Bible Study Guide — My Word Shall Not Pass Away

January 30 — February 6

Memory Verse: “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” 1 Thessalonians 2: 13.

Study Help: Great Controversy, pages 61 – 78.

Introduction: “The Bible is the most ancient and the most comprehensive history that men possess. It came fresh from the Fountain of eternal truth, and throughout the ages a divine hand has preserved its purity. It lights up the far-distant past, where human research seeks in vain to penetrate. In God’s word only do we behold the power that laid the foundations of the earth and that stretched out the heavens. Here only do we find an authentic account of the origin of nations. Here only is given a history of our race unsullied by human pride or prejudice. In the word of God the mind finds subjects for the deepest thought, the loftiest aspirations. Here we may hold communion with patriarchs and prophets, and listen to the voice of the Eternal as He speaks with men. Here we behold the Majesty of heaven as He humbled Himself to become our substitute and surety, to cope single-handed with the powers of darkness and to gain the victory in our behalf. A reverent contemplation of such themes as these cannot fail to soften, purify, and ennoble the heart, and at the same time to inspire the mind with new strength and vigor.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers and Students, 52-53.


  • What assurance are we given that God’s Word will not pass away? Matthew 5: 18, Matthew 24: 35, Luke 16: 17.


NOTE: “The law of God in the sanctuary in heaven is the great original, of which the precepts inscribed upon the tables of stone and recorded by Moses in the Pentateuch were an unerring transcript. Those who arrived at an understanding of this important point were thus led to see the sacred, unchanging character of the divine law. They saw, as never before, the force of the Saviour’s words: ‘Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law.’ Matthew 5: 18. The law of God, being a revelation of His will, a transcript of His character, must forever endure, ‘as a faithful witness in heaven.’ Not one command has been annulled; not a jot or tittle has been changed. Says the psalmist: ‘Forever, O Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven.’ ‘All His commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever.’ Psalms 119: 89; 111: 7 – 8.” Great Controversy, 434.


  • How does Jesus describe those who both hear and do the things found in the Word of God? Matthew 7: 24 – 27.


NOTE: “The law of God will be satisfied with nothing short of perfection, of perfect and entire obedience to all its claims. To come halfway to its requirements, and not render perfect and thorough obedience, will avail nothing. The worldling and the infidel admire consistency and have ever been powerfully convicted that God was of a truth with His people when their works correspond with their faith. ‘By their fruits ye shall know them.’ Every tree is known by its own fruits. Our words, our actions, are the fruit we bear. There are many who hear the sayings of Christ, but do them not. They make a profession, but their fruits are such as to disgust unbelievers. . . Their words and acts are wrong, and yet they seem to be blinded to their destitute, wretched condition. I was shown that the following Scripture is applicable to those who are under such a deception: ‘Not everyone that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.’ Here is the greatest deception that can affect the human mind; these persons believe that they are right when they are wrong. They think that they are doing a great work in their religious life, but Jesus finally tears off their self-righteous covering and vividly presents before them the true picture of themselves in all their wrongs and deformity of religious character. They are found wanting when it is forever too late to have their wants supplied.” Testimonies Volume 1, 416 – 417.


  • How were the things that God revealed to Moses passed on to future generations? Deuteronomy 31: 24 – 26.


NOTE: “As the years rolled on, and he [Moses] wandered with his flocks in solitary places, pondering upon the oppressed condition of his people, he recounted the dealings of God with his fathers and the promises that were the heritage of the chosen nation, and his prayers for Israel ascended by day and by night. Heavenly angels shed their light around him. Here, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he wrote the book of Genesis. The long years spent amid the desert solitudes were rich in blessing, not alone to Moses and his people, but to the world in all succeeding ages.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 251.

“Not only was Moses gaining a preparation for the great work before him, but during this time, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he wrote the book of Genesis and also the book of Job, which would be read with the deepest interest by the people of God until the close of time.” Sings of the Times, February 19,1880.

See also Spiritual Gifts Volume 4A, 65 and Review & Sabbath Herald, December 18, 1894.


  • How were the messages of other prophets handed down to future generations? Isaiah 30: 8, Jeremiah 30: 2.


NOTE: “The Lord directed Jeremiah, saying: ‘Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way, that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.’ ” Testimonies Volume 4, 176.

See also Prophets and Kings, 52.


  • What example has been given to show that God has preserved His law? 2 Chronicles 34: 14 – 16.


NOTE: “It was the observance of the statutes recorded by Moses, especially those given in the book of the covenant, which forms a part of Deuteronomy, that had made the reign of Hezekiah so prosperous. But Manasseh had dared set aside these statutes; and during his reign the temple copy of the book of the law, through careless neglect, had become lost. Thus for many years the people generally were deprived of its instruction. The long-lost manuscript was found in the temple by Hilkiah, the high priest, while the building was undergoing extensive repairs in harmony with King Josiah’s plan for the preservation of the sacred structure. The high priest handed the precious volume to Shaphan, a learned scribe, who read it and then took it to the king with the story of its discovery. Josiah was deeply stirred as he heard read for the first time the exhortations and warnings recorded in this ancient manuscript. Never before had he realised so fully the plainness with which God had set before Israel ‘life and death, blessing and cursing’ (Deuteronomy 30:19): and how repeatedly they had been urged to choose the way of life, that they might become a praise in the earth, a blessing to all nations…The encouragements offered as the reward of obedience were accompanied by prophecies of judgments against the disobedient; and as the king heard the inspired words, he recognised, in the picture set before him, conditions that were similar to those actually existing in his kingdom. In connection with these prophetic portrayals of departure from God, he was startled to find plain statements to the effect that the day of calamity would follow swiftly and that there would be no remedy. The language was plain; there could be no mistaking the meaning of the words.” Prophets and Kings, 392-393.


  • How did the Lord preserve the messages given through Jeremiah? Jeremiah 36: 10 – 28.


NOTE: “The burning of the roll was not the end of the matter. The written words were more easily disposed of than the reproof and warning they contained and the swift-coming punishment God had pronounced against rebellious Israel. But even the written roll was reproduced. ‘Take thee again another roll,’ the Lord commanded His servant, ‘and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah hath burned.’ The record of the prophecies concerning Judah and Jerusalem had been reduced to ashes; but the words were still living in the heart of Jeremiah, ‘as a burning fire,’ and the prophet was permitted to reproduce that which the wrath of man would fain have destroyed. Taking another roll, Jeremiah gave it to Baruch, ‘who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire: and there were added besides unto them many like words.’ Verses 28,32. The wrath of man had sought to prevent the labours of the prophet of God; but the very means by which Jehoiakim had endeavoured to limit the influence of the servant of Jehovah, gave further opportunity for making plain the divine requirements.” Prophets and Kings, 436- 437.


  • What insights have we been given about the production of the New Testament? Luke 1: 1 – 4.


NOTE: “Why do we need a Matthew, a Mark, a Luke, a John, a Paul, and all the writers who have borne testimony in regard to the life and ministry of the Saviour? Why could not one of the disciples have written a complete record and thus have given us a connected account of Christ’s earthly life? Why does one writer bring in points that another does not mention? Why, if these points are essential, did not all these writers mention them? It is because the minds of men differ. Not all comprehend things in exactly the same way. Certain Scripture truths appeal much more strongly to the minds of some than of others. . . . The Gospels differ, but the records of all blend in one harmonious whole. So today the Lord does not impress all minds in the same way. Often through unusual experiences, under special circumstances, He gives to some Bible students views of truth that others do not grasp.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers and Students, 432.


  • How does Peter describe the writings of Paul and their source? 2 Peter 3: 15.


NOTE: “In order to accomplish the work which God requires of them, ministers need to be qualified for their position. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Colossians, speaks thus concerning his ministry: ‘Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: whereunto I also labour, striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily.’ No less sacred appreciation of and devotion to the work of the ministry does God require of His servants who are living so near the end of all things.” Testimonies Volume 2, 501- 502.


  • How were the inspired counsels of Paul circulated among the churches? Colossians 4: 16.


NOTE: “The absence of Paul from the churches of his care was partially supplied by communications weighty and powerful, which were received generally as the word of God to them through His obedient servant. These epistles were read in the churches.” Spirit of Prophecy Volume 3, 415. See also Sketches from the Life of Paul, 153.


  • With what strong warning against tampering with God’s Word does the Bible close? Revelation 22: 18 – 19.


NOTE: See Great Controversy, page 268.


  • What prophecy foretold that God’s Word would continue to bear its witness even during the Great Tribulation of the Dark Ages? Revelation 11: 3.


NOTE: See Great Controversy, 267-268. (Read pages 265 – 288.)


  • What was the purpose for preserving these accounts of the history of God’s people? 1 Corinthians 10: 11.


NOTE: “I was pointed back to ancient Israel. But two of the adults of the vast army that left Egypt entered the land of Canaan. Their dead bodies were strewn in the wilderness because of their transgressions. Modern Israel are in greater danger of forgetting God and being led into idolatry than were His ancient people. . . . The sins and iniquities of rebellious Israel are recorded and the picture presented before us as a warning that if we imitate their example of transgression and depart from God we shall fall as surely as did they. “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.’ ” Testimonies Volume 1, 609.


  • What counsel are we given in the light of the example of the saints of old? Hebrews 12: 1 – 2.


NOTE: “Their example should quicken our zeal and increase our faith.” Advent Review & Sabbath Herald, October 18, 1881.


Bible Study Guide — These That Testify of Me

January 24—30

Memory Verse: “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: And they are they which testify of Me, and ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” John 5: 39–40. (KJV bible)

Study Help: Christian Education, 115–121.

Introduction: “In the Bible we have the unerring counsel of God. Its teachings, practically carried out, will fit men for any position of duty. It is the voice of God speaking every day to the soul. How carefully should the young study the word of God and treasure up its sentiments in the heart, that its precepts may be made to govern the whole conduct. Our young ministers, and those who have been some time preaching, show a marked deficiency in their understanding of the Scriptures. The work of the Holy Spirit is to enlighten the darkened understanding, to melt the selfish, stony heart, to subdue the rebellious transgressor, and save him from the corrupting influences of the world. The prayer of Christ for His disciples was: ‘Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.’ The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, pierces the heart of the sinner and cuts it in pieces. When the theory of the truth is repeated without its sacred influence being felt upon the soul of the speaker, it has no force upon the hearers, but is rejected as error, the speaker making himself responsible for the loss of souls. We must be sure that our ministers are converted men, humble, meek, and lowly of heart.” Testimonies Volume 4, 441.


  • What warning does God give to those who seek to add to or take away from His Word? Deuteronomy 4: 2, Revelation 22: 18 – 19.


NOTE: “Such are the warnings which God has given to guard men against changing in any manner that which He has revealed or commanded. These solemn denunciations apply to all who by their influence lead men to regard lightly the law of God. They should cause those to fear and tremble who flippantly declare it a matter of little consequence whether we obey God’s law or not. All who exalt their own opinions above divine revelation, all who would change the plain meaning of Scripture to suit their own convenience, or for the sake of conforming to the world, are taking upon themselves a fearful responsibility. The written word, the law of God, will measure the character of every man and condemn all whom this unerring test shall declare wanting.” Great Controversy, 268.


  • How may we be certain that the Law of God is complete and unchangeable? Deuteronomy 5: 22.


NOTE: “There is no such thing as weakening or strengthening the law of Jehovah. As it has been, so it is. It always has been, and always will be, holy, just, and good, complete in itself. It cannot be repealed or changed. To ‘honour’ or ‘dishonour’ it is but the speech of men.” Prophets and Kings, 625.


  • How did Jesus use the Old Testament Scriptures to show the truth about Himself? Luke 24: 27.


NOTE: “In our day there is…danger of closing the Bible to the people through misinterpretation of the word of God. Many are casting contempt upon the Old Testament Scriptures, but these are not to lose their sacredness; throughout all time they are not to be dropped out of our instruction.” Signs of the Times, April 2,1896. See also Christ’s Object Lessons, 126.


  • How may we be certain that the writings of the New Testament are also inspired scripture? 2 Peter 3: 15 – 16.


NOTE: “God gives us sufficient evidence to enable us to accept the truth understandingly; but He does not propose to remove all occasion for doubt and unbelief. Should He do this, there would no longer be a necessity for the exercise of faith; for we would be able to walk by sight. All who with a teachable spirit study the word of God, may learn there from the way of salvation; yet they may not be able to understand every portion of the Sacred Record. The apostle Peter declares that in the epistles of Paul, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, there are ‘some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable, wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.’ . . . Those who are continually looking for something to find fault with, something to strengthen unbelief in the word of God, will soon find themselves so completely under the power of doubt and unbelief that nothing will seem sure to them; they will find no solid foundation anywhere.” Signs of the Times, June 23, 1887.


