Bible Study Guides – “Speak, Lord”

September 18, 2016 – September 24, 2016

Key Test

“Hear, O my people, and I will speak; … I am God, even thy God” (Psalm 50: 7).

Study Help: Faith and Works, 121, 122.


“Be always ready, saying, ‘Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth’ (I Samuel 3:9).” The Review and Herald, July 26, 1898.


  • What was the attitude of Mary when God sent her a message? Luke 1:38.

Note: “[Notice] the sweet, childlike faith of Mary, the maiden of Nazareth.” The Desire of Ages, 98.

  • Who also prophesied of Christ to strengthen Mary’s faith? Luke 1:41–43, 67–69; 2:25–32, 36–38. Who tried to destroy her faith in Jesus?

Note: “Mary often remonstrated with Jesus and urged Him to conform to the usages of the rabbis. But He could not be persuaded to change His habits of contemplating the works of God and seeking to alleviate the suffering of men or even of dumb animals. When the priests and teachers required Mary’s aid in controlling Jesus, she was greatly troubled; but peace came to her heart as He presented the statements of Scripture upholding His practices.

“At times she wavered between Jesus and His brothers, who did not believe that He was the Sent of God; but evidence was abundant that His was a divine character. She saw Him sacrificing Himself for the good of others. His presence brought a purer atmosphere into the home, and His life was as leaven working amid the elements of society.” The Desire of Ages, 90.


  • What experience should be our model every day? I Samuel 3:7–10.

Note: “When you place yourselves where you should be in order to hear the voice of God, you will come before Him every day, saying, ‘Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth.’ ‘Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?’ (I Samuel 3:9; Acts 9:6).” General Conference Daily Bulletin, March 20, 1891.

“We need now to humble our hearts before God. We need now not to wait in a careless attitude, but in an attentive, reverent attitude.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 19, 28.

  • How should we regard every talent, opportunity, and resource that we have? I Chronicles 29:12–14. What can destroy this attitude and ruin our spiritual experience?

Note: “However large, however small, your talents, remember that what you have is yours only in trust. Thus God is testing you, giving you opportunity to prove yourself true. To Him you are indebted for all your capabilities. To Him belong your powers of body, mind, and soul, and for Him these powers are to be used. Your time, your influence, your capabilities, your skill—all must be accounted for to Him Who gives all. He uses his gifts best who seeks by earnest endeavor to carry out the Lord’s great plan for the uplifting of humanity.

“Persevere in the work that you have begun, until you gain victory after victory. Educate yourselves for a purpose. Keep in view the highest standard that you may accomplish greater and still greater good, thus reflecting the glory of God.” The Youth’s Instructor, January 25, 1910.

“Self has far more to do with our religious experience than we imagine. When self is crucified, when the stubborn will is subdued, then the language of the heart will be, ‘Not my will, but Thine, be done, O God, Whose I am and Whom I serve.’ ‘Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth.’ None will be as fixed stars, cold and immovable. This selfish, worldly dignity will no longer be maintained. There will be a beautiful blending of purity, elevation and nobility, which is wisdom from above and the meekness and lowliness of Jesus Christ. An innocent lamb was chosen as a representation of Christ.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 12, 191.


  • What is the source of success for every Christian? I Corinthians 15:10.

Note: “The success of every work depends upon the blessing of God. If the Lord works with you, you will be able to do what He has appointed you to do. With God, one can chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight. But just as long as you maintain this spirit of Pharisaism, God’s spirit will not, cannot, work with you, because you do not feel your utter dependence upon Him. When you become learners in the school of Christ, you will have the simplicity and meekness of little children, and will be willing to counsel with your brethren and sisters, and will pray earnestly for help from God. Your ears will then be opened, and you will be enabled to say from the heart, ‘Speak Lord, for thy servant heareth.’ ” The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, 410.

  • What is the source of failure for any Christian? Proverbs 12:15; Isaiah 5:20.

Note: “God wants to put His spirit upon you; but He cannot do this while you are so full of self. When self dies, you will feel the quickening influence of the spirit of God. God’s people are enjoined to seek for unity. … This is no time for alienation and discord, for the indulgence of a selfish, perverse spirit. Will you take yourselves in hand, or will you be ready to regard your stubborn, unyielding disposition as an evidence of faithful integrity? God forbid that you should be blinded, as were the Pharisees, and place good for evil, and evil for good. You will never have any greater evidence than you have had as to where the spirit of God is working. The Lord never proposes to remove all occasion for men to doubt. He will give sufficient evidence to bring the candid mind to a right decision; but if you are determined to have your own way, if you are like Saul, unwilling to change your course because of pride and stubbornness of heart, because of ignorance of your own condition of spiritual destitution, you will not recognize the light. You will say with Saul, ‘I have done the commandment of the Lord’ (I Samuel 15:13).” The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, 410, 411.


  • What will happen to those who rely on human reasoning instead of following the counsel from God? Proverbs 1:24–26.

Note: “As we ponder the solemn words of warning addressed to Israel, we are in imagination brought before the great white throne, where in the presence of the assembled universe, every man will be judged according to the deeds done in the body. …

“None then to pity the folly of those who have despised and forsaken God. None to relieve their distress. They have forsaken their true and loving Friend, to follow the path of convenience and worldly pleasure. They intended at some time to return to God. But the world, with its follies and deceptions, absorbs the attention. Frivolous amusements, pride of dress, indulgence of appetite, harden the heart and benumb the conscience, so that the voice of truth is not heard. Duty is a despised word. Things of infinite value are lightly esteemed, until the heart loses all desire to sacrifice for Him Who has given so much for man. But in the reaping time they must gather the crop sown. …

“ ‘Then shall they call upon Me, but I will not answer; they shall seek Me early, but they shall not find Me: for that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord: they would none of My counsel: they despised all My reproof. Therefore they shall eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices’ (Proverbs 1:28–31).” The Signs of the Times, August 18, 1881.

  • What is the promise to those who listen to God? Proverbs 1:33.

Note: “Can we ever find a surer guide than the Lord Jesus? True religion is embodied in the word of God and consists in being under the guidance of the Holy One in thought, word, and deed. He who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life takes the humble, earnest, wholehearted seeker, and says, Follow Me. He leads him in the narrow way to holiness and heaven. Christ has opened this path for us at great cost to Himself. We are not left to stumble our way along in darkness. Jesus is at our right hand, proclaiming, ‘I am the Way’ (John 14:6).And all who decide to follow the Lord fully will be led in the royal path, yea more, in the path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in.” The Review and Herald, March 29, 1906.


