Bible Study Guides – The Promise of the Spirit

September 20 – 26, 2020

Key Text

“And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory” (Revelation 18:1).

Study Help: The Acts of the Apostles, 47–56.


“Learning, talents, eloquence, every natural or acquired endowment, may be possessed; but without the presence of the Spirit of God, no heart will be touched, no sinner be won to Christ. On the other hand, if they are connected with Christ, if the gifts of the Spirit are theirs, the poorest and most ignorant of His disciples will have a power that will tell upon hearts.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 328.



  • How was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the early church foretold? Luke 24:49; Joel 2:23.

Note: “Under the figure of the early and the latter rain, that falls in Eastern lands at seedtime and harvest, the Hebrew prophets foretold the bestowal of spiritual grace in extraordinary measure upon God’s church.” The Acts of the Apostles, 54.

  • What prophecy will reach a dual fulfillment in the end of time? What should we be doing in anticipation of this time? Zechariah 10:1.

Note: “The great work of the gospel is not to close with less manifestation of the power of God than marked its opening. The prophecies which were fulfilled in the outpouring of the former rain at the opening of the gospel are again to be fulfilled in the latter rain at its close.” The Great Controversy, 611, 612.



  • What work does the Holy Spirit perform today? John 16:13.

Note: “The Comforter is called ‘the Spirit of truth’ (John 16:3). His work is to define and maintain the truth. He first dwells in the heart as the Spirit of truth, and thus He becomes the Comforter. There is comfort and peace in the truth, but no real peace or comfort can be found in falsehood. It is through false theories and traditions that Satan gains his power over the mind. By directing men to false standards, he misshapes the character. Through the Scriptures the Holy Spirit speaks to the mind, and impresses truth upon the heart. Thus He exposes error, and expels it from the soul. It is by the Spirit of truth, working through the word of God, that Christ subdues His chosen people to Himself.” The Desire of Ages, 671.

  • What change does the Spirit make within the believer? 2Thessalonians 2:13.

 Note: “If men are willing to be molded, there will be brought about a sanctification of the whole being. The Spirit will take the things of God and stamp them on the soul. By His power the way of life will be made so plain that none need err therein.” The Acts of the Apostles, 53.

“Those only who are constantly receiving fresh supplies of grace, will have power proportionate to their daily need and their ability to use that power. Instead of looking forward to some future time when, through a special endowment of spiritual power, they will receive a miraculous fitting up for soul winning, they are yielding themselves daily to God, that He may make them vessels meet for His use. Daily they are improving the opportunities for service that lie within their reach. Daily they are witnessing for the Master wherever they may be, whether in some humble sphere of labor in the home, or in a public field of usefulness. …

“Morning by morning, as the heralds of the gospel kneel before the Lord and renew their vows of consecration to Him, He will grant them the presence of His Spirit, with its reviving, sanctifying power. As they go forth to the day’s duties, they have the assurance that the unseen agency of the Holy Spirit enables them to be ‘laborers together with God’ (1 Corinthians 3:9)” Ibid., 55, 56.



  • What fruit does the Spirit of God produce? Galatians 5:22, 23. How?

Note: “In describing to His disciples the office work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus sought to inspire them with the joy and hope that inspired His own heart. He rejoiced because of the abundant help He had provided for His church. The Holy Spirit was the highest of all gifts that He could solicit from His Father for the exaltation of His people. The Spirit was to be given as a regenerating agent, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail. The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of men to this satanic captivity was amazing. Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon His church.” The Desire of Ages, 671.

“What was the result of the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost? … Every Christian saw in his brother a revelation of divine love and benevolence. One interest prevailed; one subject of emulation swallowed up all others. The ambition of the believers was to reveal the likeness of Christ’s character and to labor for the enlargement of His kingdom.” The Acts of the Apostles, 48.

  • What can God do for those who will fully surrender? Ephesians 5:18, last part.

Note: “To Jesus, who emptied Himself for the salvation of lost humanity, the Holy Spirit was given without measure. So it will be given to every follower of Christ when the whole heart is surrendered for His indwelling. Our Lord Himself has given the command, ‘Be filled with the Spirit’ (Ephesians 5:18), and this command is also a promise of its fulfillment. It was the good pleasure of the Father that in Christ should ‘all the fullness dwell,’ and ‘in Him ye are made full’ (Colossians 1:19, R.V.; 2:10, R.V).” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 21.



  • What should we do in anticipation of the latter rain? Luke 11:13.

Note: “The lapse of time has wrought no change in Christ’s parting promise to send the Holy Spirit as His representative. It is not because of any restriction on the part of God that the riches of His grace do not flow earthward to men. If the fulfillment of the promise is not seen as it might be, it is because the promise is not appreciated as it should be. If all were willing, all would be filled with the Spirit. Wherever the need of the Holy Spirit is a matter little thought of, there is seen spiritual drought, spiritual darkness, spiritual declension and death. Whenever minor matters occupy the attention, the divine power which is necessary for the growth and prosperity of the church, and which would bring all other blessings in its train, is lacking, though offered in infinite plenitude.” The Acts of the Apostles, 50.

“We need not worry about the latter rain. All we have to do is to keep the vessel clean and right side up and prepared for the reception of the heavenly rain, and keep praying, ‘Let the latter rain come into my vessel.’ ” The Upward Look, 283.

“I saw that many were neglecting the preparation so needful and were looking to the time of ‘refreshing’ and the ‘latter rain’ to fit them to stand in the day of the Lord and to live in His sight. … I saw that none could share the ‘refreshing’ unless they obtain the victory over every besetment, over pride, selfishness, love of the world, and over every wrong word and action. We should, therefore, be drawing nearer and nearer to the Lord and be earnestly seeking that preparation necessary to enable us to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord.” Early Writings, 71.

  • What can we learn from Elijah’s prayer for rain? 1Kings 18:41–44.

 Note: “He [Elijah] kept reviewing his life, to see where he had failed to honor God, he confessed his sins, and thus continued to afflict his soul before God, while watching for a token that his prayer was answered. As he searched his heart, he seemed to be less and less, both in his own estimation and in the sight of God. It seemed to him that he was nothing, and that God was everything; and when he reached the point of renouncing self, while he clung to the Saviour as his only strength and righteousness, the answer came.” The Review and Herald, May 26, 1891.



  • What final work of education is still ahead of us? Habakkuk 2:14.

Note: “As the time comes for it [the third angel’s message] to be given with greatest power, the Lord will work through humble instruments, leading the minds of those who consecrate themselves to His service. The laborers will be qualified rather by the unction of His Spirit than by the training of literary institutions. Men of faith and prayer will be constrained to go forth with holy zeal, declaring the words which God gives them. The sins of Babylon will be laid open. The fearful results of enforcing the observances of the church by civil authority, the inroads of spiritualism, the stealthy but rapid progress of the papal power—all will be unmasked. By these solemn warnings the people will be stirred. Thousands upon thousands will listen who have never heard words like these.” The Great Controversy, 606.