  • What was the burden of the prophets’ message and how were they guided in their search? 1 Peter 1: 10 – 11.


NOTE: “Yet while it was not given to the prophets to understand fully the things revealed to them, they earnestly sought to obtain all the light which God had been pleased to make manifest. They ‘inquired and searched diligently,’ ‘searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify.’ What a lesson to the people of God in the Christian age, for whose benefit these prophecies were given to His servants! ‘Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister.’ Witness those holy men of God as they ‘inquired and searched diligently’ concerning revelations given them for generations that were yet unborn. Contrast their holy zeal with the listless unconcern with which the favoured ones of later ages treat this gift of Heaven. What a rebuke to the ease-loving, world-loving indifference which is content to declare that the prophecies cannot be understood!” Great Controversy, 344.


  • How did Peter emphasise the importance of studying the messages of the prophets? 2 Peter 1: 19. (Compare Psalm 119: 105.)


NOTE: “The apostle was well qualified to speak of the purposes of God concerning the human race; for during the earthly ministry of Christ he had seen and heard much that pertained to the kingdom of God. ‘We have not followed cunningly devised fables,’ he reminded the believers, ‘when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye-witnesses of His majesty’… Convincing as was this evidence of the certainty of the believers’ hope, there was yet another still more convincing in the witness of prophecy, through which the faith of all might be confirmed and securely anchored. ‘We have also,’ Peter declared, ‘a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts.” Advent Review & Sabbath Herald, September 26,1912.

See also Advent Review & Sabbath Herald, April 2,1908.


  • What principle of Bible study is recommended to the one who seeks wisdom? Isaiah 28: 9 – 10.


NOTE: “Whenever practicable, every important discourse should be followed by a Bible study. Here the points that have been presented can be applied, questions can be asked, and right ideas inculcated. More time should be devoted to patiently educating the people, giving them opportunity to express themselves. It is instruction that men need, line upon line, and precept upon precept. Special meetings also should be held for those who are becoming interested in the truths presented and who need instruction. To these meetings, the people should be invited, and all, both believers and unbelievers, should have an opportunity to ask questions on points not fully understood. Give all an opportunity to speak of their perplexities, for they will have them. In all the sermons and in all the Bible studies, let the people see that on every point a plain ‘Thus saith the Lord’ is given for the faith and doctrines which we advocate. This was the method of Christ’s teaching. As He spoke to the people, they would question as to His meaning. To those who were humbly seeking for light, He was always ready to explain His words. But Christ did not encourage criticism or cavilling, nor should we. When men try to provoke a discussion of controverted points of doctrine, tell them that the meeting was not appointed for that purpose. When you do answer a question, be sure to have the hearers see and acknowledge that it is answered. Do not let a question drop, telling them to ask it again. Feel your way step by step, and know how much you have gained.” Testimonies Volume 6, 68-69.


  • What testimony is to be found throughout the Scriptures? How only can this testimony be revealed to us? John 5: 38 – 40.


NOTE: “There is not always perfect order or apparent unity in the Scriptures. The miracles of Christ are not given in exact order, but are given just as the circumstances occurred, which called for this divine revealing of the power of Christ. The truths of the Bible are as pearls hidden. They must be searched, dug out by painstaking effort. Those who take only a surface view of the Scriptures will, with their superficial knowledge, which they think is very deep, talk of the contradictions of the Bible, and question the authority of the Scriptures. But those whose hearts are in harmony with truth and duty will search the Scriptures with a heart prepared to receive divine impressions. The illuminated soul sees a spiritual unity, one grand golden thread running through the whole, but it requires patience, thought, and prayer to trace out the precious golden thread. Sharp contentions over the Bible have led to investigation and revealed the precious jewels of truth. Many tears have been shed, many prayers offered, that the Lord would open the understanding to His Word.” Selected Messages Book 1, 20.


  • How does prophecy reveal the inspiration of the Bible? Isaiah 46: 9 – 10.


NOTE: “No truth is more clearly taught in the Bible than that God by His Holy Spirit especially directs His servants on earth in the great movements for the carrying forward of the work of salvation. Men are instruments in the hand of God, employed by Him to accomplish His purposes of grace and mercy. Each has his part to act; to each is granted a measure of light, adapted to the necessities of his time, and sufficient to enable him to perform the work which God has given him to do. But no man, however honoured of Heaven, has ever attained to a full understanding of the great plan of redemption, or even to a perfect appreciation of the divine purpose in the work for his own time. Men do not fully understand what God would accomplish by the work which He gives them to do; they do not comprehend, in all its bearings, the message which they utter in His name. ‘Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?’ ‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

‘I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done.’ Job 11:7; Isaiah 55:8, 9; 46:9, 10.” Great Controversy, 343.


  • What is one of the strongest evidences of the Bible’s inspiration? Numbers 11: 23.


NOTE: “He that ruleth in the heavens is the One who sees the end from the beginning—the One before whom the mysteries of the past and the future are alike outspread, and who, beyond the woe and darkness and ruin that sin has wrought, beholds the accomplishment of His own purposes of love and blessing.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 43. See also Acts of the Apostles, 11.


  • Of what great truth did Solomon assure the people of Israel? 1 Kings 8:56, Luke 21:33.


NOTE: “Can you not trust in your heavenly Father? Can you not rest upon His gracious promise? ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ Precious promise! Can we not rely upon it? Can we not have implicit trust, knowing that He is faithful who hath promised? I entreat you to let your trembling faith again grasp the promises of God. Bear your whole weight upon them with unwavering faith; for they will not, they cannot, fail.” Testimonies Volume 2, 496-497.


  • Amid the passing things of earth, of what are we assured? Isaiah 40:6 – 8.


NOTE: “Like the builders of these houses on the rock, said Jesus, is he who shall receive the words that I have spoken to you, and make them the foundation of his character and life. Centuries before, the prophet Isaiah had written, ‘The word of our God shall stand forever’ (Isaiah 40:8); and Peter, long after the Sermon on the Mount was given, quoting these words of Isaiah added, ‘This is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you’ (1 Peter 1:25). The word of God is the only steadfast thing our world knows. It is the sure foundation. ‘Heaven and earth shall pass away,’ said Jesus, ‘but My words shall not pass away.’ Matthew 24:35.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 148.


Bible Study Guide — All Scripture Is Given By Inspiration Of God

January 17—23

Memory Verse: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16 – 17 STUDY HELP: Great Controversy, Introduction pages v – xii.

Introduction “In the Bible, we have the unerring counsel of God. Its teachings, practically carried out, will fit men for any position of duty. It is the voice of God speaking every day to the soul. How carefully should the young study the word of God and treasure up its sentiments in the heart, that its precepts may be made to govern the whole conduct. Our young ministers, and those who have been some time preaching, show a marked deficiency in their understanding of the Scriptures. The work of the Holy Spirit is to enlighten the darkened understanding, to melt the selfish, stony heart, to subdue the rebellious transgressor, and save him from the corrupting influences of the world. The prayer of Christ for His disciples was: ‘Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.’ The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, pierces the heart of the sinner and cuts it in pieces. When the theory of the truth is repeated without its sacred influence being felt upon the soul of the speaker, it has no force upon the hearers, but is rejected as error, the speaker making himself responsible for the loss of souls. We must be sure that our ministers are converted men, humble, meek, and lowly of heart.” Testimonies Volume 4, 442.

  • How did the Scriptures come to be written? 2 Timothy 3: 16


NOTE: ” ‘Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.’ The word and will of God are expressed in the Scriptures by inspired penmen. We should bind them as frontlets between our eyes and walk according to their precepts; then we shall walk safely. Every chapter and every verse is a communication of God to man. In studying the word, the soul that hungers and thirsts for righteousness will be impressed by the divine utterances. Scepticism can have no power over a soul that with humility searches the Scriptures.” Testimonies Volume 4, 449.


  • What part did the Holy Spirit play in the writings of the prophets? Micah 3: 8, 2 Peter 1: 21.


NOTE: “Before the entrance of sin, Adam enjoyed open communion with his Maker; but since man separated himself from God by transgression, the human race has been cut off from this high privilege. By the plan of redemption, however, a way has been opened whereby the inhabitants of the earth may still have connection with heaven. God has communicated with men by His Spirit, and divine light has been imparted to the world by revelations to His chosen servants.” Great Controversy, Introduction page 1.


  • How did Paul describe the source of his knowledge of Christ? Ephesians 3: 3 – 6.


NOTE: “The Lord had given Paul his commission to enter the broad missionary field of the Gentile world. To prepare him for this extensive and difficult work, God had brought him into close connection with Himself and had opened before his enraptured vision views of the beauty and glory of heaven. To him had been given the ministry of making known ‘the mystery’ which had been ‘kept secret since the world began’ (Romans 16:25), ‘the mystery of His will’ (Ephesians 1:9), ‘which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.’ ” Acts of the Apostles, 159.


  • Why could the Scriptures not have been written without the Holy Spirit’s guidance? 2 Corinthians 2: 9 – 11.


NOTE: “If it were possible for created beings to attain to a full understanding of God and His works, then, having reached this point, there would be for them no further discovery of truth, no growth in knowledge, no further development of mind or heart. God would no longer be supreme; and men, having reached the limit of knowledge and attainment, would cease to advance. Let us thank God that it is not so. God is infinite; in Him are ‘all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.’ And to all eternity men may be ever searching, ever learning, and yet they can never exhaust the treasures of His wisdom, His goodness, and His power. God intends that, even in this life, truth shall be ever unfolding to His people. There is only one way in which this knowledge can be obtained. We can attain to an understanding of God’s word only through the illumination of that Spirit by which the word was given.” Testimonies Volume 5, 703.


  • How did God communicate His will to His people Israel? 2 Kings 17: 13.


NOTE: “In giving the word, ‘holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.’ The word was not given at the option of men, and the use to be made of it is not left to their option. Men may not dissect or pronounce upon, wrest or misinterpret, take from or cast aside, any portion of that word according to their own judgement. Although its compilation, preservation, and transmission have been committed to men, it is wholly divine in its origin and in the thoughts expressed. It may not be demerited and pronounced upon by finite minds, because of its transmission through human agents.” Bible Echo, August 26, 1895.


  • How did the prophets show the origin of their messages? Jeremiah 1: 1–2, 7, 9; Ezekiel 1: 3, Malachi 1: 1, Micah 1: 1.


NOTE: ‘The Bible is God’s word, and is for His people. It was communicated by men; but ‘they spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.’ It was given at different periods, and the men called to express the divine will and diffuse the light of truth, were chosen from all stations, from the humblest to the most exalted. The wonderful thing about it is the harmony there is in the divine word, coming to us, as it does, through these different channels and such widely separated periods. Each wrote in his own natural style, giving utterance, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to his own personal impressions, relating the events and scenes opened before him, or made to pass before his eyes; yet link is connected with link in the chain of precious truth given us in the word of God. The plan of redemption, and the will and character of God, are revealed to meet the necessities of man in every age; for these human instrumentalities were under divine control, and are not false witnesses of what they saw and heard.” Bible Echo, August 19, 1895.


  • How did Paul’s hearers regard the things that he preached to them? 1 Thessalonians 2: 13.


NOTE: “The disciples were men who knew how to speak and pray sincerely, men who could take hold of the might of the Strength of Israel. How closely they stood by the side of God, and bound their personal honour to His throne! Jehovah was their God. His honour was their honour. His truth was their truth. Any attack made upon the gospel was as if cutting deep into their souls, and with every power of their being they battled for the cause of Christ. They could hold forth the word of life because they had received the heavenly anointing. They expected much, and therefore they attempted much. Christ had revealed Himself to them, and to Him they looked for guidance. Their understanding of truth and their power to withstand opposition were proportionate to their conformity to God’s will. Jesus Christ, the wisdom and power of God, was the theme of every discourse. His name—the only name given under heaven whereby men can be saved, was by them exalted. As they proclaimed the completeness of Christ, the risen Saviour, their words moved hearts, and men and women were won to the gospel. Multitudes who had reviled the Saviour’s name and despised His power now confessed themselves disciples of the Crucified.” Acts of the Apostles, 594.


  • How did Paul indicate that the counsel He was sharing was from the Lord? 1 Corinthians 7: 10; 11: 23.


