Bible Study Guides – Beware!

January 23, 2011 – January 29, 2011

Key Text

“Ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Jude 3.

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 518–530; The Acts of the Apostles, 346–358.


“I saw a company who stood well guarded and firm, giving no countenance to those who would unsettle the established faith of the body.” Early Writings, 258.

1 What prophecy is now being fulfilled as never before? Job 24:12, 13; Amos 2:12; II Chronicles 36:16. Why is Satan working so intensely to throw discredit on the Testimonies through unfaithful leaders? Proverbs 29:18.

Note: “Soon every possible effort will be made to discount and pervert the truth of the testimonies of God’s Spirit.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 41.

“The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. …

“There will be a hatred kindled against the testimonies which is satanic. The workings of Satan will be to unsettle the faith of the churches in them, for this reason: Satan cannot have so clear a track to bring in his deceptions and bind up souls in his delusions if the warnings and reproofs and counsels of the Spirit of God are heeded.” Ibid., 48.

2 On the other hand, what snare is Satan trying to lay for those who profess to believe in the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy? Jeremiah 14:14.

Note: “There will be those once united with us in the faith who will search for new, strange doctrines, for something odd and sensational to present to the people. They will bring in all conceivable fallacies, and will present them as coming from Mrs. White, that they may beguile souls.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 41.

3 How and through whom are many souls being led astray? Acts 20:28–30; Jude 11–13.

Note: “False theories will be mingled with every phase of experience, and advocated with satanic earnestness in order to captivate the mind of every soul who is not rooted and grounded in a full knowledge of the sacred principles of the Word. In the very midst of us will arise false teachers, giving heed to seducing spirits whose doctrines are of satanic origin. These teachers will draw away disciples after themselves.” The Review and Herald, January 7, 1904.

“Never, never was there a time when the truth will suffer more from being misrepresented, belittled, demerited through the perverse disputings of men than in these last days.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1064.

“There are those today who will present falsehoods as testing truths, even as the Jews presented the maxims of men as the bread of heaven. Sayings of no value are given to the people of God as their portion of meat, while souls are starving for the bread of life. Fables have been devised, and men are trying to weave these fables into the web. Those who do this will one day see their work as it is viewed by the heavenly intelligences. They choose to bring to the foundation wood, hay, and stubble, when they have at their command the word of God, with all its richness and power, from which they can gather precious treasures of truth.” The Review and Herald, June 18, 1901.

4 Who will contact some of these leaders personally, and what will be the result? II Corinthians 11:14.

Note: “Satan is watching his chance. He will come to men in human form, and will speak to them most entrancing words. He will bring against them the same temptations that he brought against Christ. Unless their minds and hearts are filled with the pure, unselfish, sanctified love that Christ revealed, they will fall under Satan’s power, and will do and say and write strange things, to deceive, if it were possible, the very elect.” The Review and Herald, June 30, 1910.

5 What attitude is being taken against the pillars of our faith, and why does it cause separation? Psalm 11:3.

Note: “The truth for this time is precious, but those whose hearts have not been broken by falling on the rock Christ Jesus, will not see and understand what is truth. They will accept that which pleases their ideas, and will begin to manufacture another foundation than that which is laid. They will flatter their own vanity and esteem, thinking that they are capable of removing the pillars of our faith, and replacing them with pillars they have devised.

“This will continue to be as long as time shall last. Anyone who has been a close student of the Bible will see and understand the solemn position of those who are living in the closing scenes of this earth’s history. They will feel their own inefficiency and weakness, and will make it their first business to have not merely a form of Godliness, but a vital connection with God. They will not dare to rest until Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. Self will die; pride will be expelled from the soul, and they will have the meekness and gentleness of Christ.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 389.

“After the truth has been proclaimed as a witness to all nations, every conceivable power of evil will be set in operation, and minds will be confused by many voices crying, ‘Lo, here is Christ; lo, He is there. This is the truth, I have the message from God, He has sent me with great light.’ Then there will be a removing of the landmarks, and an attempt to tear down the pillars of our faith.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 985.

6 How do God’s faithful few respond? Jude 3, last part.

Note: “God’s servants are not to be easily discouraged by difficulties or opposition. Those who proclaim the third angel’s message must stand bravely at their post, in the face of detraction and falsehood, fighting the good fight of faith, and resisting the enemy with the weapon that Christ used, ‘It is written.’ In the great crisis through which they are soon to pass, the servants of God will encounter the same hardness of heart, the same cruel determination, the same unyielding hatred, encountered by Christ and the apostles.” Gospel Workers, 264.

7 Name some of Satan’s favorite weapons. Jeremiah 23:21.

Note: “Formality, worldly wisdom, worldly caution, worldly policy, will appear to many to be the very power of God, but when accepted, it stands as an obstacle to prevent God’s light in warnings, reproof, and counsel from coming to the world. …

“If Satan sees that the Lord is blessing His people and preparing them to discern his delusions, he will work with his master power to bring in fanaticism on the one hand and cold formalism on the other, that he may gather in a harvest of souls.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 19.

8 What distinction are those led astray by fanatical movements unable to see? Leviticus 10:10; Ezekiel 22:26.

Note: “Some zealous ones who are aiming and straining every energy for originality have made a grave mistake in trying to get something startling, wonderful, entrancing, before the people, something that they think others do not comprehend; but often they do not themselves know what they are talking about. They speculate upon God’s Word, advancing ideas that are not a whit of help to themselves or to the churches. For the time being, they may excite the imagination; but there is a reaction, and these very ideas become a hindrance. Faith is confounded with fancy, and their views may bias the mind in the wrong direction. Let the plain, simple statements of the Word of God be food for the mind; this speculating upon ideas that are not clearly presented there, is dangerous business.

“The danger that threatens our churches is that new and strange things will be brought in, things that confuse the minds of the people, and give them no strength, at the very time when they most need strength in spiritual things. Clear discernment is needed that things new and strange shall not be laid alongside of truth as a part of the burden of the message to be given at this time. The very messages we have been giving to the world are to be made prominent.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 13, 14.

“There will always be false and fanatical movements made by persons in the church who claim to be led of God—those who will run before they are sent.” Ibid., 84.

9 What warning applies wherever there is open apostasy? Matthew 15:14.

Note: “Christ calls for unity. But He does not call for us to unify on wrong practices.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 175.

