Antidote for Death

“And He humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that He might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.”

Deuteronomy 8:3

“But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

Matthew 4:4

 “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”

John 6:63, last part


This is a subject that is very dear to my soul, a subject that leaves me in awe and wonder, that gives joy and life, that vitalizes, that heals, that rejuvenates and enlivens. Although these blessings are for all, there are conditions. This subject is quite simply the word of God. This study is about the reality of what His word is and does for the human soul.

However, in order to understand the topic in its depth, its beauty, its power, and its importance, we must begin with a little background.

“And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:13–15).

Ezekiel 18:4 and 20 says, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel” (Ezekiel 33:11)?

Ellen White wrote, “In order to determine how important are the interests involved in the conversion of the soul from error to truth, we must appreciate the value of immortality; we must realize how terrible are the pains of the second death.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 620.

The agonies of the second death are most clearly revealed in the sufferings of Christ as He bore the penalty in behalf of fallen man for the transgression of God’s law.

“The agony which Christ endured, broadens, deepens, and gives a more extended conception of the character of sin, and of the retribution which God will bring upon those who continue in sin. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).” Bible Training School, September 1, 1915.

“The sword of justice was unsheathed, and the wrath of God against iniquity rested upon man’s substitute, Jesus Christ, the only begotten of the Father.

“In the garden of Gethsemane Christ suffered in man’s stead, and the human nature of the Son of God staggered under the terrible horror of the guilt of sin, until from His pale and quivering lips was forced the agonizing cry, ‘O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me:’ but if there be no other way by which the salvation of man may be accomplished, then ‘not as I will, but as Thou wilt’ (Matthew 26:39). Human nature would then and there have died under the horror of the sense of sin, had not an angel from heaven strengthened Him to bear the agony. Christ was suffering the death that was pronounced upon the transgressors of God’s law.

“It is a fearful thing for the unrepenting sinner to fall into the hands of the living God. This is proved by the history of the destruction of the old world by a flood, and by the record of the fire which fell from heaven and destroyed the inhabitants of Sodom. But never was this proved to so great an extent as in the agony of Christ, the Son of the infinite God, when He bore the wrath of God for a sinful world. It was in consequence of sin, the transgression of God’s law, that the garden of Gethsemane has become pre-eminently the place of suffering to a sinful world.

“No sorrow, no agony, can measure with that which was endured by the Son of God. Man has not been made a sin-bearer, and he will never know the horror of the curse of sin which the Saviour bore. No sorrow can bear any comparison with the sorrow of Him upon whom the wrath of God fell with overwhelming force. Human nature can endure but a limited amount of test and trial. The finite can only endure the finite measure, and human nature succumbs; but the nature of Christ had a greater capacity for suffering; for the human existed in the Divine nature, and created a capacity for suffering to endure that which resulted from the sins of a lost world. The agony which Christ endured, broadens, deepens, and gives a more extended conception of the character of sin, and of the retribution which God will bring upon those who continue in sin. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ to the repenting, believing sinner.” Ibid.

“The suffering Son of God leaves His disciples, for the power of darkness rushes upon Him with an irresistible force which bows Him to the earth. … His soul was pressed with such agony as no human being could endure and live. The sins of the world were upon Him. He felt that He was separated from His Father’s love; for upon Him rested the curse because of sin. Christ knew that it would be difficult for man to feel the grievousness of sin, and that close contact and familiarity with sin would so blunt his moral sensibility, that sin would not appear so dangerous to him, and so exceedingly offensive in the sight of God. He knew that but few would take pleasure in righteousness, and accept of that salvation which, at infinite cost, He made it possible for them to obtain. While this load of sin was upon Christ, unrealized, and unrepented of by man, doubts rent His soul in regard to His oneness with His Father. …

“Human minds cannot conceive of the insupportable anguish which tortured the soul of our Redeemer. …

“The sufferings of martyrs can bear no comparison with the sufferings of Christ. The divine presence was with them, in their physical sufferings. There was the hiding of the Father’s face from His dear Son. … It was anguish of soul beyond the endurance of finite nature. It was woe condensed that brought from the trembling lips of the noble sufferer these words: ‘Now is My soul troubled’ (John 12:27). ‘O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt’ (Matthew 26:39).” The Signs of the Times, August 14, 1879.

