Bible Study Guides – Twin Institutions

September 18, 2011 – September 24, 2011

Key Text

“Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” Hebrews 4:11.

Study Help: Child Guidance, 527–537; Testimonies, vol. 6, 349–368.


“To those who keep holy the Sabbath day it is the sign of sanctification. True sanctification is harmony with God, oneness with Him in character.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 350.


  • What blessed gifts did God give at creation? Genesis 1:26, 27; 2:2, 3.

Note: “He [Jesus] referred them [His hearers] to the blessed days of Eden, when God pronounced all things ‘very good.’ Then marriage and the Sabbath had their origin, twin institutions for the glory of God in the benefit of humanity.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 63.

  • What does God desire in these last days? Acts 3:19–21.

Note: “In both the Old and the New Testament the marriage relation is employed to represent the tender and sacred union that exists between Christ and His people, the redeemed ones whom He has purchased at the cost of Calvary.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 64.

“In the time of the end every divine institution is to be restored. … God’s remnant people, standing before the world as reformers, are to show that the law of God is the foundation of all enduring reform and that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is to stand as a memorial of creation, a constant reminder of the power of God. In clear, distinct lines they are to present the necessity of obedience to all the precepts of the Decalogue.” Prophets and Kings, 678.


  • What is the connection between the family and the Sabbath? Exodus 31:13–17; Deuteronomy 11:19.

Note: “The Sabbath and the family were alike instituted in Eden, and in God’s purpose they are indissolubly linked together. On this day more than on any other, it is possible for us to live the life of Eden. It was God’s plan for the members of the family to be associated in work and study, in worship and recreation, the father as priest of his household, and both father and mother as teachers and companions of their children.” Education, 250, 251.

  • How does our Sabbath preparation parallel with the preparation for the Lord’s coming? Will we be ready or unprepared? Amos 4:12.

Note: “I saw that we should not put off the coming of the Lord. Said the angel: ‘Prepare, prepare, for what is coming upon the earth. Let your works correspond with your faith.’ ” Testimonies, vol. 1, 123.

“On Friday let the preparation for the Sabbath be completed. See that all the clothing is in readiness and that all the cooking is done. Let the boots be blacked and the baths be taken. It is possible to do this. If you make it a rule you can do it. The Sabbath is not to be given to the repairing of garments, to the cooking of food, to pleasure seeking, or to any other worldly employment. Before the setting of the sun let all secular … papers be put out of sight. …

“We should jealously guard the edges of the Sabbath. Remember that every moment is consecrated, holy time. Whenever it is possible, employers should give their workers the hours from Friday noon until the beginning of the Sabbath. Give them time for preparation, that they may welcome the Lord’s day with quietness of mind. …

“There is another work that should receive attention on the preparation day. On this day all differences between brethren, whether in the family or in the church should be put away. …

“Before the Sabbath begins, the mind as well as the body should be withdrawn from worldly business. God has set His Sabbath at the end of the six working days, that men may stop and consider what they have gained during the week in preparation for the pure kingdom which admits no transgressor. We should each Sabbath reckon with our souls to see whether the week that has ended has brought spiritual gain or loss.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 355, 356.


  • How should we spend the precious hours of the Sabbath? Psalm 95:1–11; Exodus 20:8–11.

Note: “Before the setting of the sun, let the members of the family assemble to read God’s Word, to sing and pray. … We need to confess to God and to one another. …

“This should be a day of blessing to us—a day when we should lay aside all our secular matters and center our thoughts upon God and heaven.” Child Guidance, 529.

“The Sabbath school and the meeting for worship occupy only a part of the Sabbath. The portion remaining to the family may be made the most sacred and precious season of all the Sabbath hours. Much of this time parents should spend with their children.” Ibid., 532.

  • What should we not allow on the Sabbath day? Isaiah 58:13.

Note: “None should permit themselves, through the week, to become so absorbed in their temporal interests, and so exhausted by their efforts for worldly gain, that on the Sabbath they have no strength or energy to give to the service of God. We are robbing the Lord when we unfit ourselves to worship Him upon His holy day. …

“Let not the precious hours of the Sabbath be wasted in bed. On Sabbath morning the family should be astir early.” Child Guidance, 530.

“We should not provide for the Sabbath a more liberal supply or a greater variety of food than for other days. Instead of this the food should be more simple, and less should be eaten, in order that the mind may be clear and vigorous to comprehend spiritual things. Overeating befogs the brain. The most precious words may be heard and not appreciated, because the mind is confused by an improper diet. By overeating on the Sabbath, many have done more than they think to dishonor God.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 357.

“In order to keep the Sabbath holy, it is not necessary that we enclose ourselves in walls, shut away from the beautiful scenes of nature and from the free, invigorating air of heaven. … The mind cannot be refreshed, enlivened, and elevated by being confined nearly all the Sabbath hours within walls, listening to long sermons and tedious, formal prayers. The Sabbath of the Lord is put to a wrong use if thus celebrated.” Ibid., vol. 2, 583.


  • What are some special things to do on the Sabbath? Job 12:7–9; Psalm 150:1, 6.

Note: “Since the Sabbath is the memorial of creative power, it is the day above all others when we should acquaint ourselves with God through His works. In the minds of the children the very thought of the Sabbath should be bound up with the beauty of natural things. Happy is the family who can go to the place of worship on the Sabbath as Jesus and His disciples went to the synagogue—across the fields, along the shores of the lake, or through the groves. Happy the father and mother who can teach their children God’s written word with illustrations from the open pages of the book of nature; who can gather under the green trees, in the fresh, pure air, to study the word and to sing the praise of the Father above.