NOTE: “Patriarchs, prophets, and apostles spoke as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost, and they plainly stated that they spoke not by their own power, nor in their own name. They desired that no credit might be ascribed to them, that no one might regard them as the originators of anything whereof they might glory. They were jealous for the honour of God, to whom all praise belongs. They declared that their ability and the messages they brought, were given them as delegates of the power of God. God was their authority and sufficiency. Jesus had imparted a knowledge of God to patriarchs, prophets, and apostles. The revelations of the Old Testament were emphatically the unfoldings of the gospel, the unveiling of the purpose and will of the infinite Father. Through the holy men of old, Christ laboured for the salvation of fallen humanity. And when He came to the world it was with the same message of redemption from sin, and restoration to the favour of God.” Advent Review & Sabbath Herald, January 7, 1890.


  • How did Paul distinguish between the Word of the Lord and his own counsel? 1 Corinthians 7: 12, 25, 40.


NOTE: “The Lord has one path of safety for His people, and that is the path of obedience to His word. That word is given to us as our guide. God is its Author; but the Scriptures were written by human hands, and they bear marks of the individuality of the different writers. In every book of the Bible, the stamp of the mind and character of the writer is manifest. And this is just as God designed it should be. He does nothing in the plan of redemption without human cooperation.” Bible Echo, August 19, 1895.


  • How did John describe the source of his writings? Revelation 1:1 – 3.


NOTE: “Christ’s aged representative was exiled, that his testimony might no longer be heard; for it was a living power on the side of right. But though separated from his brethren, he was visited by Christ, whom he had not seen since the ascension. ‘I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,’ he writes, ‘and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last. . . . I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore.’ Christ knew just where to find John; and there, on the lonely island, He gave him a view of the closing scenes of this earth’s history. This has been recorded for us. The record is ‘the revelation of Jesus Christ.’ The Revealer is the Revealed. The living God is shown, superintending, day by day, the events connected with His church.” Advent Review & Sabbath Herald, May 16, 1899.


  • What was the response of the people to the teaching of Jesus? Matthew 7: 28 – 29.


NOTE: “When Jesus spoke to the people, they were astonished at His doctrine; for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. The scribes had laboured to establish their theories, and they had to labour to sustain them, and to keep their influence over the minds of the people, by endless repetition of fables and childish traditions. The loftiest models of public instruction consisted largely in going through heartless rounds of unmeaning ceremonies, and in the repetition of frivolous opinions. The teaching of Jesus inculcated the weightiest ideas and the most sublime truths in the most comprehensible and simple manner, and ‘the common people heard Him gladly.’ This is the kind of instruction that should be given in our Sabbath-schools.” Testimonies on Sabbath School Work, 40. See also, Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 46-47 and Desire of Ages, 253.


  • What was the source of Christ’s teaching? John 7: 16.


NOTE: “His discourse showed that he was well acquainted with the law in all its bearings, and was a clear interpreter of the Scriptures. The question passes from one to another, ‘How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?’ Some, less acquainted with His former life, inquire among themselves in what school He has been instructed. Finally, the rulers recover their presence of mind sufficiently to demand by what authority He stands so boldly teaching the people. They seek to turn the attention of the multitude from Jesus to the question of His right to teach, and to their own importance and authority. But the voice of Jesus answers their queries with thrilling power: ‘My doctrine is not Mine, but His that sent me. If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory; but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.’ Jesus here declares that His Heavenly Father is the source of all strength, and the foundation of all wisdom. No natural talent nor acquired learning can supply the place of a knowledge of the will of God. A willingness to obey the requirements of the Lord opens the mind and heart to candid inquiry, and diligent searching for the doctrine of truth. He declares that, with a mind thus open, men can discern between him who speaks in the cause of God and him who speaks for his own glory for selfish purposes.” Spirit of Prophecy Volume 2, 339.


Bible Study Guide — Sundry Times and Diverse Manners

January 10—16

MEMORY VERSE: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds.” Hebrews 1:1 – 2.

STUDY HELP: Education, pages 128 – 134.

INTRODUCTION: “Since the book of nature and the book of revelation bear the impress of the same mastermind, they cannot but speak in harmony. By different methods, and in different languages, they witness to the same great truths. Science is ever discovering new wonders; but she brings from her research nothing that, rightly understood, conflicts with divine revelation. The book of nature and the written word shed light upon each other. They make us acquainted with God by teaching us something of the laws through which He works.” Education, 128.


  • What knowledge did Jesus say was essential for us to receive eternal life? John 17: 3, 1 John 5: 20.


NOTE: “Having received the faith of the gospel, the next work of the believer is to add to his character virtue, and thus cleanse the heart and prepare the mind for the reception of the knowledge of God. This knowledge is the foundation of all true education and of all true service. It is the only real safeguard against temptation; and it is this alone that can make one like God in character. Through the knowledge of God and of His Son Jesus Christ, are given to the believer ‘all things that pertain unto life and godliness.’ No good gift is withheld from him who sincerely desires to obtain the righteousness of God.” Acts of the Apostles, 530.


  • What things also come to us through this knowledge? In practical terms, how does this knowledge come to us? 2 Peter 1: 2 – 4.


NOTE: “Through faith in Christ, every deficiency of character may be supplied, every defilement cleansed, every fault corrected, every excellence developed. ‘Ye are complete in Him.’ Colossians 2:10. Prayer and faith are closely allied, and they need to be studied together. In the prayer of faith, there is a divine science; it is a science that everyone who would make his lifework a success must understand. Christ says, ‘What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.’ Mark 11:24. He makes it plain that our asking must be according to God’s will; we must ask for the things that He has promised, and whatever we receive must be used in doing His will. The conditions met, the promise is unequivocal. For the pardon of sin, for the Holy Spirit, for a Christlike temper, for wisdom and strength to do His work, for any gift He has promised, we may ask; then we are to believe that we receive, and return thanks to God that we have received. We need look for no outward evidence of the blessing. The gift is in the promise, and we may go about our work assured that what God has promised He is able to perform, and that the gift, which we already possess, will be realised when we need it most.” Education, 257 – 258.


  • How was God’s character manifested in His work of creation? Genesis 1: 4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31.


NOTE: “God manifested His love in the work of creation. When the earth was created, it was holy and beautiful. God pronounced it ‘very good.’ . . . Everything upon which the eye rested was lovely, and filled the mind with thoughts of the love of God. Every sound was music, in perfect harmony with the voice of God. The things of nature, upon which we look to-day, give us but a faint conception of Eden’s beauty and glory; yet the natural world, with unmistakable voice, proclaims the love of God. Even now, ‘the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.’ It still reveals the working of the great Master-Artist. It declares that One omnipotent in power, great in goodness and mercy, has created all things. The green fields, the lofty trees, the glad sunshine, the clouds, the dew, the solemn silence of the night, the glory of the starry heavens, and the moon in its beauty, all bear witness to His wonder-working power. Not a drop of rain falls, not a ray of light is shed upon our unthankful world, but it testifies to God’s long forbearance and His great love.” Australasian Union Record, June 1, 1901.


  • How does the world, marred as it is by sin, still manifest God’s love? Psalm 104.


NOTE: “The impress of Deity, manifest in the pages of revelation, is seen upon the lofty mountains, the fruitful valleys, the broad, deep ocean. The things of nature speak to man of his Creator’s love. He has linked us to Himself by unnumbered tokens in heaven and in earth. This world is not all sorrow and misery. ‘God is love,’ is written upon every opening bud, upon the petals of every flower, and upon every spire of grass. Though the curse of sin has caused the earth to bring forth thorns and thistles, there are flowers upon the thistles, and the thorns are hidden by roses. All things in nature testify to the tender, fatherly care of our God, and to His desire to make His children happy. His prohibitions and injunctions are not intended merely to display His authority, but in all that He does, He has the well-being of His children in view. He does not require them to give up anything that it would be for their best interest to retain.” Christian Education, 67.


  • Against what did Paul warn Timothy? 1 Timothy 6: 20 – 21.


NOTE: “This instruction is vital, and may be considered with profit. We are to rely upon the word of God, and not upon the assertion or speculation of human philosophy. The soul is to be nourished by the pure, unadulterated word of God; and by persevering search the Bible student will find a ‘feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.’ Then the language of the heart will be, ‘Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart.’ ” Signs of the Times, July 31, 1893. See also Bible Echo, August 26, 1895.


  • Why cannot human wisdom bring men to a knowledge of God and His works? Romans 11: 33, 1 Corinthians 3: 18 – 20.


NOTE: “Those who boast of wisdom beyond the teaching of the word of God, need to drink deeper of the fountain of knowledge, that they may learn their real ignorance. There is a boasted wisdom of men, that is foolishness in the sight of God. Let no man deceive himself. ‘If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.’[1 Corinthians 3:19.] Those who have only this wisdom, need to become fools in their own estimation. The greatest ignorance that now curses the human race is in regard to the binding claims of the law of God; and this ignorance is the result of neglecting the study of the word of God. It is Satan’s determined plan to so engage and absorb the mind, that God’s great guide book shall not be the Book of books, and that the sinner may not be led from the path of transgression to the path of obedience.” Christian Education, 107.


  • For what purpose were the Scriptures written and for whom? 1 Corinthians 10: 11.


NOTE: “I saw that many professed Sabbath-keepers will come short of everlasting life. They fail to take warning from the course pursued by the children of Israel and fall into some of their evil ways. If they continue in these sins, they will fall like the Israelites and never enter the heavenly Canaan. ‘Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.’ I saw that many would fall this side of the kingdom. God is testing and proving His people, and many will not endure the test of character, the measurement of God. Many will have close work to overcome their peculiar traits of character and be without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, unrebukable before God and man. Many professed Sabbathkeepers will be no special benefit to the cause of God or the church without a thorough reformation on their part.” Testimonies Volume 1, 533.


  • What effect will the Word of God have on those who diligently study its words and heed its instruction? 2 Timothy: 16 – 17.


NOTE: “It is by the perusal of the Bible that the mind is strengthened, refined, and elevated. If there were not another book in the wide world, the word of God, lived out through the grace of Christ, would make man perfect in this world, with a character fitted for the future, immortal life. Those who study the word, taking it in faith as the truth, and receiving it into the character, will be complete in Him who is all and in all. Thank God for the possibilities set before humanity. But a study of the many different authors confuses and wearies the mind, and has a detrimental influence upon the religious life. In the Bible are specified distinctly man’s duties to God and to his fellow men; but without a study of the word, how can these requirements be met? We must have a knowledge of God; for ‘this is life eternal,’ said Christ, ‘that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.’ ” Special Testimonies on Education, 149.


  • Besides the written word, what source of knowledge has God given to mankind? John 1: 14, 1 John 1: 1 – 2.


NOTE: “It was not until Christ ascended to his Father, not until the descent of the Holy Spirit, that the disciples fully appreciated the character and the mission of Christ. After the baptism of the Holy Spirit, they began to realise that they had been in the very presence of the Lord of life and glory. As the Holy Spirit brought the sayings of Christ to their remembrance, their understanding was opened to comprehend the prophecies, to understand the mighty miracles which he had wrought. The wonders of his life, in all its sacredness, greatness, and glory, passed before them, and they were as men wakened from a dream. They realized that ‘the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth,’ They seemed of much less importance in their own eyes, after their awakening to the fact that Christ had been among them, than they did before they realised this. They never wearied of rehearsing every item which had come under their notice in connection with his words and works. They were often filled with remorse at their stupidity and unbelief and is apprehension as they recalled his lessons of instruction which they had but dimly understood when he had spoken them in their presence, and which now came to them as a fresh revelation. The criptures became a new book to them.” Review & Sabbath Herald, April 23, 1895.


  • What experience must be ours also? John 17: 3.


NOTE: “Many who have an intelligent knowledge of the truth, and are able to defend it by arguments, are doing nothing for the upbuilding of Christ’s kingdom. We meet them from time to time, but they bear no fresh testimonies of personal experience in the Christian life; they relate no new victories gained in the holy warfare. Instead of this, you notice the same old routine, the same expressions in prayer and exhortation. Their prayers have no new note; they express no greater intelligence in the things of God, no more earnest, living faith. Such persons are not living plants in the garden of the Lord, sending forth fresh shoots and new foliage, and the grateful fragrance of a holy life. They are not growing Christians. They have limited views and plans, and there is no expansion of mind, no valuable additions to the treasures of Christian knowledge. Their powers have not been taxed in this direction. They have not learned to view men and things as God views them, and in many cases unsanctified sympathy has injured souls and greatly crippled the cause of God. The spiritual stagnation that prevails is terrible. Many lead a formal Christian life and claim that their sins have been forgiven, when they are as destitute of any real knowledge of Christ as is the sinner.” Testimonies Volume 5, 264-265.