“Let the watchmen on the walls of Zion not join with those who are making of none effect the truth as it is in Christ.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1141.

“To yoke up with those who are unconsecrated, and yet be loyal to the truth, is simply impossible. We cannot unite with those who are serving themselves, who are working on worldly plans, and not lose our connection with the heavenly Counselor.” Ibid., vol. 5, 1086.

“Even if they [those who follow the Lord] have to walk as did Enoch—with God alone—his children must separate from those who do not obey Him.” Ibid., vol. 2, 1037.

10 Upon which platform are God’s people to unify? John 17:17–21; I John 1:7.

Note: “I urge our brethren to unify upon a true, scriptural basis.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 175.

“Christ calls upon His followers to come into unity on the pure gospel principles which are plainly revealed in the word of God.” Gospel Workers, 391.

“The present truth is not difficult to be understood, and the people whom God is leading will be united upon this broad, firm platform.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 326.

Review and Thought Questions

1 What attack has been made on the Spirit of Prophecy?

2 What are the fruits of heresy?

3 Describe the two conflicting standards that can be observed among believers in the third angel’s message.

4 What harm will befall God’s people from “those who will run before they are sent”?

5 What are the conditions for unity among believers?

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Before the Mirror

January 16, 2011 – January 22, 2011

Key Text

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” James 1:22.

Study Helps: The Great Controversy, 582–592; Patriarchs and Prophets, 303–314.


“The very principles of the law must be planted in the heart.” The Signs of the Times, October 29, 1896.

1 First Commandment—How may we be breaking the first commandment even while professing to keep the law? Matthew 19:20–22; 6:24; Philippians 3:18, 19.

Note: “Anything which tends to abate our love for God, or to interfere with the service due Him, becomes thereby an idol. With some their lands, their houses, their merchandise, are the idols.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1011, 1012.

“Mammon is the idol of many. Its golden chain binds them to Satan. Reputation and worldly honor are worshiped by another class. The life of selfish ease and freedom from responsibility is the idol of others. These are Satan’s snares, set for unwary feet.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 83.

“The sin of this age is gluttony in eating and drinking. Indulgence of appetite is the god which many worship.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 409.

2 What warning is given to professed believers who worship false gods? I John 5:21. What will be the end of those who practice idolatry in any form? Galatians 5:20, 21.

Note: “It is as easy to make an idol of false doctrines and theories as to fashion an idol of wood or stone.” The Great Controversy, 583.

“Thousands are following after the gods of this world—after riches, fame, pleasure, and the pleasing fables that permit man to follow the inclinations of the unregenerate heart.” Prophets and Kings, 177.

3 Fourth Commandment—What kind of obedience do God’s commandments require? Psalms 40:8; 119:4; 19:7.

Note: “Obedience is not a mere outward compliance, but the service of love. … Instead of releasing man from obedience, it is faith, and faith only, that makes us partakers of the grace of Christ, which enables us to render obedience.” Steps to Christ, 60, 61.

4 How does God view partial Sabbath keeping? James 1:22–25.

Note: “You make the keeping of God’s law a matter of convenience, obeying or disobeying as your business or inclination indicates. This is not honoring the Sabbath as a sacred institution. You grieve the Spirit of God and dishonor your Redeemer by pursuing this reckless course.

“A partial observance of the Sabbath law is not accepted by the Lord and has a worse effect upon the minds of sinners than if you made no profession of being a Sabbathkeeper.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 248.

5 Besides rest from secular activities, what else is covered by the fourth commandment? Isaiah 58:13; Matthew 5:20; 12:12.

Note: “God has given men six days wherein to labor, and He requires that their own work be done in the six working days. Acts of necessity and mercy are permitted on the Sabbath, the sick and suffering are at all times to be cared for; but unnecessary labor is to be strictly avoided. ‘Turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and … honor Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure.’ Isaiah 58:13. Nor does the prohibition end here. ‘Nor speaking thine own words’ [verse 13, last part], says the prophet. Those who discuss business matters or lay plans on the Sabbath are regarded by God as though engaged in the actual transaction of business. To keep the Sabbath holy, we should not even allow our minds to dwell upon things of a worldly character. And the commandment includes all within our gates. The inmates of the house are to lay aside their worldly business during the sacred hours. All should unite to honor God by willing service upon His holy day.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 307, 308.

6 Sixth and Seventh Commandments—What are ways by which the sixth commandment is often broken? I Corinthians 3:16, 17; I John 3:15.

Note: “All acts of injustice that tend to shorten life; the spirit of hatred and revenge, or the indulgence of any passion that leads to injurious acts toward others, or causes us even to wish them harm (for ‘whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer’ [1 John 3:15]); a selfish neglect of caring for the needy or suffering; all self-indulgence or unnecessary deprivation or excessive labor that tends to injure health—all these are, to a greater or less degree, violations of the sixth commandment.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 308.

“The spirit of hatred and revenge originated with Satan; and it led him to put to death the Son of God. Whoever cherishes malice or unkindness is cherishing the same spirit.” Sons and Daughters of God, 61.

7 What light did Jesus shed on the seventh commandment? Luke 16:18; Matthew 5:27, 28. How are many ensnared?

Note: “This [the seventh] commandment forbids not only acts of impurity, but sensual thoughts and desires, or any practice that tends to excite them. Purity is demanded not only in the outward life but in the secret intents and emotions of the heart. Christ, who taught the far-reaching obligation of the law of God, declared the evil thought or look to be as truly sin as is the unlawful deed.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 308.

“He who finds pleasure in dwelling upon scenes of impurity, who indulges the evil thought, the lustful look, may behold in the open sin, with its burden of shame and heart-breaking grief, the true nature of the evil which he has hidden in the chambers of the soul. The season of temptation, under which, it may be, one falls into grievous sin, does not create the evil that is revealed, but only develops or makes manifest that which was hidden and latent in the heart.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 60.

“If the body is serving lust, the mind cannot maintain consecration to God. To preserve a sanctified mind, the body must be preserved in sanctification and honor. The mind will then serve the law of God, and yield willing obedience to all its claims.” The Review and Herald, March 8, 1870.

8 Eighth Commandment—What instruction did Paul give in connection with this precept? Romans 13:8, first part.

9 How far-reaching is the eighth commandment?

Note: “The eighth commandment condemns manstealing and slave dealing, and forbids wars of conquest. It condemns theft and robbery. It demands strict integrity in the minutest details of the affairs of life. It forbids overreaching in trade, and requires the payment of just debts or wages. It declares that every attempt to advantage oneself by the ignorance, weakness, or misfortune of another is registered as fraud in the books of heaven.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 309.