This is a description of the pains of the second death, separation, eternal separation, from the Life-giver, the One alone in whom rests the joy, the happiness, the peace, the divine contentment of the soul of man. This second death is the destiny for every soul – without Christ. We must realize this before we can understand the gift of God’s word, the antidote for this agonizing, soul-wrenching, second death. I pray God make these words full of vitality and reality to each one.

We are told: “The life of Christ that 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 through all the prophets and teachers of the Old Testament. The whole Bible is a manifestation of Christ, and the Saviour desired to fix the faith of His followers on the word. When His visible presence should be withdrawn, the word must be their source of power. Like their Master, they were to live ‘by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God’ (Matthew 4:4).

“As our physical life is sustained by food, so our spiritual life is sustained by the word of God. And every soul is to receive life from God’s word for himself. As we must eat for ourselves in order to receive nourishment, so we must receive the Word for ourselves. We are not to obtain it merely through the medium of another’s mind. We should carefully study the Bible, asking God for the aid of the Holy Spirit, that we may understand His word. We should take one verse, and concentrate the mind on the task of ascertaining the thought which God has put in that verse for us. We should dwell upon the thought until it becomes our own, and we know ‘what saith the Lord.’ ” The Desire of Ages, 390.

Steps to Christ, 90, adds a little to this thought. “One passage studied until its significance is clear to the mind and its relation to the plan of salvation is evident, is of more value than the perusal of many chapters with no definite purpose in view and no positive instruction gained.” [Emphasis added.]

“The Lord has often made manifest [clear] in His providence [foresight] that nothing less than revealed truth, the word of God, can reclaim man from sin or keep him from transgression. That Word, which reveals the guilt of sin, has a power upon the human heart to make man right and keep him so. The Lord has said that His word is to be studied and obeyed; it is to be brought into the practical life; that Word is as inflexible as the character of God—the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 14, 118, 119.

“The Bible contains all the principles that men need to understand in order to be fitted either for this life or for the life to come. And these principles may be understood by all. No one with a spirit to appreciate its teaching can read a single passage from the Bible without gaining from it some helpful thought. But the most valuable teaching of the Bible is not to be gained by occasional or disconnected study. Its great system of truth is not so presented as to be discerned by the hasty or careless reader. Many of its treasures lie far beneath the surface, and can be obtained only by diligent research and continuous effort. The truths that go to make up the great whole must be searched out and gathered up, ‘here a little, and there a little’ (Isaiah 28:10).” Education, 123.

Here inspiration takes a few paragraphs and compares and contrasts the teaching of the Bible with any and all other writings. Also delineated in these paragraphs are the benefits gained from a study of the Bible from a merely temporal (that is, earth-bound) point of view. Then Inspiration continues by speaking of the Bible and its blessings from a spiritual perspective, that is, including the reckoning of eternity.

“And even greater is the power of the Bible in the development of the spiritual nature. Man, created for fellowship with God, can only in such fellowship find his real life and development. Created to find in God his highest joy, he can find in nothing else that which can quiet the cravings of the heart, can satisfy the hunger and thirst of the soul. He who with sincere and teachable spirit studies God’s word, seeking to comprehend its truths, will be brought in touch with its Author; and, except by his own choice, there is no limit to the possibilities of his development.

