Bible Study Guides – Parables from the Master Teacher – Meeting the Bridegroom

September 22, 2019 – September 28, 2019

Key Text

“Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh. … Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping” (Mark 13:35, 36).

Study Help: Christ’s Object Lessons, 405–421.


“It is in a crisis that character is revealed. When the earnest voice proclaimed at midnight, ‘Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him’ (Matthew 25:6), and the sleeping virgins were roused from their slumbers, it was seen who had made preparation for the event. Both parties were taken unawares; but one was prepared for the emergency, and the other was found without preparation.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 412.



  • With whom does the Lord compare the kingdom of heaven? Matthew 25:1, 2.

Note: “Christ with His disciples is seated upon the Mount of Olives. The sun has set behind the mountains, and the heavens are curtained with the shades of evening. In full view is a dwelling house lighted up brilliantly as if for some festive scene. The light streams from the openings, and an expectant company wait around, indicating that a marriage procession is soon to appear. …

“As Christ sat looking upon the party that waited for the bridegroom, He told His disciples the story of the ten virgins, by their experience illustrating the experience of the church that shall live just before His second coming.

“The two classes of watchers represent the two classes who profess to be waiting for their Lord. They are called virgins because they profess a pure faith.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 405, 406.

  • What was the difference between the wise and the foolish virgins? Matthew 25:3, 4.



  • What aroused the sleeping virgins? Matthew 25:5, 6. How was their experience repeated by God’s people in 1844?

Note: “By the tarrying of the bridegroom is represented the passing of the time when the Lord was expected, the disappointment, and the seeming delay. In this time of uncertainty, the interest of the superficial and halfhearted soon began to waver, and their efforts to relax; but those whose faith was based on a personal knowledge of the Bible had a rock beneath their feet, which the waves of disappointment could not wash away.” The Great Controversy, 394.

  • What warning does God give us concerning the times in which we live? Luke 21:36; 1Peter 4:7.

Note: “All we have to do with is this one day. Today we must be faithful to our trust. Today we must love God with all the heart and our neighbor as ourselves. Today we must resist the temptations of the enemy, and through the grace of Christ gain the victory. Thus we shall watch and wait for Christ’s coming. Each day we should live as if we knew that this would be our last day on this earth. If we knew that Christ would come tomorrow, would we not crowd into today all the kind words, all the unselfish deeds, that we could?” In Heavenly Places, 355.

  • What can we do to arouse from our sleeping condition? Romans 13:11–14.

Note: “We must be much in prayer if we would make progress in the divine life. When the message of truth was first proclaimed, how much we prayed. How often was the voice of intercession heard in the chamber, in the barn, in the orchard, or the grove. Frequently we spent hours in earnest prayer, two or three together claiming the promise; often the sound of weeping was heard and then the voice of thanksgiving and the song of praise. Now the day of God is nearer than when we first believed, and we should be more earnest, more zealous, and fervent than in those early days. Our perils are greater now than then. Souls are more hardened. We need now to be imbued with the spirit of Christ, and we should not rest until we receive it.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 161, 162.



  • What happened when the virgins awoke and went to trim their lamps? Matthew 25:7–9.

Note: “In the parable, all the ten virgins went out to meet the bridegroom. All had lamps and vessels for oil. For a time there was seen no difference between them. So with the church that lives just before Christ’s second coming. All have a knowledge of the Scriptures. All have heard the message of Christ’s near approach, and confidently expect His appearing. But as in the parable, so it is now. A time of waiting intervenes, faith is tried; and when the cry is heard, ‘Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him’ (Matthew 25:6), many are unready. They have no oil in their vessels with their lamps. They are destitute of the Holy Spirit.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 408.

  • What is represented by the lamps and the oil in the parable? Psalm 119:105; Zechariah 4:1–6. What does it mean to be destitute of the Holy Spirit?

Note: “Without the Spirit of God a knowledge of His word is of no avail. The theory of truth, unaccompanied by the Holy Spirit, cannot quicken the soul or sanctify the heart. One may be familiar with the commands and promises of the Bible; but unless the Spirit of God sets the truth home, the character will not be transformed.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 408.

  • How would you describe the foolish virgins today? 2 Timothy 3:5; Revelation 3:17.

Note: “The class represented by the foolish virgins are not hypocrites. They have a regard for the truth, they have advocated the truth, they are attracted to those who believe the truth; but they have not yielded themselves to the Holy Spirit’s working. They have not fallen upon the Rock, Christ Jesus, and permitted their old nature to be broken up. … They do not know God. They have not studied His character; they have not held communion with Him; therefore they do not know how to trust, how to look and live. Their service to God degenerates into a form.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 411.



  • What happened while the foolish virgins were separated from the wise virgins to buy oil for their lamps? Matthew 25:10.

Note: “The ten virgins are watching in the evening of this earth’s history. All claim to be Christians. All have a call, a name, a lamp, and all profess to be doing God’s service. All apparently wait for Christ’s appearing. But five are unready. Five will be found surprised, dismayed, outside the banquet hall.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 412.

“We cannot be ready to meet the Lord by waking when the cry is heard, ‘Behold, the Bridegroom’ (Matthew 25:6)! and then gathering up our empty lamps to have them replenished. We cannot keep Christ apart from our lives here, and yet be fitted for His companionship in heaven.” Ibid., 413, 414.

  • What did the foolish virgins petition the Lord of the marriage feast to do? Matthew 25:11, 12.
  • How do we often react when we fail God, instead of acknowledging our sins and mistakes? What did Saul do, and what was Samuel’s response? 1 Samuel 15:18–22.

Note: “There is no time to make excuses and blame others for our backslidings; no time now to flatter the soul [that] if circumstances had only been more favorable, how much better, how much easier [it would be] for us to work the works of God. We must tell even those who profess to believe in Christ, that they must cease to offend God by sinful excuses.

“Jesus has provided for every emergency. If they will walk where He leads the way, He will make rough places plain. He, with His experience, will create an atmosphere for the soul. He closes the door and brings the soul into seclusion with God, and the needy soul is to forget everyone and everything, but God. Satan will talk with him, but speak aloud to God and He will drive back the hellish shadow of Satan. With humble, subdued, thankful hearts they will come forth saying, ‘Thy gentleness hath made me great’ (2 Samuel 22:36).” Manuscript Releases, vol. 12, 336.



  • What call does God have for us today? What promise does He make along with the call? Malachi 3:7, last part; Isaiah 44:22; 55:7.

Note: “Oh, the love, the wondrous love of God! After all our lukewarmness and sins He says, Return unto Me, and I will return unto thee, and will heal all thy backslidings.” Our High Calling, 352.

“Those who will now seek the Lord earnestly, humbling their hearts before Him, and forsaking their sins, will, through the sanctification of the truth, be fitted to unite with the members of the royal family, and will see the King in His beauty.” This Day With God, 248.

  • As we heed the call, what message does He give us to proclaim to the world? Isaiah 40:9.

Note: “The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love. The children of God are to manifest His glory. In their own life and character they are to reveal what the grace of God has done for them.

“The light of the Sun of Righteousness is to shine forth in good works—in words of truth and deeds of holiness.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 415, 416.



