Bible Study Guides – Mind Twisting Role Reversals

September 19, 2010 – September 25, 2010

Key Text

“Each of the ancient prophets spoke less for their own time than for ours. … Their prophesying is in force for us. … Daniel, Isaiah, and Ezekiel … spoke of things that … reached down to the future, and to what should occur in these last days.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 338, 419, 420.


The lesson in the previous week and this lesson are a study in polar contrasting experiences and outcomes. The outcomes are impossible to anticipate solely through the lens of human experience. They are easily unanticipated when tradition is the standard for prophetic interpretation. The student should carefully note in these lessons that modern Israel has, as Israel did in the time of Christ, been preparing for a tragic surprise by misinterpreting and misapplying promises of victory for the church. Are you ready for a surprise?

1 What does Babylon say just before her captivity and destruction?

“… ‘I shall be a lady forever,’ … ‘I am, and there is no one else besides me; I shall not sit as a widow, nor shall I know the loss of children;’ but these two things shall come to you in a moment, in one day: the loss of children, and widowhood. They shall come upon you in their fullness because of the multitude of your sorceries.” Isaiah 47:7–9. [Compare with the 6th plague.] [Emphasis supplied.]

“For she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’ Therefore her plagues will come in one day.” Revelation 18:7, 8.

2 Does Babylon also go through any birth pains at the end?

“The king of Babylon has heard the report about them [his enemies]. … Anguish has taken hold of him, pangs as of a woman in childbirth.” Jeremiah 50:43.

“Beautiful in elevation … is Mount Zion. … God is … her refuge … the kings assembled. … They saw it, and … marveled; they were troubled. … Fear took hold of them there, and pain, as of a woman in childbirth.” Psalm 48:2–6.

“Wail, for the day of the Lord is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty. Because of this … they will writhe like a woman in labor.” Isaiah 13:6-–8.

“Sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman.” I Thessalonians 5:3.

3 How is it that we find Zion so crowded, when only a tiny remnant survived the decimation of the church?

Note how Isaiah shows that the remnant will be wondering this too!

“Then you will say in your heart, ‘Who has begotten these for me, since I have lost my children and am desolate, a captive, and wandering to and fro? And who has brought these up? There I was, left alone; but these, where were they?’ ” Isaiah 49:21.

“You will divide … inheritance for yourselves, and for the strangers who sojourn among you and who bear children among you. They shall be to you as native-born … they shall have an inheritance with … Israel.” Ezekiel 47:22.

“I was found by those who did not seek Me … but to Israel he says: ‘All day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient … people.’ … But you are those who forsake the Lord. … You shall leave your name as a curse to My chosen.” Romans 10:20, 21, quoting from Isaiah; Isaiah 65:11, 15.

“I will call them My people, who were not My people … in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ There they will be called the sons of the living God.” Romans 9:25, 26.

“I will signal for them and gather them in. Surely I will redeem them; they will be as numerous as before. Though I scatter them among the peoples, yet in distant lands they will remember Me. They and their children will survive, and they will return. I will bring them back from Egypt, and gather them from Assyria [Babylon]. … And there will not be room enough for them.” Zechariah 10:8–10.

“Enlarge the place of your tent.” Isaiah 54:2.

“In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land, whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, ‘Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.’ “… The Lord will thresh … and you will be gathered one by one, O you children of Israel. … They will come, who are about to perish in the land of Assyria … who are outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem.” Isaiah 19:24; 27:12.

“I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! And I say to you that many will come from the east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 8:10-–12.

“And the foreigners who convert to the Lord, … all who keep the Sabbath … I will bring them to … My house of prayer. … For My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations. [This is] the declaration of the Lord God, who gathers the dispersed of Israel: ‘I will gather to them still others besides those already gathered.’ ” Isaiah 56:6–8.

4 How are we shown that the final work will happen quickly?

“I, the Lord, will hasten it in its time.” Isaiah 60:22.

“For as soon as Zion was in labor, she gave birth to her children.” Isaiah 66:8.

“For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, because the Lord will make a short work upon the earth.” Romans 9:28. (Paul quoting from Isaiah 10 and Isaiah 28).

“For yet a very little while and the indignation will cease, as will My anger in their [Babylon’s] destruction.” Isaiah 10:25. [Emphasis supplied.]

“The last great conflict will be short, but terrible.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 419.

5 How are we shown that there will be a complete role reversal between Zion and Babylon?

“For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will still choose Israel, and settle them in their own land. The strangers will be joined with them. … They will take them captive whose captives they were, and rule over their oppressors. It shall come to pass in the day the Lord gives you rest from … the hard bondage … that you will take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say: ‘How the oppressor has ceased! … He who ruled … is persecuted, … indeed the cypress trees rejoice over you, and the cedars of Lebanon,’ saying, ‘Since you were cut down, no woodsman has come up against us.’ ” Isaiah 14:1–4, 6, -8.

6 Who completes the work of rebuilding the church and the wall?

“The sons of foreigners shall build up your walls.” Isaiah 60:10.

“Those who mourn in Zion … may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord. … And they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations. Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the foreigner shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.” Isaiah 61:3–-5.

“Even those who are far away shall come and build the temple of the Lord.” Zechariah 6:15.

“Now … you are no longer … foreigners, but … members of the household of God.” Ephesians 2:19.

“The day for building your walls will come … In that day people will come to you from Assyria … from Egypt to the Euphrates.” Micah 7:11, 12.


Anciently, God’s people explicitly refused to allow foreigners to help rebuild the church (see Ezra 4:1-3). The wall was also rebuilt without the aid of foreigners. Thus, the prophecies that foreigners would be part of the rebuilding, instead of being dual application prophecies, point exclusively to the work of repairing God’s church and law at the end of time.

In this context, it could be noted that the captor nation of God’s professed people, Babylon, are referred to in many Scriptures as foreigners. The foreigners who return to help rebuild God’s church can be understood then as coming out of Babylon. This fits with Revelation 18:1-4.

7 Will these foreigners who complete the work of rebuilding God’s church be recognized as part of Israel by those who claim to be modern Israel?

“Doubtless You are our Father, though … Israel does not acknowledge us. … Our adversaries have trodden down Your sanctuary. … I was found by those who did not seek Me … a nation that was not called by My name. … I will bring forth descendants from Jacob, and from Judah an heir … the Lord God will … call His servants by another name.” Isaiah 63: 16, 18; -65:1, 9, 15. [Emphasis supplied.]

“But I say, did Israel not know? First Moses says: ‘I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation.’ … But Isaiah is very bold and says: ‘I was found by those who did not seek Me.’ … But to Israel he says: ‘All day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and contrary people.’ ” Romans 10:19–-21.

“There are many souls to come out of the ranks of the world, out of the churches—even the Catholic church—whose zeal will far exceed that of those who have stood in rank and file to proclaim the truth heretofore. … These [eleventh-hour workers] will see the battle coming and will give the trumpet a certain sound. … They will come to the front, gird themselves with the whole armor of God … maintain the cause of religious liberty.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 386, 387.

“If His people will not follow in His way, the Lord will employ heathen princes to do His will.” Notebook Leaflets, vol. 1, 62.


Notice that, since foreigners were specifically not allowed to build the temple in Zechariah’s time, or the wall in Nehemiah’s time, the prophecies of foreigners rebuilding cannot refer to the ancient story. Also note that, while foreigners aptly applied to Adventists at the commencement of their work, it does not apply to Adventists in the Ellen G. White quote from Notebook Leaflets. Also, notice that Isaiah predicts that these foreigners will not be properly recognized for who they are by modern Israel.

