Bible Study Guides – Faith

January 24, 2004 – January 30, 2004

Memory Verse

“But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6.

Suggested Reading: Steps to Christ, 49–55; Education, 253–257; The Ministry of Healing, 59–72.


“True faith and true prayer—how strong they are! They are as two arms by which the human suppliant lays hold upon the power of Infinite Love. Faith is trusting in God,—believing that He loves us, and knows what is for our best good. Thus, instead of our own way, it leads us to choose His way. In place of our ignorance, it accepts His wisdom; in place of our weakness, His strength; in place of our sinfulness, His righteousness. Our lives, ourselves, are already His; faith acknowledges His ownership, and accepts its blessings. Truth, uprightness, purity, are pointed out as secrets of life’s success. It is faith that puts us in possession of these. Every good impulse or aspiration is the gift of God; faith receives from God the life that alone can produce true growth and efficiency.” Gospel Workers, 259.

1 What relation does faith sustain to unseen things? Hebrews 11:1.

note: “The Lord can bring victory out of that which may seem to us discomfiture and defeat. We are in danger of forgetting God, of looking at the things which are seen, instead of beholding by the eye of faith the things which are unseen. When misfortune or calamity comes, we are ready to charge God with neglect or cruelty. If He sees fit to cut off our usefulness in some line, we mourn, not stopping to think that thus God may be working for our good. We need to learn that chastisement is a part of His great plan and that under the rod of affliction the Christian may sometimes do more for the Master than when engaged in active service.” The Acts of the Apostles, 481.

2 What must we have in order to please God? Hebrews 11:6.

note: “The faith that is required is not a mere assent to doctrines; it is the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. Humility, meekness, and obedience are not faith; but they are the effects, or fruit, of faith. These graces you have yet to attain by learning in the school of Christ.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 437, 438.

3 What is the foundation of all true faith? Romans 10:17.

note: “The Scriptures are the great agency in the transformation of character. Christ prayed, ‘Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth.’ John 17:17. If studied and obeyed, the word of God works in the heart, subduing every unholy attribute. The Holy Spirit comes to convict of sin, and the faith that springs up in the heart works by love to Christ, conforming us in body, soul, and spirit to His own image. Then God can use us to do His will. The power given us works from within outwardly, leading us to communicate to others the truth that has been communicated to us.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 100.

4 What proof has God given of the immutability of His promises? Hebrews 6:16–19.

note: “There is joy and consolation for the true-hearted, faithful Christian, that the world knows not of. To them it is a mystery. The Christian’s hope is big with immortality and full of glory. It reacheth to that within the veil, and is as an anchor to the soul, both sure and steadfast. And when the storm of God’s wrath shall come upon the ungodly, this hope will not fail them, but they are hid as in the secret of His pavilion.” Sons and Daughters of God, 354.

5 How only can the deep things of God be understood? Hebrews 11:3.

note: “The deepest students of science are constrained to recognize in nature the working of infinite power. But to man’s unaided reason, nature’s teaching cannot but be contradictory and disappointing. Only in the light of revelation can it be read aright. ‘Through faith we understand.’ Hebrews 11:3.” Education, 134.

6 With what is true faith always accompanied? James 2:15–17, 20.

note: “We do not earn salvation by our obedience; for salvation is the free gift of God, to be received by faith. But obedience is the fruit of faith. ‘Ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him.’ 1 John 3:5, 6. Here is the true test. If we abide in Christ, if the love of God dwells in us, our feelings, our thoughts, our purposes, our actions, will be in harmony with the will of God as expressed in the precepts of His holy law. ‘Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous.’ 1 John 3:7. Righteousness is defined by the standard of God’s holy law, as expressed in the ten precepts given on Sinai.” Steps to Christ, 61.

7 What gives victory to the soul struggling under temptation? 1 John 5:4, 5.

note: “Jesus says, ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches’ (John 15:5). Can we conceive of a more intimate relation than this implies? The fibers of the branch are identical with those of the vine. The communication of life, strength, and nourishment from the trunk to the branches is unobstructed and constant. The root sends its nourishment through the branches. Such is the believer’s relation to Christ, if he abides in Christ and draws his nourishment from Him. But this spiritual relation between Christ and the soul can be established only through the exercise of personal faith. ‘Without faith it is impossible to please him’ (Hebrews 11:6); for it is faith that connects us with the power of heaven, and brings us strength for coping with the powers of darkness. ‘This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith’ (1 John 5:4). Faith familiarizes the soul with the existence and presence of God, and, living with an eye single to the glory of God, more and more we discern the beauty of His character, the excellence of His grace. Our souls become strong in spiritual power; for we are breathing the atmosphere of heaven, and realizing that God is at our right hand, that we shall not be moved. We are rising above the world, beholding Him who is the chief among ten thousand, the one altogether lovely, and by beholding we are to become changed into His image.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 334, 335.

8 What will be the experience of the righteous in that trying time just before the coming of Christ? Hebrews 10:37, 38.

note: “You gave yourself to God, to be His wholly, to serve and obey Him, and you took Christ as your Saviour. You could not yourself atone for your sins or change your heart; but having given yourself to God, you believe that He for Christ’s sake did all this for you. By faith you became Christ’s, and by faith you are to grow up in Him—by giving and taking. You are to give all,—your heart, your will, your service,—give yourself to Him to obey all His requirements; and you must take all,—Christ, the fullness of all blessing, to abide in your heart, to be your strength, your righteousness, your everlasting helper,—to give you power to obey.” Steps to Christ, 69, 70.

9 How does Christ dwell in our hearts? Ephesians 3:17–19.

note: “Christ must abide in the heart by faith. His word is the bread of life and the water of salvation. Trust in its fullness comes to us through constant communion with God. By eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ we gain spiritual strength. Christ supplies the lifeblood of the heart, and Christ and the Holy Spirit give nerve power. Begotten again unto a lively hope, imbued with the quickening power of a new nature, the soul is enabled to rise higher and still higher.” Counsels on Health, 593.

“A mere assent to truth is not enough. Daily we must live the truth. We must shut ourselves in with God, surrendering all to Him. To listen to the great and grand truths of the Word is not enough. We must ask ourselves the question, Does Christ dwell in my heart by faith? He alone can show us our necessity and reveal the dignity and glory of the truth. At the altar of self-sacrifice—the appointed place of meeting between God and the soul—we receive from the hand of God the celestial torch which searches the heart, revealing its great need of an abiding Christ.” Our High Calling, 21.

10 How is the promise of the Spirit received? Galatians 3:14. To what extent will unbelief hinder the fulfillment of the promise? James 1:6, 7.

note: “It is not enough to believe about Christ; we must believe in Him. The only faith that will benefit us is that which embraces Him as a personal Saviour; which appropriates His merits to ourselves. Many hold faith as an opinion. But saving faith is a transaction, by which those who receive Christ join themselves in covenant relation with God. Genuine faith is life. A living faith means an increase of vigor, a confiding trust, by which the soul becomes a conquering power.” Gospel Workers, 261.