1     Who is represented by the two classes of virgins, and why are they called virgins?

2    What can we do in this waiting and watching time to prepare for Jesus’ soon coming?

3    What work does the Holy Spirit do in the life of those who are like the wise virgins?

4    Instead of blaming circumstances for our defects of character, what can we do instead?

5    How can God use us to give His last message of mercy to the world?


©2018, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – Parables from the Master Teacher – Actions Speak Louder Than Words

September 15, 2019 – September 21, 2019

Key Text

“Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay” (Ecclesiastes 5:5).

Study Help: Christ’s Object Lessons, 272–283.


“When the call comes, ‘Go work today in My vineyard’ (Matthew 21:28), do not refuse the invitation. ‘Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts’ (Hebrews 4:7). It is unsafe to delay obedience. You may never hear the invitation again.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 281.



  • What question did the chief priests and elders ask Christ? Matthew 21:23.

Note: “The rulers [of Israel] had before them the evidences of His [Jesus] Messiahship. They now decided to demand no sign of His authority, but to draw out some admission or declaration by which He might be condemned. …

“They expected Him to claim that His authority was from God. Such an assertion they intended to deny.” The Desire of Ages, 593.

  • In return, what question did Christ put before them, and what answer did He receive? Matthew 21:24–27.

Note: “In His contest with the rabbis, it was not Christ’s purpose to humiliate His opponents. He was not glad to see them in a hard place. He had an important lesson to teach. He had mortified His enemies by allowing them to be entangled in the net they had spread for Him. Their acknowledged ignorance in regard to the character of John’s baptism gave Him an opportunity to speak, and He improved the opportunity by presenting before them their real position, adding another warning to the many already given.” The Desire of Ages, 594, 595.



  • Through what parable did Christ reveal the secrets of the hearts of the chief priests and elders? Matthew 21:28–31, first part.
  • Who was closer to the kingdom of God than the rulers among the Jews? Matthew 21:31, last part, 32.

 Note: “Whatsoever is done out of pure love, be it ever so little or contemptible in the sight of men, is wholly fruitful; for God regards more with how much love one worketh than the amount he doeth.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 135.

“It is not the great results we attain, but the motives from which we act, that weigh with God. He prizes goodness and faithfulness more than the greatness of the work accomplished.” Ibid., 510, 511.

  • How can we be like the older son in the parable of the two sons? 1John 3:7; James 4:17.

 Note: “Many today claim to obey the commandments of God, but they have not the love of God in their hearts to flow forth to others. Christ calls them to unite with Him in His work for the saving of the world, but they content themselves with saying, ‘I go, sir.’ They do not go. They do not co-operate with those who are doing God’s service. They are idlers. Like the unfaithful son, they make false promises to God. … In profession they claim to be sons of God, but in life and character they deny the relationship. They do not surrender the will to God. They are living a lie.

“The promise of obedience they appear to fulfill when this involves no sacrifice; but when self-denial and self-sacrifice are required, when they see the cross to be lifted, they draw back. Thus the conviction of duty wears away, and known transgression of God’s commandments becomes habit. The ear may hear God’s word, but the spiritual perceptive powers have departed. The heart is hardened, the conscience seared.

“Do not think that because you do not manifest decided hostility to Christ you are doing Him service. We thus deceive our own souls. By withholding that which God has given us to use in His service, be it time or means or any other of His entrusted gifts, we work against Him.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 279, 280.



  • By what invitation of the Saviour will many be tested? Matthew 21:28.

Note: “In the command, ‘Go work today in My vineyard’ (Matthew 21:28), the test of sincerity is brought to every soul. Will there be deeds as well as words? Will the one called put to use all the knowledge he has, working faithfully, disinterestedly, for the Owner of the vineyard?” Christ’s Object Lessons, 281.

  • What work does the Lord have for each of us to do? What does this work include? 2Peter 1:2–7.

 Note: “If you cultivate faithfully the vineyard of your soul, God is making you a laborer together with Himself. And you will have a work to do not only for yourself, but for others. In representing the church as the vineyard, Christ does not teach that we are to restrict our sympathies and labors to our own numbers. The Lord’s vineyard is to be enlarged. In all parts of the earth He desires it to be extended. As we receive the instruction and grace of God, we should impart to others a knowledge of how to care for the precious plants. Thus we may extend the vineyard of the Lord. God is watching for evidence of our faith, love, and patience.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 282.

  • Who is our great example in doing this work? Psalm 40:8.

Note: “Consider the life of Christ. Standing at the head of humanity, serving His Father, He is an example of what every son should and may be. The obedience that Christ rendered God requires from human beings today. He served His Father with love, in willingness and freedom. ‘I delight to do Thy will, O My God,’ He declared; ‘yea, Thy law is within My heart’ (Psalm 40:8). Christ counted no sacrifice too great, no toil too hard, in order to accomplish the work which He came to do. At the age of twelve He said, ‘Wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business?’ (Luke 2:49). He had heard the call, and had taken up the work. ‘My meat,’ He said, ‘is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work’ (John 4:34).” Christ’s Object Lessons, 282, 283.



  • As we work for Him, to what degree does the Lord want us to surrender ourselves to Him? 1Thessalonians 5:23.

 Note: “In all our service a full surrender of self is demanded. The smallest duty done in sincerity and self-forgetfulness is more pleasing to God than the greatest work when marred with self-seeking. He looks to see how much of the spirit of Christ we cherish, and how much of the likeness of Christ our work reveals. He regards more the love and faithfulness with which we work than the amount we do.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 402.

“He who truly loves and fears God, striving with a singleness of purpose to do His will, will place his body, his mind, his heart, his soul, his strength, under service to God. … Those who are determined to make the will of God their own must serve and please God in everything.” In Heavenly Places, 190.

  • When is the Lord well pleased? Mark 1:11; John 8:29; 14:21; 15:10.

Note: “We should not obey the commandments merely to secure heaven, but to please Him who died to save sinners from the penalty of the transgression of the Father’s law. … It is a sad resolve to follow Christ as far off as possible, venturing as near the verge of perdition as possible without falling in.” Christ Triumphant, 77.

“In every phase of your character building you are to please God. This you may do; for Enoch pleased Him though living in a degenerate age. And there are Enochs in this our day.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 332.

  • What type of service is an abomination to God? Matthew 15:8, 9.

Note: “Some who claim to love Jesus are deceivers and all their religion is lip service. It does not transform the character. It does not reveal the inward working of grace. They do not show that they have ever learned in Christ’s school the lessons of meekness and lowliness of heart. They do not show by life or character that they are wearing Christ’s yoke or lifting Christ’s burdens. They are not reaching the standard given them in God’s word, but a human standard.” This Day With God, 299.



  • What wonderful promises are given to those who serve the Lord in deed and in truth? John 14:23; Matthew 7:24, 25.

Note: “Of those who faithfully serve Him the Lord says, ‘They shall be Mine … in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him’ (Malachi 3:17).” Christ’s Object Lessons, 283.