8 Referencing quotes under the above question, is it possible to expect that modern Israel may have little to do with completing the work of rebuilding God’s last day church and wall?

9 Beyond an inability to recognize these foreigners who are newly joined to Israel, does the Bible predict that modern Israel (in name only) will fight and attempt to deceive the remnant?

What a question to consider! Yet, note once again that this is what happened to the church that Christ formed—the new Israel. It was persecuted by the Jewish church—the old Israel.

In the following quote, especially note the following:

Within the last half of Isaiah 8, we have a classic example of twin prophesies of destruction and success mingled and contrasted in parallel, for two groups of people.

To help pick up on this parallel contrasting, note the transition of pronouns, and follow the antecedents of they and them throughout this quote. Who in the quote is imbibing of spiritualism? Who is inviting whom to partake in spiritualism?

“… the Lord spoke … with a strong hand … that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying … He [the Lord of Hosts] will be … a rock of offense to both houses of Israel, as a trap … to Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble; they shall fall and be … taken. [Note: start of contrast.] Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. And I will wait on the Lord, who hides His face from Jacob. … Here am I and the children whom the Lord has given me! We are for signs and wonders in Israel … [End of Contrast]. And when they say to you, ‘Seek those who are mediums.’ … To the law and to the testimony! If they speak not according to this word … there is no light in them … They will [be] hungry … enraged … driven into darkness.” Isaiah 8:11, 13–-22. [Emphasis supplied.]

10 Armed with the themes and terminology that we have been studying, what applications can you make to the following language of the apostle Paul?

“For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar— for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children— but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written:

‘Rejoice, O barren, you who do not bear! Break forth and shout, you who are not in labor! For the desolate has many more children than she who has a husband.’

“Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? ‘Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.’ So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.” Galatians 4:24, 27–31, (quoting from Isaiah 54).

Apply It

Have you seen ample evidence that those who claim to be modern Israel, whatever they may choose to be called, have not fulfilled God’s great purposes for His church? Have you seen clearly that God will use foreigners to complete his work? The SDA church was raised up as a group of foreigners to finish the work when Protestants rejected the first angel’s message. Ellen White has told us that this will be repeated if God’s people will not fulfill His purpose for the church. And have we not seen that our situation today, however we may wish to term it, bears many of the hallmark characteristics of the Babylonian captivities—and that wall and temple building work remains, in conjunction with anticipated fruit from God’s church? We read the following:

“But let God’s people remember that only as they believe and work out the principles of the gospel can He make them [fulfill His purpose]. … If those who profess to believe in Christ as their Saviour reach only the low standard of worldly measurement, the church fails to bear the rich harvest that God expects. ‘Found wanting’ [Daniel 5:27] is written upon her record.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 14.

Studies prepared by John T. Grosboll, P.E. John T. is a mechanical engineer living near Vancouver, Washington. His secular employment includes several years of experience in primary metals and transportation-related industries. He, along with his wife, Teresa, is actively involved in the work of the Historic Message Church in Portland, Oregon. He may be contacted by email at:

Bible Study Guides – Survivors Thrive!

September 12, 2010 – September 18, 2010

Key Text

“Each of the ancient prophets spoke less for their own time than for ours. … Their prophesying is in force for us. … Daniel, Isaiah, and Ezekiel … spoke of things that … reached down to the future, and to what should occur in these last days.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 338, 419, 420.


As a continuation from the previous lesson, these last two lessons are a study in polar contrasting experiences and outcomes. The outcomes are impossible to anticipate solely through the lens of human experience. They are easily unanticipated when tradition is the standard for prophetic interpretation. The student should carefully note in these lessons that modern Israel has, as Israel did in the time of Christ, been preparing for a tragic surprise by misinterpreting and misapplying promises of victory for the church. Are you ready for a surprise?

1 Referencing the quotations we’ve studied thus far, how many survive the decimating destruction among God’s professed people?

For example, review again Isaiah 10:19, Isaiah 17:4–6, Jeremiah 11:15–-17.

“Though your people, O Israel, be like the sand by the sea, only a remnant will return. Destruction has been decreed, overwhelming … upon the whole land.” Isaiah 10:22, -23.

2 What does Zion say just before her triumph? How are the extremes of seeming defeat and victory contrasted?

“O Lord … other masters besides You have had dominion over us; but by You only we make mention of Your name. … As a woman with child is in pain and cries out in her pangs, when she draws near the time of her delivery, so have we been in Your sight, O Lord. We have been with child, we have been in pain; we have, as it were, brought forth wind; we have not accomplished any deliverance in the earth.” Isaiah 26:12-, 17, 18.

Note the contrast in the following quote:

“Sing, O heavens! be joyful, O earth! and break out in singing, O mountains! for the Lord has comforted His people, and will have mercy on His afflicted. But Zion said, ‘The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me.’ ” Isaiah 49:13, 14. [Emphasis supplied.]


Just when Heaven starts to rejoice because of the destruction of Babylon, Zion says, “The Lord has forsaken me!” Isaiah 49:14. Compare this with the situation of Christ on the cross. Just after Christ cried out, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me” [Matthew 27:46], Ellen White tells us that, “Well might the angels rejoice.” The Desire of Ages, 764. Here again we see an example of victory about to dawn, after defeat seems to have already happened!

For the saints, this scene will yet be repeated. Ellen White writes: “The remnant in the time of trouble will cry, ‘My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ ” Spalding and Magan Collection, 2, 3.

“With pity and compassion … the Lord is looking upon His tempted and tried people. For a time the oppressors will be permitted to triumph over those who know God’s holy commandments. … Everyone shall be tested and proved, to see whether he will be loyal. … God permits Satan to reveal his character. … Thus the final triumph of His people is made more marked … and complete. … People of God … should set aside days for fasting and praying.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 414.

3 We are shown that God’s church ultimately escapes and fulfills God’s purpose for her, after it seems like all has been lost! Note the language of fruit and birth, marriage and children! How is it, when only a handful survive, that Israel is so numerous?

“ ‘In that day,’ says the Lord, ‘I will assemble the lame, I will gather the outcast. … The stronghold of the daughter of Zion, to you shall it come, Even the former dominion shall come, the kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.’ Now why do you cry aloud? Is there no king in your midst? Has your counselor perished? For pangs have seized you like a woman in labor. Be in pain, and labor to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in birth pangs. For now you shall go forth from the city, you shall dwell in the field, and to Babylon you shall go. There you shall be delivered.” Micah 4:6, 8–10. [Emphasis supplied.]

“Lift up your eyes all around. … They all gather together. … Your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be nursed at your side.” Isaiah 60:4.

“Break forth into singing … you who have not travailed with child! For more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married woman. … Enlarge the place of your tent … your descendants will inherit the nations … you … will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore. For your Maker is your husband.” Isaiah 54:1–-5.

“ ‘Before she was in labor, she gave birth; before her pain came, she delivered a male child. Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, she gave birth to her children. Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?’ says the Lord. … Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad … all you who mourn for her.” Isaiah 66:7–-10.

“In that day [day of captivity] … Israelites, will be gathered up one by one. … Those who were perishing in Assyria and … exiled in Egypt will come and worship the Lord … in Jerusalem.” Isaiah 27:12, 13. [Emphasis supplied.]

