overcome sin.” The Great Controversy, 540.

“An infinite price has been paid to bring us into connection with Christ. Self-indulgence must cease. We must come into right relations with God, and we must be cleansed from all iniquity, and walk worthy of the vocation whereunto we are called.” The Signs of the Times, July 29, 1889.

11 What will be the reward of the wicked, and how will God’s good name be vindicated? Revelation 21:8; 22:15; Psalm 37:9.

Note: “Some are destroyed as in a moment, while others suffer many days. All are punished ‘according to their deeds.’ [Jeremiah 25:14.] The sins of the righteous having been transferred to Satan, he is made to suffer not only for his own rebellion, but for all the sins which he has caused God’s people to commit. His punishment is to be far greater than that of those whom he has deceived. After all have perished who fell by his deceptions, he is still to live and suffer on. In the cleansing flames the wicked are at last destroyed, root and branch—Satan the root, his followers the branches. The full penalty of the law has been visited; the demands of justice have been met; and Heaven and earth, beholding, declare the righteousness of Jehovah.” The Great Controversy, 673.

Additional Reading

“The work of redemption involves consequences of which it is difficult for man to have any conception. ‘Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.’ I Corinthians 2:9. As the sinner, drawn by the power of Christ, approaches the uplifted cross, and prostrates himself before it, there is a new creation. A new heart is given him. He becomes a new creature in Christ Jesus. Holiness finds that it has nothing more to require. God Himself is ‘the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.’ Romans 3:26. And ‘whom He justified, them He also glorified.’ Romans 8:30. Great as is the shame and degradation through sin, even greater will be the honor and exaltation through redeeming love. To human beings striving for conformity to the divine image there is imparted an outlay of heaven’s treasure, an excellency of power, that will place them higher than even the angels who have never fallen.” Christ Object Lessons, 162, 163.

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Recipe – Sprouted Lentils

2 cups lentils, sprouted

½ cup onion, chopped fine

1 tsp. salt

1 ¼ cups water

Sprout lentils for about five days until they are ½” long. Combine all ingredients in kettle and cook slowly over low heat for approximately 15-20 minutes. Add more water as needed to make a broth. Serve over rice or pasta. For variations you may consider adding some of your favorite vegetables or replacing salt with Bragg’s Liquid Aminos. Enjoy!

Food – Digestion

The human body is an amazing miracle that only an omniscient being could create. We each are responsible for the maintenance of our bodies such that we may operate to our fullest potential. Diet is one of the most important ways we revitalize ourselves physically. In order to understand our nutritional needs it is important to understand the intricate workings of the digestive system.

God designed our bodies to partake of a vegetarian diet. The differences between ourselves and carnivores, such as, lions, are pertinent differences that uphold the idea that we are still intended for a diet of plant life. The way by which we obtain food in itself is evidence of this. Humans have hands and fingers, including an opposable thumb, which are excellent for picking foods and, if you have a green opposable thumb, planting! Lions, on the other hand, would find this difficult as they have paws with sharp, retractable claws which are designed to fell prey and tear flesh.

The difference in diet is supported by the digestive differences between the herbivore and carnivore. Most people know that digestion begins in the mouth with saliva. But another structural variation between humans and lions that differentiates how we digest our food is the teeth. Carnivores have sharp, pointed teeth necessary for tearing flesh, where humans have flat teeth for grinding fruits, vegetables, and grains. There is also a difference in the saliva produced. A human’s saliva contains salivary amylase which begins the break down of complex carbohydrates found in plants. So chew well! The lion has no salivary amylase in his saliva, but he certainly has the intestinal juices to make up for it!

Lions have a chemical substance in their stomachs called hydrochloric acid. Humans have this also, but our carnivore friends certainly have the lion’s share. They have ten times the amount of this acid in their stomachs! This is very necessary, however, as meat is more difficult to digest. Carbohydrates and plant proteins are much easier on our stomachs as they do not require such high levels of hydrochloric acid to digest.

Humans have intestines that extend 24 to 26 feet in length! Imagine the convolution that is required to make room just for our intestines! The length is pertinent though. It allows for the time needed to digest our food and allow our bodies to absorb the nutrients we require to function properly. A lion does not need such a long intestinal corridor. In fact it would be quite harmful since the flesh ingested would putrefy in the body’s warm environment. A lion’s intestines, in contrast, average around 8 feet in length to allow for quick removal of the food ingested.

As we consider these few differences between our bodies and the lion’s, it is easy to see that we were built for different diets. In studying Genesis 1:29 and Genesis 3:17 our Creator has spelled out for us the diet He recommends for His most beloved creation. How wonderful that our Heavenly Father is so concerned for our health!