“While we trust in Christ’s saving power, all the arts and wiles of the fallen host can do nothing to harm us. Heavenly angels are constantly with us, guiding and protecting. God has ordained that we shall have His saving power with us, to enable us to do all His will. Let us grasp the promises and cherish them moment by moment. Let us believe that God means just what He says. …

“As we lay hold of the power thus placed within our reach, we receive a hope so strong that we can rely wholly upon God’s promises; and laying hold of the possibilities there are in Christ, we become the sons and daughters of God. …

“To man is granted the privilege of becoming an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ. To those who have been thus exalted, are unfolded the unsearchable riches of Christ, which are of a thousandfold more value than the wealth of the world. Thus, through the merits of Jesus Christ, finite man is elevated to fellowship with God and with His dear Son.” In Heavenly Places, 32.



1     While Christ did not intend to humble the rabbis, what was the purpose of His answer to them?

2    What causes us to draw back from service for Christ, like the older son in the parable of the two sons?

3    How can we follow Christ’s example of obedience when He was upon this earth?

4    How only can we be doers of the Word and not just those who render lip service?

5    What is possible for us as we trust in God’s saving power?

Bible Study Guides – Parables from the Master Teacher – When to Forgive

September 8, 2019 – September 14, 2019

Key Text

“But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:15).

Study Help:  Christ’s Object Lessons, 243–251.


“Nothing can justify an unforgiving spirit. He who is unmerciful toward others shows that he himself is not a partaker of God’s pardoning grace. In God’s forgiveness the heart of the erring one is drawn close to the great heart of Infinite Love. The tide of divine compassion flows into the sinner’s soul, and from him to the souls of others.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 251.



  • What lesson was Jesus trying to teach Peter regarding his view of forgiveness? Matthew 18:21, 22.

Note: “The rabbis limited the exercise of forgiveness to three offenses. Peter, carrying out, as he supposed, the teaching of Christ, thought to extend it to seven, the number signifying perfection. But Christ taught that we are never to become weary of forgiving.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 243.

  • How should we treat those who injure us? Why? Luke 17:3; Galatians 6:1.

Note: “Too often when wrongs are committed again and again, and the wrongdoer confesses his fault, the injured one becomes weary, and thinks he has forgiven quite enough. …

“If your brethren err, you are to forgive them. … You should not say … I do not think they feel their confession. What right have you to judge them, as if you could read the heart? … And not only seven times, but seventy times seven—just as often as God forgives you.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 249, 250.



  • In the parable of the debtors, what fate was about to befall a servant who owed a great debt to his king? Matthew 18:23–25.
  • How did the king respond to the servant’s plea for mercy? Matthew 18:26, 27.

Note: “The pardon granted by this king represents a divine forgiveness of all sin. Christ is represented by the king, who, moved with compassion, forgave the debt of his servant. Man was under the condemnation of the broken law. He could not save himself, and for this reason Christ came to this world, clothed His divinity with humanity, and gave His life, the just for the unjust. He gave Himself for our sins, and to every soul He freely offers the blood-bought pardon. ‘With the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption’ (Psalm 130:7).” Christ’s Object Lessons, 244, 245.

  • As we have received abundant forgiveness from Christ for our own sins, what obligation does this pardon place us under? 1John 4:11; Matthew 10:8.

 Note: “There are no sins He [God] will not forgive in and through the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the sinner’s only hope, and if he rests here in sincere faith, he is sure of pardon and that full and free. There is only one channel and that is accessible to all, and through that channel a rich and abundant forgiveness awaits the penitent, contrite soul and the darkest sins are forgiven.” The Faith I Live By, 102.

“We ourselves owe everything to God’s free grace. Grace in the covenant ordained our adoption. Grace in the Saviour effected our redemption, our regeneration, and our exaltation to heirship with Christ. Let this grace be revealed to others.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 250.

“Nothing can justify an unforgiving spirit. He who is unmerciful toward others shows that he himself is not a partaker of God’s pardoning grace. In God’s forgiveness the heart of the erring one is drawn close to the great heart of Infinite Love. The tide of divine compassion flows into the sinner’s soul, and from him to the souls of others. The tenderness and mercy that Christ has revealed in His own precious life will be seen in those who become sharers of His grace.” Ibid., 251.



  • How did the servant who had been forgiven a very large debt treat one of his fellow servants who owed him but a small sum? Matthew 18:28–30.

Note: “In the parable, when the debtor pleaded for delay, with the promise, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all’ (Matthew 18:29, last part), the sentence was revoked. The whole debt was canceled. And he was soon given an opportunity to follow the example of the master who had forgiven him. Going out, he met a fellow servant who owed him a small sum. He had been forgiven ten thousand talents; the debtor owed him a hundred pence. But he who had been so mercifully treated, dealt with his fellow laborer in an altogether different manner. His debtor made an appeal similar to that which he himself had made to the king, but without a similar result. He who had so recently been forgiven was not tenderhearted and pitiful. The mercy shown him he did not exercise in dealing with his fellowservant.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 245.

  • What did the king do when he heard about this merciless action? Matthew 18:31–34. What lesson does this parable teach us?

Note: “He who refuses to forgive is thereby casting away his own hope of pardon.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 247.

  • What pattern of forgiveness did Jesus leave us in His own life? 1 Peter 2:23; Luke 23:34. How do we often fail in this regard?

Note: “We shall need to have the love of Christ, that we may not cherish an unforgiving spirit. Let us not think that unless those who have injured us confess their wrongs, we are justified in withholding from them our forgiveness. We should not accumulate our grievances, holding them to our hearts until the one we think guilty has humbled his heart by repentance and confession. … However sorely they may have wounded us, we are not to cherish our grievances and sympathize with ourselves over our injuries, but as we hope to be pardoned for our offenses against God, so must we pardon those who have done evil to us.” Sons and Daughters of God, 144.



  • What principle of forgiveness does Jesus present in the prayer He taught His disciples? Matthew 6:12, 14, 15. How only can we truthfully pray this prayer?

Note: “A great blessing is here asked upon conditions. We ourselves state these conditions. We ask that the mercy of God toward us may be measured by the mercy which we extend to others. Christ declares that this is the rule by which the Lord will deal with us: ‘If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses’ (Matthew 6:14, 15). Wonderful terms! but how little are they understood or heeded. One of the most common sins, and one that is attended with most pernicious results, is the indulgence of an unforgiving spirit. How many will cherish animosity or revenge and then bow before God and ask to be forgiven as they forgive. Surely they can have no true sense of the import of this prayer or they would not dare take it upon their lips. We are dependent upon the pardoning mercy of God every day and every hour; how then can we cherish bitterness and malice toward our fellow sinners!” God’s Amazing Grace, 328.

  • What can we expect if we manifest an unforgiving spirit toward others, and why? Matthew 6:15; 18:34, 35.

Note: “We are not forgiven because we forgive, but as we forgive. The ground of all forgiveness is found in the unmerited love of God, but by our attitude toward others we show whether we have made that love our own. Wherefore Christ says, ‘With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again’ (Matthew 7:2).” Christ’s Object Lessons, 251. [Emphasis author’s.]

  • How can we show others true forgiveness? Ephesians 4:32.

Note: “Let the tenderness and mercy that Jesus has revealed in His own precious life be an example to us of the manner in which we should treat our fellow beings.” My Life Today, 235.