“The message will be carried not so much by argument as by the deep conviction of the Spirit of God. The arguments have been presented. The seed has been sown, and now it will spring up and bear fruit. The publications distributed by missionary workers have exerted their influence, yet many whose minds were impressed have been prevented from fully comprehending the truth or from yielding obedience. Now the rays of light penetrate everywhere, the truth is seen in its clearness, and the honest children of God sever the bands which have held them. Family connections, church relations, are powerless to stay them now. Truth is more precious than all besides. Notwithstanding the agencies combined against the truth, a large number take their stand upon the Lord’s side.” Ibid., 612.



  1. How will the experiences of the early Christian church (as described in Lesson 1) be of special importance to the final generation?
  2. Why is reception of the former and latter rain part of the work of true education?
  3. What fruit is to be developed as the result of the Spirit’s work?
  4. How can I be ready for the latter rain?
  5. How will the church’s work of education on this earth be completed?

© 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – Building for Eternity

September 13 – 19, 2020

Key Text

“Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

Study Help: Education, 301–309.


“He who co-operates with the divine purpose in imparting to the youth a knowledge of God, and molding the character into harmony with His, does a high and noble work. As he awakens a desire to reach God’s ideal, he presents an education that is as high as heaven and as broad as the universe; an education that cannot be completed in this life, but that will be continued in the life to come; an education that secures to the successful student his passport from the preparatory school of earth to the higher grade, the school above.” Education, 19.



  • What do we have to look forward to in eternity? 1 Corinthians 2:9; Isaiah 64:4.

Note: “God’s ideal for His children is higher than the highest human thought can reach. ‘Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect’ (Matthew 5:48). This command is a promise. The plan of redemption contemplates our complete recovery from the power of Satan.” The Desire of Ages, 311.

“The education begun here will not be completed in this life; it will be going forward throughout eternity, ever progressing, never completed. Day by day the wonderful works of God, the evidences of His miraculous power in creating and sustaining the universe, will open before the mind in new beauty. In the light that shines from the throne, mysteries will disappear, and the soul will be filled with astonishment at the simplicity of the things that were never before comprehended.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 328.



  • What often accompanies us in our Christian life, and what should our attitude be as a result? Why? 1 Peter 4:12, 13.

Note: “God’s children are always being tested in the furnace of affliction. If they endure the first trial, it is not necessary for them to pass through a similar ordeal the second time; but if they fail, the trial is brought to them again and again, each time being still more trying and severe. Thus opportunity after opportunity is placed before them of gaining the victory and proving themselves true to God. But if they continue to manifest rebellion, God is compelled at last to remove His Spirit and light from them.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1146.

  • What is tested by the fire of trial? 1 Corinthians 3:9, 10, 12.

Note: “It makes every difference what material is used in the character building. The long-expected day of God will soon test every man’s work. ‘The fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is’ (1 Corinthians 3:13). As fire reveals the difference between gold, silver, and precious stones, and wood, hay, and stubble, so the day of judgment will test characters, showing the difference between characters formed after Christ’s likeness and characters formed after the likeness of the selfish heart. All selfishness, all false religion, will then appear as it is. The worthless material will be consumed; but the gold of true, simple, humble faith will never lose its value. It can never be consumed; for it is imperishable. One hour of transgression will be seen to be a great loss, while the fear of the Lord will be seen to be the beginning of wisdom. The pleasure of self-indulgence will perish as stubble, while the gold of steadfast principle, maintained at any cost, will endure forever.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1087, 1088.

“This character building is a most important work. It is not a work that ends in this life, but which tells in the future life. What you make of yourself here through the merits and grace of Christ will be retained through eternal ages, and I am most earnest that you should not meet a low standard. ‘Learn of me,’ says the Great Teacher, ‘I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest to your soul’ (Matthew 11:29). The peace that Christ gives will never, never bring sorrow with it.” This Day With God, 37.



  • What is revealed by the fire? 1 Corinthians 3:13.

Note: “The angels of God are walking up and down the streets of these cities, and marking the deeds of men. They record in the books of God’s remembrance the words of faith, the acts of love, the humility of spirit; and in that day when every man’s work shall be tried of what sort it is, the work of the humble follower of Christ will stand the test, and will receive the commendation of Heaven.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 987.

“Young men and women should regard a good character as a capital of more value than gold or silver or stocks. It will be unaffected by panics and failures, and will bring rich returns when earthly possessions shall be swept away. … Integrity, firmness, and perseverance are qualities which all should seek earnestly to cultivate; for they clothe the possessor with a power which is irresistible, a power which makes him strong to do good, strong to resist evil, strong to bear adversity.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 656.

  • How were Lot and Solomon saved “as by fire?” Genesis 19:16, 17; 1 Kings 11:4.

Note: “Lot chose Sodom as a place of residence because he looked more to the temporal advantages he would gain than to the moral influences that would surround himself and his family. What did he gain so far as the things of this world are concerned? His possessions were destroyed, part of his children perished in the destruction of that wicked city, his wife was turned to a pillar of salt by the way, and he himself was saved ‘so as by fire’ (1 Corinthians 3:15). Nor did the evil results of his selfish choice end here; but the moral corruption of the place was so interwoven with the character of his children that they could not distinguish between good and evil, sin and righteousness.” Messages to Young People, 419.

“Solomon may have been saved ‘as by fire,’ yet his repentance could not efface those high places, nor demolish those stones, which remained as evidences of his crimes. He dishonored God, choosing rather to be controlled by lust than to be a partaker of the divine nature.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1031.



  • How does the fire affect our learning and our future? 1 Corinthians 3:14, 15.

Note: “Eternity is before us. All improvements we make here of our mental powers, all the high attainments we make in refining and elevating ourselves by connecting closely with heaven, will be translated with us, while if we dwarf our capabilities by inaction, if we deteriorate our talents, which are susceptible of the highest cultivation, we cannot in the better world redeem that past neglect of self-culture, that great loss.

“Some may be saved as by fire. Their useless life has brought to them infinite loss. We should make improvement in this life, all that we can by the help and grace of God, knowing we can take these improvements with us into heaven. We will glorify our Father in heaven in proportion as we purify and perfect our characters here.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 9, 21.

“To go forth into the next, the future life, deprived of half the power which might be carried there is a terrible thought. The days of probation lost here in acquiring a fitness for heaven, is a loss which will never be recovered. The capacities of enjoyment will be less in the future life for the misdemeanors and abuse of moral powers in this life. However high we might attain in the future life, we might soar higher and still higher, if we had made the most of our God-given privileges and golden opportunities.” This Day With God, 350.

  • How did Daniel and his companions show the results of building their education on the eternal Rock? Daniel 1:20.