Children’s Story – Angel of Mercy

The night air was thick with the smell of gun powder, and the stars were drowned out by the smoke still polluting the air of Chantilly battlefield. A tiny figure in skirts and bows moved in and out among the wounded soldiers, wrapping wounds and bringing water to the battered men lying at her feet. The nurse was huddled over a young soldier giving him a glass of water when she felt a tug on her skirt.

“Ma’am,” said the feeble voice behind her.

Clara turned to see the war torn face of yet another young soldier injured in the battle.

“Yes?” she replied.

“Ma’am, do you not recognize me?” He asked in a shaky voice.

“I apologize, but I do not.” Clara searched the face for any feature she may recognize under the many bandages. “Praise be!” she exclaimed. “Why Markus, I did not recognize you. You have changed much over the years!”

“I am much comforted by seeing you, Miss Barton. I still remember the day you beat me in the school race. I was so arrogant! I never thought that such a small school teacher could outrun one of her students. You sure taught me a lesson!”

“And I remember the look on your face as you crossed the finish line after me. I had never seen any face so red except my own!” Clara responded as she adjusted a bandage on Markus’ arm. Just as she was doing so, the sleeve on Clara’s dress shivered and she looked down to find a bullet hole through the lace. Turning back to Markus, she found him still.

This was the reality facing the young Clara Barton. Growing up, she was a painfully shy girl. In fact, she was so shy that she would often be unable to eat at the dinner table when guests were visiting her family. She was very bright, learning to read by the age of four. Two of her older siblings were teachers and assisted in her education. And, growing up on a farm, she soon was a first rate horseback rider.

To cure her of her terrible shyness, her family sent Clara to a boarding school for girls, believing that she would be forced to overcome her bashfulness if she was on her own away from home. But she was so timid she could not interact with the other girls, unable even to eat at the table with them. Clara soon became very sickly and her father had to come for her.

Clara had a special talent for healing—a gift that was evident very early on. She tended to the injured animals on the farm with such skill that neighbors and friends would come to her with their sick animals. Her talents were needed at a very young age for her brother, David.

One day, her family was attending a barn-raising for another family nearby. Her older brother, David, was on the rafters working, when he lost his balance and plummeted to the ground.

“David!” Clara yelled and ran to her bother’s side. Everyone expected David to be dead after such a fall, but Clara found him still breathing. “Don’t touch him,” Clara told a man who was attempting to lift him to a cart, “if he has broken his back, you will injure him further.”

“Mama, go and get some water and bandages.” Clara yelled turning to her mother who was standing behind her. “Papa, make a brace with those boards over there.” Under the careful instruction of the little Clara Barton, David was taken back home without further injury. It was two full years of dedicated nursing by Clara, before David fully recovered.

During the civil war that tore our nation in the 1800s, Clara heard of the wounded soldiers who were dying simply from the lack of care. Indignant at the neglect of those giving their lives for the cause for their country, Clara did not rest until she obtained permission and supplies to attend the soldiers on the front lines of battle. Here she worked tirelessly to perfect a method by which to care for the wounded and save the lives of thousands.

Clara Barton seems a very unlikely candidate for the role of a nurse on the front lines of battle. But, through God’s power, those who seem most unfit can be used for the most awesome of tasks. And so it was, whenever someone was in need of help, the timid and shy Clara Barton would rise to the occasion and come to the aide of any who were ill or injured, no matter the circumstance. This quality was what later led her to the battlefields of America, and on to become a key founder of the American Red Cross.

Alicia Freedman is currently working on our LandMarks team and can be contacted at:

Health – Genetic Engineering Pt.2

In the 1930’s in Brush Mountain, Virginia, the county sheriff would raid the hill of families who had been separated from society and deemed “unfit.” The purpose for the raid was to sterilize these “unfit” individuals as was permitted under “The Racial Integrity Act of Virginia.” The law was repealed in 1963, but how did the United States government become involved in such atrocities in the first place?

In 1923, the American Eugenics Society was founded with support from many scientists and the social elite. One of their purposes was to influence legislation in favor of mandatory sterilizations, as they were fearful for the future of the human race. The paramount question is, of course, who gets to play god and decide who is required to undergo such an operation?

Physicians, lawyers, judges, the police, legislators, scientists, and the upper class were all involved. Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes upheld the constitutionality of the Virginia law on mandatory sterilization saying, “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” Ironically, the weight of evidence is that none of the three generations of women in question were mentally retarded as the Supreme Court Justice thought. (See Oliver Wendell Holmes and Buck vs. Bell, 1927.)

Since mental deficiency was considered to be partially hereditary, it was decided that inmates at state institutions who were pronounced as hopeless cases by at least two physicians, were to be involuntarily sterilized. Of course, sterilizing the insane was simply a way by which to accustom society to the atrocious practice. Once the operations were seen as socially acceptable, what other individuals might be slated for involuntary sterilizations?