“By such associations parents may bind their children to their hearts, and thus to God, by ties that can never be broken.” Education, 251.

“In pleasant weather let parents walk with their children in the fields and groves. Amid the beautiful things of nature tell them the reason for the institution of the Sabbath. Describe to them God’s great work of creation. …

“Tell them of the way of salvation. … Let the sweet story of Bethlehem be repeated. Present before the children Jesus, as a child obedient to His parents, as a youth faithful and industrious, helping to support the family. … From time to time read with them the interesting stories in Bible history. Question as to what they have learned in the Sabbath school, and study with them the next Sabbath’s lesson.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 358, 359.

  • What else must we include in our Sabbath activities? Hebrews 10:24, 25.

Note: “The necessities of life must be attended to, the sick must be cared for, the wants of the needy must be supplied. He will not be held guiltless who neglects to relieve suffering on the Sabbath. God’s holy rest day was made for man, and acts of mercy are in perfect harmony with its intent. …

“The Sabbath is not intended to be a period of useless inactivity. … Man is to leave the occupations of his daily life, and devote those sacred hours to healthful rest, to worship, and to holy deeds.” The Desire of Ages, 207.


  • What does the Sabbath foreshadow now? Hebrews 4:8–11; Isaiah 66:22, 23; Revelation 21:1.

Note: “There [in the city of God] the redeemed shall ‘know, even as also they are known’ [I Corinthians 13:12]. The loves and sympathies which God Himself has planted in the soul shall there find truest and sweetest exercise. The pure communion with holy beings, the harmonious social life with the blessed angels and with the faithful ones of all ages who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, the sacred ties that bind together ‘the whole family in heaven and earth’ [Ephesians 3:15]—these help to constitute the happiness of the redeemed. …

“The family of heaven and the family of earth are one.” The Adventist Home, 544.

  • Unto what words of instruction should we take heed in order to be prepared for the great day of God? II Peter 3:11–14.

Note: “ ‘Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else’ [Isaiah 45:22]. This is the message written in nature, which the Sabbath is appointed to keep in memory. …

“God designed that its observance should designate them as His worshipers. It was to be a token of their separation from idolatry, and their connection with the true God. But in order to keep the Sabbath holy, men must themselves be holy. Through faith they must become partakers of the righteousness of Christ.” The Desire of Ages, 283.


1 What are the twin institutions which were given at creation and what are their purposes?

2 What is the connection between the family and the Sabbath?

3 How should you spend your time on the Sabbath day?

4 Describe some special activities to do together.

Copyright © 2002 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Is It Easy?

September 11, 2011 – September 17, 2011

Key Text

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” Ephesians 6:10.

Study Help: Steps to Christ, 67–76; Patriarchs and Prophets, 453–461.


“Rest in God. He is able to keep that which you have committed to Him. If you will leave yourself in His hands, He will bring you off more than conqueror through Him that has loved you.” Steps to Christ, 72.


  • Who are we fighting if we are seeking to do God’s will? Ephesians 6:12.

Note: “There is little enmity against Satan and his works, because there is so great ignorance concerning his power and malice, and the vast extent of his warfare against Christ and His church.” The Great Controversy, 507.

  • Who is the enemy seeking to destroy and how does he propose to do this? Numbers 25:1, 2. What warning should we heed? I Corinthians 10:11, 12.

Note: “Satan is continually seeking to overcome the people of God by breaking down the barriers which separate them from the world. … All who are not decided followers of Christ are servants of Satan. In the unregenerate heart there is love of sin and a disposition to cherish and excuse it. In the renewed heart there is hatred of sin and a determined resistance against it.” The Great Controversy, 508.

“It was by associating with idolaters and joining in their festivities that the Hebrews were led to transgress God’s law and bring His judgments upon the nation. So now it is by leading the followers of Christ to associate with the ungodly and unite in their amusements that Satan is most successful in alluring them into sin.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 458.


  • In this warfare, what must we remember? Luke 18:1.

Note: “Christian life is more than many take it to be. It does not consist wholly in gentleness, patience, meekness, and kindliness. These graces are essential; but there is need also of courage, force, energy, and perseverance. The path that Christ marks out is a narrow, self-denying path. To enter that path and press on through difficulties and discouragements, requires men who are more than weaklings.” Evangelism, 479.

  • What will enable us to endure in this warfare and develop perseverance? II Peter 1:4; John 14:14.

Note: “The Scriptures are to be received as God’s word to us, not written merely, but spoken. …

“So with all the promises of God’s word. In them He is speaking to us individually, speaking as directly as if we could listen to His voice. It is in these promises that Christ communicates to us His grace and power. They are leaves from that tree which is ‘for the healing of the nations’ Revelation 22:2. Received, assimilated, they are to be the strength of the character, the inspiration and sustenance of the life. Nothing else can have such healing power. Nothing besides can impart the courage and faith which give vital energy to the whole being.” The Ministry of Healing, 122.

“If we live according to His word, every precious promise He has given will be fulfilled to us. …

“But only as we live in obedience to His word can we claim the fulfillment of His promises. The psalmist says, ‘If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me’ Psalm 66:18. If we render to Him only a partial, halfhearted obedience, His promises will not be fulfilled to us.” Ibid., 226, 227.