  • Whom did Jesus appoint to take His place as the Friend and Guide of His people? John 14: 16 – 17.


NOTE: The word “Comforter” translates the Greek word ‘Parakletos’ which literally means “one called to stand beside.” Jesus was a Comforter and the Holy Spirit is to take His place as “another Comforter”. “There is no comforter like Christ, so tender and so true. He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. His Spirit speaks to the heart. Circumstances may separate us from our friends; the broad, restless ocean may roll between us and them. Though their sincere friendship may still exist, they may be unable to demonstrate it by doing for us that which would be gratefully received. But no circumstances, no distance, can separate us from the heavenly Comforter. Wherever we are, wherever we may go, He is always there, one given in Christ’s place, to act in His stead. He is always at our right hand, to speak soothing, gentle words; to support, sustain, uphold, and cheer. The influence of the Holy Spirit is the life of Christ in the soul. This Spirit works in and through every one who receives Christ. Those who know the indwelling of this Spirit reveal its fruit—love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.” Advent Review & Sabbath Herald, October 26, 1897.


  • What specific promises of help are we given concerning the Holy Spirit? John 14: 26, 16: 8 – 13.


NOTE: “God does not ask us to do in our own strength the work before us. He has provided divine assistance for all the emergencies to which our human resources are unequal. He gives the Holy Spirit to help in every strait, to strengthen our hope and assurance, to illuminate our minds and purify our hearts.” Testimonies Volume 8, 19.


Bible Study Guide — Hear Ye the Word of the Lord

January 3 — 9

General Introduction 

“I have been shown that the doubts expressed in regard to the truth fulness of our position and the inspiration of the word of God are not caused as many suppose them to be. These difficulties are not so much with the Bible or with the evidences of our faith as with their own hearts. The requirements of God’s word are too close for their unsanctified natures. “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” If the feelings of the natural heart are not restrained and brought into subjection by the sanctifying influence of the grace of God received through the channel of faith, the thoughts of the heart are not pure and holy. The conditions of salvation brought to view in the word of God are reasonable, plain, and positive, being nothing less than perfect conformity to the will of God and purity of heart and life. We must crucify self with the lusts thereof. We must cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

In almost every case where persons become unsettled in regard to the inspiration of the word of God, it is on account of their unsanctified lives, which that word condemns. They will not receive its reproofs and threatenings because these reflect upon their wrong course of action. They do not love those who would convert and restrain them. Difficulties and doubts which perplex the vicious heart will be cleared away before the one practising the pure principles of truth.

Many possess talents which would accomplish much good if sanctified and used in the cause of Christ, or much harm if employed in the service of unbelief and Satan. The gratification of self and its various lusts will pervert the talents and make them a curse instead of a blessing. Satan, the archdeceiver, possesses wonderful talents. He was once an exalted angel, next to Christ. He fell through self-exaltation, and created a rebellion in heaven, and caused many to fall with him. Then his talents and skill were employed against the government of God, to cause all whom he could control to despise the authority of heaven. Those who are charmed with his Satanic majesty may choose to imitate this fallen general and share with him his fate at last.

Purity of life imparts refinement, which will lead those possessing it to shrink more and more from coarseness and indulgence in sin. Such will not be led away from the truth or be given up to doubt the inspiration of the word of God. On the contrary, they will engage in the daily study of the sacred word with ever-increasing interest, and the evidences of Christianity and inspiration will stamp their impress on the mind and life. Those who love sin will turn away from the Bible, will love to doubt, and will become reckless in principle. They will receive and advocate false theories. Such will ascribe man’s sins to his circumstances, and when he commits some great sin they make him a subject of pity instead of looking upon him as a criminal to be punished. This will always suit a depraved heart, which in course of time will develop the principles of fallen nature. By some general process, men abolish sin at once to avoid the unpleasant necessity of individual reformation and exertion. In order to free themselves from the obligation of present effort, many are ready to declare of no account all the labour and effort of their lives while following the sacred principles of God’s word.” Testimonies Volume 1, 440 – 441.


Memory Verse: “Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?” Job.11: 7.

Study Help: Testimonies Volume 5, pages 698 – 711.

Introduction: “Men have been unwearied in their efforts to obscure the plain, simple meaning of the Scriptures, and to make them contradict their own testimony; but like the ark upon the billowy deep, the word of God outrides the storms that threaten it with destruction. As the mine has rich veins of gold and silver hidden beneath the surface, so that all must dig who would discover its precious stores, so the Holy Scriptures have treasures of truth that are revealed only to the earnest, humble, prayerful seeker. God designed the Bible to be a lessonbook to all mankind, in childhood, youth, and manhood, and to be studied through all time. He gave His word to men as a revelation of Himself. Every new truth discerned is a fresh disclosure of the character of its Author. The study of the Scriptures is the means divinely ordained to bring men into closer connection with their Creator and to give them a clearer knowledge of His will. It is the medium of communication between God and man.” The Great Controversy, 69.


  • What could the world never find out by its own wisdom? 1 Corinthians 1: 21.


NOTE: “No man, without divine aid, can attain to this knowledge of God. The apostle says that ‘the world by wisdom knew not God.’ Christ ‘was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.’ Jesus declared to His disciples: ‘No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.’ In that last prayer for His followers, before entering the shadows of Gethsemane, the Saviour lifted His eyes to heaven, and in pity for the ignorance of fallen men He said: ‘O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee: but I have known Thee.’ ‘I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world.” From the beginning it has been Satan’s studied plan to cause men to forget God, that he might secure them to himself. Hence he has sought to misrepresent the character of God, to lead men to cherish a false conception of Him. The Creator has been presented to their minds as clothed with the attributes of the prince of evil himself, as arbitrary, severe, and unforgiving, that He might be feared, shunned, and even hated by men. Satan hoped to so confuse the minds of those whom he had deceived that they would put God out of their knowledge. Then he would obliterate the divine image in man and impress his own likeness upon the soul; he would imbue men with his own spirit and make them captives according to his will.” Testimonies Volume 5, 737 – 738.


  • How is man’s wisdom contrasted with the knowledge of God? Job 11: 7 – 9.


NOTE: “We can never by searching find out God. He does not lay open His plans to prying, inquisitive minds. We must not attempt to lift with presumptuous hand the curtain behind which He veils His majesty. The apostle exclaims: ‘How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!’ It is a proof of His mercy that there is the hiding of His power, that He is enshrouded in the awful clouds of mystery and obscurity; for to lift the curtain that conceals the divine presence is death. No mortal mind can penetrate the secrecy in which the Mighty One dwells and works. We can comprehend no more of His dealings with us and the motives that actuate Him than He sees fit to reveal. He orders everything in righteousness, and we are not to be dissatisfied and distrustful, but to bow in reverent submission. He will reveal to us as much of His purposes as it is for our good to know; and beyond that we must trust the hand that is omnipotent, the heart that is full of love.” Testimonies Volume 5, 301-302


  • What effect did this ignorance have on the lives of men? Romans 1: 28.


NOTE: “From God, the fountain of wisdom, proceeds all the knowledge that is of value to man, all that the intellect can grasp or retain. The fruit of the tree representing good and evil is not to be eagerly plucked because it is recommended by one who was once a bright angel in glory. He has said that if men eat thereof, they shall know good and evil; but let it alone. The true knowledge comes not from infidels or wicked men. The word of God is light and truth. The true light shines from Jesus Christ, who ‘lighteth every man that cometh into the world.’ John 1:9. From the Holy Spirit proceeds divine knowledge. He knows what humanity needs to promote peace, happiness, and restfulness here in this world, and to secure eternal rest in the kingdom of God.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers and Students, 360.


  • Of what fact are we assured concerning God? Psalm 73: 1.


NOTE: “We feel deeply our need of God and our need of wisdom. We believe; and the faith that works by love purifies the soul. I do not wish to devote time to writing of the objectionable part of our journey. We have no time for that. God is good. He is full of loving kindness and tender mercy, and I praise Him because He is good. My heart is drawn out after God. He is of tender kindness alway. Now let us be like Jesus, and it will save us much trouble. Let everything be done in order and harmony, and this can only be where self is hid with Christ in God. This fact must be established, that every faculty is to be cultivated and brought into most earnest exercise, and then we shall increase our talents by using them. May God help His people to learn of Him meekness and lowliness of heart.” Australasian Union Conference Record, November 1, 1900.


  • When Moses requested to behold God’s glory, what in fact did God reveal to him? Exodus 33: 18 – 19.


NOTE: “Shall we have faith in God? Shall we make an individual preparation to meet Him in peace, or shall we spend our time looking for defects in our fellowworkers? When self is crucified, when the heart is purified from all dross, the words and actions will be as pure gold. During this meeting, instead of going to one and another and talking unbelief, will you not speak when God tells you to speak, and then hold your peace? Will you not ask, as Moses did, for a revelation of God’s character. ‘Show me Thy glory,’ he pleaded. And God granted his request, and made all His goodness pass before him. When you catch a glimpse of the goodness of God, you will have a tongue of wisdom. You will have words to speak in season to those that are weary. You may never have learned the different languages of this earth, but God will teach you the language of heaven.” General Conference Bulletin, March 30, 1903.


  • What promise is freely extended to those who accept the Lord as their Shepherd? Psalm 23: 6.


NOTE: “God has never left us without evidence of His love, in that He did us good. He gives us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, providing us abundantly with His bounties, and filling our hearts with gladness. He has declared that ‘while the earth remaineth, seed-time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.’ We are sustained every moment by God’s care, and upheld by His power. He spreads our tables with food. He gives us peaceful and refreshing sleep. Weekly He brings to us the Sabbath, that we may rest from our temporal labours, and worship Him in His own house, He has given us His word to be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. In its sacred page, we find the counsels of wisdom; and as oft as we lift our hearts to him in penitence and faith, He grants us the blessings of His grace. Above all else is the infinite gift of God’s dear Son, through whom flow all other blessings for this life and for the life to come. Surely goodness and mercy attend us at every step. Not till we wish the infinite Father to cease bestowing His gifts on us, should we impatiently exclaim, Is there no end of giving? Not only should we faithfully render to God our tithes, which He claims as His own, but we should bring a tribute to His treasury as an offering of gratitude. Let us with joyful hearts bring to our Creator the first-fruits of all His bounties—our choicest possessions, our best and holiest service.” Review & Herald, February 9, 1886.


  • Of what central quality of God’s character does John assure us? 1 John 4: 8.


NOTE: “God is love. Like rays of light from the sun, love and light and joy flow out from Him to all His creatures. It is His nature to give. His very life is the outflow of unselfish love. ‘His glory is His children’s good; His joy, His tender Fatherhood.’ He tells us to be perfect as He is, in the same manner. We are to be centres of light and blessing to our little circle, even as He is to the universe. We have nothing of ourselves, but the light of His love shines upon us, and we are to reflect its brightness. ‘In His borrowed goodness good,’ we may be perfect in our sphere, even as God is perfect in His.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing,, 77.


  • What was God’s purpose in giving to man His law? Deuteronomy 4: 40, 5: 29, 33.


NOTE: “The law of God, from its very nature, is unchangeable. It is a revelation of the will and the character of its Author. God is love, and His law is love. Its two great principles are love to God and love to man. ‘Love is the fulfilling of the law.’ Romans 13: 10. The character of God is righteousness and truth; such is the nature of His law. Says the psalmist: ‘Thy law is the truth:’ ‘all Thy commandments are righteousness.’ Psalm 119:142, 172. And the apostle Paul declares: ‘The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.’ Romans 7: 12. Such a law, being an expression of the mind and will of God, must be as enduring as its Author.” The Great Controversy, 467.


  • In what supreme way did God express His character to mankind? John 1: 18, 14: 8 – 9.


NOTE: “The love of God, cherished in the heart and revealed in the words and acts, will do more to elevate and ennoble human beings than all else can. In the life of Christ, this love found full and complete expression. On the cross of Christ, the Saviour made an atonement for the fallen race. Holiness is the fruit of this sacrifice. It is because He has died for us that we are promised this great gift. And Christ longs to bestow this gift on us. He longs to make us partakers of His nature. He longs to save those who by sin have separated themselves from God. He calls upon them to choose His service, to give themselves wholly into His control, to learn from Him how to do God’s will.” Signs of the Times, December 17, 1902.


  • How did this love find its fullest expression? Isaiah 53: 3 – 6.