“In its wide range of style and subjects the Bible has something to interest every mind and appeal to every heart. In its pages are found history the most ancient; biography the truest to life; principles of government for the control of the state, for the regulation of the household—principles that human wisdom has never equaled. It contains philosophy the most profound, poetry the sweetest and the most sublime, the most impassioned and the most pathetic. Immeasurably superior in value to the productions of any human author are the Bible writings, even when thus considered; but of infinitely wider scope, of infinitely greater value, are they when viewed in their relation to the grand central thought. Viewed in the light of this thought, every topic has a new significance. In the most simply stated truths are involved principles that are as high as heaven and that compass eternity.” Ibid., 124, 125.

Oh, friends, what is the “grand central thought” of the Bible? The answer to this question is given in the very next paragraph of this passage.

“The central theme of the Bible, the theme about which every other in the whole book clusters, is the redemption plan, the restoration in the human soul of the image of God. [That is, rescuing man from the terrifying, agonizing second death, alone, with no God, to the bliss of eternal life with the Life-giver!] From the first intimation of hope in the sentence pronounced in Eden to that last glorious promise of the Revelation, ‘They shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads’ (Revelation 22:4), the burden of every book and every passage of the Bible is the unfolding of this wondrous theme,—man’s uplifting,—the power of God, ‘which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ’ (1 Corinthians 15:57).

“He who grasps this thought has before him an infinite field for study. He has the key that will unlock to him the whole treasure house of God’s word.” Ibid., 125, 126.

As thrilling as these words of life are, we must go beyond the beautiful emotion that they inspire. If we are satisfied merely with these good feelings, these wonderful emotions elicited by the reading of God’s words, they will be to us as though we had not read them. It is not merely the study of these precious words that will give the boon of eternal life. There is more. Hear the words of our God. “The love of truth and righteousness must reign in the soul, [then the result is given], and a character will appear which heaven can approve.” Lift Him Up, 336.

“The thoughts must be upon heavenly things if you desire the Holy Spirit of God to impress truth upon the mind and soften and subdue the heart, inspiring ardent love of truth, of justice, of mercy, and of purity. The Spirit will bring to your remembrance the most precious jewels of thought. The whole heart will be warm with the contemplation of Jesus and His love, His teachings will be cherished, and you will love to speak to others the comforting things that have been opened to you by the Spirit of God. This is the privilege of every son and daughter of God. Oh, if those who believe the truth would love and fear the Lord always, if they would abide in Christ, they would treasure up the most precious experience; they would have moral and intellectual power; the grace of God would be in them ‘like a well of water springing up into everlasting life’ (John 4:14), and would flow forth from them as streams of living water. When persecution comes, the influence of such souls will be manifest; they will delight to magnify the truth.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 4, 345.

Think of those truths with which we began our study, the seriousness of sin and the agonies of its consequences. And then consider the fact that Jesus, the divine Son of God, willingly, eagerly came to this earth to endure those agonies of the second death to shield and protect us from having to experience them ourselves!

Only as we truly comprehend the magnitude of the consequences of sin can we rightly appreciate and love the word of God “which gives life to the world,” not just temporal life, but life eternal, perfect, pure, holy, happy, without the mar, the blight of sin. Oh, friends, if God’s word is not the love of your life, plead on your knees for heavenly wisdom and enlightenment, a change of heart. Plead to the Lord to put in your heart divine love for His word, for the principles of His Kingdom. Then act on that prayer. When other things allure and tempt, steadfastly refuse. Act as though God’s word is the most important thing in your life and the Lord will do the rest.

Friends, cherish, study, read, memorize these precious words as if your life, your eternal life, depends upon it—because it does. The life of Christ which gives life to the world, is in His word – God’s word – the “antidote for death.” Will it be yours?


Brenda Douay is a staff member at Steps to Life. She is director of The Training Program for Ministers and Church Leaders, a correspondence course that prepares individuals to serve as pastors or Bible workers. She may be contacted by email at:

Insights from the Book of Isaiah II – Earth’s Final Days

March 25 – 31, 2018

Key Text

“With righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked” (Isaiah 11:4).