Note: “The youth should be learners for the next world. Perseverance in the acquisition of knowledge, controlled by the fear and love of God, will give them an increased power for good in this life, and those who have made the most of their privileges to reach the highest attainments here, will take these valuable acquisitions with them into the future life. They have sought and obtained that which is imperishable. The capability to appreciate the glories that ‘eye hath not seen, nor ear heard’ (1 Corinthians 2:9), will be proportionate to the attainments reached in the cultivation of the faculties in this life.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 49.



  • How can we make up for lost opportunities? Ephesians 5:16.

Note: “We are admonished to redeem the time. But time squandered can never be recovered. We cannot call back even one moment. The only way in which we can redeem our time is by making the most of that which remains, by being co-workers with God in His great plan of redemption.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 342.

“The greatest possible good we can do to our fellow men is to overcome our own faults and improve our characters, making them as excellent and symmetrical as possible.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 9, 21.

  • How much time are we given to make the right decision? Hebrews 3:12–15.

Note: “We should watch and work and pray as though this were the last day that would be granted us. How intensely earnest, then, would be our life. How closely would we follow Jesus in all our words and deeds.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 200.

  • What should our prayer be? Psalm 139:23, 24.

Note: “Lord, take my heart; for I cannot give it. It is Thy property. Keep it pure, for I cannot keep it for Thee. Save me in spite of myself, my weak, unchristlike self. Mold me, fashion me, raise me into a pure and holy atmosphere, where the rich current of Thy love can flow through my soul.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 159.



1    How does education throughout our lifetime constitute only a beginning?

2    What purpose does testing and trial serve in the work of education?

3    How do our choices affect our usefulness and even our eternal destiny?

4    What does it mean to be saved “as by fire”?

5    How can we ensure that we do the best work for eternity?

© 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – Reaching the World

September 6 – 12, 2020

Key Text

“And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

Study Help: Evangelism, 15–18.


“Our Lord Jesus Christ came to this world as the unwearied servant of man’s necessity. … It was His mission to bring to men complete restoration; He came to give them health and peace and perfection of character.” The Ministry of Healing, 17.



  • What was Christ’s mission while on earth? John 18:37. What did He focus on in order to fulfil His mission? Hebrews 12:2.

Note: “Ever before Him He saw the result of His mission.” The Desire of Ages, 410.

“He saw in all, souls whom it was His mission to save.” Gospel Workers, 117.

“In all things He brought His wishes into strict abeyance to His mission. He glorified His life by making everything in it subordinate to the will of His Father.” The Ministry of Healing, 19.

  • What is to be our mission in life? John 15:12.

Note: “When we love the world as He [Jesus] has loved it, then for us His mission is accomplished. We are fitted for heaven; for we have heaven in our hearts.” The Desire of Ages, 641.

“The completeness of Christian character is attained when the impulse to help and bless others springs constantly from within.” The Acts of the Apostles, 551.



  • What is significant about a lighted city on a dark night? Matthew 5:14.

Note: “In the night of spiritual darkness God’s glory is to shine forth through His church in lifting up the bowed down and comforting those that mourn.

“All around us are heard the wails of a world’s sorrow. On every hand are the needy and distressed. It is ours to aid in relieving and softening life’s hardships and misery.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 417.

  • What are we all called to be? Isaiah 43:10. Upon whom, then, does the responsibility of preaching the gospel fall?

Note: “Every true disciple is born into the kingdom of God as a missionary.” The Desire of Ages, 195.

“It is the privilege of every soul to be a living channel through which God can communicate to the world the treasures of His grace, the unsearchable riches of Christ. … All heaven is waiting for channels through which can be poured the holy oil to be a joy and blessing to human hearts.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 419.

  • What responsibility is given to each lay member? Mark 13:34.

Note: “The work of God in this earth can never be finished until the men and women comprising our church membership rally to the work, and unite their efforts with those of ministers and church officers.” Gospel Workers, 352.

“Where there is an opening to obtain a livelihood, let families that are well grounded in the truth enter, one or two families in a place, to work as missionaries. … They can distribute our publications, hold meetings in their homes, become acquainted with their neighbors, and invite them to come to these meetings.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 245.

“Let church-members awake. Let them take hold and help to stay up the hands of the ministers and the workers, pushing forward the interests of the cause. … If a man exercises faith, and walks humbly with his God, he … can fill his appointed place.” The Review and Herald, July 9, 1895.



  • What was Jesus’ parting instruction? Mark 16:15.

Note: “God calls for Christian families to go into the dark places of the earth and work wisely and perseveringly for those who are enshrouded in spiritual gloom. To answer this call requires self-sacrifice. While many are waiting to have every obstacle removed, souls are dying, without hope and without God. For the sake of worldly advantage, for the sake of acquiring scientific knowledge, men are willing to venture into pestilential regions and to endure hardship and privation. Where are those who are willing to do as much for the sake of telling others of the Saviour?” Prophets and Kings, 172, 173.

  • What is God calling us to do right now? Why? Romans 13:11, 12.

Note: “A working church is a growing church. The members find a stimulus and a tonic in helping others.” Gospel Workers, 198.

“The only way to grow in grace is to be disinterestedly doing the very work which Christ has enjoined upon us—to engage, to the extent of our ability, in helping and blessing those who need the help we can give them. Strength comes by exercise; activity is the very condition of life.” Steps to Christ, 80.

  • How may we hasten the second coming of Christ? Matthew 24:14.

Note: “It is the privilege of every Christian not only to look for but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:12, margin). Were all who profess His name bearing fruit to His glory, how quickly the whole world would be sown with the seed of the gospel. Quickly the last great harvest would be ripened, and Christ would come to gather the precious grain.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 69.

“When the members of the church of God do their appointed work in the needy fields at home and abroad, in fulfillment of the gospel commission, the whole world will soon be warned and the Lord Jesus will return to this earth with power and great glory.” The Acts of the Apostles, 111.



  • What methods did Jesus use in His work for others? Matthew 9:35, 36.

Note: “Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, ‘Follow Me.’ ” The Ministry of Healing, 143.

“He sought them in the public streets, in private houses, on the boats, in the synagogue, by the shores of the lake, and at the marriage feast. He met them at their daily vocations, and manifested an interest in their secular affairs. He carried His instruction into the household, bringing families in their own homes under the influence of His divine presence. His strong personal sympathy helped to win hearts.” The Desire of Ages, 151.

“Let the world see that we are not selfishly absorbed in our own interests, but that we desire others to share our blessings and privileges. Let them see that our religion does not make us unsympathetic or exacting. Let all who profess to have found Christ, minister as He did for the benefit of men.” Ibid., 152.

  • Who sought a private interview with Jesus? John 3:2. How does this visit illustrate a large part of Jesus’ ministry?