10 How is our stewardship of the Lord’s goods related to the eighth commandment? Malachi 3:8–10.

Note: “Covetousness is an evil of gradual development.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 496.

“This evil exists not in the world alone, but in the church. How common even here to find selfishness, avarice, overreaching, neglect of charities, and robbery of God ‘in tithes and offerings’ [Malachi 3:8]. Among church members ‘in good and regular standing’ there are, alas! many Achans. Many a man comes statedly to church, and sits at the table of the Lord, while among his possessions are hidden unlawful gains, the things that God has cursed. For a goodly Babylonish garment, multitudes sacrifice the approval of conscience and their hope of heaven.” Ibid., 497.

“A tithe of all our increase is the Lord’s. He has reserved it to Himself, to be employed for religious purposes. It is holy. Nothing less than this has He accepted in any dispensation. A neglect or postponement of this duty, will provoke the divine displeasure.” Counsels on Stewardship, 67.

“The command to pay tithe is so plain that there is no semblance of excuse for disregarding it.” Evangelism, 250.

“Let none feel at liberty to retain their tithe, to use according to their own judgment. They are not to use it for themselves in an emergency, nor to apply it as they see fit, even in what they may regard as the Lord’s work.” Gospel Workers, 225.

11 Ninth and Tenth Commandments—What are the implications of the ninth commandment? Colossians 3:9.

Note: “False speaking in any matter, every attempt or purpose to deceive our neighbor, is here included. An intention to deceive is what constitutes falsehood. By a glance of the eye, a motion of the hand, an expression of the countenance, a falsehood may be told as effectually as by words. All intentional overstatement, every hint or insinuation calculated to convey an erroneous or exaggerated impression, even the statement of facts in such a manner as to mislead, is falsehood. This precept forbids every effort to injure our neighbor’s reputation by misrepresentation or evil surmising, by slander or tale bearing. Even the intentional suppression of truth, by which injury may result to others, is a violation of the ninth commandment.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 309.

12 What does the tenth commandment forbid and how easily can it be broken? Exodus 20:17; James 1:13–15.

Note: “Covetousness has taken its abode in the hearts of professing Christians. Those who have all for which heart can wish, live for self-gratification, while the poor lie at their gates, unnoticed and unhelped.” The Youth’s Instructor, April 17, 1902.

“The tenth commandment strikes at the very root of all sins, prohibiting the selfish desire, from which springs the sinful act. He who in obedience to God’s law refrains from indulging even a sinful desire for that which belongs to another will not be guilty of an act of wrong toward his fellow creatures.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 309.

Review and Thought Questions

1 In what ways may professed believers be guilty of idolatry?

2 How is the fourth commandment often violated?

3 What implications of the sixth and seventh commandments are sometimes unnoticed by mere surface readers?

4 What are the requirements of the eighth commandment?

5 How can a person tell a lie without uttering a word?

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Denominational Dangers

January 9, 2011 – January 15, 2011

Key Text

“Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.” Ephesians 5:6.

Study Help: Early Writings, 107–110; Patriarchs and Prophets, 117–124.


“If in defiance of God’s arrangements the world be allowed to influence our decisions or our actions, the purpose of God is defeated.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 16, 17.

1 What was the greatest denominational deception in the days of Christ? Matthew 23:1–3. How are many professed Christians caught in the same snare today?

Note: “The greatest deception of the human mind in Christ’s day was that a mere assent to the truth constitutes righteousness. In all human experience a theoretical knowledge of the truth has been proved to be insufficient for the saving of the soul. It does not bring forth the fruits of righteousness. A jealous regard for what is termed theological truth often accompanies a hatred of genuine truth as made manifest in life. …

“The same danger still exists. Many take it for granted that they are Christians, simply because they subscribe to certain theological tenets. But they have not brought the truth into practical life. They have not believed and loved it, therefore they have not received the power and grace that come through sanctification of the truth. Men may profess faith in the truth; but if it does not make them sincere, kind, patient, forbearing, heavenly-minded, it is a curse to its possessors, and through their influence it is a curse to the world.” The Desire of Ages, 309, 310.

“Oh, it is a great deception, a fascinating delusion, that takes possession of minds when men who have once known the truth, mistake the form of godliness for the spirit and power thereof.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 249.

2 In what danger are those who profess the present truth but are not sanctified by obeying it? Ezekiel 33:31.

Note: “Instead of leading the world to render obedience to God’s law, the church is uniting more and more closely with the world in transgression. Daily the church is becoming converted to the world.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 119.

“If some who profess to believe present truth could understand their true position, they would despair of the mercy of God. They have been exerting all their influence against the truth, against the voice of warning, against the people of God. They have been doing the work of Satan.” Ibid., vol. 5, 103.

“These transgressors of the law claim everything that is promised to the children of God; but this is presumption on their part, for John tells us that true love for God will be revealed in obedience to all His commandments.” The Acts of the Apostles, 563.

3 How serious is our condition if our works do not correspond to the truth that we profess? Matthew 11:23, 24; 23:12.

Note: “The Redeemer of the world declares that there are greater sins than that for which Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. Those who hear the gospel invitation calling sinners to repentance, and heed it not, are more guilty before God than were the dwellers in the vale of Siddim. And still greater sin is theirs who profess to know God and to keep His commandments, yet who deny Christ in their character and their daily life. In the light of the Saviour’s warning, the fate of Sodom is a solemn admonition, not merely to those who are guilty of outbreaking sin, but to all who are trifling with Heaven-sent light and privileges.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 165.

“ ‘When they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them.’ 1 Thessalonians 5:3. Not all, however, would be ensnared by the enemy’s devices. As the end of all things earthly should approach, there would be faithful ones able to discern the signs of the times. While a large number of professing believers would deny their faith by their works, there would be a remnant who would endure to the end.” The Acts of the Apostles, 535, 536.