  • What exchange did Christ make in our behalf? 1Peter 3:18.

 Note: “Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. ‘With His stripes we are healed’ (Isaiah 53:5, last part).” The Desire of Ages, 25.

  • What does He ask us to give in return? John 13:34.

Note: “Often have you needed the forgiveness of Jesus. You have been constantly dependent upon His compassion and love. Yet have you not failed to manifest toward others the spirit which Christ has exercised toward you? Have you felt a burden for the one whom you saw venturing into forbidden paths? Have you kindly admonished him? Have you wept for him and prayed with him and for him? Have you shown by words of tenderness and kindly acts that you love him and desire to save him?” Testimonies, vol. 5, 610.



1     What should be our attitude when our brother or sister injures us several times and then says he or she is sorry? Why?

2    What must we learn to bear with in others? If we fail to bear with our brothers and sisters, what does this say about ourselves?

3    If those who have injured us do not confess what they have done, what should we do? Why?

4    What do we lack when we fail to forgive others?

5    How can we show the compassion and forgiveness of Christ toward those who have gone astray?

Bible Study Guides – Parables from the Master Teacher – The Good Samaritan

September 1, 2019 – September 7, 2019

Key Text

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7).

Study Help: Christ’s Object Lessons, 376–389; Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 21–24.


“In the story of the good Samaritan, Christ illustrates the nature of true religion. He shows that it consists not in systems, creeds, or rites, but in the performance of loving deeds, in bringing the greatest good to others, in genuine goodness.” The Desire of Ages, 497.



  • How did Jesus answer the lawyer’s question regarding how to inherit eternal life? Luke 10:25, 26.

Note: “The conditions of salvation are ever the same. Life, eternal life, is for all who will obey God’s law. Perfect obedience, revealed in thought, word, and deed, is as essential now as when the lawyer asked Christ, ‘What shall I do to inherit eternal life’ (Luke 10:25)?” That I May Know Him, 299.

  • Which law did the lawyer mention, and how did Jesus reply? Luke 10:27, 28.

Note: “The lawyer was not satisfied with the position and works of the Pharisees. He had been studying the scriptures with a desire to learn their real meaning. He had a vital interest in the matter, and he asked in sincerity, ‘What shall I do?’ (Luke 10:25). In his answer as to the requirements of the law, he passed by all the mass of ceremonial and ritualistic precepts. For these he claimed no value, but presented the two great principles on which hang all the law and the prophets.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 377.



  • What question was later asked by the lawyer, which prompted Jesus to tell a parable? Luke 10:29. Who is our neighbor today?

Note: “Our neighbor is every person who needs our help. Our neighbor is every soul who is wounded and bruised by the adversary. Our neighbor is every one who is the property of God. …

“Our neighbors are not merely our associates and special friends; they are not simply those who belong to our church, or who think as we do. Our neighbors are the whole human family. We are to do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. We are to give to the world an exhibition of what it means to carry out the law of God. We are to love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves.” My Life Today, 232.

  • What attitude do many have today, which shows that they do not love their neighbors? Whom are they copying? Genesis 4:9.

Note: “There has been too much of a spirit to ask, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper’ (Genesis 4:9)? Said the angel: ‘Yea, thou art thy brother’s keeper. Thou shouldest have a watchful care for thy brother, be interested for his welfare, and cherish a kind, loving spirit toward him. Press together, press together.’ God designed that man should be openhearted and honest, without affectation, meek, humble, with simplicity. This is the principle of heaven; God ordered it so. But poor, frail man has sought out something different—to follow his own way, and carefully attend to his own self-interest.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 113, 114. [Emphasis author’s.]

  • How do we know that this is not a godly attitude? Romans 14:7.

Note: “Every act of our lives affects others for good or evil. Our influence is tending upward or downward; it is felt, acted upon, and to a greater or less degree reproduced by others.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 133.

“By our unconscious influence others may be encouraged and strengthened, or they may be discouraged, and repelled from Christ and the truth.” Steps to Christ, 120.



  • Where did the man in the parable fall among thieves? Who passed by on the side of the road and left him half dead? Luke 10:30–32.

Note: “In journeying from Jerusalem to Jericho, the traveler had to pass through a portion of the wilderness of Judea. The road led down a wild, rocky ravine, which was infested with robbers, and was often the scene of violence. It was here that the traveler was attacked, stripped of all that was valuable, and left half dead by the wayside. As he lay thus, a priest came that way; he saw the man lying wounded and bruised, weltering in his own blood; but he left him without rendering any assistance. He ‘passed by on the other side’ (Luke 10:31). Then a Levite appeared. Curious to know what had happened, he stopped and looked at the sufferer. He was convicted of what he ought to do, but it was not an agreeable duty. He wished that he had not come that way so that he would not have seen the wounded man. He persuaded himself that the case was no concern of his, and he too ‘passed by on the other side’ (verse 32).” Christ’s Object Lessons, 379.

  • Who had mercy on the wounded man, and what did he do for him? Luke 10:33–35.

Note: “The priest and the Levite both professed piety, but the Samaritan showed that he was truly converted. It was no more agreeable for him to do the work than for the priest and the Levite, but in spirit and works he proved himself to be in harmony with God. …

“The priest and Levite neglected the very work the Lord had enjoined on them, leaving a hated and despised Samaritan to minister to one of their own countrymen.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 380, 381.

  • Whom did the lawyer acknowledge to be the true neighbor? How did he answer? Luke 10:36, 37.

Note: “The lawyer found in the lesson nothing that he could criticize. His prejudice in regard to Christ was removed. But he had not overcome his national dislike sufficiently to give credit to the Samaritan by name.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 380.



  • Why did the lawyer answer the way he did? What attitude did the Jews have toward the Samaritans? John 4:9; 8:48, 49.

Note: “The great difference between the Jews and the Samaritans was a difference in religious belief, a question as to what constitutes true worship. The Pharisees would say nothing good of the Samaritans, but poured their bitterest curses upon them. So strong was the antipathy between the Jews and the Samaritans that to the Samaritan woman it seemed a strange thing for Christ to ask her for a drink.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 380.

  • What was Jesus’ example in ministering to those who were from different nationalities? Acts 10:38. What can we learn from this teaching? Matthew 23:8, last part.

 Note: “During His earthly ministry Christ began to break down the partition wall between Jew and Gentile, and to preach salvation to all mankind. Though He was a Jew, He mingled freely with the Samaritans, setting at nought the Pharisaic customs of the Jews with regard to this despised people. He slept under their roofs, ate at their tables, and taught in their streets.” The Acts of the Apostles, 19.

“No distinction on account of nationality, race, or caste, is recognized by God. He is the Maker of all mankind. All men are of one family by creation, and all are one through redemption.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 386.

  • How did the disciples later show that they had overcome their prejudice against other nations? Acts 8:25; 17:24–27.

Note: “Christ sought to teach the disciples the truth that in God’s kingdom there are no territorial lines, no caste, no aristocracy; that they must go to all nations, bearing to them the message of a Saviour’s love. But not until later did they realize in all its fullness that God ‘hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us’ (Acts 17:26, 27).” The Acts of the Apostles, 20.