  • What promises does our Father give us as we seek to develop families that will honor His name? Psalm 32:8.

Note: “Not only are the best beloved to receive particular attention, but also the restless, wayward children, who need careful training and tender guidance.” The Adventist Home, 276.


  • As we see our weakness and insufficiency, what promise is especially important to us? II Corinthians 12:9.
  • What is God’s grace? I Corinthians 1:4, 5; II Corinthians 9:8.

Note: “Grace is an attribute of God exercised toward undeserving human beings.” The Ministry of Healing, 161.

“To learn of Christ means to receive His grace, which is His character.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 271.

  • What other promises are there for the partakers of His grace? Colossians 1:11; Philippians 1:6; Ephesians 1:19.

Note: “You are to give all—your heart, your will, your service—give yourself to Him to obey all His requirements; and you must take all—Christ, the fullness of all blessing, to abide in your heart, to be your strength, your righteousness, your everlasting helper—to give you power to obey.” Steps to Christ, 70. [Emphasis author’s.]

  • What circumstances, if any, are very difficult and seemingly impossible to change? Philippians 4:13.

Note: “Men and women can reach God’s ideal for them if they will take Christ as their helper. What human wisdom cannot do, His grace will accomplish for those who give themselves to Him in loving trust. His providence can unite hearts in bonds that are of heavenly origin.” The Ministry of Healing, 362.

“The power of the love of Christ wrought a transformation of character. This is the sure result of union with Jesus. When Christ abides in the heart, the whole nature is transformed. Christ’s Spirit, His love, softens the heart, subdues the soul, and raises the thoughts and desires toward God and heaven.” Steps to Christ, 73.


  • How can I, my family, and my church have this experience with Jesus Christ? John 15:4, 5.

Note: “Do you ask, ‘How am I to abide in Christ?’ In the same way as you received Him at first. ‘As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him’ (Colossians 2:6). …

“Consecrate yourself to God in the morning; make this your very first work. Let your prayer be, ‘Take me, O Lord, as wholly Thine. I lay all my plans at Thy feet. Use me today in Thy service. Abide with me, and let all my work be wrought in Thee.’ This is a daily matter. Each morning consecrate yourself to God for that day. Surrender all your plans to Him, to be carried out or given up as His providence shall indicate. Thus day by day you may be giving your life into the hands of God, and thus your life will be molded more and more after the life of Christ.” Steps to Christ, 69, 70.

  • What must be our attitude? Acts 9:6.

Note: “Many who are really conscientious, and who desire to live for God, he [Satan] too often leads to dwell upon their own faults and weaknesses, and thus by separating them from Christ he hopes to gain the victory. We should not make self the center and indulge anxiety and fear as to whether we shall be saved. All this turns the soul away from the Source of our strength. Commit the keeping of your soul to God, and trust in Him. Talk and think of Jesus. Let self be lost in Him. Put away all doubt; dismiss your fears. … Rest in God. He is able to keep that which you have committed to Him. If you will leave yourself in His hands, He will bring you off more than conqueror through Him that has loved you.” Steps to Christ, 71, 72.

“Then if Christ is dwelling in our hearts, He will work in us ‘both to will and to do of His good pleasure’ Philippians 2:13. We shall work as He worked; we shall manifest the same spirit. And thus, loving Him and abiding in Him, we shall ‘grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ’ Ephesians 4:15.” Ibid., 75.

“At times the heart may be ready to faint; but a living sense of the dangers threatening the present and future happiness of their loved ones should lead Christian parents to seek more earnestly for help from the source of strength and wisdom.” Child Guidance, 64.


  • What commands are given to us who have received such great light and blessing? Ephesians 5:1–8.

Note: “It is the privilege of all to give to the world in their home life, in their customs and practices and order, an evidence of what the gospel can do for those who obey it. Christ came to our world to give us an example of what we may become. He expects His followers to be models of correctness in all the relations of life. He desires the divine touch to be seen upon outward things.

“Our own homes and surroundings should be object lessons, teaching ways of improvement, so that industry, cleanliness, taste, and refinement may take the place of idleness, uncleanness, coarseness, and disorder. By our lives and example we can help others to discern that which is repulsive in their character or their surroundings, and with Christian courtesy we may encourage improvement.” The Ministry of Healing, 196.

“The Lord’s workers cannot be too careful that their actions do not contradict their words; for a consistent life alone can command respect. If our practice harmonizes with our teaching, our words will have effect; but a piety which is not based upon conscientious principles is as salt without savor. To speak, and do not, is as a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. It is of no use for us to strive to inculcate principles which we do not conscientiously practice.” Counsels on Health, 559, 560.

“The consistent life, the patient forbearance, the spirit unruffled under provocation, is always the most conclusive argument and the most solemn appeal.” The Ministry of Healing, 494.

“The pure influence of truth will elevate the whole man. … He will carry the sanctifying influence of the truth into his family and let his light so shine before them that they by seeing his good works may glorify God.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 415, 416.


1 What makes the upward walk difficult?

2 How can you persevere and endure unto the end?

3 What is God’s grace and what will it do for you?

4 How can you have a changed life?

5 What will be the result of converted members of the family?

Copyright © 2002 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – How Shall We Worship?

September 4, 2011 – September 10, 2011

Key Text

“O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.” Psalm 96:9.

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 436–438; Testimonies, vol. 5, 491–500.