NOTE: “It is the love of Christ that makes our heaven. But when we seek to tell of this love, language fails us. We think of His life on earth, of His sacrifice for us; we think of His work in heaven as our Advocate, of the mansions He is preparing for those who love him; and we can but exclaim. ‘O the heights and depths of the love of Christ!’ As we linger beneath the cross, we gain a faint conception of the love of God, and we say, ‘Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.’ But in our contemplation of Christ, we are only lingering round the edge of a love that is measureless. His love is like a vast ocean, without bottom or shore. In all true disciples, this love, like sacred fire, burns on the altar of the heart. It was on the earth that the love of God was revealed through Jesus. It is on the earth that His children are to let this love shine out through blameless lives. Thus sinners will be led to the cross, to behold the Lamb of God.” Advent Review & Sabbath Herald, May 6, 1902.


  • How may we know God? Hebrews 8: 10 – 11.


NOTE: “The only way a person can be pure is to become like-minded with God. How can we know God? By studying His word. ‘And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.’ Youth’s Instructor, February 15, 1894.

“If God’s Holy Spirit is asked for, if we plead, as did Moses, ‘Show me thy glory,’ the love of God will be shed abroad in our hearts. Through the golden pipes, the golden oil will be communicated to us. ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.’ By receiving the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, God’s children shine as lights in the world. Only by knowing God here can we prepare to meet Him at His coming. ‘This is life eternal,’ said Christ, ‘that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou has sent.’ But many of those who profess to believe in Christ do not know God. They have only a surface religion. They do not love God; they do not study His character; therefore they do not know how to trust, how to look and live. They do not know what restful love is, or what it means to walk by faith. Opportunities to hear and receive the messages of God’s love are unappreciated and unimproved. They fail to understand that it is their duty to receive, that they may enrich others.” Advent Review & Sabbath Herald, July 20,1897.


  • What will we discover as we get to know God? Deuteronomy 7: 9


NOTE: “Let us study these words carefully and prayerfully. In order to be understood, the Bible requires much thought. When we are preparing to go to a new country, and have received from our friends letters of instruction, how carefully we study those letters! We are strangers and pilgrims on this earth, journeying to a better country, even a heavenly, and to us have been given letters of instruction. Again and again we are enjoined to study these directions carefully, so that we shall make no mistake. God is faithful. If we are willing to be taught, He will do His part in teaching us. Let us not neglect our part. We are to labour together with God, working out our own salvation with fear and trembling, knowing that it is God who works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure. If we are faithful in doing our part, in co-operating with Him, God will work through us the good pleasure of His will. But God cannot work through us if we make no effort. If we gain eternal life, we must work, and work earnestly. If we lack in spiritual strength, we may know that we have failed of doing our part. Just as soon as the plan of salvation was devised, Satan began to work; and if we hope to stand against him, we, too, must work. We must follow the example Christ has left us, submitting to Him in everything. Our will must be in harmony with His will.” Advent Review & Sabbath Herald, June 11, 1901.

See also Advent Review & Sabbath Herald, December 16th, 1884.


  • How great is the knowledge of God? Romans 11: 33.


NOTE: “Just as soon as we realise our inability to do God’s work and submit to be guided by His wisdom, the Lord can work with us. If we will empty the soul of self, He will supply all our necessities. Place your mind and will where the Holy Spirit can reach them, for He will not work through another man’s mind and conscience to reach yours. With earnest prayer for wisdom, make the word of God your study. Take counsel of sanctified reason, surrendered wholly to God. Look unto Jesus in simplicity and faith. Gaze upon Jesus until the spirit faints under the excess of light. We do not half pray. We do not half believe. ‘Ask, and it shall be given you.’ Luke 11:9. Pray, believe, strengthen one another. Pray as you never before prayed that the Lord will lay His hand upon you, that you may be able to comprehend the length and breadth and depth and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Testimonies Volume 7, 213 – 214.


Seventh Day Adventist Roots, part 7

Joseph Bates, the next personality in our list of four prominent men to associate with the Millerite movement, was born in 1792, in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. His parents were members of the Congregational Church. His father had been a captain in the Revolutionary War. At the age of fifteen, Bates took to the sea, sailing for Europe as cabin boy. He had many thrilling experiences while at sea, including surviving a collision with an iceberg; being commandeered as a gunner on the HMS Rodney, serving on blockade duty in the war between England and France; spending two and a half years as a prisoner of war and finally returning home after a six year absence. Bates married Prudence Nye, in 1818, and continued his work on ocean going vessels, rising to the rank of captain.

On his first trip as captain, he forbade anyone to drink “ardent spirits” aboard ship. On the next trip he determined to stop drinking, and later gave up smoking. In 1826, his wife placed a New Testament in his trunk. This turned out to be the beginning of a spiritual awakening for him. When one of his crewmembers became sick, Bates became anxious and, after a struggle, he began to pray. The death of the crewmember and his own responsibility, as captain, for the funeral service, brought him closer to God. At this point, he surrendered his life to Christ and began to study the Bible and pray every day. When he arrived home, Bates was baptized, and, in 1827, joined the New Bedford Christian Church, the church to which his wife belonged. The minister that baptized him refused to join Bates in his fight against liquor. With the help of the Congregationalist minister in Fairhaven he formed the Fairhaven Temperance Society. At this point, Bates gave up the use of tea and coffee.

Joseph Bates had strong convictions. While aboard ship, he gathered his crew and read them the rules for the voyage. These rules included prohibiting the use of intoxicants, swearing or washing of clothes on Sunday and the mandatory attendance at daily worship. Two of the crew were converted on the voyage. In 1826, he retired from sea service with a comfortable fortune. He turned his energies to serious church work and reform movements, always taking the side of the oppressed. Over the next few years, Bates formed a number of reform movements, each time losing some friends. In the face of opposition, he formed an antislavery society. He planned for a manual training school and, to provide labor, he planted three mulberry orchards to produce silk for market.

In 1839, a ministerial friend invited him to attend a lecture on the Second Advent. When Bates heard the message he exclaimed, “That is the truth.” He and Joshua Himes had been associated in various reform activities. Now Himes also became interested in Miller’s views on the Second Advent. Shortly after obtaining a copy of Miller’s Lectures, Bates fully accepted their teaching regarding premillennialism as the most important reform for that time.

As a member of the authorizing committee for the first General Conference, at Boston, in 1841, Bates invited Miller to hold a series of meetings in Fairhaven. He soon after became an active and successful Millerite minister. He was chosen chairman of the conference that authorized the production of lithographs of Fitch’s “1843 Chart,” and approved the conducting of campmeetings that were very successful.

Opposition to the advent message soon developed among the members of the Fairhaven Christian Church, leading him to withdraw from its membership. “In 1843 he sold his home, and most of his other real estate, and prepared to go where needed to herald the Second Coming of Christ. He had a burden to go down to the slaveholding States of the South, where other lecturers had been driven out by hostile inhabitants. Bates was warned that he would probably be killed because of his well-known abolitionist principles. Undeterred, he went into Maryland and preached to large numbers, H. S. Gurney, baritone singer, accompanying him. Their success aroused resentment and opposition, and a fiery Methodist class leader threatened to have them ridden out of town on a rail. Bates made the instant but telling rejoinder, ‘If you will put a saddle on it, we would rather ride than walk.’ This nimble reply disconcerted the man, and Bates continued: ‘You must not think that we have come six hundred miles through the ice and snow, at our own expense to give you the Midnight Cry, without first sitting down and counting the cost. And now, if the Lord has no more for us to do, we had as lief [gladly] lie at the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay as anywhere else until the Lord comes. But if He has any more work for us to do, you can’t touch us.’

“The Baltimore Patriot learned of the episode and after relating the story, said significantly: ‘The crush of matter and the wreck of worlds would be nothing to such men.’ In another incident in a little Maryland town, Bates made this reply: ‘Yes, Judge, I am an abolitionist, and have come to get your slaves and you too! As to getting your slaves from you, we have no such intention, for if you should give us all you have (and I was informed he owned quite a number), we should not know what to do with them. We teach that Christ is coming, and we want you all saved.’ ” The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, 548.

On the journey home, by boat, Bates hung up the prophetic chart, sang an advent hymn and gave a lecture on the coming crisis. When they transferred to a train he continued lecturing. He visited a number of islands along the coast of Massachusetts and many were converted to the Second Advent faith.

By 1848, Bates had accepted the Sabbath and was instrumental in the proclamation of that message. He held key positions all through the Advent Movement from 1840 on. He wrote a short history of the advent cause from 1840 –1847 titled, Second Advent Way Marks and High Heaps, the first of its kind.

“Bates pioneering spirit led him west to Michigan in 1849, where, in time, he gathered a company of converts in Jackson. In 1852, he went on to Battle Creek. Arriving early in the morning, and asking the postmaster for the name of the most honest man in town, he was directed to a Presbyterian by the name of David Hewitt. Bates was soon rapping on Hewitt’s door, telling him that he had some important Bible truth for him. The Hewitts became the first converts in Battle Creek, and their home the meeting place for a growing group.

“That episode was characteristic of Bates. He would go where there were no believers, secure a schoolhouse, hall, church, or even a home, hang up his chart, and preach the new-found light on the prophecies, and churches would come into being. When, in 1860, the Sabbatarian Adventists met in conference to effect their first organization, Bates, in the chair guided the conference.

“Bates played a prominent part in the ‘Sabbath Conferences,’ which began in 1848, and helped to give shape to the infant SDA movement. He, together with White, Edson, Pierce, Andrews, and others, studied out the doctrines from the Bible. In fact Joseph Bates, with James White, was widely recognized as cofounder of the SDA denomination.” Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, 108, 109.


Joshua Himes—Energetic Leader


The fourth in our list of ministerial associates close to William Miller is Joshua V. Himes. “Judged by any standard of measurement, Joshua Vaughan Himes (1805-1895) was a remarkable character. Courageous, versatile, and a born leader, he was the great publicist, promoter, and organizer of the Millerite movement. While he was a power in the pulpit, he was an even greater power in the editorial chair. He was a really remarkable publisher, with the knack of knowing how to appeal to the public. His daring and his swiftness of action are illustrated by the speed with which he produced the first copy of the Signs of the Times. After Miller’s first suggestion, coupled with his own conviction of its need, it was under way within one week, starting from nothing.

“He had business acumen and organizational ability to a marked degree—managing conferences and giant campmeetings, as well as evangelistic and revival meetings, and keeping a great publishing and distribution project going smoothly and without needless duplication. Under his guidance the best publishing facilities the country afforded were enlisted to send forth the advent message. It was perhaps not too much to say that his was a feat unequaled in the annals of American church history, or of any other land so far as we know.” The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, 549, 550.

Himes was born in Rhode Island. His father wanted him to attend Brown University, but, because of a financial crisis in the family, Joshua went to New Bedford to learn a trade. His conversion

occurred in 1823 and he joined the First Christian Church. His ability as an evangelist quickly surfaced and he felt called to preach. He was invited to begin holding meetings in various schoolhouses and soon was holding many types of revival meetings.

In 1825, Himes began his life work in the ministry and began to preach in Plymouth. Eventually, he was appointed evangelist by the Massachusetts Christian Conference. He raised up a church of 125 at Fall River and he was soon called to become pastor of the First Christian Church of Boston. He resigned in 1837 to organize and build the Second Christian Church, with its Chardon Street Chapel. The Advent message first came to him in that chapel.

Being a reformer at heart, Himes was constantly crusading against the evils of his day. He was an assistant to William Lloyd Garrison in the battle against slavery, and it was in this chapel that Garrison’s New England Antislavery Society was initiated. He promoted a manual labor school and was a cofounder of the Peace Society, for the prevention of war. The Chardon Street Chapel became the center for many kinds of reform meetings.

On November 12, 1839, a conference of Christian Connection ministers was convened in Exeter. The day before, William Miller began a series of meetings, and out of curiosity the conference adjourned to go listen to Miller and asked him every sort of question. Himes was among the group. “Greatly impressed with Miller’s humble yet effective answers to the many pointed and sometimes tricky questions put to him, Himes invited him to hold a series of meetings in his own church in Boston. Miller accepted, and that eventful day marked a turning point in both lives and launched a new epoch in the advent cause and movement.” Ibid., 551.

“Himes combined deep spirituality and strict integrity with a true instinct for popular presentation. He was just thirty-five, pleasant and genial, neat in dress, and possessed of a charming personality. He was the embodiment of energy, and had marked initiative. And his entire manner begot confidence and gave assurance of his honesty and sincerity. He was dignified in bearing, but was ever a restless and energetic promoter of some cause in which he believed. Miller stayed in Hime’s home while giving his first series of lectures in Boston. Here they had many talks about Miller’s position on the second advent and on the millennium and the prophecies related thereto.” Ibid., 552.