  • What does Jesus want us to learn from the parable of the good Samaritan? Luke 10:36, 37; Romans 12:20, 21.

Note: “We may claim to be followers of Christ, we may claim to believe every truth in the word of God; but this will do our neighbor no good unless our belief is carried into our daily life. Our profession may be as high as heaven, but it will save neither ourselves nor our fellow men unless we are Christians. A right example will do more to benefit the world than all our profession.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 383.

  • How does He want us to help those around us? Matthew 7:12; 10:8.

Note: “We should anticipate the sorrows, the difficulties, the troubles of others. We should enter into the joys and cares of both high and low, rich and poor. ‘Freely ye have received,’ Christ says, ‘freely give’ (Matthew 10:8). All around us are poor, tried souls that need sympathizing words and helpful deeds.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 386.

“Never should we pass by one suffering soul without seeking to impart to him the comfort wherewith we are comforted of God. …

“Upon your faithfulness in this work not only the well-being of others but your own eternal destiny depends.” Ibid., 388.



1     How far-reaching should our obedience to God’s law be?

2    Who is our neighbor? What is our obligation to him or her?

3    The priest and the Levite made a high profession of their faith. What did the Samaritan have which the priest and the Levite failed to have?

4    How did Jesus begin to break down the walls of prejudice in His day?

5    If we are true Christians, how will we seek to help our fellowmen?

Recipe – Creamy Cucumber Chickpea Salad



1 small cucumber, peeled

sea salt, to taste

2 Tbsp. raw cashews, soaked 2 hours in water, drained

2 Tbsp. toasted pine nuts, soaked 2 hours in water, drained

½ Tbsp. brown rice syrup, raw agave or coconut nectar

1 ½ Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1-2 tsp. water as needed to blend


4 ½ cups sliced cucumbers (4 medium size)

sea salt

2 cups cooked or 1 15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed, drained

¼ cup red onion, chopped

¼ cup fresh dill weed, chopped, loosely packed or 1 Tbsp. dry, or to taste

sea salt

dash smoked paprika, garnish


Place cucumber in colander; toss with salt. Drain, stirring every 10 minutes, for at least half an hour. Rinse and dry thoroughly.

Mayonnaise: Combine all ingredients in blender, scraping down sides. Add only enough water to blend smoothly.

Assemble: Combine salad ingredients—cucumbers, chickpeas, red onions, and dill in a bowl. Fold in “mayonnaise.” Add salt, additional dill as needed. Sprinkle with paprika. Serve cold.

Food – Crispy Crunchy Cool Cucumber

A luncheon of delicate, crustless sandwiches of thinly sliced cucumber summons the feeling of long, leisurely summer afternoons. Originating in India, their cultivation dates back about 4,000 years. The Greeks and the Romans valued their medicinal qualities and feasted on them in the hot summer months. The fruit eventually wove their way to France and the rest of Europe making their way onto every continent and into every cuisine today.

Cucumbers are actually a fruit. They are members of the plant family Cucurbitaceae, which also includes squashes and melons.

“Cucumber health benefits include reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, healthy weight management, detoxifying the body, enhancing the skin, supporting eye health, improving brain health, alkalizing the blood and treating cancer. Other benefits include combating bad breath, supporting digestion, controlling blood sugar levels, maintaining adequate blood pressure, supporting bones, repairing hair, supporting nails and supporting dental health.”

Cucumbers are more than 95 percent water. The term “cool as a cucumber” is a scientific fact. The inside temperature of a cucumber can be up to 20 degrees cooler than outside air, cooling the temperature of the blood during seasons of heat or dehydration.

Drinking fresh green juice is similar to receiving an intravenous infusion of vitamins, minerals and enzymes as they go quickly into the system without having to go through the digestive process.  Juice whole cucumbers. Skin and seeds are the most nutritious part so use organic if possible. Add cucumbers to smoothies—you won’t taste them. Use for dips, sliced, especially with hummus. Incorporate into chilled soups and sandwiches. Add to any variety of salad.


Creamy Cucumber Chickpea Salad



1 small cucumber, peeled

sea salt, to taste

2 Tbsp. raw cashews, soaked 2 hours in water, drained

2 Tbsp. toasted pine nuts, soaked 2 hours in water, drained

½ Tbsp. brown rice syrup, raw agave or coconut nectar

1 ½ Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1-2 tsp. water as needed to blend



4 ½ cups sliced cucumbers (4 medium size)

sea salt

2 cups cooked or 1 15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed, drained

¼ cup red onion, chopped

¼ cup fresh dill weed, chopped, loosely packed or 1 Tbsp. dry, or to taste

sea salt

dash smoked paprika, garnish



Place cucumber in colander; toss with salt. Drain, stirring every 10 minutes, for at least half an hour. Rinse and dry thoroughly.

Mayonnaise: Combine all ingredients in blender, scraping down sides. Add only enough water to blend smoothly.

Assemble: Combine salad ingredients—cucumbers, chickpeas, red onions, and dill in a bowl. Fold in “mayonnaise.” Add salt, additional dill as needed. Sprinkle with paprika. Serve cold.

Life Sketches – Love – The Best Gift

Everyone enjoys receiving a free gift and the Bible says that God is the source of every good gift. However, God gives to some people more valuable gifts than to others because those people, desire, value, and appreciate more valuable gifts that He has to give.

Talking to the Corinthian church concerning their former life, Paul reminded them that they were once Gentiles led by senseless idols, believing they received special power and wisdom from them. However, in worshiping idols they were not worshiping the one true God and what they thought they had received was not from Him.

He said, “I say … that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons” (1 Corinthians 10:19–21).

Paul was clear in saying the Gentiles were not really receiving any special wisdom from God. They were receiving wisdom or power from demons—evil spirits. The Bible is very clear that there are many evil spirits in our world seeking to gain control of our minds. They are all working under the one master evil spirit called the devil and Satan.

These evil spirits were formerly angels of God in heaven, but they fell through sin. (See 2 Peter 2; Revelation 12; Jude.) After the rebellion in heaven, one third of the angels who were deceived by Satan lost their first estate and were cast out into this earth. Since the creation of man they are seeking to gain control of the world and we have been warned that in the last days, these evil spirits will succeed in deceiving almost the entire world. (See Revelation 12:9; Revelation 13; Revelation 16; Revelation 18.)

The only protection available to man to avoid being deceived is to receive the Holy Spirit into your life. Paul said, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant” (1 Corinthians 12:1). “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all” (verses 4–6).

“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all” (verse 7) if you have been baptized into Christ. Then it says that you are to receive in your life the manifestation of the Spirit and it is to result in the profit of every other Christian. The manifestation of the spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.

You and I do not get to choose what spiritual gift we will receive, for it is the Holy Spirit who decides that. “For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues [languages], to another the translation of languages” (verses 8–10, literal translation).

Notice, Paul has specified nine different gifts that the Spirit gives to different people – wisdom, knowledge, faith, healings, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, different languages, and translation of languages.

“But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills” (verse 11). The Holy Spirit decides what gift each person receives. No one is going to receive all the gifts. They are distributed as the Spirit sees fit.