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 603–614, 622–626, 635–644.


“We are living in altogether too solemn a period of the world’s history to be careless and negligent.” Sons and Daughters of God, 118.



  • Why is the latter rain to be such a joyous event in history? Hosea 6:1–3.

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



  • What will be another result of successfully presenting the gospel under the power of the latter rain? Ecclesiastes 11:1, 2; 2 Corinthians 2:14–17.

Note: “Men of faith and prayer will be constrained to go forth with holy zeal, declaring the words which God gives them. The sins of Babylon will be laid open. The fearful results of enforcing the observances of the church by civil authority, the inroads of spiritualism, the stealthy but rapid progress of the papal power—all will be unmasked. By these solemn warnings the people will be stirred. Thousands upon thousands will listen who have never heard words like these. In amazement they hear the testimony that Babylon is the church, fallen because of her errors and sins, because of her rejection of the truth sent to her from heaven. As the people go to their former teachers with the eager inquiry, Are these things so? the ministers present fables, prophesy smooth things, to soothe their fears and quiet the awakened conscience. But since many refuse to be satisfied with the mere authority of men and demand a plain ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ the popular ministry, like the Pharisees of old, filled with anger as their authority is questioned, will denounce the message as of Satan and stir up the sin-loving multitudes to revile and persecute those who proclaim it.

“As the controversy extends into new fields and the minds of the people are called to God’s downtrodden law, Satan is astir. The power attending the message will only madden those who oppose it. The clergy will put forth almost superhuman efforts to shut away the light lest it should shine upon their flocks. By every means at their command they will endeavor to suppress the discussion of these vital questions. The church appeals to the strong arm of civil power, and, in this work, papists and Protestants unite. As the movement for Sunday enforcement becomes more bold and decided, the law will be invoked against commandment keepers. They will be threatened with fines and imprisonment, and some will be offered positions of influence, and other rewards and advantages, as inducements to renounce their faith. But their steadfast answer is: ‘Show us from the word of God our error’—the same plea that was made by Luther under similar circumstances. Those who are arraigned before the courts make a strong vindication of the truth, and some who hear them are led to take their stand to keep all the commandments of God. Thus light will be brought before thousands who otherwise would know nothing of these truths.” The Great Controversy, 606, 607.



  • As church and state unite in defiant rebellion against God’s moral law of Ten Commandments, what will befall the faithful few who will seek to adhere to its holy principles? 2 Timothy 3:12; Revelation 13:11–17.

Note: “As the Sabbath has become the special point of controversy throughout Christendom, and religious and secular authorities have combined to enforce the observance of the Sunday, the persistent refusal of a small minority to yield to the popular demand will make them objects of universal execration. It will be urged that the few who stand in opposition to an institution of the church and a law of the state ought not to be tolerated; that it is better for them to suffer than for whole nations to be thrown into confusion and lawlessness. … This argument will appear conclusive; and a decree will finally be issued against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, denouncing them as deserving of the severest punishment and giving the people liberty, after a certain time, to put them to death. Romanism in the Old World and apostate Protestantism in the New will pursue a similar course toward those who honor all the divine precepts.

“The people of God will then be plunged into those scenes of affliction and distress described by the prophet as the time of Jacob’s trouble.” The Great Controversy, 615, 616.

  • When the normal channels of commerce are cut off and the protection of civil government is withdrawn, how will God’s faithful few survive? Isaiah 43:18–21; 41:17–20; 33:16.

Note: “The Lord has shown me repeatedly that it is contrary to the Bible to make any provision for our temporal wants in the time of trouble. I saw that if the saints had food laid up by them or in the field in the time of trouble, when sword, famine, and pestilence are in the land, it would be taken from them by violent hands and strangers would reap their fields. Then will be the time for us to trust wholly in God, and He will sustain us. I saw that our bread and water will be sure at that time, and that we shall not lack or suffer hunger; for God is able to spread a table for us in the wilderness. If necessary He would send ravens to feed us, as He did to feed Elijah, or rain manna from heaven, as He did for the Israelites.” Early Writings, 56.