Note: “We are not to wait for souls to come to us; we must seek them out where they are. When the word has been preached in the pulpit, the work has but just begun. There are multitudes who will never be reached by the gospel unless it is carried to them.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 229.

“To a great degree this must be accomplished by personal labor. This was Christ’s method. His work was largely made up of personal interviews. He had a faithful regard for the one-soul audience. Through that one soul the message was often extended to thousands.” Ibid.

“He passed by no human being as worthless, but sought to apply the healing remedy to every soul. … He sought to inspire with hope the roughest and most unpromising, setting before them the assurance that they might become blameless and harmless, attaining such a character as would make them manifest as the children of God.” The Ministry of Healing, 25, 26.



  • What does Jesus direct us to do? Matthew 5:16.

Note: “Christ does not bid His followers strive to shine. He says, Let your light shine. If you have received the grace of God, the light is in you. Remove the obstructions, and the Lord’s glory will be revealed. The light will shine forth to penetrate and dispel the darkness. You cannot help shining within the range of your influence.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 420. [Emphasis in original.]

“Heavenly intelligences are waiting to co-operate with human instrumentalities, that they may reveal to the world what human beings may become and what, through their influence, they may accomplish for the saving of souls that are ready to perish. He who is truly converted will be so filled with the love of God that he will long to impart to others the joy that he himself possesses.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 30.

“There is no limit to the usefulness of one who, putting self aside, makes room for the working of the Holy Spirit upon his heart and lives a life wholly consecrated to God.” The Ministry of Healing, 159.

  • What impact is the church to have upon the world? Acts 17:6.

Note: “When those who profess to serve God follow Christ’s example, practicing the principles of the law in their daily life; when every act bears witness that they love God supremely and their neighbor as themselves, then will the church have power to move the world.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 340.



1    What can we learn from Jesus’ mission as related to our own?

2    What personal mission has God given me?

3    How can a church remain a living church?

4    What was Jesus’ method of reaching people?

5    How does a follower of Jesus shine their light?

© 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – The Work of the Missionary School

Educating the Last Generation

August 30 – September 5, 2020

Key Text

“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go” (Psalm 32:8).

Study Help: Messages to Young People, 176–180; Patriarchs and Prophets, 592–602.


“With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Saviour might be carried to the whole world!” Education, 271.



  • What is the divinely appointed method of winning mankind to return to loyalty to God’s government? John 12:32.

Note: “While self is kept out of sight Jesus Christ must be ever lifted up and exalted.” The Voice in Speech and Song, 322.

“Lift Him up, the Christ of Calvary; lift Him up, that the world may behold Him. Talk of His goodness, sing of His love, and give Him the grateful thanks of your hearts.” The Upward Look, 37.

  • How is this work to be accomplished? Proverbs 23:12; Matthew 28:19.

Note: “We must educate, educate, to prepare a people who will understand the message, and then give the message to the world.” The Review and Herald, February 6, 1908.

“Now, as never before, we need to understand the true science of education. If we fail to understand this, we shall never have a place in the kingdom of God.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, 53.

“As long as time shall last, we shall have need of schools.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 417.



  • How does the call of Elisha highlight physical training as a preparation for spiritual work? 1 Kings 19:19.

 Note: “Practical work encourages close observation and independent thought. Rightly performed, it tends to develop that practical wisdom which we call common sense. It develops ability to plan and execute, strengthens courage and perseverance, and calls for the exercise of tact and skill.” Education, 220.

“In God’s plan for Israel every family had a home on the land with sufficient ground for tilling. Thus were provided both the means and the incentive for a useful, industrious, and self-supporting life. And no devising of men has ever improved upon that plan.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 275.

“Provision should have been made in past generations for education upon a larger scale. In connection with the schools should have been agricultural and manufacturing establishments. There should also have been teachers of household labor. And a portion of the time each day should have been devoted to labor, that the physical and mental powers might be equally exercised. If schools had been established upon the plan we have mentioned, there would not now be so many unbalanced minds.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 153.

“Working the soil is one of the best kinds of employment, calling the muscles into action and resting the mind. Study in agricultural lines should be the A, B, and C of the education given in our schools. This is the very first work that should be entered upon. Our schools should not depend upon imported produce, for grain and vegetables, and the fruits so essential to health. Our youth need an education in felling trees and tilling the soil as well as in literary lines. Different teachers should be appointed to oversee a number of students in their work and should work with them. …

“Daily, systematic labor should constitute a part of the education of youth even at this late period. Much can now be gained in this way. In following this plan the students will realize elasticity of spirit and vigor of thought, and in a given time can accomplish more mental labor than they could by study alone.” Ibid., vol. 6, 179, 180.

“Some do not appreciate the value of agricultural work. These should not plan for our schools, for they will hold everything from advancing in right lines.” Ibid., 178.



  • How does the study of the Bible affect a person’s mind? Hebrews 4:12; 1 Peter 1:23.

Note: “The mind will enlarge, if it is employed in tracing out the relation of the subjects of the Bible, comparing scripture with scripture, and spiritual things with spiritual. Go below the surface; the richest treasures of thought are waiting for the skillful and diligent student.” Messages to Young People, 262.

“A familiar acquaintance with the Scriptures sharpens the discerning powers, and fortifies the soul against the attacks of Satan.” Ibid., 397.

“Let the mind grasp the stupendous truths of revelation, and it will never be content to employ its powers upon frivolous themes; it will turn with disgust from the trashy literature and idle amusements that are demoralizing the youth of today. Those who have communed with the poets and sages of the Bible, and whose souls have been stirred by the glorious deeds of the heroes of faith, will come from the rich fields of thought far more pure in heart and elevated in mind than if they had been occupied in studying the most celebrated secular authors, or in contemplating and glorifying the exploits of the Pharaohs and Herods and Caesars of the world.” Ibid., 255, 256.

  • Through the influence of the Word, what is the New Covenant experience? Hebrews 8:10; Psalm 37:30, 31.

Note: “In the reverent contemplation of the truths presented in His word the mind of the student is brought into communion with the infinite mind. Such a study will not only refine and ennoble the character, but it cannot fail to expand and invigorate the mental powers.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 596–599.

“The precious faith inspired of God imparts strength and nobility of character. As His goodness, His mercy, and His love are dwelt upon, clearer and still clearer will be the perception of truth; higher, holier, the desire for purity of heart and clearness of thought. The soul dwelling in the pure atmosphere of holy thought is transformed by intercourse with God through the study of His word. Truth is so large, so far-reaching, so deep, so broad, that self is lost sight of. The heart is softened and subdued into humility, kindness, and love.” The Ministry of Healing, 465, 466.



  • How will Bible study and instruction lead to a deeper spiritual experience in our missionary students? 1 Peter 1:23; Ephesians 5:26.