The theories of evolution and “survival of the fittest” were tools that influenced those involved in what became known as the U.S. Eugenics Movement. By their standards, the most superior of the human race were the Nordic, or Northern Europeans. Aside from the mentally defective, the physically deformed, the blacks, Jews, Indians, Hispanics, Eastern European Jews, and the poor were also subjected to involuntary sterilizations. In addition to sterilization, regulations were placed on marriages. Through these means, many believed the less desirable of the human race would disappear in one generation.

California became the epicenter of the United States Eugenics Movement. Nearly half of the more than 60,000 persons who were forcibly sterilized were in California. In Cold Springs, Long Island, millions of index cards on ordinary Americans were stockpiled for future use in removing whole bloodlines, or families.

Adolf Hitler made a careful study of the American Eugenics laws and their rationales, finding them to give him the scientific support he needed to develop his idea of a super race. The idea of a superman was already present in the philosophy of Nietzche. This advantage coupled with the theory of Eugenics supported Hitler in his design to improve the genetic stock of Germany. By establishing human breeding centers and eliminating those they deemed inferior, the Nazis sought to build this advanced race. Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest was to be carried out to a greater degree by Hitler’s social program. This was the scientific rationale which led to the murder of six million Jews during World War 11. The experiment to improve the health and well-being of the human race resulted in breaking the sixth and seventh commandments millions of times over.

Hitler followed the same initial steps as the Eugenics movement in the United States. In fact, his sterilization laws in 1933 were patterned after the proposed law by an American eugenicist. This was followed by a series of laws passed to ensure the preservation of the perfect race. In 1935, Nuremburg’s racial laws restricted marriages between Germans and non Aryans. In 1936 all medical students were required to take racial hygiene courses and to study euthanasia laws, and finally in 1942 an attempt was made to exterminate the Jews. Many Jewish scientists had originally supported the Eugenic movement’s ideas never dreaming, one day, that they themselves would be considered amongst the “unfit.” All these facts are documented in the book, The War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race, by Edwin Black.

In the same way many people are supporting movements that will subject them either to abject servitude or destruction.

After World War 11 eugenics became unpopular with the whole of the world having witnessed the results of such thinking in Germany. However, the philosophy of Eugenics did not die. It was simply disguised in other names such as “genetic research,” and later “genetic engineering.” In Hitler’s time all that the eugenics movement could do was to breed selectively. The increase of breeding among the desired genetic lines also increased fornication and adultery, and the decrease of breeding by the undesirable lines resulted in forced sterilization and genocide.

But in the post World War 11 world, research proceeded in earnest to find out how man could actually manipulate and control the heredity of plants and animals, thereby, to some degree, controlling the future and destiny of the human race. Such manipulation is expressly addressed in Leviticus 19:19. It has been proclaimed by some Christians that are involved in this work that sin has caused defective genes. They state that if the defective genes were replaced with genes that were not defective, a myriad of ailments might be cured. It is true that sin has created havoc on the human gene pool. Perhaps if all that was being done was to replace a defective gene with a non-defective gene, the world could rest in peace. But, as we will see, this is not all that is being developed. Genetic engineering is conducted according to worldview and philosophy, a view which finds its base in humanism and evolution; a philosophical backdrop which influences what types of genetic experiments are attempted.

In the year 1990, America became the first country to allow new genes to be introduced to human beings. As these techniques are refined, what can we expect to happen? It is believed that we will eventually have “designer babies.” The fact is we have already started. You may have read advertising in the New York Times asking if you want to choose the gender of your next baby. This is presently being done in clinical trials. If the procedure is scientific, many people do not consider the fact that scientific fornication is still fornication, using what is called scientifically based sperm-sorting procedures. Can we then consider ourselves to be self-made men and women? One question is: if this process persists, and such experiments become perfected and extensively practiced, what will these new beings be like? We already have some evidence that these experiments can produce not just “supermen,” but monsters as well and nobody can predict or imagine what the final outcome of such experiments could be.

Why is God going to destroy the earth when Jesus returns? Because it will have become the same as it was in the days of Noah: “If there was one sin above another which called for the destruction of the race by the flood, it was the base crime of amalgamation of man and beast which defaced the image of God, and caused confusion everywhere. God purposed to destroy by a flood that powerful, long-lived race that had corrupted their ways before him. He would not suffer them to live out the days of their natural life, which would be hundreds of years.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 69.

Pastor John Grosboll is Director of Steps to Life and pastors the Prairie Meadows Church in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by e-mail at:, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.