11 What part of the Christian armor is faith? What will it do for us? Ephesians 6:16.

note: “If you make God your strength and subdue yourself, and let the truth bear away the victory, the devices of Satan and his fiery darts will fall upon himself, and you will be strengthened, kept from error, and guarded from every false way. You need to cultivate caution and not rush on in your own strength. The work is important and sacred, and you need great wisdom. You should counsel with your brethren who have had experience in the work. But, above everything else, you should obtain a thorough knowledge of your own weakness and dangers, and should strengthen the weak points in your character, that you may not make shipwreck of faith.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 66.

12 What is an appropriate prayer for us at this time? Luke 17:5.

note: “You have to talk faith, you have to live faith, you have to act faith, that you may have an increase of faith; and thus exercising that living faith you will grow to strong men and women in Christ Jesus.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1121, 1122.

These lessons are adapted from the Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, April 1912.

Bible Study Guides – Answers to Prayer

January 17, 2004 – January 23, 2004

Memory Verse

“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Jeremiah 33:3.

Suggested Reading: The Desire of Ages, 356, 357; Gospel Workers, 112–114.


“We have too little faith. We limit the Holy One of Israel. We should be grateful that God condescends to use any of us as His instruments. For every earnest prayer put up in faith for anything, answers will be returned. They may not come just as we have expected; but they will come—not perhaps as we have devised, but at the very time when we most need them. But, oh, how sinful is our unbelief!” Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White, 215.

1 For what purpose were the experiences of Bible characters recorded? Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:11.

note: “The repeated murmurings of the Israelites, and the visitations of God’s wrath because of their transgressions, are recorded in sacred history for the benefit of God’s people who should afterward live upon the earth, but more especially to prove a warning to those who should live near the close of time. Also their acts of devotion, their energy and liberality in bringing their free-will offerings to Moses are recorded for the benefit of the people of God. Their example in preparing material for the tabernacle so cheerfully is an example for all who truly love the worship of God.” The Story of Redemption, 152.

“Not alone for men in positions of large responsibility is the lesson of Elijah’s experience in learning anew how to trust God in the hour of trial.” Prophets and Kings, 175.

“Men whom God favored, and to whom He entrusted great responsibilities, were sometimes overcome by temptation and committed sin, even as we at the present day strive, waver, and frequently fall into error. Their lives, with all their faults and follies, are open before us, both for our encouragement and warning.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 238.

“The errors, sins, and vile apostasies of some, who had been the consecrated and favored servants of God, are dwelt upon in Sacred History at length, as a warning to after generations.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, v. 2.

2 What assurance is given those who call upon the Lord in trouble? Psalms 50:15; 107:4–6.

note: “If the Hebrews had continued to obey God after they left Egypt, and had kept his righteous law, he would have gone before them and prospered them, and made them always a terror to the heathen nations around them. But they so often followed their own rebellious hearts, and departed from God, and went into idolatry, that he suffered them to be overcome by other nations, to humble and punish them. When in their affliction they cried unto God, he always heard them, and raised them up a ruler to deliver them from their enemies.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 66.

3 What can we learn from the prayers of Godly men? Nehemiah 1:4–11; Daniel 9:3–5.

note: “Nehemiah humbled himself before God, giving Him the glory due unto His name. Thus also did Daniel in Babylon. Let us study the prayers of these men. They teach us that we are to humble ourselves, but that we are never to obliterate the line of demarcation between God’s commandment-keeping people and those who have no respect for His law.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1136.

4 How did God open the way for Nehemiah’s work? Nehemiah 2:1–6.

note: “He [Nehemiah] had a sacred trust to fulfill, in which he required help from the king; and he realized that much depended upon his presenting the matter in such a way as to win his [the king’s] approval and enlist his aid. ‘I prayed,’ he said, ‘to the God of heaven.’ [Nehemiah 2:4.] In that brief prayer Nehemiah pressed into the presence of the King of kings and won to his side a power that can turn hearts as the rivers of waters are turned.” Prophets and Kings, 631.

“Nehemiah did not regard his duty as done when he had mourned and wept and prayed before the Lord. He did not only pray. He worked, mingling petition and endeavor.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 346.

5 For what did Elijah pray? Why did his prayer so effectively alter the course of nature? James 5:17, 18.

note: “Elijah’s prayer was answered. Oft-repeated appeals, remonstrances, and warnings had failed to bring Israel to repentance. The time had come when God must speak to them by means of judgments. Inasmuch as the worshipers of Baal claimed that the treasures of heaven, the dew and the rain, came not from Jehovah, but from the ruling forces of nature, and that it was through the creative energy of the sun that the earth was enriched and made to bring forth abundantly, the curse of God was to rest heavily upon the polluted land. The apostate tribes of Israel were to be shown the folly of trusting to the power of Baal for temporal blessings. Until they should turn to God with repentance, and acknowledge Him as the source of all blessing, there should fall upon the land neither dew nor rain.” Prophets and Kings, 119, 120.

6 During Elijah’s experience at Mount Carmel, why did not the rain come immediately after his first prayer? 1 Kings 18:17–45; Psalm 26:2.

note: “Important lessons are presented to us in the experience of Elijah. When upon Mount Carmel he offered the prayer for rain, his faith was tested, but he persevered in making known his request unto God. Six times he prayed earnestly, and yet there was no sign that his petition was granted, but with strong faith he urged his plea to the throne of grace. Had he given up in discouragement at the sixth time, his prayer would not have been answered, but he persevered till the answer came. We have a God whose ear is not closed to our petitions; and if we prove his word, he will honor our faith. He wants us to have all our interests interwoven with his interests, and then he can safely bless us; for we shall not then take glory to self when the blessing is ours, but shall render all the praise to God. God does not always answer our prayers the first time we call upon him; for should he do this, we might take it for granted that we had a right to all the blessings and favors he bestowed upon us. Instead of searching our hearts to see if any evil was entertained by us, any sin indulged, we would become careless, and fail to realize our dependence upon him, and our need of his help.” Review and Herald, June 9, 1891.

7 How important was prayer to the prophet Daniel? Daniel 6:4–10.

note: “Morning, noon, and at night Daniel prayed to his God, notwithstanding the king’s decree, and the fearful den of lions. He was not ashamed, or afraid to pray, but with his windows opened he prayed three times a day. Did God forget his faithful servant when he was cast into the lion’s den? O, No. He was with him there all night. He closed the mouths of these hungry lions, and they could not hurt the praying man of God.” The Youth’s Instructor, October 1, 1855.