Note: “In giving us the privilege of studying His word, the Lord has set before us a rich banquet. Many are the benefits derived from feasting on His word, which is represented by Him as His flesh and blood, His spirit and life. By partaking of this word our spiritual strength is increased; we grow in grace and in a knowledge of the truth. Habits of self-control are formed and strengthened. The infirmities of childhood—fretfulness, willfulness, selfishness, hasty words, passionate acts—disappear, and in their place are developed the graces of Christian manhood and womanhood.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 207.

“As man uses his talents, however small, with faithfulness, the Holy Spirit takes the things of God, and presents them anew to the mind. Through His Spirit God makes His word a vivifying power. It is quick and powerful, exerting a strong influence upon minds, not because of the learning or intelligence of the human agent, but because divine power is working with the human power. And it is to the divine power that all praise is to be given.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 55.

  • What is the goal of true missionary education? 2 Peter 3:18.

Note: “The highest class of education is that which will give such knowledge and discipline as will lead to the best development of character, and will fit the soul for that life which measures with the life of God. Eternity is not to be lost out of our reckoning. The highest education is that which will teach our children and youth the science of Christianity, which will give them an experimental knowledge of God’s ways, and will impart to them the lessons that Christ gave to His disciples, of the paternal character of God.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 45, 46.

“The education and training of the youth is an important and solemn work. The great object to be secured should be the proper development of character, that the individual may be fitted rightly to discharge the duties of the present life and to enter at last upon the future, immortal life. Eternity will reveal the manner in which the work has been performed.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 418.



  • What did Christ’s work on earth involve? Matthew 4:23. How should we train our missionaries today to do a similar work? Why?

Note: “Let us remember that one most important agency is our medical missionary work. Never are we to lose sight of the great object for which our sanitariums are established—the advancement of God’s closing work in the earth.

“Loma Linda is to be not only a sanitarium, but an educational center. With the possession of this place comes the weighty responsibility of making the work of the institution educational in character. A school is to be established here for the training of gospel medical missionary evangelists.” Counsels on Health, 233.

“The school at Madison not only educates in a knowledge of the Scriptures, but it gives a practical training that fits the student to go forth as a self-supporting missionary to the field to which he is called. In his student days he is taught how to build, simply and substantially, how to cultivate the land and care for the injured. This training for medical-missionary work is one of the grandest objects for which any school can be established. …

“The time is soon coming when God’s people, because of persecution, will be scattered in many countries. Those who have received an all-round education will have the advantage where they are. The Lord reveals divine wisdom in thus leading His people to the training of all their faculties and capabilities for the work of disseminating truth.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 280.



1    Why is the special work of preparing missionaries more important now than ever before?

2    Explain the role of manual labor in education.

3    Why does the study of the Bible afford the best mental development?

4    What will be the result when students feast on the Word of God on a regular basis?

5     What skills help to make a well-rounded missionary?

© 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Recipe – Strawberry Guava Smoothie

Fragrant Guava

Guavas are fragrant, delicious tropical fruits that many Americans know only because they are frequently used in jellies. But these red-fleshed (and sometimes white-fleshed) fruits pack an amazing nutritional wallop. New government research demonstrates that guava may indeed deserve a place among the antioxidant elite. On one widely used test of antioxidant power, the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity [ORAC] test, guava beat out strawberries, spinach, and broccoli. (Both the red and white-fleshed types of guava scored in the top ten fruits and vegetables tested, but the red flesh had a higher antioxidant score.)

Lycopene in guava fights prostate and breast cancers. It has a higher concentration of the carotenoid lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable. Tomatoes are the main way Americans get their lycopene, but guavas are an even better source. A cup of guava has 17 percent more lycopene than an equivalent amount of tomatoes. … Cooked or uncooked, you get all the benefits of Guava. This fruit is a potassium heavyweight. One cup of guava cubes gives you 688 mg of potassium—63% more than a medium banana!

(Excerpts from The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, 119, Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S.)

Strawberry Guava Smoothie


1 cup quartered fresh strawberries

1/2 cup chopped guava (seeds removed first)

1/2 cup frozen mango cubes

3/4 cup unsweetened coconut or other non-dairy milk

If more sweetening needed, add a little honey or stevia drops to sweeten.


  • Prepare your strawberries by removing the stems and cutting into quarters. You should have 1 cup of quartered strawberries.
  • Prepare your guava by cutting in half, scooping out the seeds, and roughly chopping. Measure out 1/2 cup chopped fresh guava.
  • Blend together all ingredients until smooth.

Life Sketches – Brothers in Christ

According to Roman law, the trial of the apostle Paul could not take place until his accusers were able to present in person their charges against him. Because his accusers were in Jerusalem they were allowed time to make the journey to the city of Rome. In those days, little regard was shown for the rights of prisoners. An accused person could be kept in prison for a prolonged time due to the delay of the prosecutors to proffer their charges, or the trial could be deferred by the caprice of those in power.

A corrupt judge could hold a prisoner in custody for years without a trial as Felix did in the case of Paul. These judges, however, were at least amenable to a higher tribunal and that would serve, in a sense, to put some restraint upon them. But the emperor was not subject to any such restraint. His authority was, from a worldly point of view, virtually unlimited. The emperor of Rome often permitted caprice or malice or even indolence to hinder or prevent the administration of justice. The Jews in Jerusalem were not in any hurry to come to the city of Rome. They knew the odds against them for Lysias, Felix, Festus, and Agrippa, had all pronounced their accused innocent.

Paul’s enemies could hope for success only in seeking by intrigue to influence the emperor in their favor. Delay would actually further their objective and would afford them time to perfect and execute their plans. This would seem to be a terrible setback to the apostle who had been in Rome for about two years before his trial. Acts chapter 28, verses 30, 31 say, “Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.”

Paul did not live a life of inactivity even though he was under what we would call house arrest. In the providence of God, this very delay resulted in the furtherance of the gospel in Rome and from there to all parts of the world. He was allowed to freely receive friends and guests. He was daily presenting the truth to those who flocked to hear his words. In addition to this, he still had the care of the churches resting upon him. He supplied by written communications his personal instruction which they had formerly received. And so, from Rome, Paul sent out authorized delegates to labor among the churches that he had raised up.

These messengers rendered to him faithful service, and being in communication with them, he was informed about the condition and the dangers of the churches and was enabled to exercise a constant supervision over them. So, while he was apparently cut off from labor, he actually had a more powerful and more extensive influence during this period than any previous time of his life. He had a firmer hold upon the affections of his brethren in the faith. His words commanded even more interest, attention, and respect than when he was free and had been traveling among them.

When the Christians first learned that their beloved teacher had been made a prisoner, they mourned, they were despondent and would not be comforted, and they realized how heavy were the burdens that he had borne on their behalf. But now, they prized his counsel, his warnings and his instructions more than ever before. As they learned that their teacher still had courage, faith meekness, and gentleness in his long imprisonment, they also were stimulated to greater fidelity and zeal in the cause of Christ.