  • What can we learn from David’s prayer? Psalm 119:33–38.

Note: “The sinner who refuses to give himself to God is under the control of another power, listening to another voice, whose suggestions are of an entirely different character. Passion controls him, his judgment is blinded, reason is dethroned, and impetuous desires sway him, now here, now there. The truth will have but little influence over him, for there is in human nature, when separated from the Source of truth, a continual opposition to God’s will and ways. The physical, mental, and moral being are all under the control of rash impulses. The affections are depraved, and every faculty entrusted to man for wise improvement is demoralized. The man is dead in trespasses and sins. Inclination moves, passion holds the control, and his appetites are under the sway of a power of which he is not aware. He talks of liberty, of freedom of action, while he is in most abject slavery.” The Review and Herald, February 17, 1891.

  • Explain how we can avoid being overcome by the enemy. James 4:7–10; Philippians 4:13.

Note: “Those who claim to be Christians are in continual need of a power outside of, and beyond, themselves. They need to watch unto prayer, and to place themselves under the guardianship of God, else they will be overcome by the enemy. The Christian must look to God, as a servant to his master, as a handmaid to her mistress, saying, ‘Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?’ (Acts 9:6).” Ibid.


1 What can we learn from Mary?

2 What can we learn from Samuel’s experience as a young child?

3 How do we show that we are learners in the school of Christ?

4 How can we walk in the royal pathway?

5 How can we hear God and have His power in our life?

Copyright © 2015 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Jesus Hears His Father

September 11, 2016 – September 17, 2016

Key Text

“The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back” (Isaiah 50:4, 5).

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 68–74.


“He [Jesus] gained knowledge as we may do.” The Desire of Ages, 70.


  • How did Jesus learn the truth? Hebrews 2:10, 16–18; Matthew 7:7.
  • Who was His teacher? John 5:20.

Note: “The child Jesus did not receive instruction in the synagogue schools. His mother was His first human teacher. From her lips and from the scrolls of the prophets, He learned of heavenly things. The very words which He Himself had spoken to Moses for Israel He was now taught at His mother’s knee. As He advanced from childhood to youth, He did not seek the schools of the rabbis. He needed not the education to be obtained from such sources; for God was His instructor. …

“Since He gained knowledge as we may do, His intimate acquaintance with the Scriptures shows how diligently His early years were given to the study of God’s word. And spread out before Him was the great library of God’s created works. He Who had made all things studied the lessons which His own hand had written in earth and sea and sky. … He studied the life of plants and animals, and the life of man.” The Desire of Ages, 70.


  • Why did Jesus refuse to learn from the rabbis? Romans 10:3; John 7:16.

Note: “In the days of Christ, the educators of the youth were formalists. During His ministry, Jesus declared to the rabbis, ‘Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.’ And He charged them with ‘teaching for doctrines the commandments of men’ (Matthew 22:29; 15:9). Tradition was dwelt upon, amplified, and reverenced far above the Scriptures. The sayings of men, and an endless round of ceremonies, occupied so large a share of the student’s life, that the education which imparts a knowledge of God was neglected. The great teachers were continually enlarging upon little things, specifying every detail to be observed in the ceremonies of religion, and making its observance a matter of highest obligation. They paid ‘tithe of mint and anise and cummin,’ while they ‘omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith’ (Matthew 23:23). Thus there was brought in a mass of rubbish that hid from the view of the youth the great essentials of the service of God.

“In the educational system there was no place for that personal experience in which the soul learns for itself the power of a ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ and gains that reliance upon the divine Word which alone can bring peace and power with God. Busied with the round of forms, the students in these schools found no quiet hours in which to commune with God and hear His voice speaking to their hearts. That which the rabbis regarded as superior education was in reality the greatest hindrance to true education. It was opposed to all real development. Under their training, the powers of the youth were repressed, and their minds were cramped and narrowed.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 438, 439.

“Human nature is ever struggling for expression. He who is made complete in Christ must first be emptied of pride, of self-sufficiency. Then there is silence in the soul, and God’s voice can be heard.” The Signs of the Times, April 9, 1902.

  • What did Jesus reject from their teaching? Matthew 15:3, 9; Colossians 2:8.64


  • How did Jesus respectfully listen and talk to the leaders of His own church when they replaced the gospel with tradition, misleading thousands? Luke 2:46, 47.

Note: “If Jesus had appeared to be trying to teach them [the rabbis], they would have disdained to listen. But they flattered themselves that they were teaching Him, or at least testing His knowledge of the Scriptures. The youthful modesty and grace of Jesus disarmed their prejudices.” The Desire of Ages, 80.

  • Whom did Jesus consider His family on earth? Matthew 12:50. How did He respond when His own family followed human traditions?

Note: “The brothers and sisters of Jesus were taught the multitudinous traditions and ceremonies of the rabbis, but Christ Himself could not be induced to interest Himself in these matters. While hearing on every hand the reiterated ‘Thou shalt,’ and ‘Thou shalt not,’ He moved independently of these restrictions. The requirements of society and the requirements of God were ever in collision; and while in His youth He made no direct attack upon the customs or precepts of the learned teachers, He did not become a student in their schools.

“Jesus would not follow any custom that would require Him to depart from the will of God, nor would He place Himself under the instruction of those who exalted the words of men above the word of God. He shut out of His mind all the sentiments and formalities that had not God for their foundation. He would give no place for these things to influence Him. Thus He taught that it is better to prevent evil than to attempt to correct it after it has gained a foothold in the mind. And Jesus would not by His example lead others to place themselves where they would be corrupted. Nor would He needlessly place Himself in a position where He would be brought into conflict with the rabbis, which might in after years result in weakening His influence with the people. For the same reasons He could not be induced to observe the meaningless forms or rehearse the maxims that afterward in His ministry He so decidedly condemned.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 439.


  • Who was responsible for Jesus’ education? Luke 2:49; John 8:28.