“In order to serve Him aright, we must be born of the divine Spirit. This will purify the heart and renew the mind, giving us a new capacity for knowing and loving God. It will give us a willing obedience to all His requirements. This is true worship.” The Desire of Ages, 189.


  • Define true worship. Psalm 24:3, 4; John 4:23, 24; I Chronicles 16:29.

Note: “Although God dwells not in temples made with hands, yet He honors with His presence the assemblies of His people. He has promised that when they come together to seek Him, to acknowledge their sins, and to pray for one another, He will meet with them by His Spirit. But those who assemble to worship Him should put away every evil thing. Unless they worship Him in spirit and truth and in the beauty of holiness, their coming together will be of no avail. Of such the Lord declares, ‘This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoreth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me.’ Matthew 15:8, 9.” Prophets and Kings, 50.

“Religious instruction means … that you are to show in your life that Jesus is everything to you, and that His love makes you patient, kind, forbearing, and yet firm in commanding your children after you, as did Abraham.

“Just as you conduct yourself in your home life, you are registered in the books of heaven. He who would become a saint in heaven must first become a saint in his own family.” The Adventist Home, 317.

  • How serious a matter is it to ignore or neglect God’s requirements? Matthew 15:8, 9; 7:21–23.


  • What should be the practice of every individual and family? Psalm 29:2.

Note: “If ever there was a time when every house should be a house of prayer, it is now. …

“And yet, in this time of fearful peril, some who profess to be Christians have no family worship. They do not honor God in the home; they do not teach their children to love and fear Him.” Child Guidance, 517.

“In many cases the morning and evening worship is little more than a mere form, a dull, monotonous repetition of set phrases in which the spirit of gratitude or the sense of need finds no expression. The Lord accepts not such service. But the petitions of a humble heart and contrite spirit He will not despise. The opening of our hearts to our heavenly Father, the acknowledgment of our entire dependence, the expressions of our wants, the homage of grateful love—this is true prayer.” Ibid., 518.

“In every family there should be a fixed time for morning and evening worship. How appropriate it is for parents to gather their children about them before the fast is broken, to thank the heavenly Father for His protection during the night, and to ask Him for His help and guidance and watch care during the day! How fitting, also, when evening comes, for parents and children to gather once more before Him and thank Him for the blessings of the day that is past!” Ibid., 520.

  • What other time of worship is so important to us? Psalm 19:14.

Note: “When the Sabbath commences, we should place a guard upon ourselves, upon our acts and our words, lest we rob God by appropriating to our own use that time which is strictly the Lord’s. We should not do ourselves, nor suffer our children to do, any manner of our own work for a livelihood or anything which could have been done on the six working days. … God requires not only that we refrain from physical labor upon the Sabbath, but that the mind be disciplined to dwell upon sacred themes. The Fourth Commandment is virtually transgressed by conversing upon worldly things or by engaging in light and trifling conversation. …

“Fathers and mothers should make it a rule that their children attend public worship on the Sabbath, and should enforce the rule by their own example.” Child Guidance, 529, 530.


  • In Leviticus 23:3, what distinct phrase does God use to describe His seventh day, the Sabbath of rest?
  • What can we learn from the Scriptures as to where we should worship? Matthew 18:20; Acts 2:46.
  • What should we remember about the place in which we worship our Creator? Psalm 111:9; Genesis 28:17, last part.

Note: “True reverence for God is inspired by a sense of His infinite greatness and a realization of His presence. … The hour and place of prayer are sacred, because God is there. …

“Well would it be for old and young to ponder those words of Scripture that show how the place marked by God’s special presence should be regarded. ‘Put off thy shoes from off thy feet,’ He commanded Moses at the burning bush, ‘for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground’ Exodus 3:5. …

“The God of heaven is not, like the gods of the heathen, confined to temples made with hands; yet He would meet with His people by His Spirit when they should assemble at the house dedicated to His worship.” Prophets and Kings, 48, 49.

“The house is the sanctuary for the family, and the closet or the grove the most retired place for individual worship; but the church is the sanctuary for the congregation. There should be rules in regard to the time, the place, and the manner of worshiping. …

“Do not have so little reverence for the house and worship of God as to communicate with one another during the sermon. …

“There should be a sacred spot, like the sanctuary of old, where God is to meet with His people. That place should not be used as a lunchroom or as a business room, but simply for the worship of God.” Child Guidance, 541–543.


  • What instructions are given to us regarding the manner of worshiping our Lord? Hebrews 12:28; I Peter 1:15, 16; Exodus 19:10.

Note: “Unless correct ideas of true worship and true reverence are impressed upon the people, there will be a growing tendency to place the sacred and eternal on a level with common things, and those professing the truth will be an offense to God and a disgrace to religion. They can never, with their uncultivated ideas, appreciate a pure and holy heaven, and be prepared to join with the worshipers in the heavenly courts above, where all is purity and perfection, where every being has perfect reverence for God and His holiness. …

“When the worshipers enter the place of meeting, they should do so with decorum, passing quietly to their seats. … Common talking, whispering, and laughing should not be permitted in the house of worship, either before or after the service. Ardent, active piety should characterize the worshipers.” My Life Today, 285, 286.

“Do not have so little reverence for the house and worship of God as to communicate with one another during the sermon. …

“When the word of life is spoken, you should remember that you are listening to the voice of God through His delegated servant. Do not lose these words through inattention; if heeded, they may keep your feet from straying into wrong paths.” Messages to Young People, 266.