Himes was convinced of the general points and felt a burden to get the premillennial truth before the public. He asked Miller why he had not preached in the larger cities. Miller replied that he had not been invited but that he would go wherever he was invited to preach. Himes told Miller to prepare for a great campaign, that the doors would be opened in every state east of the Mississippi. This prediction was literally fulfilled far beyond Miller’s expectations.

Feeling the need for a publication to get his views before the public and to shield him from abusive stories circulated, Miller conveyed this to Himes who immediately agreed to start the Signs of the Times. The next week (February 28, 1840), without any subscribers and only one-dollar, Himes produced the first edition.

Believers in the advent received the paper with joy while opponents were alarmed. At the outset it was a forum for both believers and opponents to voice their opinions. With the passing of time the paper was restricted to the presentation of the positions of the Adventists.

Himes published two more editions of Miller’s Lectures and was henceforth in charge of the publication and distribution of Advent literature. Among his publications were charts, pamphlets, books, tracts, songbooks, broadsides and handbills. In order to acquaint New York City with the message of the advent, Himes began publishing the Midnight Cry in connection with an evangelistic series. Ten thousand copies each day were printed and distributed in the city. When the meetings closed, the publication continued as a weekly.

“Himes was noblehearted, generous, and selfdenying. The funds accruing from the publication venture were turned to the spread of the tidings of the second advent. He traveled some twenty thousand miles, giving a lecture a day much of the time, and held some five thousand meetings, including a remarkable series of all-day camp meetings. In many ways Himes was the leading figure in the Millerite movement—a human dynamo of energy, ever pushing the cause of publishing and preaching, organizing the various enterprises connected with the movement. Although Miller was the actual leader, he delegated much authority to Himes, who had his complete confidence. The relationship between the two was like that of father and son. Of this fellowship Himes touchingly said: ‘We had rather be associated with such a man as William Miller, and stand with him in gloom or glory, in the cause of the living God, than to be associated with his enemies, and enjoy all the honors of this world.’ ” Ibid., 554.


Pray Without Ceasing

In the beginning, God spoke and made a world. David records: “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth . . .For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.” Psalm 33:6, 9.

It was Jesus, in conjunction with His Father, that created this world and designed human beings to inhabit and fill it. (See 1 Corinthians 19:1–4; Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:16.) What we see of creation, in our world today, is but a pittance of what the original must have looked like.

On the morning of the sixth day of creation, the beautiful world was filled with animals of all descriptions roaming over the lush green hillsides and down through the valleys, blanketed with flowers. Birds, flying through the air, warbled their lovely songs of praise to their Creator.

After pronouncing all that He had made, “good,” this great Creator wants to make a caretaker for the beautiful garden. He decides to make man, in His own image, out of the dust of the ground and then breathe into him the breath of life making him a living soul.

After forming every feature with the greatest care, God looks down on this beautiful being. He might have said, “He looks like Me.” Then, kneeling down, He puts His mouth to the mouth of this beautiful being and breathes into him His breath. As the blood reaches the brain I can see Adam give a great gasp and suddenly the heart and all the organs begin to operate. Adam opens his eyes and looks into the face of God. I imagine his first words could have been, “Who are You?” Then he must have looked at himself and asked,” Who am I?” Now, this wonderful God reaches down, raises this beautiful being to his feet, and says, “Your name is Adam. You are My gardener. And I want to show you your garden.”

I can see God now putting His arm around this beautiful being and they begin to walk through this beautiful place. He says, “You, Adam, are in charge of everything. It is your world. You can name the flowers, trees, animals and birds.”

After they had finished their tour, I can hear Adam say, “God, everything is so wonderful, but I am wondering, why are there two of all the other creatures but there is only one of my kind?” And God replies, “I have a plan.” Then He lays this giant of a man down, puts him to sleep and takes a rib from his side. From this rib He creates the most beautiful being of all, a woman. Can you imagine when Adam wakes up and sees God and then looks past God to the woman? I can hear him say, “But who is she?” And God responds, “She is your wife.”

The shadows of the sixth day are leaning heavily upon the trees of this beautiful garden of God. The sixth day is ending and the seventh day, the Sabbath, is about to begin. As they stand before Him, God puts their hands together and He pronounces them man and wife. Then, standing in the shadows of that sixth day, He watches these two beautiful people, that He has created, walk away, arm in arm, talking about this beautiful place which He has created for them to live in.

Every day they had an opportunity to meet with God and the angels. I can see them running to meet their appointment with God. Wherever they were, they came hand in hand, leaping, running and racing to meet God, and casting themselves at His feet. Then I can see this great God raise them up to their feet, put one arm around Eve and the other around Adam and walk through the beautiful garden, explaining its wonders to them.

I can just imagine Adam looking at a magnificent tree, maybe a Sequoia Redwood tree, and asking, “But God, how does the moisture get from the root to the top?” And the Creator of the world explains how it all happens.

Eden was a wonderful place, a wonderful opportunity for two people. Yet, we know what happened. The picture now changes and we find these two people hiding. God comes for His daily visit, and walking through His garden, He calls, “Adam, Adam, where are you?” I can see them now, coming from their hiding place, no longer dressed in that beautiful robe of light, which He had made for them, but in fig leaves that Eve put together.

I can hear them cry, “God, we will never do it again. Please, God, do not send us away.” But sin was so terrible, and so infectious that they had to leave the garden. This was the only way that God could solve the tremendous problem that sin had brought.

I can see Jesus standing with both arms around them, hugging them close to His breast and explaining Genesis 3:15. He tells them that He will come and take their place. The law of God had been broken, and the wages of sin is death. Jesus tells them: “I have to die for you. I am the Lawgiver and the only way I can save you and your posterity, now, is to die in your place.” Then He explains the sacrificial system that pointed to the day He would die for their sins so they could live again and come back and be caretakers of His garden once more.

Can you see the picture of Adam with that first little sacrificial lamb, taking the sharp instrument in his hands, looking into the eyes of this little innocent creature, knowing that it had to be slain because of his sin?


God’s Sacrifice


The picture changes. For four thousand years the world looked forward to the time when the Messiah would come. Every Jewish mother looked at the man-child that came from her womb and wondered if he was the one—the promised Messiah. Then, just as the Old Testament prophets had predicted, the Christ child was born to bring hope and salvation to a perishing world.

What was Christ’s mission when He came to this earth?

“Christ came to our world to counteract Satan’s falsehood that God had made a law which man could not keep. Taking humanity upon Himself, He came to this earth, and by a life of obedience showed that God has not made a law that man cannot keep. He showed that it is possible for man perfectly to obey the law. Those who accept Christ as their Saviour, becoming partakers of His divine nature, are enabled to follow His example, living in obedience to every precept of the law. Through the merits of Christ, man is to show by His obedience that He could be trusted in heaven.” The Faith I Live By, 114.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. Fallen humanity cannot measure that love. Our earthly minds cannot fully understand it. And even in heaven, we will continue to study it throughout all eternity. God’s love is so amazing! Jesus was born in a barn. He was willing to come, all the way down to where fallen humanity was, so He could show them how they could gain eternal life and go back to His garden as caretakers, for the beautiful world that He will re-create.

The cross was a tragedy, yet it was the only way God could solve the sin problem. We think that when we are taken out of our positions in churches, or are disfellowshipped, we have been mistreated; look at the cross and see what the church did to the Messiah. Yet, He uttered not a word of rebuke. He just put out His hands and they nailed them to the cross. The Roman soldiers picked up the tree and dropped it into the hole that had been prepared for it. You can imagine the physical agony 20 Land Marks

that He must have gone through, but it was not the physical agony that killed Him. It was our sins—yours and mine—that crucified the Son of God.


Christ Prays for Us


Just before Jesus was crucified, He prayed a very important prayer, not only for Himself, but also for His disciples. These were His words: “Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee: As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him. And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.

“I have glorified Thee on the earth; I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was. I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world: Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me; and they have kept Thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever Thou hast given Me are of Thee.

“For I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from Thee, and they have believed that Thou didst send Me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine. And all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I am glorified in them.

“And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Thy name: those that Thou gavest Me I have kept; and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to Thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves.

“I have given them Thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth. As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” John 17:1–19. What a prayer! I believe those words come closer to explaining the love of God than anything I have read in the Bible or the Spirit of Prophecy.

Today, Jesus is our High Priest in the Most Holy Place. But He will not remain there long. Soon the censor will no longer sway; the cases will be decided. It is now time for us to study the Word of God and the Spirit of Prophecy earnestly, and pray like we have never prayed in our lives before. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.” Often when I have read that I have wondered, “How can I do that? I would never get anything done if I prayed all the time.” But prayer is not only the position you are in, prayer is an attitude of mind that you start your day with, walk through the day with, and go to bed with, at night.

I praise the Lord for the relationship that I have with Him through prayer. It holds me in such a beautiful relationship and when I break that relationship by impatience, I weep. We must overcome this impatience. And our only hope of doing this is to pray more and take that prayer experience with us through the day. Practice the presence of Jesus and you will receive His power.

Christ’s Object Lessons, 174, contains a precious promise about prayer. It says: “Amid the anthems of the celestial choir, God hears the cries of the weakest human being. We pour out our heart’s desire in our closets, we breathe a prayer as we walk by the way, and our words reach the throne of the Monarch of the Universe! They may be inaudible to any human ear, but they cannot die away into silence, nor can they be lost through the activities of business that are going on. Nothing can drown the soul’s desire.”

What a wonderful promise! The God of the universe hears our cries for help, and is never too busy to answer. As we lay our requests before Him, claiming His promise that we can overcome, He gives us the power to keep His law. Just as Christ was constantly in tune with His father through prayer, and thus able to resist temptation, we can receive the same power.

We need to learn to pray, as we have never prayed before. We need to pray for ourselves, for our children, our husbands, our wives, our friends and our neighbors. We must carry the burden of these souls upon our hearts.


The Secret to Answered Prayer


A lot of people have told me, “I pray and nothing happens.” And I say, “Have you laid your whole life at the feet of Jesus, surrendering your will, your mind, and your life to Him? Have you given up everything in this world?” The reason many of our prayers are not answered is because of how we live. We are not fully committed to God.

When my son was in Vietnam, God taught me some unforgettable lessons about prayer. At that time in my life, I felt that I had done many things and I was proud of everything I had done. I was a good preacher, because I had worked hard to be one. But through this trying experience, God taught me every day that I had to be humble. I could not do anything, but I believed that God could.

During the eleven months that my boy was on the battlefields I learned to pray as I had never prayed before. He told us later of the many miraculous ways the Lord had brought him through the most tragic, terrible circumstances. He was a commander and there were soldiers being killed all around him. A Vietcong shot at him from ten feet away, with an automatic weapon, and the bullets never touched him. Angels were deflecting the bullets.

The lessons I learned during that time have never been forgotten. God taught me that the first thing I do in prayer is to give my will to Him. When you give your will to God you give your mind to Him and His thoughts are your thoughts. Inspiration says: “By His perfect obedience He has made it possible for every human being to obey God’s commandments. When we submit ourselves to Christ . . . the mind becomes one with His mind, the thoughts are brought into captivity to Him; we live His life. This is what it means to be clothed with the garment of His righteousness.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 312.

During that time I memorized that passage, and began to study my Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy in a different way. I was not studying to be a good preacher. I was studying to fill my soul with the good things that God has in His Word and in the Spirit of Prophecy. I could not leave it alone anymore. I was getting up at 3:00 or 3:30 in the morning to study and my congregation said, “What has happened to the preacher?”

I was changed—not by what I did, but by what God was doing, and I wanted Him to do it. “Nothing is apparently more helpless, yet really more invincible, than the soul that feels its nothingness and relies wholly on the merits of the Saviour. By prayer, by the study of the word, by faith in His abiding presence, the weakest of human beings may live in contact with the living Christ, and He will hold then by a hand that will never let them go.” Ministry of Healing, 182.

“When with earnestness and intensity we breathe a prayer in the name of Christ, there is in that very intensity a pledge from God that He is about to answer our prayer ‘exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.’” Christ’s Object Lessons, 147.

“Unwearyingly persist in prayer. The persistent asking brings the petitioner into a more earnest attitude, and gives him an increased desire to receive the things for which he asks.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 145.

“Cultivate the habit of talking with the Saviour when you are alone, when you are walking, when you are busy with your daily labor.” Ministry of Healing, 510, 511.