Note: “Though Jesus was subject to His parents, He began at a very early age to act for Himself in the formation of His character. While His mother was His first human teacher, He was constantly receiving an education from His Father in heaven. Instead of poring over the learned lore handed down by the rabbis from century to century, Jesus, under the Divine Teacher, studied the words of God, pure and uncorrupted, and studied also the great lesson-book of nature. … He brought a purer atmosphere into the home life. Though He did not place Himself under the instruction of the rabbis by becoming a student in their schools, yet He was often brought in contact with them, and the questions He asked, as if He were a learner, puzzled the wise men; for their practices did not harmonize with the Scriptures, and they had not the wisdom that comes from God. Even to those who were displeased at His noncompliance with popular customs, His education seemed of a higher type than their own.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 439, 440.

  • What should we be learning? Colossians 3:1, 2; Matthew 11:29. How should we be educated?

Note: “Every child may gain knowledge as Jesus did. As we try to become acquainted with our heavenly Father through His word, angels will draw near, our minds will be strengthened, our characters will be elevated and refined. We shall become more like our Saviour. And as we behold the beautiful and grand in nature, our affections go out after God. While the spirit is awed, the soul is invigorated by coming in contact with the Infinite through His works. Communion with God through prayer develops the mental and moral faculties, and the spiritual powers strengthen as we cultivate thoughts upon spiritual things.” The Desire of Ages, 70, 71.

“It is the work of true education … to train the youth to be thinkers, and not mere reflectors of other men’s thought. Instead of confining their study to that which men have said or written, let students be directed to the sources of truth, to the vast fields opened for research in nature and revelation.” Education, 17.


  • How did Jesus prepare Himself for His life work? Isaiah 50:4, 5.

Note: “Communion with God, a complete surrender of the soul to Him, in fulfilling His word irrespective of false education or the customs or traditions of His time, marked the life of Jesus.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 440.

  • How should we study to succeed? Isaiah 55:6, 7.

Note: “To be ever in a bustle of activity, seeking by some outward performance to show their superior piety, was, in the estimation of the rabbis, the sum of religion; while at the same time, by their constant disobedience to God’s word, they were perverting the way of the Lord. But the education that has God back of it, will lead men to seek after God. … The infinite is not, and never will be, bound about by human organizations or human plans. Every soul must have a personal experience in obtaining a knowledge of the will and ways of God. In all who are under the training of God is to be revealed a life that is not in harmony with the world, its customs, its practice, or its experiences. Through study of the Scriptures, through earnest prayer, they may hear His message to them, ‘Be still and know that I am God’ (Psalm 46:10). When every other voice is hushed, when every earthly interest is turned aside, the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God. Here rest is found in Him.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 440, 441.


1 How did Jesus learn?

2 What was wrong with the educational system of His time?

3 How did Jesus show His disagreement with many of the then prevailing customs?

4 How can we improve our mental faculties?

5 How can we be successful like Jesus was?

Copyright © 2015 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – A History of Listening to God

September 4, 2016 – September 10, 2016

Key Text

“Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not” (Proverbs 8:33).

Study Help: Education, 13–19.


“A portion of their [Adam and Eve’s] time was to be occupied … in receiving the visits of angels, listening to their instruction, and in happy meditation.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 25.


  • How did Adam and Eve hear God? Genesis 3:8, first part.

Note: “Each day’s labor brought them [Adam and Eve] health and gladness, and the happy pair greeted with joy the visits of their Creator, as in the cool of the day He walked and talked with them. Daily God taught them His lessons.” The Ministry of Healing, 261.

“Face-to-face, heart-to-heart communion with his Maker was [Adam’s] high privilege. Had he remained loyal to God, all this would have been his forever.” Education, 15.

  • How did Adam and Eve receive divine guidance after sin came into the world? Genesis 3:16–19.

Note: “Angels informed Adam that, as his transgression had brought death and wretchedness, life and immortality would be brought to light through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

“To Adam were revealed future, important events, from his expulsion from Eden to the Flood, and onward to the first advent of Christ upon the earth.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 51.


  • How did Noah receive divine guidance? Genesis 6:13–21. How did Noah respond to God’s directions? Verse 22.

Note: “All the communion between heaven and the fallen race has been through Christ. It was the Son of God that gave to our first parents the promise of redemption. It was He who revealed Himself to the patriarchs. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses understood the gospel. They looked for salvation through man’s Substitute and Surety. These holy men of old held communion with the Saviour Who was to come to our world in human flesh; and some of them talked with Christ and heavenly angels face to face. …

“It was Christ that spoke to His people through the prophets. … It is the voice of Christ that speaks to us through the Old Testament.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 366, 367.

  • How did God communicate with Abraham, and what was Abraham’s response? Genesis 22:1, 2, 11, 12.

Note: “God conferred great honor upon Abraham. Angels of heaven walked and talked with him as friend with friend.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 138.

“Heavenly beings still visit the earth as in the days when they walked and talked with Abraham and with Moses. Amid the busy activity of our great cities, amid the multitudes that crowd the thoroughfares and fill the marts of trade where from morning till evening the people act as if business and sport and pleasure were all there is to life, where there are so few to contemplate unseen realities—even here heaven has still its watchers and its holy ones. 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. Sometimes the heavenly intelligences draw aside the curtain which hides the unseen world that our thoughts may be withdrawn from the hurry and rush of life to consider that there are unseen witnesses to all we do or say.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 176.


  • How did God guide Moses at the time when Israel should leave Egypt? Exodus 3:4, 10.

Note: “Moses held converse with Jesus face to face as one who speaketh with a friend.” The Review and Herald, March 2, 1886.

“It will baffle the keenest intellect to interpret the divine manifestation of the burning bush. It was not a dream; it was not a vision; it was a living reality—something that Moses saw with his eyes. He heard the voice of God calling to him out of the bush, and he covered his face, realizing that he stood in the immediate presence of God. God was conversing with humanity. Never could Moses describe the impression made upon his mind by the sight he then saw, and by the sound of the voice that spoke to him; but this impression was never effaced. Heaven came very near to him as, with reverent awe, he listened to the words, ‘I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’ (Exodus 3:6). What wondrous condescension for God to leave the heavenly courts, and manifest Himself to Moses, talking with him face to face, ‘as a man speaketh unto his friend’ (Exodus 33:11).” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1099.

  • How did Moses later converse with God? Exodus 33:18, 19.

Note: “Encouraged by the assurance of God’s presence, Moses drew still nearer and ventured to ask for still further blessings. ‘I beseech Thee,’ he said, ‘shew me Thy glory’ (Exodus 33:18). Think you that God reproved Moses for his presumption? No, indeed. Moses did not make this request from idle curiosity. He had an object in view. He saw that in his own strength he could not do the work of God acceptably. He knew that if he could obtain a clear view of the glory of God, he would be able to go forward in his important mission, not in his own strength, but in the strength of the Lord God Almighty.” The Review and Herald, May 11, 1897.