“Surely these shall come from afar … the north and west, and from the land of Sinim. … Lift up your eyes, look around and see; all these gather together and come to you. … You shall surely clothe yourselves with them all as an ornament. … For … the land of your destruction, will even now be too small for the inhabitants. … The children you will have, after you have lost the others, will say again in your ears, ‘The place is too small for me; give me a place where I may dwell.’ Then you will say in your heart, ‘Who has begotten these for me, since I have lost my children and am desolate, a captive, and wandering to and fro? And who has brought these up? There I was, left alone; but these, where were they?’ ” Isaiah 49:12, 18–-21.

“Those who come [to make peace with God] He shall cause to take root in Jacob; Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.” Isaiah 27:6.

“Ask now, and see, whether a man is ever in labor with child? So why do I see every man … like a woman in labor … faces turned pale? … It is the time of Jacob’s trouble … he shall be saved out of it. … In that day … I will break his yoke from his neck … foreigners shall no more enslave them. … Though I make a full end of nations where I have scattered you, yet I will not make a complete end of you. But I will correct you … They called you an outcast saying: ‘This is Zion; no one seeks her.’ Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will bring back the captivity … I will multiply … Their children shall be as before.’ ” Jeremiah 30:6–8, 11, 17–20. [Emphasis added.]

“ ‘At that time,’ declares the Lord, ‘I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they will be My people.’ … I will bring them from the land of the north, and gather them from the ends of the earth. Among them will be the blind and the lame, expectant mothers and women in labor; a great throng will return. They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water, on a level path where they will not stumble, because I am Israel’s Father, and Ephraim is My firstborn son.” Jeremiah 31:1, 8, 9.

“You have … scattered us among the nations. … You make us a byword among the nations. … We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. … Why do You hide Your face, and forget our affliction? … Our soul is bowed down … Our body clings to the dust. … Arise for our help [transition]. … Listen, O daughter … Forget your own people also, and your father’s house; so the King will greatly desire your beauty; because He is your Lord, worship Him. And the daughter of Tyre will be there with a gift. … The royal daughter is glorious within the palace; her clothing is woven with gold. … Virgins follow her. … They shall enter the King’s palace. Instead of your fathers shall be your sons, whom you shall make princes. … I will make your name to be remembered.” Psalm 44:11, 14, 22, 24, 26; 45:10–17. [Emphasis supplied.]

“ ‘Return, O backsliding children,’ says the Lord; ‘for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. Then it shall come to pass, when you are multiplied and increased in the land.’ ” Jeremiah 3:14–16.

“Glorious things of thee are spoken, Zion city of our god! … And of Zion it will be said, ‘This one and that one were born in her.’ … The Lord will record, when He registers the peoples: ‘This one was born there.’ ” Psalm -87:3, 5, 6.

“I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together like sheep of the fold. … They shall make a loud noise because of so many people.” Micah 2:12. [Emphasis supplied.]

“The Lord will restore the splendor of Jacob Like the splendor of Israel, Though destroyers have laid them waste and have ruined their vines.” Nahum 2:2.

“I will restore the fortunes of My people Israel, they will rebuild and occupy ruined cities, plant vineyards and drink their wine … make gardens and eat their produce.” Amos 9:14.

“For the Lord hears the poor and does not despise His prisoners. … For God will save Zion and build the cities of Judah, that they may dwell there. … The descendants of His servants shall inherit it.” Psalm 69:33, 35, -36.

“He will … assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah.” Isaiah 11:12.

“I will save … your seed from … captivity. … I will not make a complete end of you. But I will correct you.” “I will rebuild you … O virgin of Israel! … Their souls shall be like a well-watered garden.” Jeremiah 30:10, 11; 31:4, 12

“Israel will be abandoned, until the time when she who is in labor gives birth.” Micah 5:3.

“At that time … I will … gather those who have been scattered. … In every land where they were put to shame. … I will give you honor … when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes.” Zephaniah 3:19, 20.

“Call a sacred assembly. Gather … the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast … [prepare for the marriage of the bridegroom and bride]. … Spare Your people, O Lord … then the Lord will … take pity on His people. … The trees are bearing their fruit.” Joel 2:15–18, -22. [Emphasis supplied.]

4 In the context of Scriptures that we have been reading, what significance do you give to the frequent phrases, in that day or at that time? What is happening when these phrases are used?

Review and Discuss

Compare, for example, the following quotations from Joel 3 and Jeremiah 31 with Revelation 14:14–-20; Revelation 16:12–-21 and Revelation 19:11–-21. Do God’s people see with their eyes the ultimate success of the birth of offspring to the church before this time?

“In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. … Proclaim this among the nations: prepare for war! … beat your plowshares into swords. … Let the nations be rouses; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all nations. … Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, trample the grapes. … The Lord will be a refuge for His people … Jerusalem will be holy, never again will foreigners invade her.” Joel 3:1, 2, 9, 10, 12, 13, 16, -17.

“At that time, declares the Lord, ‘I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they will be My people.’ … The people who survive the sword will find favor in the desert—I will come to give rest to Israel. … You will be rebuilt … the remnant of Israel … I will bring them from the land of the north, and gather them from the ends of the earth. Among them will be … expectant mothers and women in labor; a great throng will return. … He who scattered Israel will gather them.” Jeremiah 31:1, 2, 4, 8, 10.

For additional references to this same time, see Isaiah 11:11–-15; Isaiah 19:23–-25; and Isaiah 25:8; -26:2.

Studies prepared by John T. Grosboll, P.E. John T. is a mechanical engineer living near Vancouver, Washington. His secular employment includes several years of experience in primary metals and transportation-related industries. He, along with his wife, Teresa, is actively involved in the work of the Historic Message Church in Portland, Oregon. He may be contacted by email at:

Bible Study Guides – The Results of Captivity for Modern Israel

September 5, 2010 – September 11, 2010

Key Text

“Each of the ancient prophets spoke less for their own time than for ours. … Their prophesying is in force for us. … Daniel, Isaiah, and Ezekiel … spoke of things that … reached down to the future, and to what should occur in these last days.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 338, 419, 420.


This lesson (number eleven) is a pivotal lesson in our series. Several of the previous lessons, notably number five, have prepared us to examine the seeming contradictions in this lesson. In this lesson we see that Israel will be destroyed, and Israel will be saved. Much depends on the student’s ability to: first see this seeming blatant contradiction in the black-and-white narrative of the ancient prophets, and secondly, be able to explain it.

1 What are the results of captivity; to what does it ultimately lead?


At this point in our study, the student must now be following Israel in prophecy; in parallel: in one case as a church that achieves stunning success when failure looks to be certain and in a second case as a church that is destroyed while claiming the protection of God.

  1. a) First, for one group, the result of captivity is a complete severance from all connection with sin:

“Behold, I will refine them and try them; For how shall I deal with the daughter of My people?” Jeremiah 9:7.

“… the remnant of Israel, and the survivors of the house of Jacob, will no longer depend on the one who struck them, but they will faithfully depend on the Lord.” Isaiah 10:20. …

“My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray. … Move from … Babylon. Go out … I will punish Babylon … I will bring back Israel. … In that time … the iniquity of Israel shall be sought, but there shall be none.” Jeremiah 50:6, 8, 18–20. [Emphasis supplied.]

“For those of Israel who have escaped. And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy—everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem. When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning.” Isaiah 4:2–4.