4 Through what types of religious leaders can Satan work most efficiently? Ephesians 5:6; Titus 1:16.

Note: “Satan has many agents, and they are ready to present any and every kind of theory to deceive souls—heresies prepared to suit the varied tastes and capacities of those whom he would ruin. There are cheap fallacies for those who are easily led into error, and who desire something new, odd, or fanciful, which they cannot explain intelligently, or even understand themselves. A mysterious, disconnected set of ideas is more in accordance with their minds than the plain truth, which has a ‘Thus saith the Lord’ for its foundation. …

“Those who belittle their profession of faith by conformity to the world, show that they despise the riches of the grace of Christ. They cry, ‘The grace of Christ! we are not saved by works, but by Christ;’ but they continue in sin—continue to transgress the law of God. They act as though they considered it their privilege to live in sin that grace may abound. But every indulgence in sin weakens the soul; it welcomes Satan to come in and control the mind, making the individual his effectual servant. …

“Some profess Christianity year after year, and in some things appear to serve God, and yet they are far from him. They give loose rein to appetite and passion, and follow their own unsanctified inclinations, loving pleasure and the applause of men more than God or His truth. But God reads the secrets of the heart. Base thoughts lead to base actions. Self-righteousness, pride, and licentiousness are far-reaching, deep, and almost universal. These are the sins for which God destroyed the inhabitants of the old world by a flood of water, and they are corrupting the churches in these last days.” The Signs of the Times, March 27, 1884.

5 How can the true character of religious leaders be determined? I John 2:3, 4.

Note: “If men do not feel the weight of the moral law; if they make light of God’s precepts; if they break one of the least of His commandments, and teach men so, they shall be of no esteem in the sight of heaven. We may know that their claims are without foundation. They are doing the very work that originated with the prince of darkness, the enemy of God.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 145.

6 Examples—In many points some who profess to be commandment keepers are actually commandment breakers. Here are some examples. Please take time to study each one in more detail:

  • Health Reform (I Corinthians 9:25–27)

“Men and women cannot violate natural law by indulging depraved appetite and lustful passions, and not violate the law of God. Therefore He has permitted the light of health reform to shine upon us, that we may see our sin in violating the laws which He has established in our being. All our enjoyment or suffering may be traced to obedience or transgression of natural law.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 161.

  • Dress Reform (I Timothy 2:9)

“When we see them [Christian sisters] using God’s time and money in needless display of dress we cannot but warn them that they are breaking not only the first four, but the last six commandments.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 632.

  • Labor Unions (Isaiah 8:9–12)

“These [trade] unions are one of the signs of the last days. Men are binding up in bundles ready to be burned. They may be church members, but while they belong to these unions, they cannot possibly keep the commandments of God; for to belong to these unions means to disregard the entire Decalogue.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 143.

  • War and Bloodshed (Matthew 26:52)

“War and bloodshed are carried on by nations claiming to be Christian. A disregard for the law of God has brought its sure result.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 974.

“In the army they [God’s people] cannot obey the truth and at the same time obey the requirements of their officers. There would be a continual violation of conscience. Worldly men are governed by worldly principles. They can appreciate no other. Worldly policy and public opinion comprise the principle of action that governs them and leads them to practice the form of rightdoing. But God’s people cannot be governed by these motives.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 361.

7 How does Satan try to keep us from obeying God’s law? James 2:10.

Note: “From the very beginning of the great controversy in heaven it has been Satan’s purpose to overthrow the law of God. It was to accomplish this that he entered upon his rebellion against the Creator, and though he was cast out of heaven he has continued the same warfare upon the earth. To deceive men, and thus lead them to transgress God’s law, is the object which he has steadfastly pursued. Whether this be accomplished by casting aside the law altogether, or by rejecting one of its precepts, the result will be ultimately the same.” The Great Controversy, 582.

8 How does God see unfaithfulness in the church? Hosea 2:2.

Note: “His [God’s] authority should be kept distinct and plain before the world, and no laws are to be acknowledged that come in collision with the laws of Jehovah. If in defiance of God’s arrangements the world be allowed to influence our decisions or our actions, the purpose of God is defeated. However specious the pretext, if the church waver here, there is written against her in the books of heaven a betrayal of the most sacred trusts, and treachery to the kingdom of Christ.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 16, 17.

Review and Thought Questions

1 What lamentable confusion do professed believers in the threefold message make? Why cannot God accept their work?

2 How can we become presumptuous in our knowledge of the truth?

3 What should we know of those who take a lax stand toward the law of God and/or ignore the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy?

4 In which fields of human behavior and activity is the law of God often violated?

5 What object is Satan steadfastly pursuing? How? What are the consequences?

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Signs and Lying Wonders

January 2, 2011 – January 8, 2011

Key Text

“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.” II Thessalonians 2:9.

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 461–478; Prophets and Kings, 210–212.


“Satan also works with lying wonders, even bringing down fire from heaven in the sight of men. Revelation 13:13.” The Great Controversy, 612.

1 How is ecumenism described in prophecy? Revelation 16:13, 14. What will be the consequences of this threefold union?

Note: “Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the former lays the foundation of spiritualism, the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome. The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience.” The Great Controversy, 588.

2 How has God warned of this confederacy? Revelation 18:4. What prophetic description of the 144,000 demands complete separation from the fallen denominations? Revelation 14:4, first part.

Note: “We are not to confederate with worldlings, lest we become imbued with their spirit, lest our spiritual discernment become confused and we view those who have the truth and bear the message of the Lord from the standpoint of the professed Christian churches.” Last Day Events, 84, 85.

3 What warning should we heed when we see that those who profess the truth are uniting with the world and getting involved in the ecumenical movement? Isaiah 8:12, 13; Nehemiah 6:1–4, 10, 11.

Note: “Let the watchmen on the walls of Zion not join with those who are making of none effect the truth as it is in Christ. Let them not join the confederacy of infidelity, popery, and Protestantism in exalting tradition above Scripture, reason above revelation, and human talent above the divine influence and the vital power of godliness.” The Review and Herald, March 24, 1896.

“When those who are uniting with the world, yet claiming great purity, plead for union with those who have ever been the opposers of the cause of truth, we should fear and shun them as decidedly as did Nehemiah.” Prophets and Kings, 660.

4 How will spiritualism affect the world? Isaiah 8:19; 28:15.

Note: “As spiritualism more closely imitates the nominal Christianity of the day, it has greater power to deceive and ensnare. Satan himself is converted, after the modern order of things. He will appear in the character of an angel of light. Through the agency of spiritualism, miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and many undeniable wonders will be performed. And as the spirits will profess faith in the Bible, and manifest respect for the institutions of the church, their work will be accepted as a manifestation of divine power.” The Great Controversy, 588.