  • What are the different ways God used to communicate with Aaron? Exodus 6:13; 8:5; Leviticus 10:8.


  • How did God talk to the Israelites near Mount Sinai? Deuteronomy 5:4, 22.

Note: “God accompanied the proclamation of His law with exhibitions of His power and glory, that His people might never forget the scene, and that they might be impressed with profound veneration for the Author of the law, the Creator of heaven and earth. He would also show to all men the sacredness, the importance, and the permanence of His law.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 309.

  • What did they prefer instead of talking directly with God? Why? Deuteronomy 5:23–27.

Note: “The people of Israel were overwhelmed with terror. The awful power of God’s utterances seemed more than their trembling hearts could bear. For as God’s great rule of right was presented before them, they realized as never before the offensive character of sin, and their own guilt in the sight of a holy God. They shrank away from the mountain in fear and awe. The multitude cried out to Moses, ‘Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.’ The leader answered, ‘Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that His fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.’ The people, however, remained at a distance, gazing in terror upon the scene, while Moses ‘drew near unto the thick darkness where God was’ (Exodus 20:19–21).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 309, 310.

  • How did God talk to the Israelites through the centuries? Luke 1:70.

Note: “Through nature, through types and symbols, through patriarchs and prophets, God had spoken to the world.” The Desire of Ages, 34.

“Oh that thou, a nation favored above every other, hadst known the time of thy visitation, and the things that belong unto thy peace! … It is not merely servants, delegates, and prophets, whom thou hast refused and rejected, but the Holy One of Israel, thy Redeemer.” The Great Controversy, 22.


  • How does God want to talk to us now? Hebrews 1:2; John 5:39.

Note: “Adam and Eve received knowledge through direct communion with God; and they learned of Him through His works. … But by transgression man was cut off from learning of God through direct communion and, to a great degree, through His works. … Nature still speaks of her Creator. Yet these revelations are partial and imperfect. And in our fallen state, with weakened powers and restricted vision, we are incapable of interpreting aright. We need the fuller revelation of Himself that God has given in His written word.” Education, 16, 17.

  • What kind of personal experience does God want us to have with His word? Psalm 34:8; Jeremiah 15:16; 29:13.

Note: “There is an evidence that is open to all—the most highly educated, and the most illiterate—the evidence of experience. God invites us to prove for ourselves the reality of His word. … Instead of depending upon the word of another, we are to taste for ourselves.” Steps to Christ, 111.

“The Christian knows in Whom he has believed. He does not only read the Bible; he experiences the power of its teaching. …

“He can testify, ‘I needed help, and I found it in Jesus. … Do you ask why I believe in Jesus?—Because He is to me a divine Saviour. Why do I believe the Bible?—Because I have found it to be the voice of God to my soul.’ ” The Faith I Live By, 16.


1 How did sin change communication between God and Adam and Eve?

2 How did God communicate with the early patriarchs?

3 What did Moses realize at the burning bush, and how did he act?

4 How did God talk to Israel during Old Testament times?

5 How can we hear God today?

Copyright © 2015 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Listening Without Doubting

August 28, 2016 – September 3, 2016

Key Text

“Blessed are they that keep His testimonies, and that seek Him with the whole heart” (Psalm 119:2).

Study Help: Steps to Christ, 105–113.


“It would be the ruin of many a soul always to have unclouded assurance in joyful feelings that they are accepted to God. Without feeling we must learn to lean upon His word. … The doubts and fears against which we have been called to struggle are the precious trials of our faith, God’s workmen that work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” The Signs of the Times, April 18, 1895.


  • When doubt confronts us, what can we do to address it? Psalm 37:3–7.

Note: “Our faith must rest upon evidence, not demonstration. Those who wish to doubt will have opportunity; while those who really desire to know the truth will find plenty of evidence on which to rest their faith.” Steps to Christ, 105.

  • Why will we not be able to answer every question or resolve every uncertainty? Isaiah 55:8, 9.

Note: “If it were possible for created beings to attain to a full understanding of God and His works, then, having reached this point, there would be for them no further discovery of truth, no growth in knowledge, no further development of mind or heart. God would no longer be supreme; and man, having reached the limit of knowledge and attainment, would cease to advance. Let us thank God that it is not so.” Steps to Christ, 109.


  • How important is it to ask questions and develop our mind intellectually as far as possible? Proverbs 4:7. What example did Jesus provide? Luke 2:52.

Note: “Under the controlling influence of Christ, the human intellect can achieve wonderful things. The youth should be encouraged to reach the highest standard of intellectual acquirement. If the fear and knowledge of God are made first, there is no danger that the student will soar too high. The knowledge of God, the understanding of His will in His word, as far as human minds may grasp it, incorporated into the thoughts and woven into the character, will make efficient men and women. The study of the word of God will enable us to do His work intelligently and acceptably. The mind will be enriched, enlarged, and broadened. Those who thus constantly study the Word will go upward and forward toward the highest standard, because they are partakers of the divine nature.” The Youth’s Instructor, August 31, 1899.

  • What is necessary in finding answers to our questions? James 1:5–8.

Note: “Many look to their ministers to bring the light from God to them, seeming to think this a cheaper way than to be to the trouble of going to God for it themselves. Such lose much. If they would daily follow Christ and make Him their guide and counselor, they might obtain a clear knowledge of His will, and thus be gaining a valuable experience. For want of this very experience, brethren professing the truth walk in the sparks of others’ kindling; they are unacquainted with the Spirit of God and have not a knowledge of His will, and are therefore easily moved from their faith. They are unstable, because they trusted in others to obtain an experience for them. Ample provisions have been made for every son and daughter of Adam to obtain individually a knowledge of the divine will, to perfect Christian character, and to be purified through the truth. God is dishonored by that class who profess to be followers of Christ and yet have no experimental knowledge of the divine will or of the mystery of godliness.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 644.


  • What must be separated from our personal understanding of God’s message? Mark 7:6–9.