8 What were Isaiah’s concerns when he was called by God, and how was he strengthened by communion with the Almighty? Isaiah 6:5–8.

note: “Never before had Isaiah realized so fully the greatness of Jehovah or His perfect holiness; and he felt that in his human frailty and unworthiness he must perish in that divine presence. . . . But a seraph came to him to fit him for his great mission. A living coal from the altar was laid upon his lips . . . and when the voice of God was heard saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Isaiah with holy confidence responded, ‘Here am I; send me.’ [Isaish 6:8.] . . .

“[Isaiah] had seen the King, the Lord of hosts; he had heard the song of the seraphim, ‘The whole earth is full of His glory’ [Isaiah 6:3]; and the prophet was nerved for the work before him. The memory of this vision was carried with him throughout his long and arduous mission.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 750, 751.

9 During the time Jonah was neglecting his duty to God, what serious warning must we heed from his experience? Jonah 1:1–12.

note: “The prayers of the man [Jonah] who had turned aside from the path of duty brought no help.” Prophets and Kings, 267.

10 What does Jonah’s experience teach of God’s delight in the prayers of the penitent? Jonah 2:1–10; 3:4–10.

note: “At last Jonah had learned that ‘salvation belongeth unto the Lord.’ Psalm 3:8. With penitence and a recognition of the saving grace of God, came deliverance. Jonah was released from the perils of the mighty deep and was cast upon the dry land.

“Once more the servant of God was commissioned to warn Nineveh. ‘The word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.’ [Jonah 3:1, 2.] This time he did not stop to question or doubt, but obeyed unhesitatingly.” Prophets and Kings, 269, 270.

11 What invitation does God extend to each of us? Jeremiah 33:3.

note: “Our prayers for conformity to the image of Christ may not be answered exactly as we desire. We may be tested and proved, for God sees it best to put us under a course of discipline which is essential for us before we are fit subjects for the blessing we crave. We should not become discouraged and give way to doubt, and think that our prayers are not noticed. We should rely more securely upon Christ and leave our case with God to answer our prayers in His own way. God has not promised to bestow His blessings through the channels we have marked out. God is too wise to err and too regardful of our good to allow us to choose for ourselves.” The Upward Look, 109.

12 Under all circumstances, what promise may the righteous claim? Psalm 34:17.

note: “Our God has heaven and earth at His command, and He knows just what we need. We can see only a little way before us; ‘but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.’ Hebrews 4:13. Above the distractions of the earth He sits enthroned; all things are open to His divine survey; and from His great and calm eternity He orders that which His providence sees best.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 272, 273.

These lessons are adapted from the Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, April 1912.

Bible Study Guides – Prayer, Part II

January 10, 2004 – January 16, 2004

Memory Verse

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6.

Suggested Reading: Christ’s Object Lessons, 150, 163; Steps to Christ, 93–104; The Ministry of Healing, 225–233.


“It is when we come into difficult places that He [God] reveals His power and wisdom in answer to humble prayer. Have confidence in Him as a prayer-hearing, prayer-answering God. He will reveal Himself to you as One who can help in every emergency. He who created man, who gave him his wonderful physical, mental, and spiritual faculties, will not withhold that which is necessary to sustain the life He has given. He who has given us His word—the leaves of the tree of life—will not withhold from us a knowledge of how to provide food for His needy children.” The Ministry of Healing, 199.

1 What prayer habit should we develop? 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Compare Psalm 16:8.

note: “Unceasing prayer is the unbroken union of the soul with God, so that life from God flows into our life; and from our life, purity and holiness flow back to God.

“There is necessity for diligence in prayer; let nothing hinder you. Make every effort to keep open the communion between Jesus and your own soul. Seek every opportunity to go where prayer is wont to be made. Those who are really seeking for communion with God will be seen in the prayer meeting, faithful to do their duty and earnest and anxious to reap all the benefits they can gain. They will improve every opportunity of placing themselves where they can receive the rays of light from heaven.” Steps to Christ, 98.

2 How does continual prayer for God’s leading affect our overall state of mind? Isaiah 26:3.

note: “Those who take Christ at His word, and surrender their souls to His keeping, their lives to His ordering, will find peace and quietude. Nothing of the world can make them sad when Jesus makes them glad by His presence. In perfect acquiescence there is perfect rest.” The Desire of Ages, 331.

3 What assurance has God given us concerning prayer? Jeremiah 29:12, 13.

note: “That prayer which comes forth from an earnest, believing heart is the effectual, fervent prayer that availeth much. God does not always answer our prayers as we expect, for we may not ask what would be for our highest good; but in His infinite love and wisdom He will give us those things which we most need.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 531.

4 What will hinder our prayers being answered? Psalm 66:18; Isaiah 59:1–3; Proverbs 28:9.

note: “There are conditions to the fulfillment of God’s promises, and prayer can never take the place of duty. ‘If ye love Me,’ Christ says, ‘Keep My commandments.’ ‘He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me; and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him.’ John 14:15, 21. Those who bring their petitions to God, claiming His promise while they do not comply with the conditions, insult Jehovah. They bring the name of Christ as their authority for the fulfillment of the promise, but they do not those things that would show faith in Christ and love for Him.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 143.

5 What encouragement is given us to pray in secret? Matthew 6:5, 6.

note: “The Lord speaks: enter into your closet, and in silence commune with your own heart; listen to the voice of truth and conscience. Nothing will give such clear views of self as secret prayer. He who seeth in secret and knoweth all things, will enlighten your understanding and answer your petitions. Plain, simple duties that must not be neglected will open before you. Make a covenant with God to yield yourselves and all your powers to his service.” Review and Herald, June 6, 1912.

“Prayer is not understood as it should be. Our prayers are not to inform God of something He does not know. The Lord is acquainted with the secrets of every soul. Our prayers need not be long and loud. God reads the hidden thoughts. We may pray in secret, and He who sees in secret will hear, and will reward us openly.” Messages to Young People, 247.

6 What exhortation is given to praise the Lord in the public congregation? Psalms 22:25; 35:18.

note: “In our devotional social meetings, our voices should express by prayer and praise our adoration of our heavenly Father, that all may know that we worship God in simplicity and truth, and in the beauty of holiness. Precious indeed in this world of sin and ignorance is the gift of speech, is the melody of the human voice, when devoted to the praises of Him who hath loved us, and hath given himself for us. . . . The voice of thanksgiving, praise, and rejoicing is heard in heaven. The voices of the children of God unite with the voices of the angels of heaven, as they ascribe honor and glory and praise unto God and to the Lamb for the great salvation he has provided.” Christian Education, 131.

7 With what should our requests to God be made known? Philippians 4:6.

note: “Calmly, yet fervently, the soul is to reach out after God; and sweet and abiding will be the influence emanating from Him who sees in secret, whose ear is open to the prayer arising from the heart. He who in simple faith holds communion with God will gather to himself divine rays of light to strengthen and sustain him in the conflict with Satan.

“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 would 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.” The Faith I Live By, 225.