Among the assistance Paul had during this period of time was his fellow companion, Luke, the beloved physician, who had attended him on his journey from Jerusalem. Luke had been with him in Jerusalem. He had been with him on the ship when they had been shipwrecked. He had also been with him in Caesarea and remained a loyal companion and friend while in Rome. Timothy, one of his associate ministers that he himself had trained, also ministered to his comfort, and then there was Tychicus, his mail bearer who sent his messages to all the different churches that they had visited on their journey.

At the first, Demas and Mark were with him. Mark had once been refused by Paul as an unworthy Christian missionary, but since that time, Mark had reevaluated his position. He had come to see that the claims of God are above every other and that there is no release from the Christian warfare. Mark had obtained a more accurate and closer view of Paul’s Pattern, the man Jesus Christ.

Mark had seen in his mind’s eye the hands that were scarred from the conflict to save the lost and perishing and decided that he was going to follow his Master in a life of self-sacrifice and service. He understood, better than ever before, that it is infinite gain to win Christ at whatever cost. It is infinite loss to win the whole world and lose your soul for whose redemption Christ has paid the purchase price on the cross of Calvary. Through Mark’s experience he had become a faithful helper of the apostle.

In 2 Timothy chapter 4, Paul said, “Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry” (verse 11). There was another person that did not remain faithful. His name was Demas. Paul said, “Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica” (verse 10).  Demas had been a faithful helper of the apostle, but for worldly gain he bartered away every high and noble consideration. Millions of people are making this same short-sighted exchange today. If you possess only worldly wealth or honor, you are poor indeed, however much you may proudly call your own, while those who choose to suffer for Christ’s sake will have eternal riches. They will be heirs of God, joint heirs with His Son. Like their loving Saviour, they may not have on this earth even a place to lay their head, but in heaven, He is preparing for them mansions.

Many in their pride and ignorance forget that even if you gain the whole world, if you lose your own soul, you have not really gained anything, because what you have gained you will soon have to give up. Everything on this planet is temporary. In order to be happy, we all must learn the lesson of self-denial at the foot of the cross. We don’t want to have anything in this earth that is so firmly rooted to us that we cannot transplant it to paradise.

Paul’s experience during this time has been shared ever since by others who are faithful in God’s service. There are people who see that if you follow Christ all the way, there are going to be some trials to meet in this world. They seek to find for themselves some easier path where there are fewer risks and fewer dangers to meet by selfishly shunning the responsibilities that somebody needs to bear and thus increasing the burdens for the faithful Christian workers. At the same time they separate themselves from God and forfeit the reward that they might have won.

We need to always remember that Christ has hired us by the price of His own blood and of every one of His followers He requires effort that shall in some degree correspond with the price that has been paid and the infinite reward offered. It was during this period of time of his confinement that Paul wrote some of his most powerful epistles in the New Testament such as Philippians and Colossians.

It was also during this time that we get an inside view about how the apostle Paul dealt with the subject of slavery. Throughout the Roman Empire less than 50% of the people were free while the majority were slaves. The laws concerning slaves were very rigid and unfortunately for them also unjust and cruel.

During this two year period while the apostle was living in a rented house under house arrest by the Roman government, one of the persons that found the gospel through his teaching and preaching was a fugitive, a man by the name of Onesimus, who had been a slave. His master, Philemon, was a Christian who lived in the city of Colossae. Onesimus had stolen from his master and had fled to the city of Rome where he was a fugitive. While in Rome he heard the gospel. The truths of the gospel had touched his heart and when he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Saviour and was converted to the faith of Christ, he then confessed his sin against his master and gratefully accepted the counsel of the apostle.

There is no such thing as being converted to Christ and choosing to follow Him if we do not repent of and confess our past sins. The apostle sought to relieve Onesimus’ poverty and the distress of the wretched fugitive and he endeavored to shed the light of truth into his mind. Paul endeared himself to this fugitive by his piety, meekness, and sincerity.

Onesimus was faced with a problem. He was a slave who had stolen from his master and was now a fugitive. If he should go back, his master could do anything with him that he pleased. But Paul told Onesimus to go back to his master and that he, Paul, would be responsible for the amount that had been robbed from Philemon. Onesimus did not have the money to pay for it. So Paul sent Tychicus with letters to various churches in Asia minor, and he sent Onesimus in his company, and under his care.

This was a severe test for this servant to thus deliver himself back to his master that he had wronged. But he had been truly converted and as painful as it was, he did not shrink from doing his duty. He knew that if he was going to be part of the kingdom of Christ, he must make things right.

Paul made Onesimus the bearer of a letter to Philemon, in which the apostle Paul with great delicacy and yet kindness, pleaded the cause of the repentant slave, and intimated his own wishes concerning him. He wrote, “To Philemon our beloved friend and fellow laborer, to the beloved Apphia, Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers, hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints, that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgement of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.

“For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother. Therefore, though I might be very bold in Christ to command you what is fitting, yet for love’s sake I rather appeal to you—being such a one as Paul, the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ” (Philemon 1:1–9).

Paul could have commanded this Christian what he should do, but instead he decided to entreat Philemon. He said, “I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten while in my chains, who once was unprofitable to you, but now is profitable to you and to me. I am sending him back. You therefore receive him, that is, my own heart, whom I wished to keep with me, that on your behalf he might minister to me in my chains for the gospel. But without your consent I wanted to do nothing, that your good deed might not be by compulsion, as it were, but voluntary.

“For perhaps he departed for a while for this purpose, that you might receive him forever, no longer a slave but more than a slave—as a beloved brother, especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord” (verses 10–16).

Paul requests Philemon to receive this repentant slave as his own child, and then he says, in verses 17 and 18, “If then you count me as a partner, receive him as you would me. But if he has wronged you or owes you anything, put that on my account.”

This, by the way, is a wonderful illustration of the love of Christ toward a repenting sinner. As the servant who had defrauded his master, and had nothing with which to make restitution, so the sinner who has robbed God of years of service, has no means of cancelling the debt. But Jesus interposes, and appoints His mercy to the sinner’s account, and says, “I will pay the debt. Let the sinner be spared the punishment of his guilt. I will suffer in his stead.”

After assuming the debt of Onesimus, Paul gently reminded Philemon how greatly he himself was indebted to the apostle. He owed to him his own self in a special sense since God had made Paul the instrument of his conversion. So then in a most tender appeal, he says, “I, Paul, am writing with my own hand. I will repay—not to mention to you that you owe me even your own self besides. Yes, brother, let me have joy from you in the Lord: refresh my heart in the Lord.

“Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. But, meanwhile, also prepare a guest room for me, for I trust that through your prayers I shall be granted [or released] to you” (verses 19–22).  This epistle of Philemon has great value as a practical illustration of the influence of the gospel in the relation between a master and a servant. Slave-holding was an established institution throughout the Roman empire. And there were both masters and slaves found in most of the Christian churches for whom Paul labored. In the cities, the slaves often outnumbered the free population and laws of the most terrible severity were considered necessary to keep them in subjection. A wealthy Roman often owned hundreds of slaves of every rank, of every nation, and of every accomplishment. The master had full control upon the souls and bodies of these helpless beings. He could inflict upon them any suffering he chose, but if one of them in retaliation or self-defense ventured to raise a hand against his owner the slave’s whole family could be inhumanly sacrificed as a result, even if they were totally innocent.

Even the slightest mistake, accident, or carelessness could be punished without mercy. There were some masters who were more humane than others. They were more indulgent to their servants, but the vast majority of slave-owners in the Roman empire, the wealthy and the noble, gave themselves up without restraint to the indulgence of lust, passion, and appetite, and they made their slaves the wretched victims of caprice and tyranny.

The tendency of the whole system was hopelessly degrading. It was not the apostle Paul’s work to violently overturn at that time the established order of society. If he had attempted that, he would have prevented the success of the gospel. But he taught principles that struck at the very foundation of slavery, and that if carried into effect, would undermine the whole system. For example, Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17). The religion of Christ has a transforming power upon the receiver. And the converted slave becomes a member of the body of Christ and as such is to be loved and treated as a brother, a fellow heir with his Master, of the blessings of God and the privileges of the gospel.

At the same time, the converted slave was to perform his duties with fidelity, doing the will of God from the heart.  Paul says in Ephesians 6, “Bondservants, be obedient [subject] to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him” (verses 5–9).

And then to the church at Colossae, the very same area where Philemon lived, Paul said, “Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality. Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven” (Colossians 3:22–25; 4:1).

You see, Christianity makes a strong bond of union between master and slave, king and subject. The gospel minister and the most degraded sinner, who has found Christ, is relieved of the burden of crime. They have been washed, all in the same blood. They are quickened by the same Spirit and they are made one in Christ Jesus. Remember what Paul said, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

(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 Nugget – Operation Whitecoat

We impatiently watch as scientists race to find vaccines for new viruses endangering our lives today. Our world is not in this situation for the first time. Most people today are unaware that lots of the antibiotics and vaccines that we use today required a great sacrifice of young Seventh-day Adventists. Many effective medical drugs bear a significant Adventist footprint. But first, a little history.

In 1945, the U.S. Army and the Soviet Red Army raced to reach Germany. In addition to the goal of liberating Europe from Nazi occupation, there was one more goal: find and capture German scientists who were the world’s best at the time. Many of these scientists worked for the Nazi war machine, designing rockets and biological weapons. Many of them later stood trial for their war crimes. But the United States intervened in their favor in Operation Paperclip and whisked over 1,500 German scientists to the United States. Many of them found new high-ranking positions, eventually employed at NASA or in the U.S. biological weapon research where they could continue their research with no questions asked about their past.

One of those German scientists consulted by U.S. chemical warfare experts was Kurt Blome who tested chemicals on human prisoners in Nazi concentration camps. He was tried for his war crimes at the Nuremberg tribunal, but the United States intervened and acquitted him of his crimes in exchange for contributions to U.S. scientific research.

At the time, world leaders didn’t envision lasting peace. Many countries advanced significantly in the development of biological weapons and the United States couldn’t stay behind. The cold war was starting, and an armed conflict seemed often imminent.

The United States set up a biological warfare research facility in Fort Detrick, Maryland, in 1943. Aforementioned German scientist Kurt Blome was consulted for this camp research after the war. This facility’s mission was top secret and no one in the military really knew what went on behind its walls. Officially, it was used by weapons storage.

Many ex-Nazi German researchers claimed that testing biological agents on animals wasn’t adequate. No animal can substitute for testing on humans. Here the Seventh-day Adventist Church comes into place. Many young Adventists were conscientious objectors and were refusing to bear arms in the U.S. armed forces. So the U.S. military made an offer to the Seventh-day Adventist Church: Your young men can serve their country without bearing arms. They can help in biodefense of the United States. The Seventh-day Adventist Church accepted and signed an agreement.

Thousands of young Adventists started to enlist with the blessing of their church. Many of them ended up at Fort Detrick, Maryland, participating in the top-secret Operation Whitecoat, which ran from 1954 to 1973.

These Adventist young men were patriots. They were not indifferent to the accusations of being cowards, while their non-Adventist compatriots were sacrificing their lives in the U.S. military. These men were also the perfect bioresearch subjects. They were young, often vegetarian, in perfect health, their bodies unharmed by drinking or smoking. They were exactly what the U.S. military wanted.

These young men signed an agreement informing them that they would be exposed to harmful pathogens and chemicals. What will happen to them exactly? Will their health or life be endangered? No one had answers to these questions. While the research subjects were classified as “volunteers,” any kind of volunteerism is in doubt if the choices are violating one’s conscience or benefiting humanity as a human guinea pig. Get dangerously sick or get drafted to war? Many took the first option.

What happened at this secret facility? The campus had a metal sphere with windows that were airtight. It was called the Eight Ball. The army volunteers were locked into this ball and aerosolized bioagents were released into it. Researchers then monitored the subjects’ reactions. All subjects eagerly cooperated, which was a new experience for the German research team members. Afterward, these Adventist volunteers were quarantined and treated for any symptoms.

What were the experiments? The subjects were infected with Q-fever. The military was concerned that the disease, if weaponized, could incapacitate thousands of soldiers. The antidote tried was the antibiotic tetracycline. Another trial was yellow fever, which is a severe viral disease that kills the inhabitants of tropical areas. A vaccine was discovered at Fort Detrick for this infection. The portfolio of infections also included Rift Valley Fever (RVF) which is zoonotic, i.e., transferred from animals. We still have no cure, but an effective vaccine was discovered at Fort Detrick. Other examples are tularemia, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, sand-fly fever – all in the name of protecting the United States from the growing Soviet arsenal of biological weapons.

At other times the volunteers were accompanied by guinea pigs and macaques in their tents, waiting until a virus jumped from the animals to the young men. “Then came fevers, convulsions, chills, absolute numbness alternating with the feeling that the skeleton jumps out of my body. Two or three days were really hard for me. I really have never been any sicker than that,” recalls Merlin Neff, who was 23 at the time.

There were reportedly hundreds of substances and drugs tested. Sometimes the subjects had to be bitten by mosquitoes. Other times, they were locked in a shipping container, bus, or wagon. Then it was monitored how many of them would passively become infected. With what? They usually didn’t know.*

Many of the participants became violently ill. How did these young men feel about these experiments? “Some of the guys said that first they were afraid to die, and then some of them were afraid they wouldn’t die,” said Richard O. Stenbakken, director of Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries.*

President Richard Nixon finally ended these experiments in 1973. And what happened to the Eight Ball? It still sits largely forgotten on the Fort Detrick campus, today owned by the National Cancer Institute. It has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1977.