Note: “The Bible is the rule of life, teaching us of the character we must form for the future, immortal life. Our faith, our practice, may make us living epistles, known and read of all men. Men need not the dim light of tradition and custom to make the Scriptures comprehensible. It is just as sensible to suppose that the sun, shining in the heavens at noon-day, needs the glimmerings of the torchlight of earth to increase its glory. The fables or the utterances of priests or of ministers are not needed to save the student from error. Consult the divine Oracle, and you have light. In the Bible every duty is made plain, every lesson is comprehensible, able to fit men with a preparation for eternal life. The gift of Christ and the illumination of the Holy Spirit reveal to us the Father and the Son. The Word is exactly adapted to make men and women and youth wise unto salvation. In the Word is the science of salvation plainly revealed. … ‘Search the Scriptures’ (John 5:39), for therein is the counsel of God, the voice of God speaking to the soul.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 390, 391.

“Man’s authority bears the signature of man. We are not to permit the rank and file of our people to come under the generalship of the weak, confused sentiments of man. God’s authority is to stand supreme. And I must call upon His people to recognize His authority, which bears the evidence of its divine origin.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 12, 69.

  • When we place tradition above the word of God, what will we be led to do? Matthew 23:23.

Note: “When fastings and prayers are practiced in a self-justifying spirit, they are abominable to God. The solemn assembly for worship, the round of religious ceremonies, the external humiliation, the imposed sacrifice—all proclaim to the world the testimony that the doer of these things considers himself righteous. These things call attention to the observer of rigorous duties, saying, This man is entitled to heaven. But it is all a deception. Works will not buy for us an entrance into heaven. The one great Offering that has been made is ample for all who will believe.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 388.


  • How can we know the way to heaven? John 14:6; 6:63; 8:31, 32. On the other hand, how will many of us lose heaven?

Note: “My heart is sad when I think how many will miss the way to heaven because they did not study the guide God has given them. There is no possible arrangement whereby these souls can be saved who, having the voice of God speaking to them in His word, have not interest sufficient to search and become acquainted with the directions God has given them, pointing out the only path that leads heavenward. Well may the apostle ask, ‘How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?’ (Hebrews 2:3). Our youth should be presented with a pledge to sign that they will not touch idle tales, but that they will make diligent search of the Scriptures, that they will give their minds the most nourishing, wholesome food, in order to become strong in contemplating the works of Christ Who became surety for the fallen race.” The Youth’s Instructor, August 31, 1887.

  • What should we ask of God to protect us from doubting? Psalm 139:23, 24.

Note: “Let us look closely and critically to ourselves. Are not the vows we entered into at our baptism violated? Are we dead to the world and alive unto Christ? Are we seeking those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God? Is the cable cut which anchored us to the eternal Rock? Are we drifting with the current to perdition? Shall we make no effort to press and urge our passage up stream? Let us not hesitate longer but vigorously apply the oars; and let us do our first works ere we make hopeless shipwreck.” The Review and Herald, June 7, 1887.

“Submit your heart to be refined and purified; then you will become a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust (2 Peter 1:4). Then you will ‘be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear’ (I Peter 3:15). The peace of Christ will be yours.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 333.


  • What will our experience be like when we overcome doubting? Matthew 21:21, 22.

Note: “Through faith in Christ, every deficiency of character may be supplied, every defilement cleansed, every fault corrected, every excellency developed.

“ ‘Ye are complete in Him’ (Colossians 2:10).

“Prayer and faith are closely allied, and they need to be studied together. In the prayer of faith there is a divine science; it is a science that everyone who would make his lifework a success must understand. Christ says, ‘What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them’ (Mark 11:24). He makes it plain that our asking must be according to God’s will; we must ask for the things that He has promised, and whatever we receive must be used in doing His will. The conditions met, the promise is unequivocal.” Education, 257, 258.

  • What will our attitude be towards our fellow believers? John 17:20, 21.

Note: “Those who are fighting the battles for the Prince of life must point their weapons of warfare outward, and not form a hollow square and aim their missiles of destruction at those who are serving under the banner of the Prince Emmanuel. We have no time for wounding and tearing down one another.” Christ Triumphant, 235.


1 Why does God allow the possibility of doubt?

2 What is our own responsibility in removing doubt?

3 What is a common source of doubt?

4 How can we overcome all doubt?

5 What will be the result of being free from doubt?

Copyright © 2015 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Sermon on the Mount Series – The Peacemakers

We live in a world of troublemakers. And not only that, but the nations of our world glorify their fighters, and the makers of war receive from their countries honor and praise. But who is the prince of strife? Who really is the author of war and what is it that blocks the way to peace?

In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew 5, it reads: “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (verse 9 KJV). Every step up the spiritual ladder described in this sermon lifts the believer up to a loftier realm of spiritual blessedness. The highway of holiness is a pathway of continually increasing joy and peace. In the Old Testament it is spoken of this way: “But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day” (Proverbs 4:18). Jesus shows what can happen to the person who at first was poor in spirit; that is, they realized their spiritual poverty and mourned over their spiritual condition. Seeing the gentleness and meekness of Christ they began to hunger and thirst after righteousness, and became merciful, and then became pure in heart.

The next step is to become a peacemaker. The previous six steps (see previous 2016 issues of LandMarks) that were reviewed were about the condition of character, being poor in spirit, recognizing your spiritual poverty, mourning over your spiritual condition, being meek, or gentle, or humble, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, being merciful in heart, and being pure in heart. However, this beatitude is one where Jesus pronounces a blessing upon good works. It is a spiritual experience that is produced by the first six steps that then qualify us for missionary work as peacemakers among our friends and neighbors.

How utterly different, how utterly contrary are these beatitudes that we have been studying from the maxims, the philosophy of the world in which we live. Since the entrance of sin into our world, when Adam and Eve, our first parents, fell, the worldly benedictions and blessings have been given to those that are warlike, to those who are good soldiers, good fighters. In fact, human history is composed largely of biographies of warriors who are eulogized and spoken of highly. So in this world, the makers of war, and not the makers of peace, have received the blessings and praise from the country in which they live. It has been this way for thousands of years. From a worldly point of view, the blessings do not go to the peacemakers, but to the peace breakers, the troublemakers, the makers of strife and those that foment war. The nations of the earth have almost deified and glorified its warriors and their fights.

Often times, the lovers and makers of peace have been held in derision. They are considered weaklings or cowards and if they strive to promote peace, they are sometimes considered disloyal or even treasonous to their country. But, the world today is ruled largely, not by Christ, but by antichrist. The principle intelligence that stands in the place of Christ is the devil himself. He has agents, of course, human agents, but he is the prince of strife. He is called in the Bible by the apostle Paul the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). He is the prince of strife and he is the world’s great troublemaker and war lord. He is the author of war.