  • Along with having a correct state of mind and action as we come before our God, what else is necessary? Exodus 19:14.

Note: “All should be taught to be neat, clean, and orderly in their dress, but not to indulge in that external adorning which is wholly inappropriate for the sanctuary. There should be no display of the apparel; for this encourages irreverence. The attention of the people is often called to this or that fine article of dress, and thus thoughts are intruded that should have no place in the hearts of the worshipers. … The parading of bows and ribbons, ruffles and feathers, and gold and silver ornaments is a species of idolatry and is wholly inappropriate for the sacred service of God. … All matters of dress should be strictly guarded, following closely the Bible rule. Fashion has been the goddess who has ruled the outside world, and she often insinuates herself into the church. The church should make the word of God her standard, and parents should think intelligently upon this subject.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 499.


  • Who is blessed in the act of worship? Psalms 29:1, 2, 11; 138:1–3, 7, 8; Isaiah 57:15; Psalm 22:3.

Note: “Our God is a tender, merciful Father. His service should not be looked upon as a heart-saddening, distressing exercise. It should be a pleasure to worship the Lord and to take part in His work. … He is their best friend; and when they worship Him, He expects to be with them, to bless and comfort them, filling their hearts with joy and love. … He desires that those who come to worship Him shall carry away with them precious thoughts of His care and love, that they may be cheered in all the employments of daily life, that they may have grace to deal honestly and faithfully in all things.” Steps to Christ, 103.

“The hour and place of prayer and the services of public worship the child should be taught to regard as sacred because God is there. And as reverence is manifested in attitude and demeanor, the feeling that inspires it will be deepened.” Child Guidance, 539.

  • Who else joins us in our worship? Hebrews 1:6; Revelation 4:8, 11; 5:11, 12; 7:9–17.

Note: “There are invisible agencies observing every word and deed of human beings. In every assembly for business or pleasure, in every gathering for worship, there are more listeners than can be seen with the natural sight.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 176.


1 How is worship to be much more than simply a form that you repeat?

2 How often should you worship?

3 Is worship confined to only certain areas?

4 Can you come before God in any way you like?

5 What does worship do?

Copyright © 2002 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Caring for the Flock

August 28, 2011 – September 3, 2011

Families for Christ

Key Text

“Feed the flock of God which is among you.” I Peter 5:2.

Study Help: The Adventist Home, 181–186.


“Satan is marshalling his hosts; and are we individually prepared for the fearful conflict that is just before us? Are we preparing our children for the great crisis? Are we preparing ourselves and our households to understand the position of our adversaries and their modes of warfare?” The Adventist Home, 186.


  • Where did God place Adam and Eve and why? Genesis 2:8, 9, 15. After sin, what did God want Adam and Eve to do and to learn? Genesis 3:19, 23.

Note: “The home of our first parents was to be a pattern for other homes as their children should go forth to occupy the earth. … In the surroundings of the holy pair was a lesson for all time—that true happiness is found, not in the indulgence of pride and luxury, but in communion with God through His created works.” The Adventist Home, 132.

“Although the earth was blighted with the curse, nature was still to be man’s lesson book. It could not now represent goodness only. … From nature, which now revealed the knowledge of good and evil, man was continually to receive warning as to the results of sin.” Education, 26.

  • Where is the best place to raise our family and why? Isaiah 32:18.

Note: “Be not controlled by the desire for wealth, the dictates of fashion, or the customs of society. Consider what will tend most to simplicity, purity, health, and real worth. …

“Instead of dwelling where only the works of men can be seen, where the sights and sounds frequently suggest thoughts of evil, where turmoil and confusion bring weariness and disquietude, go where you can look upon the works of God. Find rest of spirit in the beauty and quietude and peace of nature.” The Adventist Home, 131, 132.


  • In choosing our home and associations, what counsel does our Lord give us? I John 2:15.

Note: “Life in the cities is false and artificial. The intense passion for money getting, the whirl of excitement and pleasure seeking, the thirst for display, the luxury and extravagance—all are forces that, with the great masses of mankind, are turning the mind from life’s true purpose. They are opening the door to a thousand evils. Upon the youth they have almost irresistible power.” The Adventist Home, 135.

“In choosing a home, God would have us consider, first of all, the moral and religious influences that will surround us and our families.

“We should choose the society most favorable to our spiritual advancement, and avail ourselves of every help within our reach; for Satan will oppose many hindrances to make our progress toward heaven as difficult as possible. We may be placed in trying positions, for many cannot have their surroundings what they would; but we should not voluntarily expose ourselves to influences that are unfavorable to the formation of Christian character.” Ibid., 131.

“The physical surroundings in the cities are often a peril to health.” Ibid., 135.

“To parents He [the Lord] sends the warning cry: Gather your children into your own houses; gather them away from those who are disregarding the commandments of God, who are teaching and practicing evil.” Ibid., 139.

  • What is a more subtle danger that we need to guard against? II Timothy 3:5.

Note: “If we place ourselves among associates whose influence has a tendency to make us forgetful of the high claims the Lord has upon us, we invite temptation and become too weak in moral power to resist it.” The Adventist Home, 459.

“We must not center our affections on worldly relatives, who have no desire to learn the truth. We may seek in every way, while associated with them, to let our light shine; but our words, our deportment, our customs and practices, should not in any sense be molded by their ideas and customs. We are to show forth the truth in all our intercourse with them. If we cannot do this, the less association we have with them the better it will be for our spirituality.” Ibid., 462.