“Awake, awake! Put on your strength, O Zion; Put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city! For the … unclean shall no longer come to you. Shake yourself from the dust, arise; … Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion! … You have sold yourselves for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money. … My people went down at first into Egypt to dwell there; then the Assyrian [Babylon] oppressed them without cause. … For they shall see eye to eye when the Lord brings back Zion.” Isaiah 52:1–4, 8. [Emphasis supplied.]

“Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When God brings back the captivity of His people, Let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.” Psalms 14:7; 53:6.

“The punishment of your iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of Zion; he will no longer send you into captivity.” Lamentations 4:22.

“The Redeemer will come to Zion … to those who turn from sin in Jacob.” Isaiah 59:20. “The remnant of Israel will do no wrong. … Sing, O Daughter of Zion! … The Lord has taken away your punishment.” Zephaniah 3:13-–15.

“For on My holy mountain … declares the Sovereign Lord … the entire house of Israel will serve Me … when I … gather you from the countries where you have been scattered.” Ezekiel 20:40, -41.

  1. b) Second, for another group—and their offspring, the result of captivity is complete destruction:

“And many among them [both houses of Israel] shall … be snared and captured. … They will be driven into darkness.” Isaiah 8:15, 22.

“Oh … that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people.” Jeremiah 9:1.

“… rulers have destroyed My vineyard.” Jeremiah 12:10.

“I said, ‘You are gods, you are all sons of the Most High. But you will die like mere men, you will fall like every other ruler.’ ” Psalm 82:6, 7.

“All the sinners among My people will die by the sword, all those who say, ‘Disaster will not overtake or meet us.’ ” Amos 9:10.


The following two questions are worded identically with purpose:

2 What ultimately happens to “both houses of Israel”?

The houses of Israel will be saved!

“And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.’ ” Romans 11:26, -27.

“I will restore David’s fallen tent. I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be.” Amos 9:11.

“Therefore thus says the Lord God: Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel.” Ezekiel 39:25.

“I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and rebuild them as they were at first.” Jeremiah 33:7.

“ ‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their forefathers.’ ” Jeremiah 30:3.

“In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north.” Jeremiah 3:18.

“… and I will take the children of Israel from among the nations … and will gather them … I will make them one nation … they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again. … I will deliver … and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people.” Ezekiel 37:21–-23.

3 What ultimately happens to “both houses of Israel”?

The houses of Israel, through pride and misplaced confidence, are prepared for complete destruction!

“… priests … and … prophets [of Zion] … lean upon the Lord and say, ‘Is not the Lord among us? No disaster will come upon us.’ Therefore because of you Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble, the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.” Micah 3:11, -12.

“And many among them [both houses of Israel] shall … be snared and captured. … They will be driven into darkness.” Isaiah 8:15, 22.

“I have forsaken My house … I have given the dearly beloved of My soul into the hand of her enemies. … Come, assemble all the beasts of the field, bring them to devour!” Jeremiah 12:7–-9.

“I will destroy My people, since they do not return from their ways … And the remnant of them I will deliver to the sword … says the Lord.” Jeremiah 15:7, -9.

“Then he said to me, ‘Defile the temple, and fill the courts with the slain.’ … While they were killing … I fell facedown, crying out … ‘Are You going to destroy the entire remnant of Israel in this outpouring of your wrath on Jerusalem? ’ He answered me … ‘The sin of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great. … I will not look on them with pity or spare them.’ ” Ezekiel 9:7-–10.

“After seeing in the distance a fig tree with leaves, He [Jesus] went to find out if there was anything on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. He said to it, ‘May no one ever eat fruit from you again.’ ” Mark 11:13, 14.

“O Jerusalem … your house is left to you desolate.” Matthew 23:37, -38.

“My name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt. … I will watch over them for adversity and not for good. And all the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, until there is an end to them.” Jeremiah 44:26, 27.

“By the wrath of the Lord … the people will be fuel for the fire. … Each will feed on the flesh of his own offspring. Manasseh will feed on Ephraim, and Ephraim on Manasseh; together they will turn against Judah. Yet for all this, His anger is not turned away.” Isaiah 9:19–-21.

Apply It

In Christ’s day, these seeming counter prophecies of victory and utter destruction for Israel were both fulfilled in parallel. Do you see the potential of this happening once again?

4 How is the destruction in God’s church described? How is the shaking, through which the remnant survive, described?

“Therefore the Lord … will kindle a burning. … It will burn and devour His thorns … in one day. … It will consume the glory of his forest. … Then the rest of the trees of his forest will be so few in number that a child may write them.” Isaiah 10:16–19.

“For the leaders of this people cause them to err, and those who are led by them are destroyed. … Wickedness burns as the fire; it shall … kindle in the thickets of the forest … Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts the land is burned up, and the people shall be as fuel for the fire. … Manasseh shall devour Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh, and they together shall be against Judah.” Isaiah 9:16-, 18, 19, 21.

“What is My beloved doing in My temple? … Can consecrated meat avert your punishment? … The Lord called you a thriving olive tree with fruit beautiful in form. But with the roar … He will set it on fire … The Lord Almighty, who planted you, has decreed disaster for you.” Jeremiah 11:15–-17.

“Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross to Me. … Therefore … as men gather silver [with other elements] into the midst of a furnace … to melt it; so … you shall be melted. … You are a land that is not cleansed or rained on. … The conspiracy of her prophets in her midst is like a roaring lion … they have made many widows … they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy. … So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. Therefore … I have consumed them with fire.” Ezekiel 22:8–20, 24–26, 30, 31.

“Alas … the day of the Lord is near; It will come like destruction from the Almighty. … Has not … joy and gladness been cut off from the house of our God? … Flames have burned up all the trees of the field.” Joel 1:15, 16, -19.

“He kindled a fire in Zion, and it has devoured its foundations.” Lamentations 4:11.

“My anger and My wrath will be poured out on this place [Judah and Jerusalem] — on the trees … and on the fruit. … It will burn and not be quenched.’ ” Jeremiah 7:20.

“Say to the southern forest: ‘I am about to set fire to you, and it will consume all your trees … every face from south to north will be scorched by it. Everyone will see that I, the Lord, have kindled it; it will not be quenched.’ ” Ezekiel 20:47, 48.

“Thus says the Lord: ‘Where is the certificate of your mother’s divorce, whom I have put away? … For your transgressions your mother has been put away. Why, when I came, was there no man?’ ” Isaiah 50:1, 2.

“In that day it shall come to pass that the glory of Jacob will wane. … Yet gleaning grapes will be left in it, like the shaking of a olive tree, two or three olives at the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in its most fruitful branches.” Isaiah 17:4, -6.

“As I have given the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest as fuel for the fire, so will I treat the people living in Jerusalem.” Ezekiel 15:6.

“Take up a lament concerning the princes of Israel. … Your mother was like a vine … it was fruitful and full of branches … it was stripped of fruit. … Fire spread from one of its main branches and consumed its fruit.” Ezekiel 19:1, 10, 12, -14.