Satan has made war his chief occupation since his fall. He is the one that is constantly attempting to stir up the nations of the world to engage in war. There has been a war of one kind or another almost constantly in the world since World War II. Satan is the one that sowed the seeds of discord that broke up the peace and harmony that formerly existed in the universe. His very religion is termed by God “Babylon the great,” or confusion the great (Revelation 17:5). His children are all peace-breakers and fomenters of strife. There can be no peace, of course, where there is sin. The Bible is very clear about this. In Isaiah 57:21 it says, “ ‘There is no peace,’ says my God, ‘for the wicked.’ ”

No matter how much we negotiate and no matter how much we try to create peace, as long as there is sin, there will be none. Governments make agreements and think they have made peace and even at times have signed documents, then right away there are preparations for war. Isaiah 48:22 says, “ ‘There is no peace,’ says the Lord, ‘for the wicked.’ ” Why is there no peace? It is because of sin, for sinners cannot truly be peacemakers.

Notice the characteristic of a sinner, a person who has not been converted by the gospel, recorded by the apostle Paul. It says, “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19–21 NIV).

So, as long as there is sin there will be strife. There will be outbursts of war. There will not be peace. In James 3:17, it says, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.” However, in the verse before that James says, “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there” (verse 16).

He goes on to say in James 4, verses 1 and 2, that wars and fightings among us are the result of the lusts and sinful cravings that are in our members. Satan is the prince of strife and the author of all war, and as long as there is sin, of which he is the first sinner, there will be strife and war. But on the other hand, Jesus is called in Isaiah 9:6, the Prince of Peace. He is the great Mediator between those who have been alienated. In I Timothy 2:5 He is called the “… one Mediator between God and man” (literal translation). Jesus is the great peacemaker to bring about reconciliation to those who have been at war with God and man.

Paul said in Ephesians 2:14, “He is our peace, Who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us” (literal translation). Christ alone is the only One that can break down the barriers – in the home, in society, and among the nations. Where Jesus rules there is peace, whether it be in the kingdom of glory or in the kingdom of grace, whether it be in heaven above or in the human heart. Concerning the peace that He will bring, the Bible says it will become greater and greater.

In Isaiah chapter 9, verses 6 and 7, it says, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.” So, where Jesus rules, there is peace. This promise includes His rule in the individual heart as well as His rule over the nations. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” Do you know, understand, what qualification a person has to have before he can even start to be a peacemaker?

The preeminent qualification for a person to be a peacemaker is first of all to have peace himself in his own mind and heart. How can you help somebody else experience something you do not know? Jesus Christ was the supreme peacemaker because He possessed perfect peace inside. “And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin” (I John 3:5). Because He knew no sin, had no sin, He had perfect peace. He therefore knew no strife and was able to say, “The prince of this world (Satan) comes and has nothing in Me” (John 14:30, literal translation). Because Jesus was in perfect harmony with God, He was also at peace with man. It was for this reason that He was able to love and bless His enemies. He knew His identity—Son of God—and was never fretful or irritated. In fact, nothing ever disturbed His peace.

Jesus promised, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God,” Actually, nobody but a son of God can be called a peacemaker. The supreme essential to becoming a peacemaker is to become Christ-like. If we enthrone Jesus Christ in our heart, then we will have, as Paul says in Romans 5:1, peace with God, and then we will have a peace that can never be explained.

Notice how the apostle Paul described it in Philippians 4, verses 6 and 7. It says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.” Notice, this peace cannot be explained. You will then have the wisdom that comes down from above, as James described it, that is first pure and then peaceable (James 3:17).

The fruits of righteousness are not our own product, but they are the fruit of the spirit. The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, and peace (Galatians 5:22, first part).

Never has there been a time in world history when we needed peace more than we need it today. But peace does not come all by itself. There is something that must be done in order to achieve it. It is hard enough to keep the peace, and still more difficult to bring peace where it is not. But friend, that is the very work of the children of God. They are to bring forth the peaceable fruits of righteousness. This is a very delicate task, often requiring divine tact, skill, and patience.

Human beings, by themselves, can never manufacture peace. We can never get it by negotiations, because human plans for peace do not change hearts, and it is from the heart of man where the trouble comes. The Bible is very clear on this. The heart of the sinner is like a troubled sea when it cannot rest (Isaiah 57:20). So, a man-made peace between individuals is no more permanent than a peace between nations. When nations become angry, their peace treaties are no more binding than pieces of paper. Only the grace of Christ can create and perpetuate peace. When this is implanted in the heart, then the evil passions that produce strife and dissention are cast out.

Our peace is destroyed by disobedience, disobedience to human law and especially disobedience to divine law. If people could understand this, they could get a completely different view of the ten commandments. Isaiah 48:18 says, “Oh, that you had heeded My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river.”

The steps represented in the first six beatitudes are the price we must pay to become peacemakers. It takes these experiences in the development of character to qualify us to bring peace to others. First of all, the peace of God must come into our own hearts. Then we will no longer break it by being whisperers, backbiters, busybodies, or news carriers. Instead of that, the fruits of the Spirit will become manifest in our life. The first four fruits of the Holy Spirit are love, joy, peace, and longsuffering. The reward for being a peacemaker is the highest of all privileges. Jesus said that those people will be called the children of God. They are so named because they are like the Son of God, the ultimate Peacemaker. They have become like their Saviour in life and character. They also become princes of peace and they carry on the work of peacemaking that the Prince of Peace began.

This is what the Christian life is supposed to be about. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, Who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:17–20).

You see, you must be reconciled to God before you can experience the peace inside that passes all understanding. Only then can you help somebody else to find it. Peacemaking was described here by Jesus as the price of sonship. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.”

Jesus was the great Peacemaker and concerning Him, His Father said, “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 17:5). And the Father is also well-pleased with those who, becoming His sons through the new birth, act as did His only begotten Son, their elder brother. When we become peacemakers, we then are called by Jesus sons, the children of God. This places us in the kingdom of heaven and places the kingdom of heaven in us. It makes us, as the Bible says, “meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light” (Colossians 1:12 KJV).