  • What vocation has God often given His people? Why? Proverbs 27:18; Ecclesiastes 3:13.

Note: “God provided the conditions most favorable for the development of character. The people who were under His direction still pursued the plan of life that He had appointed in the beginning. Those who departed from God built for themselves cities. … But the men who held fast God’s principles of life dwelt among the fields and hills. They were tillers of the soil and keepers of flocks and herds; and in this free, independent life, with its opportunities for labor and study and meditation, they learned of God and taught their children of His works and ways.” The Adventist Home, 181.

  • What does God still desire us to teach our children? Proverbs 12:11; 28:19.

Note: “Working the soil is one of the best kinds of employment, calling the muscles into action and resting the mind. Study in agricultural lines should be the A, B, and C of the education given in our schools. This is the very first work that should be entered upon.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 179.

“Had this course been followed, … the students would have secured an all round education, which would have prepared them, not only for practical work in various trades, but for a place on the Lords’ farm in the earth made new.” Ibid., 177.

  • What kinds of educational facilities are necessary to accomplish this type of education? Psalm 128:3, 4; II Timothy 1:5; 3:14, 15.

Note: “In His wisdom the Lord has decreed that the family shall be the greatest of all educational agencies. It is in the home that the education of the child is to begin. …

“One great reason why there is so much evil in the world today is that parents occupy their minds with other things than that which is all important—how to adapt themselves to the work of patiently and kindly teaching their children the way of the Lord. …

“It is in the home school that our boys and girls are to be prepared to attend the church school.” The Adventist Home, 182, 183, 185.


  • What must we also guard against in our thinking and behavior? I Timothy 6:3–5.
  • What did Jesus warn us about, and how does this apply to today? Matthew 24:37, 38.

Note: “What of the marriage relation today? Is it not perverted and defiled, made even as it was in Noah’s day? Divorce after divorce is recorded in the daily papers. This is the marriage of which Christ speaks when He says that before the flood they were ‘marrying and giving in marriage’ [Matthew 24:38].” Manuscript Releases, vol. 7, 56.

“As it was in the days of Noah, every kind of evil is on the increase. Divorce and marriage is the order of the time.” Ibid., vol. 10, 261.

“Jesus came to our world to rectify mistakes and to restore the moral image of God in man. Wrong sentiments in regard to marriage had found a place in the minds of the teachers of Israel. They were making of none effect the sacred institution of marriage.” The Adventist Home, 341.

  • What should we keep in mind as we face the many varying attitudes of the times in which we live? Matthew 7:13–21; II Corinthians 11:13–15.
  • Who only will be found entering the gates of heaven? Revelation 14:12.

Note: “By beholding we become changed. By the indulgence of impure thoughts man can so educate his mind that sin which he once loathed will become pleasant to him.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 459.

“Those who would not fall a prey to Satan’s devices must guard well the avenues of the soul; they must avoid reading, seeing, or hearing that which will suggest impure thoughts. … ‘Girding up the loins of your mind,’ says the apostle Peter, ‘Be sober, … not fashioning yourselves according to your former lusts in … your ignorance: but like as He which called you is holy, be ye yourselves also holy in all manner of living.’ I Peter 1:13–15, R.V.” Ibid., 460.


  • What is necessary to gain the reward? Joshua 24:15.
  • If we follow God’s counsels, what are the promised results? Galatians 6:9.

Note: “If parents give their children the proper education, they themselves will be made happy by seeing the fruit of their careful training in the Christlike character of their children.” The Adventist Home, 533.

“With joy unutterable, parents see the crown, the robe, the harp, given to their children. The days of hope and fear are ended. The seed sown with tears and prayers may have seemed to be sown in vain, but their harvest is reaped with joy at last. Their children have been redeemed. Fathers, mothers, shall the voices of your children swell the song of gladness in that day?” Child Guidance, 569.

  • What is the other solemn warning concerning the day of reckoning? Jeremiah 2:4, 5, 9.

Note: “ ‘Weighed in the balance, and found wanting’ [Daniel 5:27]. To many parents the Judge will say in that day, ‘You had My Word, plainly setting forth your duty. Why have you not obeyed its teachings? Knew ye not that it was the voice of God? Did I not bid you search the Scriptures, that you might not go astray? You have not only ruined your own souls, but by your pretensions to godliness you have misled many others. You have no part with Me. Depart; depart.’ ” Child Guidance, 569.


1 What dwelling will give the best place of safety to our flock?

2 From what influences should you separate?

3 What are the ABCs of God’s educational plan?

4 As reformers, what attitudes must your influence work to correct?

5 What is the reward ahead for you?

Copyright © 2002 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Recipe – Indian-Spiced Cauliflower and Chickpeas

4 cups cauliflowerets

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, diced

15 oz. can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp. vegetable oil

2 tsp. gingerroot, minced fresh

1 ½ tsp. curry powder

½ tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. cumin

15 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained

1 cup frozen or fresh green peas

Place cauliflower in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; cook for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside. In a large skillet, sauté onion, carrot and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in the ginger, curry, salt and cloves. Add the beans, tomatoes, peas and cauliflower. Cook and stir for 5 minutes or until heated through. Remove from the heat. Serve over rice.

Food – The Seasoned Art of Seasoning

“The words and works of the Lord harmonize. His words are gracious and His works bountiful. ‘He causeth grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man’ [Psalm 104:14].
How liberal are the provisions He has made for us.”
“Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Commentary, vol. 3, 1152.