8 When we call upon the Lord in time of trouble, what has He promised to do? Psalms 50:14, 15; 107:6.

note: “[The Lord] invites us to present to Him our perplexities and necessities, and our need of divine help. He bids us be instant in prayer. As soon as difficulties arise, we are to offer to Him our sincere, earnest petitions. By our importunate prayers we give evidence of our strong confidence in God. The sense of our need leads us to pray earnestly, and our heavenly Father is moved by our supplications.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 172.

9 For whom should we pray? James 5:16; 1 Timothy 2:1, 2.

note: “To the one asking for prayer, let thoughts like these be presented, ‘We cannot read the heart, or know the secrets of your life. These are known only to yourself and to God. If you repent of your sins, it is your duty to make confession of them.’

“Sin of a private character is to be confessed to Christ, the only mediator between God and man. For ‘if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.’ [1 John 2:1.] Every sin is an offense against God, and is to be confessed to Him through Christ. Every open sin should be as openly confessed. Wrong done to a fellow-being should be made right with the one who has been offended. If any who are seeking health have been guilty of evil-speaking, if they have sowed discord in the home, the neighborhood, or the church, and have stirred up alienation and dissension, if by any wrong practice they have led others into sin, these things should be confessed before God and before those who have been offended. ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ [1 John 1:9.]” Gospel Workers, 216, 217.

10 How are we encouraged to imitate the greatest Example of intercessory prayer? Luke 22:31, 32; John 17:20.

note: “The Son of God is Himself the great Intercessor in the sinner’s behalf. He who has paid the price for its redemption knows the worth of the human soul. With an antagonism to evil such as can exist only in a nature spotlessly pure, Christ manifested toward the sinner a love which infinite goodness alone could conceive. In the agonies of the crucifixion, Himself burdened with the awful weight of the sins of the whole world, He prayed for His revilers and murderers, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ Luke 23:34.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 140.

11 Why must we redouble our efforts in praying for others? Romans 13:10, 11.

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

12 What prayers should be uttered today, and why? Psalm 119:126; Joel 2:17, 18.

note: “God has always wrought for His people in their greatest extremity, when there seemed the least hope that ruin could be averted. The designs of wicked men, the enemies of the church, are subject to His power and overruling providence. He can move upon the hearts of statesmen; the wrath of the turbulent and disaffected, the haters of God, His truth, and His people can be turned aside, even as the rivers of water are turned, if He orders it thus. Prayer moves the arm of Omnipotence. He who marshals the stars in order in the heavens, whose word controls the waves of the great deep, the same infinite Creator will work in behalf of His people if they call upon Him in faith. He will restrain the forces of darkness until the warning is given to the world and all who will heed it are prepared for the conflict.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 452, 453.

These lessons are adapted from the Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, April 1912.

Bible Study Guides – Prayer, Part I

January 3, 2004 – January 9, 2004

Memory Verse

“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same, with thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2.

Suggested Reading: Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 102–122; Steps to Christ, 97–109.


“There is no time or place in which it is inappropriate to offer up a petition to God. There is nothing that can prevent us from lifting up our hearts in the spirit of earnest prayer. In the crowds of the street, in the midst of a business engagement, we may send up a petition to God, and plead for divine guidance.

“We may speak with Jesus as we walk by the way, and He says, I am at thy right hand. We may commune with God in our hearts; we may walk in companionship with Christ. When engaged in our daily labor, we may breathe out our heart’s desire, inaudible to any human ear; but that word cannot die away into silence, nor can it be lost. Nothing can drown the soul’s desire. It rises above the din of the street, above the noise of machinery. It is God to whom we are speaking, and our prayer is heard.” My Life Today, 16.

1 What special instruction is given concerning prayer? Ephesians 6:18; 1 Timothy 2:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:17.

note: “There are three watchwords in the Christian life, which must be heeded if we would not have Satan steal a march upon us; namely, Watch, pray, work. Prayer and watching thereunto are necessary for advancement in the divine life. Never was there a time in your history more important than the present. Your only safety is to live like a watchman. Watch and pray always.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 283.

2 What degree of earnestness characterized the psalmist’s prayer? Psalms 42:1, 2; 84:2.

note: “Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. The eye of faith will discern God very near, and the suppliant may obtain precious evidence of the divine love and care for him. . . .

“There is need of prayer, earnest, fervent, agonizing prayer, such prayer as David offered . . . .” Gospel Workers, 257.

3 What descriptions are given of Jesus concerning prayer? Luke 9:28; 6:12; Matthew 14:23; 17:1; Mark 9:2.

note: “No other life was ever so crowded with labor and responsibility as was that of Jesus; yet how often He was found in prayer! How constant was His communion with God! Again and again in the history of His earthly life are found records such as these: ‘Rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.’ ‘Great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. And He withdrew Himself into the wilderness, and prayed.’ Mark 1:35; Luke 5:15, 16.” The Desire of Ages, 362.

4 How was Jesus’ earnestness in prayer manifested? Hebrews 5:7.

note: “The Majesty of heaven, while engaged in His earthly ministry, prayed much to His Father. He was frequently bowed all night in prayer. His spirit was often sorrowful as He felt the powers of the darkness of this world, and He left the busy city and the noisy throng, to seek a retired place to make His intercessions. The Mount of Olives was the favorite resort of the Son of God for His devotions. . . . While the city was hushed in silence, and the disciples had returned to their homes to obtain refreshment in sleep, Jesus slept not. His divine pleadings were ascending to His Father from the Mount of Olives that His disciples might be kept from the evil influences which they would daily encounter in the world, and that His own soul might be strengthened and braced for the duties and trials of the coming day. All night, while His followers were sleeping, was their divine Teacher praying. The dew and frost of night fell upon His head bowed in prayer. His example is left for His followers.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 508.

5 What promises are given to those who pray? Matthew 21:22; Luke 11:9–13.

note: “Prayer is heaven’s ordained means of success in the conflict with sin and the development of Christian character. The divine influences that come in answer to the prayer of faith will accomplish in the soul of the suppliant all for which he pleads. 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; and the promise is, ‘Ye shall receive.’ ” The Acts of the Apostles, 564.

6 What did the Lord promise anciently to do for His people when they prayed to Him? 11 Chronicles 6:24, 25; 7:12–15.

note: “For stricken Israel there was but one remedy,—a turning away from the sins that had brought upon them the chastening hand of the Almighty, and a turning to the Lord with full purpose of heart.” Prophets and Kings, 128.

7 How only can victory be gained over the power of the enemy? Mark 9:29.

note: “The only way for such poor souls [those fascinated with spiritualism] to overcome Satan, is to discern between pure Bible truth and fables. As they acknowledge the claims of truth, they place themselves where they can be helped. . . . Satan will reinforce his evil angels who have controlled these persons; but if the saints of God with deep humility fast and pray, their prayers will prevail. Jesus will commission holy angels to resist Satan, and he will be driven back and his power broken from off the afflicted ones.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 343, 344.