5 What lamentable example of spiritualism is given in the Bible? I Samuel 28:11–14; I Chronicles 10:13, 14. How does this same danger exist today?

Note: “Many will be confronted by the spirits of devils personating beloved relatives or friends and declaring the most dangerous heresies. These visitants will appeal to our tenderest sympathies and will work miracles to sustain their pretensions. We must be prepared to withstand them with the Bible truth that the dead know not anything and that they who thus appear are the spirits of devils.” The Great Controversy, 560.

6 What history is being repeated today? II Kings 1:2.

7 How do many fall prey to more pleasing forms of spiritualism?

Note: “There are many who shrink with horror from the thought of consulting spirit mediums, but who are attracted by more pleasing forms of spiritism. … Still others are led astray by the teachings of Christian Science, and by the mysticism of theosophy and other Oriental religions.

“The apostles of nearly all forms of spiritism claim to have the power to cure the diseased. They attribute their power to electricity, magnetism, the so-called ‘sympathetic remedies,’ or to latent forces within the mind of man. And there are not a few, even in this Christian age, who go to these healers, instead of trusting in the power of the living God and the skill of well-qualified Christian physicians.” Evangelism, 606.

8 Why is it so dangerous to consult “faith healers”? II Corinthians 11:13–15. What tragic scenario often occurs?

Note: “Angels of God will preserve His people while they walk in the path of duty; but there is no assurance of such protection for those who deliberately venture upon Satan’s ground. An agent of the great deceiver will say and do anything to gain his object. It matters little whether he calls himself a spiritualist, an ‘electric physician,’ or a ‘magnetic healer.’ By specious pretenses he wins the confidence of the unwary. He pretends to read the life-history and to understand all the difficulties and afflictions of those who resort to him. Disguising himself as an angel of light, while the blackness of the pit is in his heart, he manifests great interest in women who seek his counsel. He tells them that all their troubles are due to an unhappy marriage. This may be too true, but such a counselor does not better their condition. He tells them that they need love and sympathy. Pretending great interest in their welfare, he casts a spell over his unsuspecting victims, charming them as the serpent charms the trembling bird. Soon they are completely in his power, and sin, disgrace, and ruin are the terrible sequel.” Evangelism, 607, 608.

9 How will Satan show his power through modern religionists? Matthew 24:24; II Thessalonians 2:9. How are we to build up immunity against this deception?

Note: “Miracles will be performed in our sight. Are we prepared for the trial when the lying wonders of Satan shall be more fully exhibited? Will not many souls be ensnared and taken? Forms of error, and departure from the plain precepts and commandments of God and giving heed to fables are fitting minds for these lying wonders of Satan.” Messages to Young People, 61.

“Let not the days pass by and precious opportunities be lost of seeking the Lord with all the heart and mind and soul. If we accept not the truth in the love of it, we may be among the number who will see the miracles wrought by Satan in these last days, and believe them. Many strange things will appear as wonderful miracles, which should be regarded as deceptions manufactured by the father of lies.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 53.

“So closely will the counterfeit resemble the true that it will be impossible to distinguish between them except by the Holy Scriptures.” The Great Controversy, 593.

10 For what purpose did Satan work miracles in the days of Moses and Aaron? Exodus 7:10–13. In what danger are those whose faith is based on the working of miracles?

Note: “The man who makes the working of miracles the test of his faith will find that Satan can, through a species of deceptions, perform wonders that will appear to be genuine miracles. It was this he hoped to make a test question with the Israelites at the time of their deliverance from Egypt.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 52.

11 What will be the great climax in the drama of deception? Matthew 24:23. How can we be on the safe side?

Note: “Satan will not only appear as a human being, but he will personate Jesus Christ; and the world that has rejected the truth will receive him as the Lord of lords and King of kings.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1106.

12 Before the latter rain is poured out, how will Satan introduce a counterfeit? Matthew 7:22.

Note: “God has honest children among the nominal Adventists and the fallen churches, and before the plagues shall be poured out, ministers and people will be called out from these churches and will gladly receive the truth. Satan knows this; and before the loud cry of the third angel is given, he raises an excitement in these religious bodies, that those who have rejected the truth may think that God is with them. He hopes to deceive the honest and lead them to think that God is still working for the churches.” Early Writings, 261.

“In those churches which he can bring under his deceptive power he [Satan] will make it appear that God’s special blessing is poured out; there will be manifest what is thought to be great religious interest. Multitudes will exult that God is working marvelously for them, when the work is that of another spirit.” The Great Controversy, 464.

13 How can we distinguish the work of God from the work of Satan? Matthew 7:20, 21.

Note: “If those through whom cures are performed are disposed, on account of these manifestations, to excuse their neglect of the law of God, and continue in disobedience, though they have power to any and every extent, it does not follow that they have the great power of God. On the contrary, it is the miracle-working power of the great deceiver.” The Review and Herald, November 17, 1885.

14 What test will soon come upon the world? Revelation 13:13, 14.

Note: “Servants of God, with their faces lighted up and shining with holy consecration, will hasten from place to place to proclaim the message from heaven. By thousands of voices, all over the earth, the warning will be given. Miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and signs and wonders will follow the believers. Satan also works, with lying wonders, even bringing down fire from heaven in the sight of men. Revelation 13:13. Thus the inhabitants of the earth will be brought to take their stand.” The Great Controversy, 612.

Review and Thought Questions

1 What is the basis of the threefold union now underway?

2 Why is spiritualism gaining in power to deceive?

3 Name some of the modern forms of spiritualism.

4 How are minds being fitted for Satan’s lying wonders?

5 What is Satan’s goal in the charismatic movement?

Additional Reading

“The time is coming when Satan will work miracles right in your sight, claiming that he is Christ; and if your feet are not firmly established upon the truth of God, then you will be led away from your foundation. The only safety for you is to search for the truth as for hid treasures. Dig for the truth as you would for treasures in the earth, and present the Word of God, the Bible, before your heavenly Father, and say, ‘Enlighten me; teach me what is truth.’

“And when His Holy Spirit shall come into your hearts, to impress the truth into your souls, you will not let it go easily. You have gained such an experience in searching the Scriptures that every point is established. And it is important that you continually search the Scriptures.” Faith and Works, 56.