One of my greatest experiences in the morning is to walk in the trees and praise God. Praising God is prayer. I lift my voice in thanksgiving for the health and strength that God has given me. I praise Him with joy in my heart for the opportunity that He has given me to serve Him in this great and awesome time.

Through praising the Lord we receive a rich blessing for ourselves. “If we keep the Lord ever before us, allowing our hearts to go out in thanksgiving and praise to Him, we shall have a continual freshness in our religious life. Our prayers will take the form of a conversation with God as we talk with a friend. He will speak His mysteries to us personally. Often there will come to us a sweet joyful sense of the presence of Jesus. Often our hearts will burn within us as He draws nigh to commune with us as He did with Enoch.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 129.

“Whatever your anxieties and trials, spread out your case before the Lord. Your spirit will be braced for endurance. The way will be opened for you to disentangle yourselves from embarrassments and difficulty. The weaker and the more helpless you know yourself to be, the stronger will you become in His strength.” The Desire of Ages, 329. That is prayer.


Prayer—Finding the Experience


The only way we can face the tragedies of tomorrow, and the next day, and the months and years ahead of us, is by becoming a people of prayer. I pray that you are willing to be made willing to bring your life into such a prayer experience that you can have the joy of seeing your prayers answered. God does not always answer prayer the way you want it answered, but He answers every prayer.

Sometimes God says, “No,” and that means that you have to have the spiritual maturity to understand when He says “No.” When people tell me, “God does not answer my prayers,” I tell them that maybe God is saying “No” and you do not understand. I have had God say “No” many, many times to me. But I have always accepted the “No” as God’s answer.

If you are willing to be made willing to bring your life into harmony with such a beautiful relationship with Jesus, you will walk with Him day by day. And that is a prayer experience. You know that Jesus is there because your sins are forgiven. You have confessed your sins (Acts 5:31), and God gives repentance. Learn to walk in this joyous living. Otherwise, you are cheating yourself of the greatest experience in the world.

But do not expect that the road will always be easy. Learn to accept every trial as a little stepping stone to a greater relationship to Jesus. Each hardship overcome, each temptation resisted, takes us a step forward in developing a character like Christ’s. It will take effort—prayer, study and a willingness to follow Christ, wherever He leads. Without this, you will not make it.

There is nothing you can do to be saved, but if you do not do something, you are going to be lost. God’s prophet wrote it this way, “It will require the strongest effort, the persevering and unfaltering determination, and the strongest energy to control self.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 92. But we are not left to struggle alone. “Every provision has been made in the word of God whereby all may have divine help.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 574.

We “must cooperate with divine power, and put forth” our “human effort to subdue sin, and stand complete in Christ.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 429, 430.

“Many never attain to the position that they might occupy, because they wait for God to do for them that which He has given them power to do for themselves.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 248.

“If we gain eternal life, we must work, and work earnestly . . . The characters we form here will decide our eternal destiny . . . Our part is to put away sin, to seek with determination for perfection of character.” Review and Herald, June 11,1901.

“This to us is a mournful statement, that there are those who will fail to enter in at the strait gate because they only seek to enter in and do not strive.” Heavenly Places, 263.

We have a part to play, but we have not done a very good job of playing that part. Discipline and human effort must be amalgamated with divine power before we can overcome. Too many of us have been trying to overcome in our own power. We have been trying to be good, thinking we will go to heaven “being good.” But we cannot be saved “being good.” We can only be saved being holy, and holiness can only come from the Holy One.

Let us study the word of God and the Spirit of Prophecy like we have never studied before. Dedicate yourself anew to God every morning by submitting your will to Him. You will be given all the power you need to do everything He has commanded you.

“The warfare against self is the greatest battle that was ever fought. The yielding of self, surrendering all to the will of God and being clothed with humility, possessing that love that is pure, peaceable, and easy to be entreated, full of gentleness and good fruits, is not an easy attainment. And yet it is his privilege and his duty to be a perfect overcomer here.” Testimonies,vol. 3, 106.

May God make us like that, today and every day, until eternity.

Food for Life — Self Service

“The holidays are approaching. In view of this fact, it will be well to consider how much money is expended yearly in making presents to those who have no need of them. The habits of custom are so strong that to withhold gifts from our friends on these occasions would seem to us almost a neglect of them. But let us remember that our kind heavenly Benefactor has claims upon us far superior to those of any earthly friends. Shall we not, during the coming holidays, present our offerings to God? Even the children may participate in this work. Clothing and other useful articles may be given to the worthy poor, and thus a work may be done for the Master.

“Let us remember that Christmas is celebrated in commemoration of the birth of the world’s Redeemer. This day is generally spent in feasting and gluttony. Large sums of money are spent in needless self -indulgence. The appetite and sensual pleasures are indulged at the expense of physical, mental, and moral power. Yet this has become a habit. Pride, fashion, and gratification of the palate have swallowed up immense sums of money that have really benefited no one, but have encouraged a prodigality of means which is displeasing to God. These days are spent in glorifying self rather than God. Health has been sacrificed, money worse than thrown away, many have lost their lives by overeating or through demoralizing dissipation, and souls have been lost by this means.

“God would be glorified by His children should they enjoy a plain, simple diet, and use the means intrusted to them in bringing to His treasury offerings, small and great, to be used in sending the light of truth to souls that are in the darkness of error. The hearts of the widow and fatherless may be made to rejoice because of gifts which will add to their comfort and satisfy their hunger.

“Let all who profess to believe the present truth calculate how much they spend yearly, and especially upon the recurrence of the annual holidays, for the gratification of selfish and unholy desires, how much in the indulgence of appetite, and how much to compete with others in unchristian display. Sum up the means thus spent all needlessly, and then estimate how much might be saved as consecrated gifts to God’s cause without injury to soul or body.

“Mites and more liberal gifts may be brought in, according to the ability of the giver, to aid in lifting debts from churches which have been dedicated to God. Then there are missionaries to be sent into new fields, and others to be supported in their respective fields of labor. These missionaries have to practice the strictest economy, even denying themselves the very things you enjoy daily, and which you consider the necessaries of life. They enjoy few luxuries.” Messages to Young People, 311–312.

Let each and every one of us heed these words from our God, not only during this season, but during the rest of the probationary time He has given us to prepare for His soon coming! Have you ever seen our world in a worse condition? It seems that the signs of Christ’s coming are everywhere! In the calamities by land, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and the absolute disregard of human lives. It is fearful, and it should prompt each of God’s children to “look up, for our redemption draweth nigh”! Have a “holy” holiday, and may the Lord bless each of you is my prayer. See you next year.

Pumpkin “Cheese” Cake

1 lb. Tofu, drained and mashed

1/2 tsp. Cardamom

16 oz. can Libby’s Pumpkin

1/2 cup pure Maple Syrup

1/2 cup Arrowroot or Corn Starch

2 cups Grape Nuts Cereal

1/2 cup Apple Juice Concentrate

1/2 tsp. Coriander

In two batches, blend the tofu, pumpkin and maple syrup. Add arrowroot and spices and mix together well. To make crust, grind the grape nuts in dry blender. Mix with apple juice concentrate. Pat into 9-inch pie dish. Pour in filling. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until set. A butter knife should come out clean in the center. If not done, turn heat down to 325° and bake an additional 15 minutes. It will become firmer as it cools. Chill overnight before serving.


Duty of Parents to their Children

One of the signs of the “last days” is the disobedience of children to their parents. 2 Timothy 3:2. And do parents realize their responsibility? Many seem to lose sight of the watch-care they should ever have over their children, and suffer them to indulge in evil passions, and to disobey them. They take but little notice of them until their own feelings are raised, and then punish them in anger.

Many parents will have to render an awful account at last for their neglect of their children. They have fostered and cherished their evil tempers by bending to their wishes and will, when the wishes and will of the children should bend to them. They have brought God’s frown upon them and their children by these things. Parents, have you forgotten that which is written in the Holy Word: “He that spareth the rod hateth his son.” Children are left to come up instead of being trained up. The poor little children are thought not to know or understand a correction at ten or twelve months old, and they begin to show stubbornness very young. Parents suffer them to indulge in evil tempers and passions without subduing or correcting them, and by so doing they cherish and nourish these evil passions until they grow with their growth and strengthen with their strength.

The house of God is often desecrated, and the Sabbath violated by Sabbath-believers’ children. In some cases they are even allowed to run about the house, play, talk and manifest their evil tempers in the very meetings where the saints should worship God in the beauty of holiness. And the place that should be holy, and where a holy stillness should reign, and where there should be perfect order, neatness and humility, is made to be a perfect Babylon, “confusion.” This is enough to bring God’s displeasure and shut His presence from our assemblies. His wrath is kindled for these things, and He will not while these things exist, go out with Israel to battle against their enemies. The enemies of our faith will be suffered to triumph on account of God’s displeasure.

Parents stand in the place of God to their children and they will have to render an account, whether they have been faithful to the little few committed to their trust. Parents, some of you are rearing children to be cut down by the destroying angel, unless you speedily change your course, and be faithful to them. God cannot cover iniquity, even in children. He cannot love unruly children who manifest passion, and He cannot save them in the time of trouble. Will you suffer your children to be lost through your neglect? Unfaithful parents, their blood will be upon you, and is not your salvation doubtful with the blood of your children upon you? Children that might have been saved had you filled your place, and done your duty as faithful parents should.

God says: “I know Abraham, that he will command his household after him,” and God gave him the honor of being the father of the faithful. Parents, it is your duty to have your children in perfect subjection, having all their passions and evil tempers subdued. And if children are taken to meeting, they should be made to know, and understand where they are. That they are not at home, but where God meets with His people. And they should be kept quiet and free from all play, and God will turn His face toward you, to meet with you and bless you.

If order is observed in the assemblies of the saints, the truth will have better effect upon all that hear it. A solemnity which is so much needed will be encouraged and there will be power in the truth to stir up the depths of the soul and a death-like stupor will not hang upon those who hear. Believers and unbelievers will be affected. It has seemed evident that in some places the Ark of God was removed from the church, for the holy commandments have been violated and the strength of Israel has been weakened. Parents, correct your children. Commence while they are young, when impressions can be more easily made, and their evil tempers subdued before they grow with their growth and strengthen with their strength.

You should correct your children in love. Do not let them have their own way until you get angry, and then punish them. Such correction only helps on the evil, instead of remedying it. After you have done your duty faithfully to your children, then carry them to God and ask Him to help you. Tell Him that you have done your part, and then in faith ask God to do His part, that which you cannot do. Ask Him to temper their dispositions, to make them mild and gentle by His Holy Spirit. He will hear you pray. He will love to answer your prayers. Through His Word He has enjoined it upon you to correct your children, to “spare not for their crying,” and His Word is to be heeded in these things.

It certainly must bring God’s displeasure upon parents when they leave Him to do what He has left, and commanded them to do. God corrects us when we disobey, and go astray from Him; and parents are bound by the word of God to correct their children when they disobey them, and show evil temper. Check the very first manifestation of passion. Break the will, (but do it with feelings of tenderness, and with discretion,) and your children will be far happier for it, and you will be happier. Your effort will be remembered of God, and He that is so particular as to observe the falling of the sparrow, He that noticed and commended Abraham’s faithfulness, will not pass by your efforts. He that never slumbers nor sleeps will be ready to aid you with His Spirit and grace, and will reward your feeble efforts.

Parents, above every thing, take care of your children upon the Sabbath. Do not suffer them to violate God’s holy day by playing in the house or out of doors. You may just as well break the Sabbath yourselves as to let your children do it, and when you suffer your children to wander about, and suffer them to play upon the Sabbath, God looks upon you as Sabbath-breakers. Your children, that are under your control, should be made to mind you. Your word should be their law. Will not parents wake up to their duty before it shall be too late, and take hold of the work in earnest, redeem the time, and make unsparing efforts to save their children?

Children are the lawful prey of the enemy, because they are not subjects of grace, have not experienced the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus, and the evil angels have access to these children; and some parents are careless and suffer them to work with but little restraint. Parents have a great work to do in this matter, by correcting and subduing their children, and then by bringing them to God and claiming His blessing upon them. By the faithful and untiring efforts of the parents, and the blessing and grace entreated of God upon the children, the power of the evil angels will be broken, a sanctifying influence is shed upon the children, and the powers of darkness must give back. When the destroying angel was to pass through Egypt, to destroy the first-born of man and beast, Israel was commanded to gather their children and families into their houses with them, and then mark their door-posts with blood, that the destroying angel might pass by their dwellings, and if they failed to go through with this process, there was no difference made between them and the Egyptians.