4              SOLID SECURITY

  • What are God’s people instructed to do in anticipation of the time of trouble—and how will they be sheltered? Isaiah 26:20, 21; 49:15, 16.

Note: “Houses and lands will be of no use to the saints in the time of trouble, for they will then have to flee before infuriated mobs, and at that time their possessions cannot be disposed of to advance the cause of present truth. I was shown that it is the will of God that the saints should cut loose from every encumbrance before the time of trouble comes, and make a covenant with God through sacrifice. If they have their property on the altar and earnestly inquire of God for duty, He will teach them when to dispose of these things. Then they will be free in the time of trouble and have no clogs to weigh them down.

“I saw that if any held on to their property and did not inquire of the Lord as to their duty, He would not make duty known, and they would be permitted to keep their property, and in the time of trouble it would come up before them like a mountain to crush them, and they would try to dispose of it, but would not be able.” Early Writings, 56, 57.

“In the day of fierce trial He [Christ] will say, ‘Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast’ (Isaiah 26:20). What are the chambers in which they are to hide? They are the protection of Christ and holy angels. …

“I saw the saints leaving the cities and villages, and associating together in companies, and living in the most solitary places. Angels provided them food and water, while the wicked were suffering from hunger and thirst.

“During the night a very impressive scene passed before me. There seemed to be great confusion and the conflict of armies. A messenger from the Lord stood before me, and said, ‘Call your household. I will lead you; follow me.’ He led me down a dark passage, through a forest, then through the clefts of mountains, and said, ‘Here you are safe.’ There were others who had been led to this retreat. The heavenly messenger said. ‘The time of trouble has come as a thief in the night, as the Lord warned you it would come.’

“In the time of trouble just before the coming of Christ, the righteous will be preserved through the ministration of heavenly angels; but there will be no security for the transgressor of God’s law. Angels cannot then protect those who are disregarding one of the divine precepts.” Maranatha, 270.


5              DELIVERANCE!

  • Who will be safe at the hour of God’s wrath? Isaiah 33:13–16; 52:9, 10.
  • What awesome event will turn the world upside down—perhaps in order that every eye shall see it at approximately the same time? Isaiah 11:4; 24:1–6, 19–22; Revelation 1:7. What will the saints declare? Isaiah 25:9.

Note: “It was at midnight that God chose to deliver His people. … Dark, heavy clouds came up and clashed against each other. But there was one clear place of settled glory, whence came the voice of God like many waters, shaking the heavens and the earth. There was a mighty earthquake. The graves were opened, and those who had died in faith under the third angel’s message, keeping the Sabbath, came forth from their dusty beds, glorified, to hear the covenant of peace that God was to make with those who had kept His law.” Early Writings, 285.

“Soon there appears in the east a small black cloud, about half the size of a man’s hand. It is the cloud which surrounds the Saviour and which seems in the distance to be shrouded in darkness. The people of God know this to be the sign of the Son of man. In solemn silence they gaze upon it as it draws nearer the earth, becoming lighter and more glorious, until it is a great white cloud, its base a glory like consuming fire, and above it the rainbow of the covenant. Jesus rides forth as a mighty conqueror.” The Great Controversy, 640, 641.

“At the coming of Christ the wicked are blotted from the face of the whole earth—consumed with the spirit of His mouth and destroyed by the brightness of His glory. Christ takes His people to the City of God, and the earth is emptied of its inhabitants. [Isaiah 24:1, 3, 5, 6 quoted.]” Ibid., 657.