“This Mount Zion … The enemy has damaged everything in the sanctuary. Your enemies roar in the midst … they set up their banners for signs. They … lift up axes among the thick trees. … They have set fire to Your sanctuary; they have defiled the dwelling place of Your name. … They have burned up all the meeting places of God. … O God, how long will the adversary reproach? Will the Lord cast off forever? … O God, the nations have come into … Your holy temple … They have laid Jerusalem in heaps. … We have become a reproach. … How long, Lord? … Why should the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’ … How long will You be Angry against the prayer of Your people? Why have You broken down her hedges, so that all who pass by the way pluck her fruit? … The vineyard which Your right hand has planted. … It is burned with fire. … Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you! There shall be no foreign god among you. … But My people would not heed My voice. … Your enemies have … consulted together against Your sheltered ones. They have said, ‘Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.’ ” Psalm 74:2–10; 77:7; 79:1, 4, 5, 10; 80:4, 12 ,15, 16; 81:8, 9, 11; -83:2–4. [Emphasis supplied.]

“I will throw out … the inhabitants of the land. … My tent is plundered, and all my cords are broken; My children have gone from me, and they are no more. … For the shepherds have … not sought the Lord; therefore … all their flocks shall be scattered … a great commotion out of the north … To make the cities of Judah desolate.” Jeremiah 10:18-, 20–22.

“How doth the city sit solitary that was full of people! How is she become as a widow! … She [Zion] has seen the nations enter her sanctuary, those whom You commanded not to enter … The Lord … has abandoned His sanctuary. … The Law is no more … your prophets have seen for you false … visions; they have not uncovered your iniquity, to bring back your captives.” Lamentations 1:1, 10; 2:7, 9, 14.

“My name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt. … I will watch over them for adversity and not for good. And all the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, until there is an end to them. Yet a small number who escape the sword shall return from the land of Egypt to the land of Judah; and all the remnant of Judah, who have gone to the land of Egypt to dwell there, shall know whose words will stand, Mine or theirs.” Jeremiah 44:26–28.

Studies prepared by John T. Grosboll, P.E. John T. is a mechanical engineer living near Vancouver, Washington. His secular employment includes several years of experience in primary metals and transportation-related industries. He, along with his wife, Teresa, is actively involved in the work of the Historic Message Church in Portland, Oregon. He may be contacted by email at:

Bible Study Guides – The Second Babylonian Captivity

August 29, 2010 – September 4, 2010

Babylonian Captivity, Escape and Rebuilding God’s Church

A Study for Modern Israel

Part Two:

The Second Babylonian Captivity, A Call Out, A Wall to Rebuild, the Church Reestablished

Collective Action and the Work of Rebuilding

Key Text

“Each of the ancient prophets spoke less for their own time than for ours. … Their prophesying is in force for us. … Daniel, Isaiah, and Ezekiel … spoke of things that … reached down to the future, and to what should occur in these last days.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 338, 419, 420.


In our most recent lessons, we have been examining the fit of ancient prophecies and experiences relating to captivity and destruction for ancient Israel to modern Israel. The first three questions of this lesson deal with some large pragmatic question about what God’s church should do given our current situation. These questions should be prefaced in the mind of the student by the idea that God’s modern church really is in trouble. The final question returns to the subject of captivity, attempting to summarize what the author believes can be said about the situation of modern Israel.


The student should see by this point in our lessons that the term modern Israel has been loosely defined. This is with purpose. The term certainly often includes the corporate trade-marked entity: The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, but several of the situations may be seen to fit a variety of groups of historic Seventh-day Adventist believers—itself a very loosely defined term. The first three questions in this lesson are addressed with historic Seventh-day Adventists in mind.

1 What remains to be done?

  • If we are experiencing the effects of a seeming captivity, we must escape and join with the others God is calling
  • We must help rebuild the church and the wall in troublous times by working collectively
  • We must honor God’s name
  • We must, through the aid of the Holy Spirit, bear fruit and bear offspring

Apply It

Friends, let’s be straightforward; the need for true gospel workers and teachers is not being adequately supplied by any portion of the corporate entity of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination. But among historic Seventh-day Adventists, the situation of supplying and hiring trained workers is even worse. We are not in a position to exercise collective action with the Seventh-day Adventist church on all fronts. And we are absent of the collective capability to train and hire gospel workers.

However large this problem may seem, we must at minimum not ignore it, or pretend that because it takes the action of many, we are in no position to make an attempt to rectify it. You can see this is about much more than pooling our money. You will find out, as you continue to read, that God will use the heathen to fill this vacuum if nothing else is done.

It is time to consider more than theoretical future solutions; it’s time to consider pragmatic ones. It is past time to ask some very difficult questions; questions such as:

  • If someone felt called to the gospel ministry (the gospel ministry as laid out in Testimonies to Ministers, for example), what real training and employment options do they have?
  • What would it take to train and hire workers?
  • Would the historic Seventh-day Adventist church nearest me need to be better organized?
  • Could I help?
  • Would it take more than one local church to get the job done?
  • Would I be prepared to recognize and act collectively with 11th hour workers from other churches?
  • Would it take things like an identity, plans, goals, boards, and bank accounts to move forward?
  • Am I an amicable enough person so that others could get along with me well enough to prosecute a plan of action?

I know the preceding points may sound like heresy to some. But we are halfway there, and that halfway position will not long be stable. Historic Seventh-day Adventist churches do exist. There are groups of historic SDA churches working together in various places in the world. There are historic SDA teachers, and medical professionals. All of these exist because people believe that the gospel message drives and defines the identity of the remnant, and not the other way around (Revelation 14:12)! Today we are either half wrong, and need to close shop on these activities, or we are half right, and need to, “Strengthen the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees” (Isaiah 35:3).

The reader may be tempted to say that the thought of working on a large scale is preposterous given our current situation and the shortness of time. He may ask, “Do you really expect to launch some large, potentially bureaucratic edifice for training and employing workers when God has said that He will complete His work through surprisingly simple means?” But creating a bureaucracy is hardly the problem of the hour; and even though God has said He will finish His work in simple ways that will astound us, do you think that He will sanction our part in that work if we simply excuse ourselves from attempting to act collectively, because it’s hard, risky and time consuming?

2 Is there any risk in attempting to work collectively?

By way of illustration, read the story found in II Chronicles 30:2–13.

Apply It

YES! The good news for us is that Christ has already guaranteed the outcome of the war; there is zero risk that He will lose the great controversy. But there is very real risk in each battle of the great controversy, risk that souls will be lost. When you undertake a project by yourself, you are individually to a large degree in control of the risk of failure. When you engage in collective intelligence and action, you as an individual are in a much smaller way in control of the risk of failure. Act collectively with others only in prayer, and with the knowledge that you are collectively putting your efforts at the risk of each other’s good will. There is no way to make money through investment, without putting money at risk of loss—at least temporary loss. And when we invest our talents for Christ, we may indeed realize temporary loss and may not in this life realize the gain of our investment. But our risk in these endeavors pales to the very real risk that God made to save you and me, the risk of the loss of His own Son!

3 What can we learn from ancient Israel’s rebuilding of the church in regard to where and how we work together?

Apply It

Where we work:

During the rebuilding, we find that builders worked on all portions of the wall together! Today, we cannot work collectively on building God’s church, while we work exclusively from the waste places of the earth. We cannot effectively work together while all of us move to the remote mountainous regions. In Nehemiah’s time, all parts of the wall needed workers. God needs people today working together on different parts of the wall and from many places. God needs families, not satisfied to simply realize the dangers of raising a family in the city, but to devise plans for reaching other families in the cities. God needs builders on the wall to work in cities, in towns, and villages. He needs workers in the mountains, in the plains, and the coastal areas. For reference, see Testimonies, vol. 8, 119; Testimonies, vol. 7, 34, 36; Evangelism, 384–428.