The blessedness of this experience of being a peacemaker has been beautifully described by a number of Christian writers. Here is what one said about it. “By the life we live through the grace of Christ, the character is formed. The original loveliness begins to be restored to the soul. The attributes of the character of Christ are imparted and the image of the Divine begins to shine forth. The faces of men and women who walk and work with God express the peace of heaven. They are surrounded with the atmosphere of heaven. For these souls, the kingdom of God has begun.” The Adventist Home, 535. As through Jesus we enter into rest, heaven begins here. We respond to His invitation, “Come, learn of Me.” The more we know of God, the more intense will be our happiness. As we walk with Jesus in this life, we may be filled with His love, satisfied with His presence. All that human nature can bear, we may receive here. However, this is nothing to be compared with what will be given to the saints of God in the hereafter.

O, friend, would you like to break connection with the prince of strife and the author of war and become connected with the Prince of Peace? Would you like to be a child of God truly, not just by profession? If you are truly going to be considered in heaven a child of God, you must take the seventh step. You must become a peacemaker. Jesus said, “Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30).

When you accept that yoke, then you will receive the blessing that comes to the peacemaker.

(Unless appearing in quoted references or otherwise identified, Bible texts are from the New King James Version.)

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

Recipe – Carrot-Parsnip Mash

Carrot-Parsnip Mash
6 medium peeled parsnips ½ tsp. salt, optional
6 medium carrots, washed or peeled
Place peeled parsnips and carrots in a pot of water. Bring to boil and simmer until tender. Drain, mash and season. Or, in the alternative: You may cut parsnips and carrots into chunks, boil and drain. Or cook parsnips with potatoes and mash together when done.



Food – Parsnip, A Cousin of the Carrot

The parsnip’s unique flavor comes after the first frost, when the vegetable is still in the ground. Many times the parsnip is harvested before the first frost and thus loses that unique flavor.

“Parsnips look like an anemic version of their cousin, the carrot. The parsnip’s starchy root, however, is one of the most nourishing in the whole carrot family. This starch is converted to sugar whenever the root is exposed to the frost. Parsnip isn’t a common vegetable anymore, even though most of us have heard of it. … Refrigerated in a plastic bag, parsnips keep for nearly a month.

“Fatigue Fighter and Cleanser. Imagine a food so highly concentrated with energy-giving properties that it is a remarkable internal cleansing agent as well. Such a one is parsnip, which is loaded with more food energy than most of our common vegetables except potatoes, yet is a relatively strong diuretic for helping to remove toxins from the body.

“A diet of parsnips, steamed or baked for lunch and dinner for at least a week, becomes an extremely valuable cleansing agent and has even assisted in getting rid of some stones in the kidneys and bladder. Parsnips in the diet once a day or at least every other day is very useful for strengthening those who have hypoglycemia or are just recently recovering from serious illness or surgery or both. [Emphasis author’s.]

“Save the juice left from cooked parsnips and drink a glass morning and evening for up to 6 weeks to get rid of gallstones. This is an old remedy from colonial America, which was introduced by the renowned eighteenth-century religious reformer the Reverend John Wesley.” Heinerman’s New Encyclopedia of Fruits & Vegetables, page 338, by Parker Publishing Company, Inc. 1995.

Small, tender parsnips may be peeled, grated and put into salads. Parsnips are best roasted in the oven, although many like them steamed and mashed like potatoes. You can add them to soups and stews near the end of the cooking time. Peeled and pared parsnips will turn dark when exposed to the air, so cook them right away or hold them in water with lemon juice added. Parsnips may also be substituted for carrots in most recipes.

Carrot-Parsnip Mash
6 medium peeled parsnips ½ tsp. salt, optional
6 medium carrots, washed or peeled
Place peeled parsnips and carrots in a pot of water. Bring to boil and simmer until tender. Drain, mash and season. Or, in the alternative: You may cut parsnips and carrots into chunks, boil and drain. Or cook parsnips with potatoes and mash together when done.


Children’s Story – Cornelia’s Jewels

Once upon a time in the city of Rome lived a noble woman whose name was Cornelia. She lived more than one hundred years before Jesus was born. Cornelia had two fine sons. The name of the older boy was Tiberius Gracchus. The younger boy’s name was Caius Gracchus. Their father, whose name was also Tiberius Gracchus, was one of the leading men in Rome. When the boys were quite young, their father died.

The father’s death was a terrible blow to Cornelia. But she was brave, as well as beautiful and cultured. In those days, the noble ladies of Rome wore beautiful dresses and expensive jewels. Cornelia was not as rich as many of the ladies she knew, but she was a sensible woman. She willingly went without jewels and expensive clothes. She would rather spend her money to educate her sons. She made up her mind that her sons should have the best education that Rome could give. She wanted them to become good, useful men.

Cornelia had many friends, and she enjoyed having her friends visit her. Even kings often sat at her table. She was a charming hostess, and her friends were happy to come to her house and be her guests. Cornelia never talked about her sorrows or how hard it was to raise her sons without her husband to help her. Her wonderful cheerfulness and gentle courtesy made her greatly loved by everyone.

One bright morning, a lady friend came to visit Cornelia. She was beautifully dressed. She wore lovely pearls and flashing diamonds. Cornelia was simply dressed in a plain white robe. No rings or necklaces glittered on her fingers or about her neck. Instead of flashing jewels in her hair, her long, soft hair was gathered up in brown braids that crowned her head. She took her friend for a walk among the flowers and trees in her beautiful garden.

Cornelia’s sons, Tiberius and Caius, were standing in the vine-covered summer house. They were looking at their mother and her friend.

“Isn’t our mother’s friend a handsome lady?” said Caius to Tiberius. “She looks like a queen.”

“She is not half as beautiful as our mother,” replied Tiberius who was nine years older than his little brother. “She has a fine dress, but her face is not so noble and kind as our mother’s is. It is our mother who is like a queen.”

“You’re right,” answered the younger boy. “No woman in Rome looks as much like a queen as does our mother.”

Soon Cornelia came down the garden path to speak to the boys. She looked into her sons’ proud eyes with a loving smile. “Boys,” she said, “I have something to tell you.”

They bowed before her as Roman boys were taught to do.

“What is it, Mother?” they asked.

“When you come home from school today, you are to dine with us here in the garden.”

Again they bowed as politely as if their mother really were a queen. Then they left the garden and went to school.