“Do not allow yourself to be led to think that you will live in heaven while in this fallen world. Those who think this keep their minds on the strain for some wonderful experience that will waft their souls into a refined, spiritual atmosphere. But this is not the true science of Christian experience. When they suppose they have reached spiritual heights of refinement, Satan, in the garb of an angel of light, presents to them indulgences in which he makes it appear there is no sin.

“I would warn you against these apparently refined doctrines, which say that sin is not sin, and teach the possibility of living a spiritualistic life above the grossness of sin. I write this because there are minds entering into temptation in regard to this refined science of spiritualistic attainments. You will meet this science, and you will hardly know how to handle it.

“We have reached the perils of the last days, when some, yes, many, shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. Be cautious in regard to what you read and how you hear. Take not a particle of interest in spiritualistic theories. Satan is waiting to steal a march upon everyone who allows himself to be deceived by his hypnotism. He begins to exert his power over them just as soon as they begin to investigate his theories.” Medical Ministry, 101, 102.

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Our Warfare

December 26, 2010 – January 1, 2011

The Church Militant

Key Text

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” Ephesians 6:10.

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 505–510; Early Writings, 104–107.


“While professing to be Christians, many have the mold of the world upon them, and their affections are not set upon God.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 938.

1 Why should we take a warning from the failures of ancient Israel? Romans 15:4.

Note: “Satan’s snares are laid for us as verily as they were laid for the children of Israel just prior to their entrance into the land of Canaan. We are repeating the history of that people. Lightness, vanity, love of ease and pleasure, selfishness, and impurity are increasing among us. There is need now of men who are firm and fearless in declaring the whole counsel of God; men who will not sleep as do others, but watch and be sober.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 160.

2 What should every believer be doing continually, and why? I Corinthians 10:12; Ephesians 6:10, 11.

Note: “As we approach the close of time, as the people of God stand upon the borders of the heavenly Canaan, Satan will, as of old, redouble his efforts to prevent them from entering the goodly land. He lays his snares for every soul.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 457.

3 Through whom does Satan introduce his most dangerous snares? Acts 20:30.

Note: “Do not forget that the most dangerous snares which Satan has prepared for the church will come through its own members who do not love God supremely or their neighbor as themselves. Satan is continually striving to wedge himself in between brethren. He seeks to gain control of those who claim to believe the truth, but who are unconverted; and when he can influence these, through their own carnal nature, to unite with him in trying to thwart the purposes of God, then he is exultant.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 477.

4 Who are Satan’s primary targets? Why? Isaiah 9:16.

Note: “Satan’s chief work is at the headquarters of our faith. He spares no pains to corrupt men in responsible positions and to persuade them to be unfaithful to their several trusts. He insinuates his suspicions and jealousies into the minds of those whose business it is to do God’s work faithfully. While God is testing and proving these helpers, and fitting them for their posts, Satan is doing his utmost to deceive and allure them, that they may not only be destroyed themselves, but may influence others to do wrong and to injure the great work. He seeks by all the means in his power to shake the confidence of God’s people in the voice of warning and reproof through which God designs to purify the church and prosper His cause.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 210, 211.

5 How does Satan attempt to affect the work of truth? Galatians 3:1.

Note: “It is Satan’s plan to weaken the faith of God’s people in the Testimonies. Next follows skepticism in regard to the vital points of our faith, the pillars of our position, then doubt as to the Holy Scriptures, and then the downward march to perdition. When the Testimonies, which were once believed, are doubted and given up, Satan knows the deceived ones will not stop at this; and he redoubles his efforts till he launches them into open rebellion, which becomes incurable and ends in destruction.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 211.

6 Why is human wisdom insufficient to distinguish truth from error? Matthew 11:25; I Corinthians 2:5.

Note: “Every conceivable deception will be brought to bear upon those who have not a daily, living connection with God. In our work no side issues must be advanced until there has been a thorough examination of the ideas entertained, that it may be ascertained from what source they have originated. Satan’s angels are wise to do evil, and they will create that which some will claim to be advanced light, will proclaim as new and wonderful things; and yet while in some respects the message is truth, it will be mingled with men’s inventions and will teach for doctrines the commandments of men. If there was ever a time when we should watch and pray in real earnest, it is now. There may be supposable things that appear as good things, and yet they need to be carefully considered with much prayer, for they are specious devices of the enemy to lead souls in a path which lies so close to the path of truth that it will be scarcely distinguishable from the path which leads to holiness and heaven. But the eye of faith may discern that it is diverging from the right path, though almost imperceptibly. At first it may be thought positively right, but after a while it is seen to be widely divergent from the path of safety, from the path which leads to holiness and heaven.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 229.

7 How can we prove that honesty does not protect from deception? Revelation 3:17; I Corinthians 15:33.

Note: “The message to be borne to His [God’s] people by ministers whom He has called to warn the people is not a peace-and-safety message. It is not merely theoretical, but practical in every particular. The people of God are represented in the message to the Laodiceans as in a position of carnal security. They are at ease, believing themselves to be in an exalted condition of spiritual attainments. [Revelation 3:17 quoted.]

“What greater deception can come upon human minds than a confidence that they are right when they are all wrong! The message of the True Witness finds the people of God in a sad deception, yet honest in that deception. They know not that their condition is deplorable in the sight of God.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 252, 253.

8 Under what conditions is a person able to discern the truth? Matthew 16:17; John 7:17; Philippians 3:14, 15.

Note: “Christ places the salvation of man, not upon profession merely, but upon faith that is made manifest in works of righteousness. Doing, not saying merely, is expected of the followers of Christ. It is through action that character is built. ‘As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.’ Romans 8:14.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 149, 150. [Author’s italics.]

9 What does Jesus declare of many who profess His name? Luke 9:55. Explain one way that this may be manifested.

Note: “Some have felt no spirit of freedom when they met for worship. They were afraid upon the Sabbath to speak out their real feelings and faith, expecting that he [Brother B] would criticize what they would say. There has been death in the meetings and but little freedom.

“Brother B desires that others should look up to him as a man who can explain the Scriptures, but I was shown that he is deceived and does not understand them. He has started upon a wrong track in seeking to get up a new faith, an original theory of faith. He would uproot and misplace those waymarks which show us our correct bearings, that we are near the close of this earth’s history. He may flatter himself that he is being led of the Lord, but it is surely another spirit.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 440.