Herbs and spices are aromatic vegetable products used to season and flavor foods, with herbs having more subtle flavors than spices. Herbs are usually derived from the leaves of aromatic plants of the Temperate Zone, whereas spices come from the root, bark, stem, leaf, bud, seed or fruit of aromatic plants that grow in the tropics. Skillfully and judiciously used, herbs and spices provide the family chef with a keyboard of happy notes that make humdrum cooking sing with flavor. …

The key to good seasoning is blended flavor, with the flavor accents mutually compatible, following one another in proper order, and having the right emphasis or intensity. Flavor harmonies are not always easy to achieve, but they can be most rewarding. The first and last flavor impressions are the most important, and a pleasing aftertaste is the ultimate goal of all good seasoning. The speed with which a specific flavor note appears depends on the nature of the seasoning, on the quantity of seasoning used, and on the sensitivity of the person who does the tasting. … Natural flavors are often blends of two or more simple flavors. Naturally occurring flavors may either be intensified or subdued—according to the desired effect. To strike happy notes on the flavor keyboard:

Use restraint. Dried herbs are stronger than fresh herbs, and a smaller amount is needed to achieve the same effect. One-fourth teaspoon of a dried herb is usually sufficient in four servings. Crush leafy herbs. Use untried spices and herbs cautiously, striving for a subtle, not-too-pronounced flavor. …

Add seasoning to cold foods well in advance of serving, to give the flavors time to blend. Hot foods require less time for flavor penetration. When possible, season hot foods during the final hour of cooking. Remember, also, that flavors are perishable.

Use spices or herbs in only one or two dishes at a meal. Some herbs and spices are entirely harmless in their effect on the body; others, when used occasionally and sparingly, have no significant objectionable effects; still others are decidedly injurious even in small quantities. Strong spices harm the delicate membranes of the digestive organs and impair their normal operation.

Dining Delightfully; Tested Recipes From Adventist Hospital Chefs, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and Hospital Association Medical Department, Review and Herald Publishing Association, Washington, D.C., 1968, 9.

Nature – Army Ants

Army ants, also known as legionary ants and driver ants, are a group of over 200 species native to Central and South America and Africa. They are known for their aggressive predatory foraging groups known as “raids” which involve huge numbers of ants sweeping through an area attacking prey en masse. An army ant colony can contain up to 700,000 ants consisting of a queen, drones (males), workers, and soldiers. The workers do the hunting for food and nursery duties, and the soldiers protect the workers, queen, and nest. The soldiers are much larger than the workers and sport giant mandibles. Army ants travel about as a whole colony looking for prey and can form a carpet up to 20 meters (65.6 feet) wide. The ants can consume up to 100,000 prey animals each day.

The army ants do not construct permanent nests but build a temporary living nest with their bodies, held together with their mandibles and hooked feet, called a bivouac. The bivouac is built in hollow trees or in burrows dug by the ants. It is a well-organized structure, in the shape of a ball consisting of many passageways and chambers where food, the eggs and larvae, and the queen are kept. The older workers are located on the exterior of the nest while the younger workers are in the interior. At the slightest disturbance, soldier ants gather on the roof of the nest ready to defend it with their giant mandibles, and some species have stingers.

Army ants have two phases of activity: a nomadic (wandering) phase and a stationary phase. During the nomadic phase, most species move during the day (a few species are nocturnal) capturing insects, spiders, and small vertebrates. At dusk they form their nest, which changes location almost daily. During their foraging they are accompanied by birds known as antbirds and antwrens and numerous other birds, which feed on the invertebrates the ants flush out. During the stationary phase, which begins when their larvae pupate, they stay in one place for two or three weeks while the queen is fed extra in preparation for egg laying. After the pupae emerge and the queen lays her eggs, the colony resumes its nomadic phase.

“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.” Proverbs 6:6. “The ants teach lessons of patient industry, of perseverance in surmounting obstacles, of providence for the future.” Child Guidance, 59.

“The wisest of men may learn useful lessons from the ways and habits of the little creatures of the earth. … The ants, which we consider as only pests to be crushed under our feet, are in many respects superior to man; for he does not as wisely improve the gifts of God. The wise man calls our attention to the small things of the earth: ‘Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest’ [Proverbs 6:6–8]. ‘The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer’ [Proverbs 30:25]. We may learn from these little teachers a lesson of faithfulness. Should we improve with the same diligence the faculties which an all-wise Creator has bestowed upon us, how greatly would our capacities for usefulness be increased. God’s eye is upon the smallest of His creatures; does He not, then, regard man formed in His image and require of him corresponding returns for all the advantages He has given him?” Testimonies, vol. 4, 455, 456.

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

Questions and Answers – When does the Sabbath Begin?

When does the Sabbath begin? I have my doubts as to the Sabbath of our God beginning at sunset the previous day. In reading over the record in Genesis, we find God says each day, that the evening and morning constituted the day, until He speaks of the seventh.