Whitecoat volunteers made up one of the largest human testing programs in the nation’s history. Many of these volunteers’ health was severely impacted for the rest of their lives. Yet, they were bound by military oath to remain silent until 1994 when this program was declassified. Sadly, these Adventist military members were unsuccessful in their petition for veteran benefits.

Every year, there are fewer and fewer of these volunteers alive.


Martin Bernar is a graphic designer and writes from Dallas, Texas.

Question – What is meant by eye salve?

I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see” (Revelation 3:18.)

“The eye salve is the true spiritual discernment that is so wanting among us, for spiritual things must be spiritually discerned.” The Review and Herald, April 1, 1890.

“The eye is the sensitive conscience, the inner light, of the mind. Upon its correct view of things the spiritual healthfulness of the whole soul and being depends. The ‘eye salve,’ the word of God, makes the conscience smart under its application; for it convicts of sin. But the smarting is necessary that the healing may follow, and the eye be single to the glory of God. The sinner, beholding himself in God’s great moral looking-glass, sees himself as God views him, and exercises repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ibid., November 23, 1897.

“… the oil for anointing is the oil of His grace, which will give spiritual eyesight to the soul in blindness and darkness, that he may distinguish between the workings of the Spirit of God and the spirit of the enemy. Open your doors, says the great Merchantman, the possessor of spiritual riches, and transact your business with Me. It is I, your Redeemer, who counsels you to buy of Me.” Ibid., August 7, 1894.

“God requires that the church arouse from her lethargy and see what is the manner of service demanded of her at this time of peril. The lambs of the flock must be fed. The Lord of heaven is looking on to see who is doing the work He would have done for the children and youth. The eyes of our brethren and sisters should be anointed with heavenly eye salve, that they may discern the necessities of the time. We must be aroused to see what needs to be done in Christ’s spiritual vineyard, and go to work.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers and Students, 42.

“The word of God is to be our spiritual food. ‘I am that bread of life’ (John 6:48), Christ said. … The world is perishing for want of pure, unadulterated truth. Christ is the truth. His words are truth, and they have a deeper significance than appears on the surface, and a value beyond their unpretending appearance. Minds that are quickened by the Holy Spirit will discern the value of these words. When our eyes are anointed with the holy eye salve, we shall be able to detect the precious gems of truth, even though they may be buried beneath the surface.” Reflecting Christ, 111.

Nature – Sea Squirts aka Tunicates

Tunicates, commonly called sea squirts, are a group of marine animals that spend most of their lives attached to docks, rocks or the undersides of boats. To most people they look like small, colored blobs. It often comes as a surprise to learn that they are actually more closely related to vertebrates like ourselves than to most other invertebrate animals.

Tunicates are part of the phylum Urochordata, closely related to the phylum Chordata that includes all vertebrates. Because of these close ties, many scientists are working hard to learn about their biochemistry, their developmental biology, and their genetic relationship to other invertebrate and vertebrate animals.

A tunicate is built like a barrel. The name, “tunicate” comes from the firm, but flexible body covering, called a tunic. Most tunicates live with the posterior, or lower end of the barrel attached firmly to a fixed object, and have two openings, or siphons, projecting from the other. Tunicates are plankton feeders. They live by drawing seawater through their bodies. Water enters the oral siphon, passes through a sieve-like structure, the branchial basket that traps food particles and oxygen, and is expelled through the atrial siphon.

One clue that tunicates are related to vertebrates is found in the tunicate larva, or tadpole. It even looks like a tiny tadpole, and has a nerve cord down its back, similar to the nerve cord found inside the vertebrae of all vertebrates. The Cerebral Vesicle is equivalent to a vertebrate’s brain. Sensory organs include an eyespot, to detect light, and an otolith, which helps the animal orient to the pull of gravity.

Tunicate tadpoles mature extremely quickly, in a matter of just a few hours. Since the tadpoles do not feed at this stage of their lives, they have no mouths. Their sole job is to find a suitable place to live out their lives as adults. When ready to settle, a sticky secretion helps them attach head first to the spot they have chosen. They then reabsorb all the structures within their tail and recycle them to build new structures needed for their adult way of life.

God had a reason for creating these beautiful creatures just as He had a reason for each one of us. As the sole work of the Sea Squirts is to find a suitable place to live out their lives as adults, so our work, or contribution, is to “walk in the light of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:5) and to “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

Keys to the Storehouse – Exciting Times

As I read the Ascension story of Jesus to heaven and all the beings awaiting His arrival, my heart just sang for joy and I prayed that I may be accounted worthy to see the heavenly country and all its peoples.

When John the Revelator was given a vision of heaven, Revelation 4:2–6 says that God the Father was there along with 24 elders and 4 beasts and many angels in Revelation 5:11. Perhaps this was the scene that awaited our Saviour when He ascended to heaven.

“There is the throne, and around it the rainbow of promise. There are cherubim and seraphim. The commanders of the angel hosts, the sons of God, the representatives of the unfallen worlds, are assembled. The heavenly council before which Lucifer had accused God and His Son, the representatives of those sinless realms over which Satan had thought to establish his dominion—all are there to welcome the Redeemer. They are eager to celebrate His triumph and to glorify their King.” The Desire of Ages, 832.

What a welcoming party for Jesus! “But He waves them back. … He enters into the presence of His Father. He points to His wounded head, the pierced side, the marred feet; He lifts His hands, bearing the print of nails. He points to the tokens of His triumph; He presents to God the wave sheaf, those raised with Him as representatives of that great multitude who shall come forth from the grave at His second coming. …

“The voice of God is heard proclaiming that justice is satisfied. Satan is vanquished. … The Father’s arms encircle His Son, and the word is given, ‘Let all the angels of God worship Him’ (Hebrews 1:6).” Ibid.

The celebration began! “With joy unutterable, rulers and principalities and powers acknowledge the supremacy of the Prince of life.

The angel host prostrate themselves before Him, while the glad shout fills all the courts of heaven, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing’ (Revelation 5:12).

Songs of triumph mingle with the music from angel harps, till heaven seems to overflow with joy and praise. Love has conquered. The lost is found.

Heaven rings with voices in lofty strains proclaiming, ‘Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever’ (Revelation 5:13).” Ibid.

I want to show that kind of love and honor also to the One who risked all to save mankind. We have the opportunity to meet all of these beings! Are you preparing for that day? We cannot afford to miss it!

Heavenly Father: Prepare our hearts at this moment and every moment up to the time of that wonderful second coming of Jesus to this earth. We want to join that heavenly ascension, to be welcomed into the heavenly country. What a day that will be. We thank You for the wonderful opportunity You have spread out before us. Please keep us faithful for that day. Amen.