8 As the Saviour was praying, what request did the disciples make? What relationship did He bid us recognize in prayer? Luke 11:1, 2, first part.

note: “Christ’s disciples were much impressed by His prayers and by His habit of communion with God. One day . . . as He ceased praying, they exclaimed, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’ [Luke 11:1.]

“In answer, Christ repeated the Lord’s prayer, as He had given it in the sermon on the mount.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 140.

“In order to strengthen our confidence in God, Christ teaches us to address Him by a new name, a name entwined with the dearest associations of the human heart. He gives us the privilege of calling the infinite God our Father.” Ibid., 141, 142.

9 For what are we to pray concerning the kingdom? What concerning God’s will? What daily dependence upon God are we to recognize? Luke 11:2, last part, 3.

note: “The disciples of Christ were looking for the immediate coming of the kingdom of His glory, but in giving them this prayer Jesus taught that the kingdom was not then to be established. They were to pray for its coming as an event yet future. But this petition was also an assurance to them. While they were not to behold the coming of the kingdom in their day, the fact that Jesus bade them pray for it is evidence that in God’s own time it will surely come.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 107, 108.

“The petition, ‘Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven’ [Luke 11:2], is a prayer that the reign of evil on this earth may be ended, that sin may be forever destroyed, and the kingdom of righteousness be established.” Ibid., 110.

“The first half of the prayer Jesus has taught us is in regard to the name and kingdom and will of God—that His name may be honored, His kingdom established, His will performed. When you have thus made God’s service your first interest, you may ask with confidence that your own needs may be supplied.” Ibid.

10 What request did Jesus teach us to make concerning our sins? To what extent are we to expect forgiveness? From what are we to be delivered? Luke 11:4. Compare Matthew 6:9–15.

note: “Jesus teaches that we can receive forgiveness from God only as we forgive others. It is the love of God that draws us unto Him, and that love cannot touch our hearts without creating love for our brethren.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 113.

“Satan seeks to bring us into temptation, that the evil of our characters may be revealed before men and angels, that he may claim us as his own. . . .

“God in His great love is seeking to develop in us the precious graces of His Spirit. He permits us to encounter obstacles, persecution, and hardships, not as a curse, but as the greatest blessing of our lives. Every temptation resisted, every trial bravely borne, gives us a new experience and advances us in the work of character building. The soul that through divine power resists temptation reveals to the world and to the heavenly universe the efficiency of the grace of Christ.” Ibid., 116, 117.

11 What were the followers of Jesus doing just before Pentecost? Acts 1:14.

note: “For ten days the disciples prayed before the Pentecostal blessing came. It required all that time to bring them to an understanding of what it meant to offer effectual prayer, drawing nearer and nearer to God, confessing their sins, humbling their hearts before God, and by faith beholding Jesus, and becoming changed into His image.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 170.

12 What admonition should we earnestly heed at this time? Colossians 4:2; Romans 12:12.

note: “Perseverance in prayer has been made a condition of receiving. We must pray always if we would grow in faith and experience. . . . Unceasing prayer is the unbroken union of the soul with God, so that life from God flows into our life; and from our life, purity and holiness flow back to God.

“There is necessity for diligence in prayer; let nothing hinder you. Make every effort to keep open the communion between Jesus and your own soul. Seek every opportunity to go where prayer is wont to be made. Those who are really seeking for communion with God will be seen in the prayer meeting, faithful to do their duty and earnest and anxious to reap all the benefits they can gain. They will improve every opportunity of placing themselves where they can receive the rays of light from heaven.” Steps to Christ, 97, 98.

These lessons are adapted from the Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, April 1912.

Bible Study Guides – Search the Scriptures

December 27, 2003 – January 2, 2004

Memory Verse

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 11 Timothy 2:15.

Suggested Reading: Steps to Christ, 93–96; The Ministry of Healing, 458–466; Education, 185–192.


“Would you become assimilated to the divine image? . . . Would you drink of the water which Christ shall give you, which shall be in you a well of water springing up into everlasting life? Would you bear fruit to the glory of God? Would you refresh others? Then with heart hungering for the bread of life, the Word of God, search the Scriptures, and live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Your soul’s sanctification and righteousness will result from faith in the Word of God, which leads to obedience of its commands. Let the Word of God be to you as the voice of God instructing you, and saying, ‘This is the way, walk ye in it.’ Isaiah 30:21.” The Signs of the Times, September 5, 1895.

“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. . . . 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.’ [John 17:3.]” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 445, 446.

1 What is God’s Word said to be? John 17:17; Psalm 119:160.

note: “The principles of truth impressed upon the heart, line upon line and precept upon precept, will produce right action. The Bible contains the searching maxims which God has given to guide men and women, youth and children, through the conflicts of this life to heaven. The prayer of Christ was, ‘Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.’ [John 17:17.] However enlightened the youth may be through Bible studies, their nature is such that unless the truth of which they have knowledge is practiced in the daily life, every attempt to elevate and ennoble will be unavailing. The parents have a serious responsibility resting upon them to cooperate with the teachers in the Sabbath school.” Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 68.

2 What statements are made concerning the study of the Scriptures? John 5:39; 11 Timothy 2:15.

note: “Those who dig beneath the surface discover the hidden gems of truth. The Holy Spirit is present with the earnest searcher. Its illumination shines upon the Word, stamping the truth upon the mind with a new, fresh importance. The searcher is filled with a sense of peace and joy never before felt. The preciousness of truth is realized as never before. A new, heavenly light shines upon the Word, illuminating it as though every letter were tinged with gold. God Himself has spoken to the mind and heart, making the Word spirit and life.

“Every true searcher of the Word lifts his heart to God, imploring the aid of the Spirit. And he soon discovers that which carried him above all the fictitious statements of the would-be teacher, whose weak, tottering theories are not sustained by the Word of the living God. These theories were invented by men who had not learned the first great lesson, that God’s Spirit and life are in His Word. If they had received in the heart the eternal element contained in the Word of God, they would see how tame and expressionless are all efforts to get something new to create a sensation. They need to learn the very first principles of the Word of God; they would then have the word of life for the people, who will soon distinguish the chaff from the wheat, for Jesus left His promise with His disciples.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 39.

3 For what purpose were the Scriptures given? What will they do for the believer? 11 Timothy 3:16, 17.

note: “Christ calls upon His people to believe and practice His word. Those who receive and assimilate this word, making it a part of every action, of every attribute of character, will grow strong in the strength of God. It will be seen that their faith is of heavenly origin. They will not wander into strange paths. Their minds will not turn to a religion of sentimentalism and excitement. Before angels and before men, they will stand as those who have strong, consistent Christian characters.” Gospel Workers, 309.