—A seeker of the truth

Our correspondent’s doubts do not affect the truth. The seventh day was like all the other days as regards ending or beginning. This must have been the case or it would have altered the day before or the day after, or both; for the sixth day began with the evening and closed at the beginning of the next evening, and the first day following the seventh day began and ended in the same way; therefore the same must have been true of the seventh day. Thus also was the yearly sabbath of the atonement kept. (See Leviticus 23:32). Thus also the Sabbath was observed at the time of our Saviour. Under Pharisaical restriction the Jews would not bring the sick to our Saviour during the hours of the Sabbath, but when it closed, they brought them. An instance is given of this in Mark 1. In verse 21 we are told that Jesus went into the synagogue on the Sabbath. There he healed a man possessed of a demon, and later the same day, in Peter’s house, he healed Peter’s wife’s mother of a fever. The record continues in verse 32: “And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils.” (See also Matthew 8:16; Luke 4:31, 40.) Our correspondent quotes the following: “In Him is no darkness at all” [I John 1:5]. “From the rising until the setting of the sun, My name shall be great among the Gentiles” [Malachi 1:11]. But these texts have nothing to do with the beginning of the Sabbath. The darkness of night and light of day are both alike to God. (See Psalms 139:12; 18:11.) The second text (wrongly) quoted from Malachi, simply shows that wherever the sun shines God will have a people to praise him.

The Signs of the Times, September 18, 1893.

There are some questions and answers from the past that never change!

If you have a Bible question you wish to have answered, please write to Steps to Life or e-mail it to:

Children’s Story – Never Let Go

Some years ago on a hot summer day in south Florida, a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went. He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore.

His father was working in the back yard and saw his son run out the back door toward the water. He looked down to what he was working on and when he looked up again toward the lake, to his horror, he saw the two as they got closer and closer to each other. In utter fear, he dropped everything and ran toward the water, yelling to his son as loudly as he could.

Hearing his father’s voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a U-turn to swim to his father. But it was too late. Just as he reached his father, the alligator reached him.

From the dock, the father grabbed his little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs.

Then began an incredible tug-of-war between the alligator and the father. The alligator was much stronger than the father, but the father was not going to let his son be taken. Holding his son as tightly as he could he sent up a prayer to God for help and screamed for help. Just then a farmer drove by and heard his neighbor’s desperate cry. Racing from his truck with a gun in hand, he took careful aim and shot the alligator. The father was very happy to have his son back though he was badly hurt and was rushed to the hospital.

Remarkably, after several weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived. His legs were badly scarred by the vicious attack of the alligator. His arms also were marred with deep scratches that were caused by his father’s fingernails that had dug into his flesh in the effort to hang on to the son he loved so much.

The little boy, being interviewed by a newspaper reporter after his traumatic incident, was asked if he would show the scars on his legs. As the boy lifted his pant legs, he said to the reporter, “But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them because my dad would not let me go. My dad loves me.”

That is how much Jesus loves you, and even more than that. In Daniel 3, the Bible records a story of three Hebrew men who would not let go of God. These men, who had been taken captive into Babylon, loved God and had dedicated their lives to Him as boys and refused to bow down to any other god. There were men who knew that the Hebrews were not doing as the king had said when commanded to bow down to the golden image that he had erected on the plain of Dura, so they went to the king and told him. King Nebuchadnezzar was insulted and very angry so he sent for the young men. As they were brought before him the king said, “Is it true, that you do not worship the golden image which I have set up? If you do not bow down, I will cast you into a burning fiery furnace” [verses 14, 15]. With respect, the three Hebrew men told the King that even if he threw them into the furnace they would not bow down to his golden statue, because they had decided to worship only the true God.

The king was furious! He told the guards to heat up the furnace seven times hotter than usual. Then he commanded the mightiest men in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the fiery furnace. The guards did as they were told, but the fire was so hot that the guards were killed as they got close to the furnace. Then the most unusual thing happened! As the King looked into the furnace he was amazed at what he saw! There was Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego walking in the midst of the fiery furnace, unhurt! Not only did the King see the three Hebrew men, but also there was a fourth person walking around with them who he claimed looked like the Son of God! The only thing that had been burned were the ropes that had them bound. Wow! What a sight that must have been!

Just like that father who would not let his boy go to the alligator, God loved those three men so much that He did not let them get hurt by the fire.

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” I Corinthians 10:13.

A Call to Prayer

Jesus is coming soon! We have been hearing that for generations, but never before have we seen such a situation as we are witnessing today with global economic instability, unpredictable weather worldwide combined with major earthquakes, tornadoes, flooding and forest fires and widespread immorality that could only match society described before the Flood.

The whole earth is moaning, and people are afraid, not knowing what is happening, but, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1.

More than ever it is time to pray.

  • Praise God for who He is and what He does for you.
  • Confess your sins with a humble heart, be honest with God; He wants to send His Spirit to cleanse you and make you a whole person.
  • Thank Him and acknowledge His blessings with gratitude.
  • Then, “Ask, and it shall be given to you” (Matthew 7:7). As a father delights to fulfill the desires of his children, so our heavenly Father has unlimited resources to supply all of our needs.

“The Lord would have us ask that we may receive. There are the heavenly messengers waiting for the sincere petition and they draw nigh to the hungry, thirsting soul. Then let your whole souls go out after God. Wait on the Lord. The heavenly messengers will empty themselves into the golden tubes flowing into the golden bowls to enlighten others. If you ask believing you will receive. Never, never be destitute of the golden oil, for this will keep your lamps burning.” This Day With God, 22.

“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2.

Will we hasten His coming and help others to be ready for that day?

We all have special burdens on our hearts, most of which are common to many people. Let us share one another’s burdens and pray together for those things that are applicable to a whole group of people. Please contact us with your requests by writing or e-mailing at: , so we can pray together to hasten the coming of Jesus and help others to be ready for that day.