10 Why must we constantly be watchful of the motives of our heart? Jeremiah 17:9; Proverbs 3:7.

Note: “Man must cooperate with the heavenly agencies; he must use his God-given abilities to their utmost in earnest endeavor to keep his own soul from being degraded by sin; but he must not trust in his own finite strength, for it will be as a broken staff, a bruised reed. With his human endeavor he must mingle faith in a divine Deliverer, and express his dependence upon God in prayer. … We are to unite prayer with watchfulness, and thus lay hold upon His mighty power, feeling our insufficiency to cope with self and the powers of darkness.” The Signs of the Times, May 15, 1893.

11 How and through whom may Satan scatter darkness and confusion in the church? Romans 16:17; I Thessalonians 5:14.

Note: “Satan, by his skillful and wicked strategy, led our first parents from the Garden of Eden—from their innocence and purity into sin and unspeakable wretchedness. He has not ceased to destroy; all the forces which he can command are diligently employed by him in these last days to compass the ruin of souls. He seizes every artifice that he can use to deceive, perplex, and confuse the people of God.

“He has used you as his agent to scatter darkness and confusion, and he finds that you work admirably in his hands. You are the very instrument that he can handle with good effect to hurt, discourage, and tear down. You are not zealous to put your shoulder under the load with the people of God; but when they would move, you throw yourself as an additional load to prevent them from doing what they might do in advancing in the right direction.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 455, 456.

12 With what class of believers does Satan have considerable success? James 1:8; Ephesians 4:14.

Note: “While professing to be Christians, many have the mold of the world upon them, and their affections are not set upon God. They are double minded, making an attempt to serve God and mammon at the same time; but the world’s Redeemer has declared, ‘Ye cannot serve God and mammon’ (Matthew 6:24). By trying to serve two masters, they are unstable in all their ways, and cannot be depended upon. To all appearances they are serving God, while at the same time in heart they are yielding to the temptation of Satan and cherishing sin.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 938.

Review and Thought Questions

1 What will Satan do as we approach the close of time?

2 Where does Satan concentrate his main efforts?

3 Why must we watch and pray now more than ever before?

4 What reveals that a person is led by the wrong spirit?

5 What attitude leaves us most open to deception?

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Recipe – Zucchini Easy Pan

Zucchini Easy Pan

Put some olive oil in a deep dish pan. Spread one layer of sliced onions, sliced tomatoes, sliced potatoes and, lastly sliced zucchini. Sprinkle it with a little salt and add another layer of each as before, starting with the onions, finishing with the zucchini. Sprinkle it again with salt and add a little more olive oil. Bake at 350 degrees until vegetables are tender. It will cook in its own juice. Very tasty and easy!.

Recipe shared by Julia Hornback. Thanks, Julia!

Food – Cost of Smoking

The cost of smoking can never be truly determined because of the loss of human life and potential, but it is just a matter of math to determine the cost of smoking if all of the cigarettes smoked over a lifetime were purchased today. You can see the cost of purchasing cigarettes in the table on the right.

Because of inflation, this table would have to be adjusted, making the numbers much higher the longer the person smokes. These numbers are astonishing, but they are only a part of the financial cost. The cost of damage to clothing, furniture, cars, homes and workplace also has to be considered. There is also expense related to lost work time and productivity. Injury related to inattentiveness can be very expensive. In July 2005, Dateline stated that the estimated cost of smoking related to lost productivity was 92 billion dollars. It quoted that 75.5 billion dollars of medical expenses was incurred in 1998. The cost of human suffering cannot begin to be estimated and the cost of lost life can only be enumerated, not estimated. About one-third to one-half of all smokers are killed by their habit and the average lifespan of a smoker is decreased by 12–15 years. This results in nearly 500,000 deaths annually in the United States, which represents about 1,400 people dying each and every day from smoking. Worldwide about 5.4 million people die annually from smoking, equating to over 15,000 people per day. These numbers are projected to increase to 6.4 million by 2015 and 8 to 10 million by 2030.

It is extremely hard to understand intellectually how anyone could decide to smoke or continue to smoke when these statistics are known. It is especially difficult when the benefits financially and physically are so marked in such a short time once someone quits smoking. Looking at the table below, there could be a savings the first month of $170 to $680. This alone is a huge incentive to stop. The physical benefits of smoking cessation are seen in a very short time. Within 20 minutes of the last cigarette, the blood pressure and pulse begin to return to normal. The temperature of the hands and feet will increase to normal. Within eight hours after quitting the carbon dioxide level in the blood drops to normal. Within just 24 hours after quitting, the chance of a heart attack decreases. By the time two weeks to three months pass, the circulation improves and lung function can increase by up to 30 percent. In one to nine months, coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue, and shortness of breath all decrease. The ability of the lungs to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce infection is greatly improved. The risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker within just one year. Within 5 to 15 years after quitting, the stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker. Ten years after quitting, the lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker. The risks of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas are also decreased. The risk of heart disease is that of a nonsmoker about 15 years after quitting.

So clearly there are costs associated with smoking and benefits to not begin or to quit once started. Won’t you think about this or share it with someone who smokes?

Nature – Crayfish

Crayfish are freshwater crustaceans resembling small lobsters. They go by a variety of different regional names such as crawfish, crawdads, mudbugs, and yabbies. Crayfish are found around the world with two families occupying The Northern Hemisphere and one family The Southern Hemisphere. There are 540 species of crayfish worldwide, with 400 of these being found in North America alone. The southeastern United States has the richest diversity of crayfish with over 330 species. Crayfish are mostly found in brooks and streams but also occur in lakes, marshes, swamps, and ponds. They come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Some species are very colorful, sporting red, blue, or yellow coloration or a combination of these, but most are a shade of brown. Others, such as the cave crayfishes, are colorless (white) and blind. Most crayfish are 2 to 6 inches in length, but a few get quite large, such as the Tasmanian giant freshwater crayfish which can reach a length of 31 inches and weigh up to 11 pounds, making it the largest freshwater invertebrate in the world. Unlike most species of crayfish which only live 2 to 3 years, the Tasmanian giant can live up to 40 years.

Some crayfish species live in holes in the ground in stream banks and moist soils, burrowing down as deep as five feet until they reach water and coming out at night to search for food on the surface. Their burrows are often marked with chimneys made of mud balls they bring to the surface while digging. There are three categories of burrowing crayfish: primary burrowers, which spend most of their lives in and around their burrows; secondary burrowers, which spend much of their lives in burrows but will frequent surface waters during wet periods, and tertiary burrowers, which generally live in surface waters but will retreat into simple burrows for reproduction and to avoid desiccation and freezing.