How we work:

Let us review what is necessary in God’s plan to collectively accomplish large scale projects.

  • More than one person is necessary, but not sufficient
  • More than one group of people is necessary, but not sufficient
  • Knowledgeable and strong people are necessary, but not sufficient
  • Knowledgeable, strong people working on the same project are necessary, but not sufficient
  • Knowledgeable, strong groups of people working together, under Divine leadership and human leadership, is necessary, and with the Holy Spirit, is sufficient

4 Does the Bible predict captivity for God’s last day people?


It is beyond question that God says He has people in captivity to Babylon in the last days. See Revelation 18:1–4. Beyond this, the author contends the following three points:

  1. What we have studied thus far clearly demonstrates that modern Israel (Seventh-day Adventists), in general, have partaken of the same sins that led to ancient Israel’s first captivity to Babylon, second captivity during the time of Christ, and ultimate destruction. And as such the potential to find God’s professed people in captivity is significant.
  2. That modern Israel, under whatever names or theologies they are identified, have also been affected to a dramatic degree by the results of these sins—and these effects have given rise to conditions in the church that closely mirror the captivity of Israel during the time of Christ.
  3. One way in which the times of trouble through which God’s people must pass is described as a captivity, and that this captivity leads both to destruction and complete purification for separate groups of people bearing an identity of Israel.

The author stops short of attempting to define and integrate, with pinpoint accuracy, the relationship of all of these sobering prophecies to modern Israel. That these prophecies are applicable to the subject is well enough demonstrated. The author suggests that it is possible to make a distinction between being captive to Babylon and fully becoming Babylon; but that for those who remain integrated with their captors (such as the majority did in Zerubbabel’s time), the distinction is ultimately of little value.

These following verses, of which only phrases are excerpted, speak to the question at hand:

  • To Babylon you shall go – Micah 4:10
  • Up, Zion! Flee from Babylon – Zechariah 2:7
  • Captive daughter of Zion! – Isaiah 52:2
  • Depart! Depart! Go out from there – Isaiah 52:11
  • The children of Israel shall … ask the way to Zion … Move from the midst of Babylon – Jeremiah 50:4–8
  • Flee from the midst of Babylon – Jeremiah 51:6

“Therefore behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when it shall no longer be said, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where He had driven them.’ ” Jeremiah 16:14, 15.

“Behold … I will punish all those who are circumcised with the uncircumcised—Egypt, Judah, Edom, the people of Ammon, Moab. … For all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel is uncircumcised in the heart.” Jeremiah 9:25–26.

“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down … we wept when we remembered Zion. We hung our harps. … Those who carried us away captive required of us a song … saying, ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion!’ How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” Psalm 137:1–4.

“… the Lord will reach out His hand a second time, to reclaim the remnant that is left of His people, from Assyria … Egypt … Babylon. … He will gather the exiles of Israel.” Isaiah 11:11, 12.

Studies prepared by John T. Grosboll, P.E. John T. is a mechanical engineer living near Vancouver, Washington. His secular employment includes several years of experience in primary metals and transportation-related industries. He, along with his wife, Teresa, is actively involved in the work of the Historic Message Church in Portland, Oregon. He may be contacted by email at:

Recipe – Lemon Tahini Dressing

½ cup tahini

½ tsp. basil, dried

1/3 cup lemon juice

½ tsp. garlic powder

2 garlic cloves, minced (or less)

¼ tsp salt

2 Tbsp. Braggs

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Add water to desired consistency. Store refrigerated in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Note: Dressing thickens as it sits and with refrigeration.

Food – Smoking and Your Respiratory System

True temperance teaches us to dispense entirely with everything hurtful and to use judiciously that which is healthful.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 562. It is common knowledge that smoking is hurtful though often we do not understand the reasons or extent of the harmfulness of this offending habit. Our goal is to make you more informed so you will understand and be able to share with others more fully some of the effects that smoking has on the respiratory system.

In Genesis 2:7 we learn that God formed man out of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. This is a true love story in that God merely spoke the rest of the universe into existence: “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.” Psalm 33:6, 9. However, after lovingly forming Adam, the crowning act of creation, He personally breathed into his nostrils and imparted to man the breath of life.

The respiratory system is one of the primary targets of cigarette smoking. It is made up of two lungs, an immense system of air tubes that are lined and end in over 300 million small air sacs. Within the lungs and surrounding these air sacs is a massive system of arteries, capillaries and veins. The lungs hold about 4–5 quarts (liters) of air and with each breath the average adult takes in about ½ a quart (500 cc) of air. At rest we breathe about 16 times a minute and 12,000 quarts of air each day. As this air enters the body, it is warmed and cleansed by the nose, cilia (small hair-like projections from the lining of the breathing tubes) and the mucus within the breathing tubes. It is in these microscopic air sacs that the oxygen is exchanged for carbon dioxide via the blood stream. As the oxygen rich blood from the lungs is taken to the body, every cell is nourished and strengthened for life and work.

Tobacco is a slow, insidious and most malignant poison. It is known to have over 4,000 chemical agents, 43 of which are known to cause cancer in humans. Cancer of the respiratory system is greatly increased in smokers, with lung cancer being 700% greater. Eighty percent of those who have vocal cord cancer are smokers, and the incidence of cancer of the mouth and esophagus is increased in smokers. Of those who die from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, 85% were smokers. These frightening statistics are related to the physical effects of smoking on the respiratory system: the cilia are paralyzed, damaged and cannot sweep foreign matter out of the lungs, the excess mucous created from smoking clogs the airways, the small air sacs become distended, trap air and eventually rupture, forming large ineffective sacs. Eventually, the rib cage becomes barrel shaped because of excess trapped air, the blood pressure elevates and the entire system is deprived of oxygen in an attempt to push blood through the damaged air sacs. All the while this is going on, the carcinogenic chemicals in the smoke irritate and put the entire system at risk for cancer.

Nature – The Amazing Honeybee

There are approximately 20,000 species of bees in the world of which only seven species are honeybees. Of these seven species, which include 44 subspecies, only two are domesticated. Honeybee domestication dates back to at least the time of the pyramids. The most commonly kept species of domesticated honeybee is the western or European honeybee which is native to Europe, Africa and Eastern Asia. This species was also brought to North America where there were no native honeybees. Agriculture depends greatly on the honeybee for pollination and without them we would see a significant decrease in the yield of fruits and vegetables. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that about one-third of the human diet is derived from insect-pollinated plants and that the honeybee is responsible for 80 percent of this pollination.

The direct value of honeybee pollination to U.S. agriculture was studied and found to be more than $14.6 billion.

Honeybees are social insects living in colonies of 20,000 to 80,000 bees. A colony consists of mainly non-fertile female worker bees, a single fertile queen bee and 300 to 3,000 male bees called drones. Honeybees have a highly organized society, with the worker bees sequentially taking on a series of specific chores during their short lifetime—housekeeper, nursemaid, construction worker, grocer, undertaker, guard and finally, after 21 days, they become a forager collecting pollen and nectar. Worker bees, which live only about 6 weeks in warm weather, can fly up to six miles and visit 50 to 100 flowers during a collection trip. The queen bee can live up to 5 years and lays up to 2,500 eggs per day.