1             Why can all who sow seeds of truth today do so with joy and confidence?

2             What will be the result of some being summoned to testify for their faith?

3             How can we be preparing now for the actual crisis of the time of trouble?

4              What will happen to our possessions when the real crisis strikes?

5             Why can we be thankful that God gives so many details about the future?


Copyright © 2016 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Insights from the Book of Isaiah II – Ultimate Triumph

March 18 – 24, 2018

Key Text

“With great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all” (Acts 4:33).

Study Help: The Acts of the Apostles, 47–56; Christ’s Object Lessons, 415–421.


“At this very hour His [God’s] Spirit and His grace are for all who need them and will take Him at His word.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 20.



  • Describe the experience of the early church after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Acts 2:16, 17; 4:33.

Note: “[In the time of the early apostles], hundreds proclaimed the message: ‘The kingdom of God is at hand’ (Mark 1:15). They could not be restrained or intimidated by threatenings. The Lord spoke through them; and, wherever they went, the sick were healed, and the poor had the gospel preached unto them.

“So mightily can God work when men give themselves up to the control of His Spirit.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 20.

  • What prophecy will have a more complete fulfillment in these last days? Isaiah 60:3–5.

Note: “When God’s people so fully separate themselves from evil that He can let the light of heaven rest upon them in rich measure, and shine forth from them to the world, then there will be fulfilled more fully than it has ever been fulfilled in the past the prophecy of Isaiah, [Isaiah 60:3–5 quoted].” In Heavenly Places, 313.

“Let Christians put away all dissension and give themselves to God for the saving of the lost. Let them ask in faith for the promised blessing, and it will come. The outpouring of the Spirit in the days of the apostles was ‘the former rain,’ and glorious was the result. But the latter rain will be more abundant.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 21.



  • What reassuring promise of revival and refreshing does Hosea give under the figure of the early and latter rains? Hosea 6:1–3.
  • What are the conditions of receiving the “times of refreshing” promised—the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit in latter-rain power? Acts 3:19–21.

Note: “The great work of the gospel is not to close with less manifestation of the power of God than marked its opening. The prophecies which were fulfilled in the outpouring of the former rain at the opening of the gospel are again to be fulfilled in the latter rain at its close. Here are ‘the times of refreshing’ to which the apostle Peter looked forward … [Acts 3: 19, 20 quoted].” The Great Controversy, 611, 612.

“Those who receive the seal of the living God and are protected in the time of trouble must reflect the image of Jesus fully.

“I saw that many were neglecting the preparation so needful and were looking to the time of ‘refreshing’ and the ‘latter rain’ to fit them to stand in the day of the Lord and to live in His sight. Oh, how many I saw in the time of trouble without a shelter! They had neglected the needful preparation; therefore they could not receive the refreshing that all must have to fit them to live in the sight of a holy God.” Early Writings, 71.

  • In order to receive the power of the Holy Spirit without measure, what work must be done for us and by us? Isaiah 43:25; 44:22.

Note: “We may claim the blessed assurance, ‘I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions’ (Isaiah 44:22). Thy ‘sins, which are many, are forgiven’ (Luke 7:47). O, how precious, how refreshing, is the sunlight of God’s love! The sinner may look upon his sin-stained life, and say, ‘Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died.’ ‘When sin abounded, grace did much more abound’ (Romans 8:34; 5:20). Christ, the Restorer, plants a new principle of life in the soul, and that plant grows and produces fruit. The grace of Christ purifies while it pardons, and fits men for a holy heaven. We are to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ until we reach the full stature of men and women in Christ.” The Review and Herald, July 14, 1891.



  • While we may feel unworthy, what assurance can we have that the Lord will accept us when we come to Him in repentance? Isaiah 61:10.

Note: “Do not listen to the enemy’s suggestion to stay away from Christ until you have made yourself better; until you are good enough to come to God. If you wait until then, you will never come. When Satan points to your filthy garments, repeat the promise of Jesus, ‘Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out’ (John 6:37). …

“In the beautiful parabolic prophecy of Zechariah, the high priest Joshua, standing clothed in filthy garments before the angel of the Lord, represents the sinner. And the word is spoken by the Lord, ‘Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him He said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. … So they set a fair miter upon his head, and clothed him with garments’ (Zechariah 3:4, 5). Even so God will clothe you with ‘the garments of salvation,’ and cover you with ‘the robe of righteousness’ (Isaiah 61:10).” Christ’s Object Lessons, 205, 206.