Crayfish are mainly nocturnal, hiding under rocks and debris during the day and coming out at night to feed. They are an important link in the aquatic food chain, being fed upon by a multitude of other animals including fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. Being omnivores, they feed on a variety of plants and animals and play an important role as scavengers, promoting decomposition and recycling. Crayfish sport a pair of chelipeds (pincers) for capturing food and for defense, and should they lose one to a predator, they are able to grow it back. They also are able to escape their enemies by back flipping their fan-shaped tail which propels them backward, flinging a cloud of mud at would-be predators.

In His infinite plan, God appointed part of the animal kingdom to act as scavengers like the crayfish. His plan, however, was not for us to be scavengers, physically or spiritually. “Those who live upon the husks of others’ failings and deficiencies, and who gather to themselves the unwholesome miasma of their neighbors’ neglects and shortcomings, making themselves church scavengers, are no advantage to the society of which they form a part, but are an actual burden to the community upon which they inflict themselves.

“The church is in need, not of burdens, but of earnest workers; not of faultfinders, but of builders in Zion. Missionaries are really needed at the great heart of the work—men who will keep the fort, who will be true as steel to preserve the honor of those whom God has placed at the head of His work, and who will do their utmost to sustain the cause in all its departments, even at the sacrifice of their own interests and lives, if need be.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 194.

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

Questions and Answers – Why don’t we see miracles of healing today?

“We are told that, “God’s miracles do not always bear the outward semblance of miracles. Often they are brought about in a way which looks like the natural course of events. When we pray for the sick, we also work for them. We answer our own prayers by using the remedies within our reach. Water, wisely applied, is a most powerful remedy. As it is used intelligently, favorable results are seen. God has given us intelligence, and He desires us to make the most of His health-giving blessings. We ask that God will give bread to the hungry; we are then to act as His helping hand in relieving hunger. We are to use every blessing God has placed within our reach for the deliverance of those in danger.

“Natural means, used in accordance with God’s will, bring about supernatural results. We ask for a miracle, and the Lord directs the mind to some simple remedy. We ask to be kept from the pestilence that walketh in darkness, that is stalking with such power through the world; we are then to cooperate with God, observing the laws of health and life. Having done all that we possibly can, we are to keep asking in faith for health and strength. We are to eat that food which will preserve the health of the body.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 938, 939.

God is working a healing miracle in each of our lives every day. Many who are following God’s eight laws of health are experiencing His miracle healing and preservation. These laws include: nutrition, exercise, water, sunlight, temperance, air, rest and trust in Divine power.

Faith is essential. While here on earth, Jesus taught that faith was an essential part of His healing. When the woman touched the hem of Christ’s garment and was healed from her disease, Jesus said, “Thy faith hath made thee whole.” Matthew 9:22.

Obedience is also necessary. “God will not work a miracle to keep those from sickness who have no care for themselves, but are continually violating the laws of health and make no efforts to prevent disease. When we do all we can on our part to have health, then may we expect that the blessed results will follow, and we can ask God in faith to bless our efforts for the preservation of health.” Medical Ministry, 13.

Natural laws are to be obeyed. We need to follow the natural laws and teach others how to do so also.

We also must remember: “Men under the influence of evil spirits will work miracles. They will make people sick by casting their spell upon them, and will then remove the spell, leading others to say that those who were sick have been miraculously healed. This Satan has done again and again.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 53.

We need to ask God to open our eyes that we may behold and appreciate what He is doing in our lives each and every day. Praise God from whom all blessings flow—they are never ending.

If you have a Bible question you wish to have answered, please write to Steps to Life or e-mail it to:

Children’s Story – The Potter’s Vessel

God knew you before you were even born and He has a very special job that He wants you to do. While we are alive we have to learn lessons of obedience and sometimes God even gives us some trials to see if He can trust us to do the special job He has for us. If you are obedient to your mom and dad and ask God to help you to be willing and able to do the jobs they ask, one day when God knows you are ready to do the job He has for you He will let you know just what it is.

A long time ago, God spoke to a young man whose name was Jeremiah. You can read about him in the Bible book by the same name. God spoke to him and said, “Before you were formed, I knew you. Before you were born I knew you would be a holy person, and I decided that I wanted you to be my prophet” (Jeremiah 1:5). A prophet is someone who can tell what is going to happen in the future.

One day God told Jeremiah to go to the potter’s house. A potter is someone who makes pots and bowls and all sorts of things out of clay. When he arrived at the potter’s house, he found the potter working. Jeremiah watched as the potter reached down into a deep, rank-smelling pit and brought out a lump of clay. He slapped it onto the stone that was on top of the potter’s wheel. The clay was rough looking with lots of lumps and bumps and uneven edges, but he balanced it carefully before starting to work with it. Dipping his hands in water, he steadily held his hands over the clay as the wheel started to spin. As the clay bobbed around, some gentle pressure was applied to hold it in place, preventing it from jumping and lurching. Never did the potter touch the clay without wet hands. The lump soon became smooth, and the potter was able to begin shaping and molding the clay. As the vessel responded to the care of the potter’s hand, it was molded and fashioned in just the way the potter wanted it.

You see, the potter had a plan for that piece of clay. When he looked at the marred piece that he had started with, he did not see the lumps and bumps and rough bits. He envisioned a beautiful vessel, and he knew just what would be needed to achieve that goal and what work it would take.

While Jeremiah was watching, before his eyes that marred, old piece of clay was transformed into a beautiful, balanced vessel without any spots or wrinkles.

God then said to Jeremiah, “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter? … Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand.” Jeremiah 18:6. (NKJV)

David also understood this concept when he said, “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.” Psalm 40:1, 2. (NKJV)

Jesus says, “I want to take you just as you are. I want to smooth out all your rough spots; take away all of your defects. I want to mould you and fashion you. I want to make you a beautiful vessel, a vessel unto honor (Romans 9:21), one without any leaks, because I want to fill you with My Holy Spirit so you can reflect Me and tell other people of My great love for them. Very soon I am coming back, and I want to take you home to live with Me forever.”

May you stand firmly on that Rock of salvation and allow the Great Potter to smooth out all of the bumps and defects of character while time lasts.