Honeybees are best known for their production of honey which they make from nectar they collect from flowering trees and plants. They are the only insect that produces a food eaten by man. Honey is an easily digestible, pure food, and is the only food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life, including enzymes, vitamins, minerals and water; and it’s the only food that contains pinocembrin, an antioxidant associated with improved brain functioning. Honey is also hydroscopic (moisture absorbing) and has antibacterial qualities. Eating local honey can fend off allergies. There are many types, colors and flavors of honey, depending on the source of the nectar; with clover honey being an example of one type that is very popular.

Like the honeybee’s honey which is so sweet to the taste and so good for us in many ways, so are God’s laws for us if we would keep them:

“In keeping God’s commandments there is great reward, even in this life. If we are obedient, our conscience does not condemn us. Our hearts are not at enmity with God, but at peace with Him. ‘The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honey-comb. Moreover by them is Thy servant warned, and in keeping of them there is great reward’ [Psalm 19:7–11]. ‘The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him, and His righteousness unto children’s children; to such as keep His covenant, and to those that remember His commandments to do them’ [Psalm 103:17, 18].” The Signs of the Times, January 25, 1899.

David Arbour writes from his home in De Queen, Arkansas. He may be contacted by e-mail at:

Health – Fruits and Nuts Our Medicine

The walnut tree is believed to be a native of Persia and was well-known among the Jews. The ancient Romans placed this tree under the protection of the most powerful of their gods. The conquerors of the world eventually introduced this tree to the different countries of Europe.

The fruit was considered to be an astringent, strengthening and giving tone to the stomach and thus facilitating digestion.

More recently some have found the walnut to be effective against intestinal parasites by taking two to three ounces of walnut oil each evening for three days. This same dosage enhances digestion when taken daily. The walnut oil applied directly to skin diseases has been found to be effective in healing. The juice of fresh walnuts is used to heal cold sores. Walnut leaf tea has been used to lower blood sugar, cleanse the blood, eliminate intestinal parasites, and can be used as an astringent. There is, according to some authorities, an antibiotic element in the walnut leaves. The bark along with the leaves can be used in the treatment of skin troubles such as herpes and eczema or indolent ulcers. The walnut meat is used in cases of constipation and liver ailments.


The almond tree was much valued among the nations of the East. Today we find that the nut helps promote normal bowel function; some find the almond more easily digested if lightly roasted. Milk made from almonds is useful for inflamed stomach and intestines. It makes a fine tonic for children and convalescents. As a mild laxative almond oil may be taken in a dosage of about two ounces for adults and half an ounce for children. Ten almonds three times per day enhance the healing of broken bones.


The hazelnut is considered by the ancients to be the most wholesome and nourishing of any other shell fruit. The hazelnut is the best digested of all oil-bearing fruits. It is used to destroy intestinal parasites by taking one tablespoonful of the oil in the morning for two weeks.


Cashew nuts are used in cases of emaciation, teeth and gum problems, and for low vitality. They are more easily digested when eaten raw. The cashew oil, which must be used with great caution, is used as an application to warts, corns, ringworms and cancerous ulcers. If the nuts are roasted caution must be used not to let the fumes cover the face or hands, as they could cause inflammation.


Pecans have been used where there is a problem with low blood pressure, low vitality, and as nourishment for the teeth.

Pine Nuts

Pine nuts have saved the life of many an Indian baby when made into a nut soup and used as milk for the baby when the mother had no milk. The nut is considered to be effective where there are problems with the lungs such as tuberculosis, and for impotence, paralysis, low blood pressure, and emaciation. The pine nut is one of the best sources of protein in the nut family.


The apricot, perhaps because of its high iron and other mineral content, is helpful in cases of anemia, tuberculosis, asthma, bronchitis, and blood impurities. Many have been helped in cases of constipation or diarrhea and intestinal worms with this fruit. It is also useful in cases of weakness, physical or emotional depression and anxiety.


Blackberries made into syrup and given to infants have been used in cases of diarrhea, sore throat or lung disease. The usual dosage is four tablespoons daily. Blackberries have been helpful in cases of weak kidneys, rheumatism or arthritis, gout, constipation; any condition where there is an excess of mucus, such as in the sinuses or intestines.


The blueberry has a substance, myrtillin, which combats the bad bacteria in the intestinal tract. Because of this, the berry is useful in bowel diseases and diarrhea. A tea made from the berries has been used in cases of thrush or other mouth and throat infections. Abnormal menstrual flow, hemorrhage due to capillary fragility and hemorrhoids have responded when blueberries are eaten. The blueberry seems to be helpful in any condition requiring an antiseptic or astringent. The early settlers’ wives adopted the custom from the Indians of drinking blueberry tea at the birth of their babies, and also for lung problems. Some Indians used the blueberry tea to control excessive menstruation. Some who have hypoglycemia have reported blueberry leaf tea as very helpful.


Eating a half of a pound or more of cherries daily has helped in cases of gout. There are many reported medicinal benefits from the use of fresh cherries, such as arthritis, arteriosclerosis, liver disorders, gallstones, kidney stones, intestinal disorders, constipation, conditions where infection or toxins in the bloodstream are involved and obesity. Cherries stimulate the secretion of digestive juices and of urine. Uncontrollable urination has been helped in some by drinking cherry juice or cherry juice concentrate.


Apples have been and are used in many ways for medicinal purposes. Those suffering from gout have been helped by drinking a tea made from the powdered apple peelings. Make the tea by boiling one tablespoonful of powdered peelings to a quart of water for about 15 minutes. Drink four or five cups of this tea each day. Grated apple has helped in infantile diarrhea. Other afflictions that have responded to the eating of apples are anemia, arthritis, urinary stones due to uric acid, liver disorders, arteriosclerosis, intestinal infection, and various lung and asthma problems. The peel of the apple contains pectin, which helps remove noxious substances from the system. This pectin also helps prevent protein matter in the intestines from spoiling. Raw apples are a great help in combating intestinal disorders, as they have properties which aid the digestive juices in killing germs in the stomach. Some have called the apple Nature’s Toothbrush as it cleans the teeth and massages the gums. Research has proven that eating one apple removes over 30% more bacteria from the mouth than two to three minute brushing plus a gargle. Studies have shown that persons eating apples regularly have fewer headaches and other illnesses associated with nervous tension. Also, research has proven that daily apple-eaters show a reduced incidence of colds and other minor upper respiratory ailments. The apple is an excellent fruit for the hypoglycemic because it contains a higher percentage of fructose than other fruits, which do not call upon insulin from the pancreas. Fructose is fairly quickly absorbed into the system, goes through the liver and is then available as glucose and may be burned or utilized by the body for energy. A pleasant tea may be made by boiling two or three apples cut in thin slices with their peels in a quart of water for about 15 minutes. A little licorice root may be added for flavor.


Currants have an antiseptic effect and for this reason have been used as a gargle prepared by boiling about three ounces of black currants per quart of water for about 15 minutes. Currants eaten after a meal have been used as an effective aid to stimulate digestion. Helpful in liver diseases, cold sores, fluid retention, arthritis, gout and constipation.


Gooseberries have been suggested for liver ailments, gallbladder congestion, constipation, arthritis, inflammation of the kidneys and dyspepsia (indigestion usually due to excess acid). Gooseberries were plentiful in the Rocky Mountain area, and the Indians found them helpful when cooked into porridge for fever.