4 By what do we live? Matthew 4:4; John 6:63, 67, 68. Compare Deuteronomy 8:1–3.

note: “The example of Christ is before us. He overcame Satan, showing us how we also may overcome. Christ resisted Satan with Scripture. He might have had recourse to His own divine power, and used His own words; but He said, [Matthew 4:4 quoted]. If the Sacred Scriptures were studied and followed, the Christian would be fortified to meet the wily foe; but the word of God is neglected, and disaster and defeat follow.” Counsels on Stewardship, 210.

5 What lights up the pathway of the believer? Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 6:23; 4:18, 19.

note: “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 labors, 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 pages 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.” Counsels on Stewardship, 18.

6 To what is the Word compared? Jeremiah 23:29; Hebrews 4:12.

note: “The truths of the Bible, treasured in the heart and mind and obeyed in the life, convince and convert the soul, transform the character, and comfort and uplift the heart. . . . The Word makes the proud humble, the perverse meek and contrite, the disobedient obedient. The sinful habits natural to man are interwoven with the daily practice. But the Word cuts away the fleshly lusts. It is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the mind. It divides the joints and marrow, cutting away the lusts of the flesh, making men willing to suffer for their Lord.” That I May Know Him, 199.

7 What is stated concerning the prophecies of God’s Word? By what means were they given? 11 Peter 1:19–21. What exhortation is given to Christians living in the last days? 11 Peter 3:2.

note: “The scribes of God wrote as they were dictated by the Holy Spirit, having no control of the work themselves. They penned the literal truth, and stern, forbidding facts are revealed for reasons that our finite minds cannot fully comprehend.

“It is one of the best evidences of the authenticity of the Scriptures that the truth is not glossed over nor the sins of its chief characters suppressed.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 9.

8 What is the effective safeguard against sin? Psalm 119:11.

note: “God’s holy, educating Spirit is in His word. A light, a new and precious light, shines forth from every page. Truth is there revealed, and words and sentences are made bright and appropriate for the occasion, as the voice of God speaking to the soul.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 132.

9 What mighty power did the words of Jesus have when He was on earth? Luke 4:32–39; John 11:43, 44.

note: “The life of God, which gives life to the world, is in His word. It was by His word that Jesus healed disease and cast out demons. By His word He stilled the sea and raised the dead; and the people bore witness that His word was with power. He spoke the word of God as He had spoken it to all the Old Testament writers. The whole Bible is a manifestation of Christ. It is our only source of power.” Gospel Workers, 250.

10 What is said of those who reject God’s Word? Jeremiah 8:9. Compare 1 Corinthians 1:27–31.

note: “What is done through the co-operation of men with God is a work that shall never perish, but endure through the eternal ages. He that makes God his wisdom, that grows up into the full stature of a man in Christ Jesus, will stand before kings, before the so-called great men of the world, and show forth the praises of Him who hath called him out of darkness into his marvelous light. Science and literature cannot bring into the darkened mind of men the light which the glorious gospel of the Son of God can bring. The Son of God alone can do the great work of illuminating the soul. No wonder Paul exclaims, ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.’ [Romans 1:16.]” Christian Education, 97.

11 What famine has been foretold? Amos 8:11, 12.

note: “Those who had not prized God’s word were hurrying to and fro. They wandered from sea to sea, and from the north to the east, to seek the word of the Lord. Said the angel, They shall not find it. There is a famine in the land; not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. What would they not give for one word of approval from God? but no, they must hunger and thirst on. Day after day have they slighted salvation, and prized earthly pleasure, and earthly riches, higher than any heavenly inducement and treasure. They have rejected Jesus, and despised his saints. The filthy must remain filthy forever.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, 200.

12 How should we regard the words of the Lord? Jeremiah 15:16.

note: “If we would live a true Christian life, the conscience must be quickened by constant contact with the word of God. All the precious things which at infinite cost God has provided for us will do us no good; they cannot strengthen us and produce spiritual growth unless we appropriate them. We must eat the word of God—make it a part of ourselves.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 195.

These lessons are adapted from the Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, April 1912.

Food for Life – No Dairy Carob Cake, Raspberry Sauce, and Tofu Whipped Cream

Favorite Recipes from Staff and Friends of Steps to Life

[John the Baptist’s] diet, purely vegetable, of locusts [fruit of the carob tree] and wild honey, was a rebuke to the indulgence of appetite and the gluttony that everywhere prevailed.” Counsels on Health, 72.

Many healthful cooks avoid using baking soda, and they are wise to do so. Vegetarians get their B-vitamins primarily from whole grains and dried beans. Most of the B vitamins (Thiamin, Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, Vitamins B6 and B12) are destroyed by an alkaline medium. Baking soda is alkaline. Not only does it destroy vitamins, but it tends to cause digestive disturbance in people with low production of stomach acids.

A baking soda substitute is available from Ener-G Foods ( Its only ingredient is calcium carbonate, a mineral often taken as a supplement.

Submitted by Paulette Miller

No Dairy Carob Cake

3 C all purpose flour

1 1/2 C Sucanat or raw sugar

1/2 C carob powder

2 t baking soda substitute

1 T vanilla

1 T salt

2/3 C oil or apple sauce

2 T lemon juice

2 C cold water

Using an electric mixer, mix all ingredients together. Bake in a 9” x 13” pan or a bundt pan, sprayed with a nonstick spray (or oiled and floured), 35 minutes at 350 degrees F. For a real treat, top slices of cake with Raspberry Sauce and Tofu Whipped Cream.

Raspberry Sauce

2 C fresh or frozen raspberries

2 C water

3/4 C honey

3 T cornstarch or arrowroot mixed in 1/4 cup water

Place raspberries, water and honey in a pan and bring to a boil. Slowly add cornstarch or arrowroot mixture, stirring constantly until thickened. May add more honey to taste.

Tofu Whipped Cream

1 C Mori-Nu Tofu, soft

4 T vegetable oil

2 T honey

1/2 t lemon juice

1/8 t salt

1 1/2 t vanilla (use white vanilla for a whiter cream)

Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth and creamy. Chill and serve.

LandMarks reader and friend of Steps to Life, Paulette Miller and her family live near Sedalia, Colorado. This dessert is a treat on special occasions.

Nature Nugget – Regeneration In the Animal World

Some organisms have the ability, by a process known as regeneration, of reorganizing their tissues to replace sections of their bodies that may have been lost or damaged. Although this process is most prevalent among invertebrates, it occurs among some vertebrates as well. The most famous of the vertebrates having abilities of regeneration are the Urodeles.

The Urodeles, a class of animals which includes newts and salamanders, have the ability to regenerate morphologically normal limbs following amputation at any time throughout their lives. They can also regenerate their tail, heart muscle, jaw, spinal cord, and more.

Fishes are another group of vertebrates with well-known regenerative abilities. Most fish can regenerate their fins, retinas, and almost any part of their central nervous system including sections of the brainstem. Many, if not all, can regenerate their spinal cord axons. Among reptiles, only the lizards have regenerative abilities. They can regenerate their tails solely, but this has developed into a defense strategy for them. When captured, they lose their tail, which starts wiggling, distracting the predator and allowing them to escape.