  • What is soon to occur under the “latter-rain” power of the Holy Spirit? Isaiah 61:11; Joel 2:23, 28–31.

Note: “We must not wait for the latter rain. It is coming upon all who will recognize and appropriate the dew and showers of grace that fall upon us. When we gather up the fragments of light, when we appreciate the sure mercies of God, who loves to have us trust Him, then every promise will be fulfilled. [Isaiah 61:11 quoted.] …

“The time of test is just upon us, for the loud cry of the third angel has already begun in the revelation of the righteousness of Christ, the sin-pardoning Redeemer. This is the beginning of the light of the angel whose glory shall fill the whole earth.” “Ellen G. While Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 984.

“A work must be done for the people, or many will not be prepared to receive the light of the angel sent down from heaven to lighten the whole earth with his glory. Do not think that you will be found as vessels unto honor in the time of the latter rain, to receive the glory of God, if you are lifting up your souls unto vanity, speaking perverse things, in secret cherishing roots of bitterness.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, 175.



  • How must we prepare our hearts to participate in the latter rain? Joel 2:12–14; Hosea 10:12.

Note: “God leads His people on, step by step. He brings them up to different points calculated to manifest what is in the heart. Some endure at one point but fall off at the next. … Some are willing to receive one point; but when God brings them to another testing point, they shrink from it and stand back, because they find that it strikes directly at some cherished idol. Here they have opportunity to see what is in their hearts that shuts out Jesus. They prize something higher than the truth, and their hearts are not prepared to receive Jesus. Individuals are tested and proved a length of time to see if they will sacrifice their idols and heed the counsel of the True Witness. If any will not be purified through obeying the truth, and overcome their selfishness, their pride, and evil passions, the angels of God have the charge: ‘They are joined to their idols, let them alone’ (Hosea 4:17) and they pass on to their work, leaving these with their sinful traits unsubdued, to the control of evil angels. Those who come up to every point, and stand every test, and overcome, be the price what it may, have heeded the counsel of the True Witness, and they will receive the latter rain, and thus be fitted for translation.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 187.

  • Besides deep searching of heart and genuine repentance, what other duties do we have with regard to the latter rain? Matthew 5:6; Zechariah 10:1.

Note: “Why do we not hunger and thirst for the gift of the Spirit, since this is the means by which we are to receive power? Why do we not talk of it, pray for it, preach concerning it?” Testimonies, vol. 8, 22.

“Only those who are living up to the light they have, will receive greater light. Unless we are daily advancing in the exemplification of the active Christian virtues, we shall not recognize the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain.” The Faith I Live By, 333.

“When we have entire, whole-hearted consecration to the service of Christ, God will recognize the fact by an outpouring of His Spirit without measure; but this will not be while the largest portion of the church are not laborers together with God.” The Review and Herald, July 21, 1896.



  • What is to be the intensive focus of every follower of Christ—and why is this so necessary? Revelation 3:5; 7:1–4, 13, 14; 2 Corinthians 7:1.

Note: “The seal of the living God will be placed upon those only who bear a likeness to Christ in character.” The Review and Herald, May 21, 1895.

“When we become children of God, our names are written in the Lamb’s book of life, and they remain there until the time of the investigative judgment. Then the name of every individual will be called, and his record examined by Him who declares, ‘I know thy works’ (Revelation 3:15). If in that day it shall appear that all our wicked deeds have not been fully repented of, our names will be blotted from the book of life, and our sins will stand against us. If the professed believer becomes self-confident, if in word or spirit he breaks the least precept of God’s holy law, he misrepresents Jesus, and in the Judgment the awful words will be spoken, ‘Blot out his name from the book of life; he is a worker of iniquity’ (Revelation 3:5; Luke 13:27). But the Father pities the self-distrustful, God-fearing soul, harassed though he may be with doubts and temptations. Jesus pleads for him, and confesses his name before the Father and His holy angels.” The Signs of the Times, August 6, 1885.