While they were gone, Cornelia’s friend opened a wonderful little box of jewels that she had brought. She wanted to show them to Cornelia. Carefully, she picked up first one shining jewel and then another. She showed Cornelia their beautiful colors. She told her of their great value. There were diamonds and pearls and rubies and many other kinds of gems. They were indeed beautiful.

At last she looked up at Cornelia and said, “Is it true, Cornelia, that you have no jewels? Is it true, as I have heard, that you are too poor to own them?”

Just then, Tiberius and Caius came in from school.

“No, I am not poor,” answered the fond mother as she drew her two boys to her side. “Here are my jewels! They are worth more than all the expensive gems you have shown me.”

Tiberius and Caius Gracchus grew to be great men in Rome. They stood for what they knew was right. They tried to pass laws that would help the poor. Tiberius helped the common people find comfortable homes. Caius helped them to be able to buy enough food so they wouldn’t go hungry. They both worked hard to make Rome a better place to live. And that is why the world still likes to hear the story of Cornelia’s “jewels.”

Storytime, Character-building Stories for Children, 48, 49.

Health – The Immune System

We can hinder our immune system by having a bad lifestyle, or we can help our immune system by having a good lifestyle.

The special work of our immune system is to keep our bodies healthy. If two individuals visit in the home of a mutual friend suffering from a cold, and the following day one individual comes down with a cold, but the other does not, it is because the healthy individual’s immune system was high and was able to fight off the cold, whereas the other person’s immune system was low and could not fight off the cold.

Here are a few of the many, many things that can lower our immune system: eating the wrong foods; not drinking enough water; not getting enough sleep; not getting enough exercise; not getting enough sunshine; breathing poor quality air; being intemperate in any area; living with guilt, fear, hatred, or other negative emotions, and not taking your problems to God; using drugs; eating between meals; not keeping warm; living in unsanitary conditions; working in a very noisy atmosphere. As you can readily see, the list could go on and on … .

To keep our immune system up, we have to have a clean, free flowing blood stream. There are many different types of blood cells in our body. Red blood cells comprise a third of all the cells in the human body, about 20 trillion in the average adult. White blood cells are larger but less numerous than red cells, and there are approximately 20 million in the adult body. The white blood cells are the ones that play a major role in our body’s immune system, and are sometimes referred to as our warrior cells; they are responsible for apprehending and eliminating foreign substances.

While red cells are buoyed along like cargo rafts as the heart pumps the serum, white cells function more like patrol boats. Under their own locomotion, they can change direction to go after an invading molecule or cell. Whenever the body has an infection or any problem, internally or externally, the white blood cells will multiply rapidly. You may have three to five times as many of them in the blood stream during infection as you would have under normal conditions. If you had an infected cut, they accumulate at the point of infection like an army to fight the invaders.

At the sight of the infection, where the battle is raging, there is heat, redness, swelling, and pain. This is called inflammation and may result in the formation of yellow pus. This pus is made up mainly of dead white cells, living and dead germs, and broken down tissue. When the pus is cleared away, healing takes place. Poor health habits can hinder our white blood cells from doing their job. Let me share a few of these with you.

Watch out! Eating sugar lowers the immune system!

Eating sugar will paralyze and hinder your white blood cells from fighting off an infection. … One who eats sugar is lowering his immune system by paralyzing his white blood cells so that the body cannot properly fight off the cold.

Not drinking enough water lowers the immune system.

A normal sized adult needs two quarts of pure soft water daily. Those who do not drink enough water will have problems with constipation, which causes a backing up of waste materials in the body. Not drinking enough water causes the blood to become thicker and this slows down the circulation throughout the whole body, thus raising the blood pressure. Insufficient water causes many health problems such as kidney and bladder problems, skin eruption, eye problems, and similar troubles. These problems will put an overload on the body, indirectly weakening it and lowering the immune system.

Lack of sunshine will lower the immune system.

Sunlight increases the production and stimulates the activity of the white blood cells. These cells in turn produce more antibodies and interferons to circulate throughout the body. The net effect is that the individual’s defenses against disease are greatly strengthened with exposure to sunshine.

Eating meat lowers the immune system.

Eating meat lowers the immune system because the meat has a large amount of waste materials in it that the animal was unable to eliminate when it was slaughtered. This waste material eventually enters the blood stream, causing extra work for the white blood cells since they have to destroy all the harmful bacteria and other toxic substances introduced by eating meat.

Consuming the flesh of dead animals also puts an overload on the kidneys, liver, colon, and many other organs in the body. It is a well known fact that vegetarians have a lower red blood cell count than do meat eaters. They also have a lower white blood cell count because of their stronger immune system. The vegetarian doesn’t need as many white blood cells because he is not consuming meat which contains large amounts of waste materials which would require additional white blood cells. …

Ways to build the immune system:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Exercise in the sunshine and fresh air
  • Get the proper amount of rest
  • Be temperate and trust in God


If you faithfully follow these few guidelines I have just covered I can promise you that you will be helping your body to have a strong immune system which will, in turn, add time and joy to your life.

Adapted from Natural Medicine, Jerry Hoover, N.D., pp 219–225.

Question & Answer – How Does the Salt Lose its “flavor” (Matthew 5:13)?

“The savor [flavor] of the salt represents the vital power of the Christian—the love of Jesus in the heart, the righteousness of Christ pervading the life. The love of Christ is diffusive and aggressive. If it is dwelling in us, it will flow out to others. We shall come close to them till their hearts are warmed by our unselfish interest and love. The sincere believers diffuse vital energy, which is penetrating and imparts new moral power to the souls for whom they labor. It is not the power of the man himself, but the power of the Holy Spirit that does the transforming work.

“Jesus added the solemn warning: ‘If the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men’ (Luke 14:34).

“… the people could see the white salt glistening in the pathways where it had been cast out because it had lost its savor and was therefore useless. … It represents the life of every soul from whom the power of the grace of God has departed and who has become cold and Christless. Whatever may be his profession, such a one is looked upon by men and angels as insipid and disagreeable. It is to such that Christ says: ‘I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth’ (Revelation 3:15, 16). …” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 36.

“When love fills the heart, it will flow out to others, not because of favors received from them, but because love is the principle of action. Love modifies the character, governs the impulses, subdues enmity, and ennobles the affections. This love is as broad as the universe, and is in harmony with that of the angel workers. Cherished in the heart, it sweetens the entire life and sheds its blessing upon all around. It is this, and this only, that can make us the salt of the earth.” Ibid., 38.