Then Paul explains how this works and how there is unity in diversity. “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,’ is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,’ is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as he pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be” (verses 12–19)?

What would it be if all you had for your body were eyes and no hands, or feet, or ears, or tongue, or the other things that you need to function as a human being? Eyes are wonderful, but you need more than eyes to have a body. You need ears, and you need hands, and you need feet, and you need a mind, and you need a tongue. Without a nose you could not smell, and you need a digestive system and organs to circulate the blood around your body. Without these additional parts you would not have a body.

However, Paul said, “Now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism (division) in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (verses 20–26).

Referring now to the church, all members are part of the same body. We are not to look on any other Christian as somebody separate from ourselves. We are to have care and regard for every other person that is part of the body of Christ. If you get up in the night, and you stub your toe, the rest of your body doesn’t say to the toe, “Well, that’s just too bad you got hurt. It’s all right with us.” No, no! The whole body sympathizes with the toe that got hurt. It is the same way with any other part of the body. The whole body works together and every part of it is in sympathy with every other part. That is the way Paul says the church is to be. Every member is to be in sympathy with every other member.

Paul said, “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually” (verse 27). You are individual members with different offices, but all are to cooperate with each other and have sympathy for each other.

“God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues [languages]” (verse 28). Then he asks, “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with languages [foreign languages]” (verse 29)? No, not everybody does. “Do all interpret, [that is, do all interpret foreign languages]” (verse 30)? No, not everybody does but imagine the impact when all of those gifts are available in the church in one body.

While in Ephesus, Paul found some disciples of Jesus and asked them if they had received the Holy Spirit when they believed. They answered him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit” (Acts 19:2). They informed him that they had been baptized into John’s [the Baptist] baptism. Paul then explained to them what Jesus had said to His disciples before He ascended to heaven. He said, “John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” (Acts 1:5).

It was God’s will from that time on that every person who professed to be a Christian and was baptized would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. “When they [the disciples in Ephesus] heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied” (Acts 19:5, 6).

O, friend, God wants to give gifts to His people. He wants to give gifts to everyone who has taken the name of Christ, to everyone who has chosen to be a disciple of the Christian religion. The Holy Spirit wants to give you a gift.

Paul said there is a gift that every member is to receive. Jesus made that very clear that this gift is more important, it is of greater value, than any other gift that the Holy Spirit could give to you.

Many people think that it is wonderful if they can speak in other languages, and that is truly a gift of the Holy Spirit. When the apostles at Pentecost received the Holy Spirit, they miraculously received the ability to speak in foreign languages, a gift which lasted for the rest of their life.

However, Paul says, “Though I speak with the tongues [languages] of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1). It does not matter how many languages you could speak, if you can speak in both the languages of earth and the languages of heaven, it is valueless if you have not received the love of Jesus into your heart.

Paul goes on to say, “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing” (verse 2).

Notice friends, the Christian religion is the most spiritual of all religions because it deals with the most inner part of one’s mind and conscience. It is not just about intellectual things but goes right to the heart of a human being. The religion of Christ says if you have all these other things, all these intellectual accomplishments, so that you can speak all the different languages, if you have the power to prophesy, and if you have faith and if you have all knowledge, but all these gifts are devoid of love in your heart, Paul says, it is not worth anything. It’s nothing.

“Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing” (verse 3). It matters not what achievements you make or what acquisitions you acquire or talents you have, even if you are filled with the Holy Spirit, if that gift of the Holy Spirit has not led you to have love in your heart, it is worthless. It profits you nothing, and you are nothing. You are like a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

The most valuable of all gifts is so valuable that Jesus said that this would be the sign that you were a Christian. It is not so much whether you have absolutely the right doctrines, or theology, or understanding. Notice what Jesus said in John 13, verses 34 and 35: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Paul then goes through a list of 16 different things showing what love is like. If I have love in my heart, I will also have these characteristics. 1 Corinthians 13:4–8, first part:

“Love is long suffering.” It exhibits patience. It is long suffering. Everybody wants somebody to be patient with them when they make a mistake.

“Love is kind.” O, friend, it’s not enough to be the right kind of a person, unless you’re kind in what you do and how you deal with others.


  • Love does not envy. Be content with what you have and happy for those who may have more than you.
  • Love does not boast. It doesn’t brag about its own accomplishments.
  • Love is not conceited. It is not puffed up.
  • Love does not act in an indecent or a shameful way. It has a sense of propriety.
  • Love does not seek its own. It does not try to get its own advantage over others.
  • Love does not become irritated. This may be the hardest one of all.
  • Love does not dwell on evil. Today we are surrounded by evil. If you dwell on it, you will become like it, even if you abhor it. That of course is going to affect what we look at and what we think about.
  • Love does not rejoice in injustice. It does not rejoice in unrighteousness. This is another hard one for our generation.

“Rather it rejoices with the truth.” Do you love the truth? A person who has love in their heart will rejoice with the truth. The Bible predicts that in the last days there will be many people who will have a form of godliness who will still be lost because they never learned to love the truth. (See 2 Thessalonians 2:8–10.)


Love bears all things.

It believes all things.

It hopes all things.

It endures all things.

It never fails.


O, friend, love is the gift that God wants to give to everyone who follows Him. The gift of the Holy Spirit and the first fruit of the Holy Spirit is love.

Paul goes on to say that “Where there are prophecies, they will fail; where there are languages, they will cease; where there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part will be done away” (verses 8, last part–10, literal translation).

O, friend, have you received the most perfect of all gifts that God wants to give to everyone who chooses to follow Him? Do you have all 16 characteristics of love in your heart? Unless you have love in your heart, Paul says all the other profession of religion, all the languages, all the knowledge, all the faith, everything else you might do, is worthless unless you have love.


(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 in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by email at:, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.


Health – 100 Years ahead of her time

It was early in the morning at Elmshaven, Ellen White’s residence in northern California. As usual, she was up before sunrise, writing and working on her manuscripts. Although she was seventy-seven years of age, her pen was still busy sending messages and writing books and articles, just as she had been shown. This year, 1905, climaxing more than forty years as a popular speaker on health and temperance subjects, Mrs. White was putting the final details into her monument on health. Called The Ministry of Healing, this 500-page book was destined to reach around the world with translations into several major languages, a medical and health book that would never really go out-of-date.

The early experiences of Ellen White and her family in the use of natural remedies were born of necessity. Many common infectious diseases were taking their toll. Persons in the prime of life succumbed to what today would be called “minor illnesses.” Vaccinations were not yet available. Antibiotics were decades in the future. Antisepsis and skilled hospital care were in their infancy. And so diphtheria, pneumonia, typhoid, tuberculosis, and many other devastating diseases ripped into families, snuffing out lives of babies and children, as well as of parents.

It was fortunate for the struggling group of pioneer Seventh-day Adventists that light was given in regard to healthful living. One of Ellen White’s earliest published health series comprised six articles, one for each of a series of pamphlets compiled from various writers and called How to Live. In light of today’s modern science, it is amazing how accurate each observation was, down to minute clinical details. In that Victorian age, antedating modern scientific discoveries, the use of toxic drugs was widespread. Physicians understood little of physiology, let alone nutrition. Their scientific training was often confined to a few weeks of formal study, plus a short apprenticeship. A popular misconception prevailed that their drugs cured disease.