Nature – The Mountain Boomer

The Collared Lizard is a North American lizard with a large head and powerful jaws that can reach a length of 14 inches. Black bands around the neck and shoulders give this lizard a collared look, hence its name. The mature males of this brightly colored species are green with the head often being yellow. They also have brightly colored throats of blue, green, or orange and may have blue patches on the belly. The females are generally duller with orange or salmon-colored bars or speckling on sides when gravid. Found from Missouri to Texas and west to the Pacific states and Mexico, Collared Lizards prefer hilly, rocky areas. They are diurnal, and are especially active during warm sunny weather. They bask on the warm rocks to regulate their body temperature. When the rocks get too hot they move into the shade to cool off.

Collared Lizards feed mainly on insects but will take small vertebrate prey, including mammals and other lizards, and occasionally some fruit and vegetable matter. When stalking their prey they often wave their tail like a cat. Males are very territorial toward other males and usually sit on a high rock to guard their territories and watch for danger. They go through a series of head-bobbing and push-up displays to intimidate other males that trespass and to impress passing females. Several females may live in and around a male’s territory. Females lay 4-8 eggs in loose sand or in tunnels under rocks or boulders.

The Collared Lizard is the state reptile of Oklahoma where it is fondly known as the “Mountain Boomer”. This name came from the early days when this lizard was mistakenly thought to emit a booming sound that was often heard echoing through the hills where these lizards were common. The real source of these booming sounds was probably the Barking Frog which often lives under the same rocks where the lizards bask. When fleeing predators, Collared Lizards have the ability to run bipedal on their hind legs, with their tails raised off the ground to reduce drag, making them look like tiny T-rex dinosaurs. They are relatively fast sprinters with recorded speeds of up to 16 miles per hour. When unable to outrun a predator, Collared Lizards will take shelter under large rocks and in rock crevices where they will inflate their body with air to wedge themselves tightly to prevent removal. If cornered they will threaten with open mouth revealing a black mouth lining. When captured they can bite hard and it is difficult to get them to let go. There is a regional saying that they won’t let go until it thunders.

Just as the Mountain Boomers depend on the rocks for shelter and protection, so should we Christians live in faith and depend on our rock, Christ. “He is the rock … Centuries before the advent of Christ, Moses pointed to Him as the rock of Israel’s salvation; the psalmist sung of Him as ‘my redeemer,’ ‘the rock of my strength,’ ‘the rock that is higher than I,’ ‘a rock of habitation,’ ‘rock of my heart,’ ‘rock of my refuge.’ … Isaiah describes Him as the ‘rock of ages,’ and ‘the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.’ That I May Know Him, 24. “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; The God of my rock; in him will I trust: [he is] my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.” II Samuel 22:2, 3.

Question – What does the Bible mean when it talks about the seal of the living God?


What does the Bible mean when it talks about the seal of the living God?


And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” Revelation 7:2, 3.

Let us stop and think about a seal, any seal. While canning fruit the jar is sealed and you expect the fruit to be preserved in the same condition as when you put it into the jar until you break the seal.

Another kind of seal is one that is used when you take a document to sign in the presence of a Notary Public and have them put an official seal on it. What is the purpose of this seal? It is to make the document permanently official. When a document is stamped and signed by the Notary Public it is sealed and cannot be changed.

In conclusion, anything that is sealed is permanent and in the condition that it was when sealed. It is agreed to, it is unchangeable, and it is final!

If we apply these definitions to the seal of God we come up with some very interesting facts. Whatever God’s seal says, the receiving party agrees to the conditions and acts accordingly.

A seal contains three elements—the name, the title, and the territory of the one issuing the seal. When we read the Ten Commandments we find that God put His seal right in the middle of the commandments. The fourth commandment says, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: … For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is. …” Here we find the three necessary elements for a seal—His name, the Lord; His title, the Creator; His territory, heaven and earth.

Exodus 31:13 says, “Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it [is] a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that [ye] may know that I [am] the Lord that doth sanctify you.”

Ezekiel 20:20 says, “And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I [am] the Lord your God.”

From these texts we can conclude that the seventh-day Sabbath is the seal of God. Those people who have decided to obey God and honor Him by resting on the Sabbath and refusing to do ordinary work on that day will be sealed with the seal of the living God and given a home in heaven with Him forever.

The text in Revelation 7 continues, “Hurt not the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees until the servants of God are sealed on their foreheads.” Verse 3. The servants of God will keep the Sabbath because they are truly convinced beyond a doubt that the Sabbath is the seal of the living God. They are determined to keep the seventh-day Sabbath in honor of God forever. God protects the earth and the sea from destruction until His servants are sealed, or until His people decide to keep His holy day regardless of the consequences. Then they are sealed for eternity.

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