The destroying angel is soon to go forth again, not to destroy the first-born alone, but “to slay utterly old and young, both men, women and little children” who have not the mark. Parents, if you wish to save your children, separate them from the world, keep them from the company of wicked children; for if you suffer them to go with wicked children, you cannot prevent them from partaking of their wickedness and being corrupted. It is your solemn duty to watch over your children, to choose the society at all times for them. Teach your children to obey you, then can they more easily obey the commandments of God, and yield to His requirements. Do not let us neglect to pray with, and for our children. He that said, “Suffer little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not,” will listen to our prayers for them, and the seal, or mark of believing parents will cover their children, if they are trained up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

  1. G. White

Review and Herald, September 19, 1854.


The Lord’s Day

We know from the New Testament that God has a rest day, a special day of the week that He calls His own. John writes, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet.” Revelation 1:10. Long after the cross, it is evident from this verse that God does have a special day, a day that belongs to Him, a day that is called “the Lord’s Day.”

To find out the origin of this day we must go back to the beginning of the Bible, to the time of Creation, before there had ever been any transgression of God’s law and when there was no need for a plan of salvation. Genesis 2:1–3 says: “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”

Genesis 1 and 2 say that God created this world in six days. The evening and the morning were the first day, the second day and so on. During each one of these days, in creation week, God created some aspect of the world or solar system. But at the end of Creation week, God created a special holy day to commemorate what He had made. This day He called a rest day or the Sabbath day and in that day God set an example for us by resting. The Bible says that He blessed the day and made it holy.

The book of Revelation teaches that only God is holy. (Revelation 15:4.) No man or group of men can make a holy day, because only a holy being can make a day holy. Thus only God could sanctify the Sabbath and make it a holy day.


The Sabbath Reviewed at Sinai


The moral duty of all mankind to keep the Sabbath was reviewed by God, for all of His people, when He came down on Mount Sinai and spoke His moral law (the Ten Commandments). He then wrote His Law down on tables of stone and He commanded His people to keep it through all generations.

At Sinai, the Sabbath was not introduced as a new day that the Israelites were to begin keeping. We can be sure of that fact when we read the fourth commandment in Exodus 20:8. It says, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” The Lord says, “Remember,” because His special day goes all the way back to the creation of the world.

It is interesting that the only commandment that people want to lose sight of is the only one that God said to, “Remember.” In the heart of God’s law, it says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your man servant, nor your maid servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:8–11.


The Origin of Our Week


The weekly cycle of seven days comes directly from Creation week. The heavenly bodies control all the other measurements of time. The year is dependent on the revolution of the earth around the sun. The month has to do with lunar cycles. The seasons have to do with the revolution and rotation of the earth. Only the weekly cycle has no natural origin, and so only can point back to the Creation week when the Sabbath was instituted.

Some people wonder if the seventh-day that God made holy is really the same day as the seventh-day in our weekly cycle, as we know it now. Has the weekly cycle been changed in the six thousand years since Creation? The answer is simple to find if we look at the Jewish people. They have been keeping the Sabbath from Christ’s day until the present time. Obviously, it is impossible that millions of people scattered all over the world could all of a sudden, in one week, forget which day of the week it was and all start keeping another day. The probability of that is far beyond impossible.

Another proof that shows that the weekly cycle has not been changed is the way that many of the languages name the seventh day of the week. Take for instance what the Italians call the seventh day. It is called “Sabato.” Similarly in Spain, it is called “Sabado.” In Russia, it is called “Subbota.” And in Poland it is called “Sobota.” All these names mean Sabbath or Rest Day. Except for those languages that have adopted the pagan names for the days of the week, the seventh day is still called “The Sabbath,” even today, just the way God named it in the beginning.

In addition to that, the crucifixion of Christ establishes, beyond any reasonable doubt, which day the Sabbath is according to the commandment. The account in Luke tells us this: “Now, behold, there was a man name Joseph, a council member, a good and just man. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of rock, where no one had ever lain before. That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near. And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.” Luke 23: 50–56.

So it was that as Friday, the preparation day ended and the Sabbath was drawing near, that they prepared the body of Jesus and put it in the tomb. After they did that, they rested the next day, the Sabbath, according to the commandment. Then it says, “Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.” Luke 24:1. That day was resurrection Sunday, as the whole Christian world knows.

The Biblical record shows Good Friday, resurrection Sunday, and the Sabbath “according to the commandment,” which they kept, was the day in between. Since the whole Christian world acknowledges Good Friday and resurrection Sunday, it is impossible for any candid reader of the Bible to make a mistake as to which day is the Sabbath.


The Sabbath Changed?


However, some people ask, “In the New Covenant was not the Lord’s day changed from the seventh day of the week to the first day of the week?” The Bible clearly answers. Jesus did not change it. The apostles did not change it. Nowhere does the Bible authorize a change. Jesus and the apostles kept the seventh day holy not only before, but also after the cross, and there is no record of its change in the Bible before or after Jesus’ death. Jesus said, “And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle [a small part of a letter] of the law to fail.” Luke 16:17.

Father O’Brien, a Catholic author, in his book, The Faith of Millions, copyright 1974, says: “Let me address myself to my dear non-Catholic reader. You believe that the Bible alone is a safe guide in religious matters. You also believe that one of the fundamental duties enjoined upon you by your Christian faith is that of Sunday observance. But where does the Bible speak of such an obligation? I have read the Bible from the first verse of Genesis to the last verse of Revelation and have found no reference to the duty of sanctifying the Sunday. The day mentioned in the Bible is not the Sunday, the first day of the week, but the Saturday, the last day of the week.” The first day of the week is mentioned in the Bible nine times, but nowhere is it mentioned as a Christian Sabbath or as a holy day or day of worship.


Nailed to the Cross?


Many have confused God’s holy Sabbath day with the yearly Sabbaths that were kept by the Israelites in the Old Covenant, and think that, somehow, it was also annulled when Jesus died. But a careful study of the Bible shows that, in contrast to the weekly Sabbath, the ceremonial sabbaths were added because of transgression and pointed forward to the life and ministry of Christ. One of those yearly Sabbaths was the Passover Sabbath. These ceremonies pointed forward to Christ’s ministry and death and were called “a shadow of things to come.” Colossians 2:17. The Passover Sabbath came on the fourteenth day of the first month of the Jewish year, the day that Jesus was crucified. The Bible says that “Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.” 1 Corinthians 5:7. When Jesus died, these ceremonial Sabbaths had no more significance because they had been fulfilled.

The seventh day Sabbath has nothing to do with Jewish ceremonies. It was established before there were any Jews or any Jewish ceremonies or before the plan of salvation had even been introduced. It was made before sin even came into the world. The Bible never calls it the Jewish Sabbath. Rather it calls it the seventh day Sabbath, the Lord’s day. Jesus acknowledged that the Sabbath that was kept by the Jews was the Lord’s day, His holy day, and it was made for all mankind—and not just for the Jews. “And He said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man,and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.’ ” Mark 2:27, 28.

The Jews kept the Sabbath because they were God’s people, in those days, and, as God’s people, they kept God’s day. The Sabbath can be kept legalistically like the Pharisees did but when it is kept the way Jesus kept it, it is a great blessing to mankind. Calling Sunday the Lord’s day cannot make it holy or make it God’s rest day any more than calling a piece of cut glass a diamond can make it so, even if it looks just the same. Calling it such may confuse people, but it will never change the truth.

Adolph Hitler said that if you repeatedly tell a lie, especially a big one, eventually people will believe it. In this case he told the truth. God and man kept the Sabbath in Eden. It was kept by Abraham according to Genesis 26:5. It was kept by Christ according to Luke 4:16. All the apostles kept it. There is not one instance recorded in the New Testament of an apostle keeping Sunday nor is there one instance of an apostle not keeping the Sabbath. Instead, the Bible records over eighty Sabbaths that the apostle Paul kept.

Revelation tells us that there will be a day that will be kept by God’s people in the last days, and this is a distinguishing mark of those people who will not receive the mark of the beast. “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12.

The “saints” keep God’s commandments. No one can be described as a person who keeps God’s commandments if they break one, and the Sabbath is one of God’s commandments. James 2:10 says that if you keep the whole law and offend in one point, you are guilty of all. Therefore, God’s people in the last days, who will not receive the mark of the beast, will be Sabbathkeepers.

All of this evidence is sure to stimulate some questions; for example, “How then did the Christian world begin to keep Sunday instead of Sabbath?” The change came after the apostles death when the Christian church went into great apostasy and changed their religious practices contrary to Bible teachings. Students of religious history that have studied this subject know that it was in the city of Rome where Sunday appears to have been first kept, possibly just decades after the death of the apostles. (It was kept at an early date in Alexandria, Egypt, also.) At that time, it was decided that it would be a good idea to celebrate the festival of Ishtar with the pagans in Rome. This pagan holiday was held about the same time as the Passover (the time of the year when Christ died and was resurrected.) We now call this day Easter. You might recognize the resemblance in the names Ishtar and Easter.

The yearly Sunday observance was gradually followed by a weekly Sunday observance, also in honor of the resurrection. The pagan world already kept this day in honor of the Sun, so the Christians felt that it would be easier to make converts of the pagans if they too kept the day holy. So the Christian world had two holy days—Sabbath and Sunday. However, as time went on, fewer and fewer continued to keep the Sabbath, and more and more began to worship only on Sunday.

Finally, in A.D. 321, the Emperor Constantine passed a Sunday law, before he became a Christian. In this Sunday law, the “holy day” was not called a Sabbath but the “venerable day of the Sun.” (The Sun was the god of the pagan religion and Sunday was the day on which the Sun was worshipped.) From there the practice of Sunday keeping was spread throughout Christendom.


Protestants and Sunday-keeping


This history is not unknown to the Protestant leadership. Doctor Binney of the Methodist Church wrote, “It is true there is no positive command in the Bible for keeping holy the first day of the week.” Dr. Edward T. Hiscox, author of the Baptist Manual, said, “There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath was not Sunday. It will, however, be readily said and with some show of triumph that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week with all its duties, privileges, and sanctions.

“Earnestly desiring information on this subject, which I have studied for many years, I asked,Where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament, absolutely not. There is no Scriptural evidence of the change of the Sabbath institution from the seventh to the first day of the week. Of course, I quite well know that Sunday did come into use in early Christian history as a religious day as we learned from the Christian fathers and other sources. What a pity, that it comes branded with the mark of paganism and christened with the name of the Sun god.”

There is no evidence in the Bible for the change of the fourth commandment. That is purely a human invention that has no Biblical support whatsoever. The Lord has a day that He says is His. He is the Lord of the Sabbath day, the seventh day of the week.

Many people today think that it is unimportant to obey God exactly. They think that His requirements can be adjusted or changed to suit their own thinking or the practices of society. But the Bible is very clear about our obligation to keep the whole law, and it predicts that in the last days a great controversy will occur over the Sabbath commandment.

Everyone must decide whether they will obey God exactly or whether they will seek to make human adjustments to divine commands. The final test in this world will involve Satan’s claim, “That the law which was spoken by God’s own voice is faulty, that some specification has been set aside . . . It is the last great deception that he will bring upon the world. He needs not to assail the whole law; if he can lead men to disregard one precept, his purpose is gained. For ‘whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.’ James 2:10. By consenting to break one precept, men are brought under Satan’s power. By substituting human law for God’s law, Satan will seek to control the world. This work is foretold in prophecy. Of the great apostate power which is the representative of Satan, it is declared, ‘He shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand.’ Daniel 7:25.

“Men will surely set up their laws to counterwork the laws of God. They will seek to compel the consciences of others, and in their zeal to enforce these laws they will oppress their fellow men.

“The warfare against God’s law, which was begun in heaven, will be continued until the end of time. Every man will be tested. Obedience or disobedience is the question to be decided by the whole world. All will be called to choose between the law of God and the laws of men. Here the dividing line will be drawn. There will be but two classes. Every character will be fully developed; and all will show whether they have chosen the side of loyalty or that of rebellion.

“Then the end will come. God will vindicate His law and deliver His people. Satan and all who have joined him in rebellion will be cut off. Sin and sinners will perish, root and branch, (Malachi 4:1)— Satan the root, and his followers the branches. The word will be fulfilled to the prince of evil, ‘Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God; . . . I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire . . . Thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.’ Then ‘the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be;’ ‘they shall be as though they had not been.’ Ezekiel 28:6–19; Psalms 37:10; Obadiah 16.” The Desire of Ages, 763.