From this unusually gifted woman, writing in the prime of motherhood and a happy marriage, there came as a medical bombshell the words, “Drugs never cure disease. They only change the form and location. Nature alone is the effectual restorer, and how much better could she perform her task if left to herself.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 451. Her statement challenged the entire medical profession to come up with better answers. Fortunately, some solutions were found.

In upstate New York, even before the Civil War, Dr. James C. Jackson was receiving publicity for his unusual cures in “Our Home on the Hillside.” One of the leading water-cure institutions in America, this center at Dansville, New York, developed hydrotherapy (the treatment of disease by the external use of water) to a science, and in combination with natural foods and rest, achieved amazing results. Patients from all over the East came in search of health and restoration. Shortly after the close of the Civil War, Seventh-day Adventists would have their own institution, located in Battle Creek, Michigan. Originally the “Western Health Reform Institute,” the name was changed after ten years to the “Battle Creek Sanitarium.” Under Dr. John Harvey Kellogg’s dynamic and enthusiastic leadership, it became the pacesetter of the world in hydrotherapy and natural healing.

But it is to Ellen White that this natural-healing movement is primarily indebted for insights on health with a balance seldom manifested by fledgling idealists. Drugs such as mercury, calomel, opium, and nux vomica (the source of strychnine) were commonly used for all manner of diseases. It was thought that the hand of “Providence” and “Divine Grace” permitted the sufferer to go finally to his rest. But in Ellen White’s articles the curtain was pulled aside, and the finger of guilt clearly pointed to such toxic and destructive drugs as the culprit in too many premature deaths.


Then there was her experience with charcoal. On one occasion powdered charcoal was put into water and given to a man sick with dysentery. Upon drinking this mixture, the patient improved within a half hour. Poultices of powdered charcoal mixed with flaxseed were successfully used on painful swellings, bruises and boils. Writing to Dr. Kellogg, Ellen White shared this advice: “One of the most beneficial remedies is pulverized charcoal, placed in a bag and used in fomentations. This is a most successful remedy. If wet with smartweed, boiled, it is still better.” [Smartweed is a summertime plant commonly found in open fields. It induces dilation of blood capillaries in the skin and makes the treatment even more effective.] Selected Messages, Book 2, 294. Also, “The most severe inflammation of the eyes will be relieved by a poultice of charcoal, put in a bag, and dipped in hot or cold water, as will best suit the case. This works like a charm.” The Place of Herbs in Rational Therapy, 144. And with a bit of humor, always understanding as to the prejudices of her audience, she added, “I will expect you will laugh at this; but if I could give this remedy some outlandish name that no one knew but myself, it would have greater influence.” Ibid.

The list of simple remedies used by Ellen White goes on and on. We cite them only to observe that these remedies, though a legacy from a former generation, are being rediscovered by medical science today. Emergency rooms a decade ago were stocked with the “universal antidote” for the treatment of poisoning. Now all contain activated charcoal.

Balanced Counsels

In her emphasis on the simple, readily available remedies Ellen White was not against the progress in scientific medicine. On one occasion she even wrote to Dr. D. H. Kress, “There is one thing that has saved life—an infusion of blood from one person to another; but this would be difficult and perhaps impossible for you to do. I merely suggest it.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 303. How interesting to find such a modern lifesaving measure suggested to a physician even before blood typing and crossmatching had been conceived!

Ellen White also took some X-ray treatments for a skin cancer and was grateful for the successful results. However, the therapeutic use of radiation was still in its infancy and she cautioned physicians to be careful about X-rays, for she had been shown their dangers.

The climax of Ellen White’s counsels on healthful living, mentioned earlier, was The Ministry of Healing published in 1905.

“The only hope of better things is in the education of the people in right principles. Let physicians teach the people that restorative power is not in drugs, but in nature. Disease is an effort of nature to free the system from conditions that result from a violation of the laws of health. In case of sickness, the cause should be ascertained. Unhealthful conditions should be changed, wrong habits corrected. Then nature is to be assisted in her effort to expel impurities and to re-establish right conditions in the system.” The Ministry of Healing, 127.

Ellen White always offered “something better,” and some of the natural remedies recommended, often summarized as “nature’s eight doctors,” are as follows:

Pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness, rest, exercise, proper diet, the use of water, trust in divine power—these are the true remedies. Every person should have a knowledge of nature’s remedial agencies and how to apply them. It is essential both to understand the principles involved in the treatment of the sick and to have a practical training that will enable one rightly to use this knowledge.

“The use of natural remedies requires an amount of care and effort that many are not willing to give. Nature’s process of healing and upbuilding is gradual, and to the impatient it seems slow. The surrender of hurtful indulgences requires sacrifice. But in the end it will be found that nature, untrammeled, does her work wisely and well. Those who persevere in obedience to her laws will reap the reward in health of body and health of mind.” Ibid. [Emphasis supplied.]


In the last few years scientific research has demonstrated much value in each of these remedies. Physical exercise is definitely a lifesaver, with today’s trend toward moderation. Walking is not only safer, but even more healthful than marathons, triathlons, and competitive body building. And Ellen White’s concerns about the influence of coffee on the heart have been validated. Injurious addictive properties in opiates are unquestioned. Tobacco is under attack by major health organizations, even the AMA (American Medical Association). And smoking is even recognized as a potential cause of the sudden-infant-death syndrome. In 1864 Ellen White said:

“The infant lungs suffer, and become diseased by inhaling the atmosphere of a room poisoned by the tobacco-user’s tainted breath. Many infants are poisoned beyond remedy by sleeping in beds with their tobacco-using fathers. By inhaling the poisonous tobacco effluvia, which is thrown from the lungs and the pores of the skin, the system of the infant is filled with the poison. While it acts upon some as a slow poison, it affects the brain, heart, liver, and lungs, and they waste away and fade gradually, upon others it has a more direct influence, causing spasms, fits, paralysis, palsy, and sudden death.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 467.

Yes, second-hand smoke, side-stream smoke, even the body odor of smokeless tobacco users is hazardous to your health.

Scientists and public health authorities all vote for fresh air, adequate ventilation, vaccinations (see Selected Messages, Book 2, 303), and regular bathing—measures that were little understood or appreciated in her day, but which Ellen White was promoting a century ago.

Nutritionists agree that reducing the amount of fat in the diet, cutting down on salt, and using less sugar are sensible preventive measures against heart disease and cancer. Growing numbers of vegetarians are evidence of concern regarding inadequate animal-inspection standards and burgeoning diseases. What Ellen White has written is as current as tomorrow in the area of diet.

“Again and again I have been shown that God is trying to lead us back, step by step, to His original design—that man should subsist upon the natural products of the earth.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 380.

“From the light God has given me, the prevalence of cancers and tumors is largely due to gross living on dead flesh.” Ibid., 388.

How could she consistently be on the right side of issues that were largely unknown, not only to her, but also to the medical and scientific community of her day? One of her oft-used expressions, “The Lord has shown me,” reveals the source of her remarkable insights.