Among the invertebrates, the starfish or sea stars are well known for their incredible regenerative abilities. Not only can a starfish regenerate a lost limb, but the lost limb itself has the ability to regenerate a whole new starfish! This is only possible, however, if the lost arm includes part of the central disc or main body of the starfish. Years ago, the fishermen in one coastal area hired scuba divers to dive down to the shellfish beds and break in half all the starfish they could find. Since the starfish competed with them for the shellfish, the fishermen, not knowing of the starfish’s great regenerative abilities, thought this would kill the starfish and solve the problem. The fishermen soon had double the population of starfish with which to contend!

A close relative of the starfish, the sea cucumber, is capable of regenerating most of its body parts, including its internal organs. As a result, it has developed, as a means of defense against predators, a phenomenon known as evisceration, in which the sea cucumber expels some of its major organs such as the gonads, intestine, and respiratory tract.

We, as sinners, are in need of regeneration or we shall be lost! “Regeneration is the only path by which we can enter the city of God. . . . The old, hereditary traits of character must be overcome. The natural desires of the soul must be changed.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 23. We must have a new heart and spirit! “Humanity has no power to regenerate itself. It does not tend upward, toward the divine, but downward, toward the satanic. Christ is our only hope.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 73. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” Titus 3:5. “Christ gave His life to secure for us this inestimable treasure [kingdom of God]; but without regeneration through faith in His blood, there is no remission of sins, no treasure for any perishing soul.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 112, 113. Just as the organisms mentioned above are able to regenerate lost or damaged parts, so Christ, through the workings of the Holy Spirit, can regenerate our sin-damaged, lost souls. “The work of regeneration must be wrought in the heart and conscience by the power of the Holy Spirit . . . .” The Great Controversy, 233. “The Spirit is given as a regenerating agency, to make effectual the salvation wrought by the death of our Redeemer.” The Acts of the Apostles, 52.

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

Children’s Story – Snake in the Chicken House, Part II

What is happening: Lois, with her old, undependable flashlight, had gone to shut the chicken house doors for the night. Instead of seeing the black hen, Fluffy, on her nest with her chicks, she saw a big, black snake trying to eat another chicken, Keeter. She ran to the house for help from Ken.

As soon as Ken got to the chicken house, he shoved the shovel underneath the snake and tossed it in the air. The snake spit out Keeter and made a beeline for the door. Ken tossed it back into the chicken house under the roost where it writhed while he tried to kill it with the shovel. The snake was too fast and started to slither outside.

I did not know what Ken was doing, but the snake was rapidly disappearing into the darkness. I knew that if that snake got away, the chickens would never be safe again. I thought of Keeter. All of this happened in a flash, and in a split second of time, I knew what I had to do. As the snake’s tail was disappearing out the door, I reached down, grabbed it, and wrapped it securely around my hand.

Ugh! The snake’s tail was slimy and stinky, but I held on. It was not going to kill my Keeter and get away with it! I pulled with all my strength, but the snake did not budge. I called to Ken, “I am pulling the snake, but it does not give.”

Ken called back, “I have it pinned down out here. Can you hold it?”

“Yes,” I replied.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes,” I said determinedly.

“Okay, here goes,” said Ken. I heard, chop, chop, chop, as Ken struck at the snake with the shovel. “This sure is a tough snake!” exclaimed Ken. Chop, chop, and then the snake went limp in my hands, and I was holding a three-foot tail portion of that very big, black snake.

But it was not over. The half of the snake with its head was underneath the chicken house. What would it do? Would it grow a new tail? Would it kill more of my precious pet chickens? And where were Fluffy and her chicks?

Ken and I looked under the chicken house with the flashlight, hoping to see the front half of the snake, but we could not see anything. Wherever it was, it was hanging on to something.

So we turned our attention to finding Fluffy and the babies. She had wisely taken her babies to a thick clump of tall weeds, and there she was, calmly sitting on the ground with the babies nice and warm underneath her! She was nervous about going back into the chicken house, so we freshened her nest and placed some of the babies in it. Fluffy looked all around, and when she saw that the snake was gone, she took possession of her nest once more and settled her babies. There was peace and quiet in the chicken house.

Immediately, the old, red flashlight went out, and we were never again able to get it to work. God kept it working just as long as we needed it!

We closed up both the north and south sides of the chicken house and went back into our house, but I was uneasy. I felt like the snake affair was not over, so I turned to my Heavenly Father again and prayed, “Lord, please let us see the top half of the snake.” Immediately I felt at peace and went to sleep.

To be concluded …

Ask The Pastor – Buying Lottery Tickets


I would like to know what the Bible says about buying lottery tickets. Is it wrong to buy a ticket to see if I can win a lot of money?


There are literally millions of dollars spent buying lottery tickets daily. Buying lottery tickets, however, is not a part of God’s plan for man in providing for himself or for his family. There is not a Bible text that deals specifically with buying lottery tickets, but there are Bible principles we can apply to this issue.

First, the Lord, knowing that man would need to have a certain lifestyle because of his fall into sin, told our first parent in the Garden of Eden that he would now have to earn his living by the sweat of his face. (Genesis 3:17–19.) This was prescriptive, not punitive. God knew what was best for man in his fallen condition. For a person to earn his keep by lawful labor has always been best for his character development.

Knowing this, the devil has been at work trying to make man think that God’s plan is too harsh. He encourages man to try to get money an easy way, but God says that work is the best answer for man’s general well being.

Second, gambling with money, trying to win a big return is throwing the money away. Gambling cities thrive on the fact that there are many more losers than there are winners. The statistics reveal the fact that your chances of winning a lottery are in the millions to one range.

A person who buys lottery tickets is supporting an industry that drains families of needed funds to help them survive. Isaiah 55:2 says, “Wherefore do ye spend money for [that which is] not bread?” The money that a person earns should be used for the family and its needs, not to try to make life easier by short circuiting God’s plan in favor of the devil’s plan.

Many people become addicted to gambling, bringing them to poverty and unable to provide for their family’s basic needs. In 1 Timothy 5:8, we are told, “But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” These are serious words. If we are inclined to do anything that would bring us into such a situation as this, we need to pray to God to help us stay far away.

Third, if we gamble away money, which could be used for the welfare of the family, we have become guilty of theft. Exodus 20:15 warns, “Thou shalt not steal.”

Other Bible principles, which should govern our thinking on this matter of gambling to become rich, may be read in Proverbs 23:4, 5; 28:20 and 1 Timothy 6:10. The bottom line is that we need to seriously consider the principles about gain that is ill gotten.

The question for many people is, “How close to sin can I come and still be okay?” The Bible tells us that it is never safe to see how close we can come to sin. We need to see how far away we can be from it, and that means the farther away from sin we are, the closer we are to Jesus. I hope that you will continue to study this issue from biblical principles of Christian character. You will be blessed in the process.