Grapefruit rinds can be dried and later used for colds. A tea is made by steeping a teaspoonful of the dried grated rind in a cup of water and drinking a cup each hour until relief is obtained. Grapefruit is a natural antiseptic for wounds when used externally. It is considered valuable in the removal of inorganic calcium which may have formed in the cartilage of the joints, as in arthritis. It is helpful in cases of a sluggish liver, gallstones, fevers, poor digestion, pneumonia, and inflammation of the respiratory tract.


Some of the many medicinal problems treated with the lemon are as follows: Cuts or other areas of infection are helped when lemon juice, a natural antiseptic, is applied. Skin problems such as acne, eczema and erysipelas will often respond to a treatment of lemon juice. For blackheads rub lemon juice over them each night. For pyorrhea cut the lemon rind into slices and place against the infected gum. Dandruff has been helped by applying lemon juice to the scalp and afterwards shampooing. After the shampoo, wash again and apply lemon juice to remove soap from the hair and scalp. Sore and reddened hands are helped by massaging with lemon juice. Rinse the juice off, then apply olive oil. Use lemon juice to relieve the itch from insect bites or poison oak or ivy. The symptoms of flu may be relieved by drinking lemon juice in warm water several times daily. A runny nose, secretions in the throat or head can usually be stopped by taking a tablespoonful of lemon juice several times a day. Some report that taking lemon juice in warm water before breakfast will assist the body in the digestion of food and help prevent the accumulation of fatty deposits. Taken in large quantities, lemon juice has been found to be helpful in liver ailments, asthma, headaches, pneumonia, rheumatism, arthritis and neuritis. Fresh lemon juice is considered by some to be the most potent or effective single liver rebuilder known to man. There seem to be only a very few people who cannot handle lemon juice.


Peaches are considered valuable in cases of constipation, high blood pressure, inflammation of the stomach, kidneys and bronchial tubes, and for asthma, difficult digestion, bladder and kidney stones and worms in the intestinal tract.


Pineapples contain papain, which aids digestion and chlorine, which is valuable for digestion of proteins. Pineapple is considered good for constipation, as a regulator of the glands, goiter, chronic digestive disturbances, secretions from mucous membranes, inflammation of the bronchial tubes, high blood pressure, arthritis and tumors. Intestinal worms have been expelled by drinking fresh pineapple juice.


Pumpkins have been used where there is an abnormal accumulation of fluids in the cavities of the body (edema), infected or inflamed intestines, stomach ulcers and hemorrhoids. Pumpkin seeds have been known to give much relief to prostate problems and tea made from pumpkin seeds is recommended for tape and other worm elimination.


Strawberries are used as a blood purifier, diuretic and for healing mucous membranes. They are recommended for a sluggish liver, gout, rheumatism, constipation, high blood pressure, inflammation of mucus membranes, skin cancer and syphilis. Strawberry juice combats bacterial infection. Taken at the beginning of a meal strawberries are used to stimulate the appetite. Strawberries are a common cause of allergy, and should not be taken by individuals subject to allergic skin rashes.

Fruits, grains and nuts constituted the original diet for man in the Garden of Eden. God has continued to provide many varieties of fruits and nuts for our use as food and for the healing of our bodies. We have so much to be thankful for. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Q&A – Do we need to follow the example of Daniel?

Some Christians say that we are under grace and do not need to follow the example of Daniel in diet. Is this true?

We are under God’s grace. When you understand what is included in the meaning of grace you will then follow God’s Word without allowing others to influence your thinking.

John 1:12, 13 tells us that, “As many as received him [Jesus], to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name; Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

To those who received or associated themselves with Jesus, He gave power to become the sons of God. When you associate yourself with Christ, He gives you that power to become a child of God reflecting God’s character in all areas of your life. The following is a most wonderful explanation of what is included in the meaning of grace.

“He who receives Christ by living faith has a living connection with God, and is a vessel unto honor. He carries with him the atmosphere of heaven, which is the grace of God, a treasure that the world cannot buy.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1097.

Jesus walked in the atmosphere of heaven and did the will of the Father in all areas of His life. It was because Daniel and his three friends lived in that atmosphere and walked with God that they were so blessed.

If we are truly walking in that same atmosphere, which is the grace of God, we will want to do all that the Lord asks us to do. God desires us to be healthy, and through His Word He gives counsel and examples such as the experience of Daniel and his three friends.

God tells us that we are His temples and the Spirit of God dwells in us. While under His grace, walking in this atmosphere, we would want to do everything we can to keep these temples from being defiled. See I Corinthians 3:16, 17. When we read healthful counsel in His Word, knowing that the grace of God would not lead us against His Word, we will say, as did Paul, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29.

Now that we understand that being under grace is carrying the atmosphere of heaven with us, reflecting God’s character in all areas of our life, we will choose to continue to walk in that atmosphere.

Contrary to having freedom to do anything we want and disregard God’s counsel on how to live, eat or dress, it is because of His grace that we choose to obey Him. We can begin right here and now to walk in those heavenly places, discarding worldly counsel and accepting God’s Word. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. It would be wise to do all we can to maintain it in a healthy condition to give God the honor and glory He deserves.

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Keys to the Storehouse – A goodly Pearl

Did you know that a beautiful pearl is formed as a result of an irritant? It is just amazing how such a beautiful thing that is so well sought after was formed because of an irritant. This again is evidence that with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26) and His ways are most inspiring and impressive!

When an irritant becomes lodged in the soft tissue that lines the oyster shell, to protect itself, the oyster produces a coating to encase the irritant. This coating, called nacre, or Mother of Pearl, builds up in many thin layers creating an iridescent cover over the irritant and the resulting creation is a real gem, a most beautiful pearl.

Because of sin we are just like that irritant; however, when God looks upon us He does not see the irritant, but what we would look like through the redeeming layers of Christ’s love, a goodly pearl. Very soon, the Merchantman is coming for His goodly pearls to take us home to live with Him forever.

“Christ, the heavenly merchantman seeking goodly pearls, saw in lost humanity the pearl of price. In man, defiled and ruined by sin, He saw the possibilities of redemption. Hearts that have been the battleground of the conflict with Satan, and that have been rescued by the power of love, are more precious to the Redeemer than are those who have never fallen. God looked upon humanity, not as vile and worthless; He looked upon it in Christ, saw it as it might become through redeeming love. He collected all the riches of the universe, and laid them down in order to buy the pearl. And Jesus, having found it, resets it in His own diadem. ‘For they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon His land.’ Zechariah 9:16. ‘They shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels.’ Malachi 3:17.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 118.

Jesus is seeking His goodly pearls; He is the heavenly Merchantman seeking for us. God sees in us a goodly pearl through the merits of Jesus. A pearl is something precious. You and I are precious. Our hearts which have been the battleground in the conflict with Satan have been rescued by the power of the love of God and are more precious to Him than are those who have never fallen.

Jesus paid a high price, giving up all heaven to come to this earth to willingly sacrifice his life for us in order to purchase the goodly pearls, you and me. He paid for us with His own blood, to rescue us from the devil’s clutches and to restore us to His kingdom, resetting us as precious jewels in His own diadem.

Oh Lord, I want to be that goodly pearl. I choose not to be an irritant any longer. Just as that little irritant in the oyster is covered by layers of Mother of Pearl, cover me with those layers of Christ’s agape love over and over again so that I may come forth as a goodly pearl. I want to be ready for the Merchantman when He comes to collect His goodly pearls. Amen.

Turn this Key to the Storehouse and those layers of love will begin to cover you.