For this reason her books are enthusiastically sought and read, inspiring health professionals and instructing everyone, while increasing our confidence in the spiritual gift possessed by this remarkable American woman. It is one thing to be a pioneer; it is another to be a pacesetter. In Ellen White you will find the best of both combined.


Recommendations to Reduce Cancer Risk

Summarized from American Cancer Society and National Academy of Science Publications Information provided more than a century ago through the writings of Ellen G. White
1. Eat plenty of high fiber foods such as whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables. 1896: “Cancers, tumors, and all inflammatory diseases are largely caused by meat eating. From the light God has given me, the prevalence of cancer and tumors is largely due to gross living on dead flesh.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 388.
2. Eat plenty of foods that are high in vitamins A and C, such as dark green and deep yellow vegetables, citrus fruits, and yellow/orange fruits. 1896: “Both the blood and the fat of animals are consumed as a luxury. But the Lord gave special directions that these should not be eaten. Why? Because their use would make a diseased current of blood in the human system. The disregard for the Lord’s special directions has brought a variety of difficulties and diseases upon human beings.” Ibid., 393, 394.
3. Eat more cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower). 1905: “Fine-flour bread is lacking in nutritive elements to be found in bread made from whole wheat.” The Ministry of Healing, 300.
4. Maintain proper body weight. 1890: “Fruits, grains, and vegetables, prepared in a simple way, free from spice and grease of all kinds, make, with milk or cream, the most healthful diet.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 314.
5. Reduce dietary fat intake to no more than 30 per cent of total calories. 1871: “Alcohol and tobacco pollute the blood of men, and thousands of lives are yearly sacrificed to these poisons.” Temperance, 57.
6. Avoid salt-cured, smoked and nitrite-cured meats. 1905: “Tobacco is a slow, insidious, but most malignant poison.” The Ministry of Healing, 327.

*Later, Mrs White wrote: “Let the people be taught how to prepare food without the use of milk or butter. Tell them that the time will soon come when there will be no safety in using eggs, milk, cream, or butter, because disease in animals is increasing in proportion to the increase of wickedness among men.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 346.

7. Don’t smoke.
8. Alcohol is not recommended, but if it is used, go easy on consumption, especially if you also smoke or chew tobacco.
9. Guard against overexposure to sunlight.

Health for Today, Hope International, 1991, Richard A. Hansen, M.D., 18–20.


Dr. Richard Hansen is a family medicine doctor in Creswell, Oregon. He received his medical degree from Loma Linda University School of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He was formerly the Medical Director of Wildwood Lifestyle Center and Hospital.

Question & Answer: Why didn’t God just destroy Satan?

God is bound by justice. If God had destroyed the one who accused Him, Lucifer’s argument against Him could have been strengthened. The angels could have been suspicious thinking Lucifer may know something that God was trying to cover up. Fairness would dictate all of God’s actions.

“Even when it was decided that he could no longer remain in heaven, Infinite Wisdom did not destroy Satan. Since the service of love can alone be acceptable to God, the allegiance of His creatures must rest upon a conviction of His justice and benevolence. The inhabitants of heaven and of other worlds, being unprepared to comprehend the nature or consequences of sin, could not then have seen the justice and mercy of God in the destruction of Satan. Had he been immediately blotted from existence, they would have served God from fear rather than from love. The influence of the deceiver would not have been fully destroyed, nor would the spirit of rebellion have been utterly eradicated. Evil must be permitted to come to maturity. For the good of the entire universe through ceaseless ages Satan must more fully develop his principles, that his charges against the divine government might be seen in their true light by all created beings, that the justice and mercy of God and the immutability of His law might forever be placed beyond all question.

“Satan’s rebellion was to be a lesson to the universe through all coming ages, a perpetual testimony to the nature and terrible results of sin. The working out of Satan’s rule, its effects upon both men and angels, would show what must be the fruit of setting aside the divine authority. It would testify that with the existence of God’s government and His law is bound up the well-being of all the creatures He has made. Thus the history of this terrible experiment of rebellion was to be a perpetual safeguard to all holy intelligences, to prevent them from being deceived as to the nature of transgression, to save them from committing sin and suffering its punishments.” The Great Controversy, 498, 499.

“In the contest between Christ and Satan, during the Saviour’s earthly ministry, the character of the great deceiver was unmasked. Nothing could so effectually have uprooted Satan from the affections of the heavenly angels and the whole loyal universe as did his cruel warfare upon the world’s Redeemer.” Ibid., 501.

Keys to the Storehouse – The Bindery

There are plenty of actions that cause either pain or pleasure, but it seems to me that many of these are the cords that Satan uses to pull us away from our Lord. In fact, Satan binds us to his snares by these cords. The Spirit of Prophecy describes it perfectly: “The pains of duty and the pleasures of sin:”

“One wrong trait of character, one sinful desire cherished, will eventually neutralize all the power of the gospel. The prevalence of a sinful desire shows the delusion of the soul. Every indulgence of that desire strengthens the soul’s aversion to God. The pains of duty and the pleasures of sin are the cords with which Satan binds men in his snares. Those who would rather die than perform a wrong act are the only ones who will be found faithful.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 53.

Today, many wrong acts are cherished or excused! These excused actions bind us to Satan for eternal death. One must consider, Is it worth it? We are in a real spiritual warfare—this is dealing with our eternal life plan.

“The Christian life is a warfare. The apostle Paul speaks of wrestling against principalities and powers as he fought the good fight of faith. Again, he declares: ‘Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin’ (Hebrews 12:4). Ah, no. Today sin is cherished and excused. The sharp sword of the Spirit, the word of God, does not cut to the soul. Has religion changed? Has Satan’s enmity to God abated? A religious life once presented difficulties and demanded self-denial. All is made very easy now. And why is this? The professed people of God have compromised with the power of darkness.” Ibid., 222.

We are living in a very compromising world! You are okay and I am okay—do as you please as long as you do not step on me. Wow, the devil has really brainwashed many people—he truly is binding many into bundles! What must happen?

“There must be a revival of the strait testimony. The path to heaven is no smoother now than in the days of our Saviour. All our sins must be put away. Every darling indulgence that hinders our religious life must be cut off. The right eye or the right hand must be sacrificed if it cause us to offend. Are we willing to renounce our own wisdom and to receive the kingdom of heaven as a little child?” Ibid.

Are you ready to take a stand on the side of right—on the side of Jesus our Saviour? I know that I do not want to be in Satan’s bundle. I want to give up my “darling indulgences” now while there is still time to stand for my Saviour.

Remember: “The pains of duty and the pleasures of sin are the cords with which Satan binds men in his snares. Those who would rather die than perform a wrong act are the only ones who will be found faithful.” Ibid., 53.

“Choose you this day whom ye will serve … but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).


Father: Help us to choose now the path that leads to the heavenly country. Give us the courage to give up those darling indulgences that please the devil but are so offensive to You. I choose to stand with Jesus and not with the great deceiver and his temporary, fatal pleasures. Remove the binding which Satan has placed upon me. I choose You this day. Amen.