Pastor Mike Baugher is Associate Speaker for Steps to Life Ministry. If you have a question you would like Pastor Mike to answer, e-mail it to:, or mail it to: LandMarks, P. O. Box 782828, Wichita, KS 67278.

The Pen of Inspiration – Christmas is Coming

Christmas is coming,” is the note that is sounded throughout our world from East to West and from North to South. With youth, those of mature age, and even the aged, it is a period of general rejoicing, of great gladness. But what is Christmas, that it should demand so much attention? This day has been made much of for centuries. It is accepted by the unbelieving world, and by the Christian world generally, as the day on which Christ was born. When the world at large celebrate the day, they show no honor to Christ. They refuse to acknowledge him as their Saviour, to honor him by willing obedience to his service. They show preference to the day, but none to the one for whom the day is celebrated, Jesus Christ.

The twenty-fifth of December is supposed to be the day of the birth of Jesus Christ, and its observance has become customary and popular. But yet there is no certainty that we are keeping the veritable day of our Saviour’s birth. History gives us no certain assurance of this. The Bible does not give us the precise time. Had the Lord deemed this knowledge essential to our salvation, he would have spoken through his prophets and apostles, that we might know all about the matter. But the silence of the Scriptures upon this point evidences to us that it is hidden from us for the wisest purposes. . . . He has concealed the precise day of Christ’s birth; that the day should not receive the honor that should be given to Christ as the Redeemer of the world,—one to be received, to be trusted, to be relied on as he who could save to the uttermost all who come unto him. The soul’s adoration should be given to Jesus as the Son of the infinite God.

There is no divine sanctity resting upon the twenty-fifth of December; and it is not pleasing to God that anything that concerns the salvation of man through the infinite sacrifice made for them, should be so sadly perverted from its professed design. Christ should be the supreme object; but as Christmas has been observed, the glory is turned from him to mortal man, whose sinful, defective character made it necessary for him to come to our world. Jesus, the Majesty of heaven, the royal King of heaven, laid aside his royalty, left his throne of glory, his high command, and came into our world to bring to fallen man, weakened in moral power, and corrupted by sin, aid divine. He clothed his divinity with humanity, that he might reach to the very depths of human woe and misery, to lift up fallen man. By taking upon himself man’s nature, he raised humanity in the scale of moral value with God. These great themes are almost too high, too deep, too infinite, for the comprehension of finite minds.

Parents should keep these things before their children, and instruct them, line upon line, precept upon precept, in their obligation to God,—not their obligation to each other, to honor and glorify one another by gifts and offerings. But they should be taught that Jesus is the world’s Redeemer, the object of thought, of painstaking effort; that his work is the grand theme which should engage their attention; that they should bring to him their gifts and offerings. Thus did the wise men and the shepherds. . . .

Christmas is coming. May you all have wisdom to make it a precious season. Let the older church members unite, heart and soul, with their children in this innocent amusement and recreation, in devising ways and means to show true respect to Jesus by bringing to him gifts and offerings. Let every one remember the claims of God. His cause cannot go forward without your aid. Let the gifts you have usually bestowed upon one another be placed in the Lord’s treasury. . . . If all, both old and young, will forego giving presents to one another, and forego the selfish outlay of means in these coming holidays, there would be in heaven a most precious record of self-denial for Christ’s sake. . . .

I entreat you, my brethren and sisters, to make this coming Christmas a blessing to yourselves and others. The birth of Jesus was unhallowed by the great men of earth. He was the Majesty of heaven; yet this royal subject had no attendants. His birth was unhonored by the very men he came to our world to save. But his advent was celebrated by the heavenly host. Angels of God, in the appearance of a star, conducted the wise men on their mission in search of Jesus. They came with gifts and costly offerings of frankincense and myrrh, to pay their oblation to the infant king foretold in prophecy. They followed the brilliant messengers with assurance and great joy. The angels passed by the school of the prophets, the palaces of kings, and appeared to the humble shepherds, guarding their flocks by night, upon Bethlehem’s plains. One angel first appeared, clothed with the panoply of heaven; and so surprised and so terrified were the shepherds that they could only gaze upon the wondrous glory of the heavenly visitant with unutterable amazement. The angel of the Lord came to them, and said, “Fear not, for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people; for unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you, Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” [Luke 2:10–12.] No sooner had their eyes become accustomed to the glorious presence of the one angel, than, lo! the whole plain was lighted up with the wondrous glory of the multitude of angels that peopled the plains of Bethlehem. The angel quieted the fears of the shepherds before opening their eyes to behold the multitude of the heavenly host, all praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest; and on earth, peace, good will to men.” [Luke 2:14.]

Then was the melody of heaven heard by mortal ears, and the heavenly choir swept back to heaven as they closed their ever memorable anthem. The light faded away and the shadows of the night once more fell on the hills and plains of Bethlehem; but there remained in the hearts of the shepherds the brightest picture mortal man had ever looked upon, and the blessed promise and assurance of the advent to our world of the Saviour of men, which filled their hearts with joy and gladness, mingled with faith and wondrous love to God. In simple trust, the shepherds hastened to follow the direction of the heavenly messengers, to find the royal babe, not in a palace, not in even a common inn, but in a stable. They bowed in reverence to the infant king, committing no idolatry. But how certain is it that idolatry is committed by those who profess to be lovers of Jesus! Their attention, thought, and powers are devoted to poor, finite mortals. Relatives and friends come in for the worship which belongs to God alone. . . .

Let us on Christmas make special efforts to come before the Lord with gifts and grateful offerings for the gift of Jesus Christ as a Redeemer to the world. Let . . . us turn the current heavenward instead of earthward. Let us show by our offerings that we appreciate the self-denial and sacrifice of Christ in our behalf. Let God be brought to remembrance by every child and parent; and let the offerings, both small and large, be brought to the store-house of God.

You that have means, who have been in the habit of making donations to your relatives and friends until you are at a loss to know what to invent that will be new and interesting to them, seek to put your ingenuity to the test, as well as your influence, to see how much means you may gather to advance the work of the Lord. Let your skill and your capacities be employed to make the coming Christmas one of intense interest, paying your addresses to the God of heaven in willing, grateful offerings. Follow no longer the world’s customs. Make a break here, and see if this Christmas cannot show thousands of dollars flowing into the treasury, that God’s store-house may not be empty. You may not be recompensed on earth, but you will be rewarded in the future life, and that abundantly.

Review and Herald, December 9, 1884.

Ellen G. White (1827–1915) wrote more than 5,000 periodical articles and 40 books during her lifetime. Today, including compilations from her 50,000 pages of manuscript, more than 100 titles are available in English. She is the most translated woman writer in the entire history of literature, and the most translated American author of either gender. Seventh-day Adventists believe that Mrs. White was appointed by God as a special messenger to draw the world’s attention to the Holy Scriptures and help prepare people for Christ’s second advent.