“But those who are waiting to behold a magical change in their characters without determined effort on their part to overcome sin will be disappointed. We have no reason to fear while looking to Jesus, no reason to doubt but that He is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto Him; but we may constantly fear lest our old nature will again obtain the supremacy, that the enemy shall devise some snare whereby we shall again become his captives. … As wax  takes the impression of the seal, so the soul is to take the impression of the Spirit of God and retain the image of Christ.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 336, 337.



1             What results can we expect to see under the power of the latter rain?

2              Who only will receive the seal of God?

3              What prevents us from receiving the latter rain?

4             What do we need to overcome in order to receive the latter rain?

5             What should we fear with regard to overcoming sin?

Copyright © 2016 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Insights from the Book of Isaiah II – Persevering Missionaries

March 11 – 17, 2018

Key Text

“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price” (Isaiah 55:1).

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 5, 385–389; Ibid., vol. 6, 14–29.


“Soon there is to be trouble all over the world. It becomes everyone to seek to know God. We have no time to delay. With earnestness and fervor the message must be given: [Isaiah 55:1; 56:1, 2 quoted].” Testimonies, vol. 9, 228.



  • What message must be given to everyone today, regardless of the trying circumstances that may confront us? Isaiah 55:1, 2. Why does God permit trials to come upon His church?

Note: “In all ages of the church God’s appointed messengers have exposed themselves to reproach and persecution for the truth’s sake. But wherever God’s people may be forced to go, even though, like the beloved disciple, they are banished to desert islands, Christ will know where they are and will strengthen and bless them, filling them with peace and joy. …

“God’s love for His church is infinite. His care over His heritage is unceasing. He suffers no affliction to come upon the church but such as is essential for her purification, her present and eternal good. He will purify His church even as He purified the temple at the beginning and close of His ministry on earth. All that He brings upon the church in test and trial comes that His people may gain deeper piety and more strength to carry the triumphs of the cross to all parts of the world. He has a work for all to do. There must be constant enlargement and progress. The work must extend from city to city, from country to country, and from nation to nation, moving continually onward and upward, established, strengthened, and settled.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 227, 228.


2              ARISE, SHINE!

  • What light is to shine in the heart of all who hear the gospel message? 2 Corinthians 4:6. Upon whom and through whom will this light shine today? Isaiah 9:2; Philippians 2:15.

Note: “Christ came to our world to reveal the Father amid the gross darkness of error and superstition which then prevailed. The disciples of Christ are to represent Him in their everyday life, and thus the true light from heaven will shine forth in clear, steady rays to the world; thus a character is revealed entirely different from that which is seen in those who do not make the word of God their guide and standard. A knowledge of God must be preserved amid the darkness that covers the world and the gross darkness that envelops the people. Age after age the pure character of Christ has been misrepresented by those who claimed to be believers in Him and in the word of God.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 152.

  • How far-reaching is the light of the knowledge of Christ and His glory to extend? Isaiah 49:6.
  • How will God’s glory be revealed in these last days? Isaiah 60:1, 2; Matthew 5:16.

Note: “It is the darkness of misapprehension of God that is enshrouding the world. Men are losing their knowledge of His character. It has been misunderstood and misinterpreted. At this time a message from God is to be proclaimed, a message illuminating in its influence and saving in its power. His character is to be made known. Into the darkness of the world is to be shed the light of His glory, the light of His goodness, mercy, and truth.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 415.

“The lay members of our churches can accomplish a work which, as yet, they have scarcely begun. … Where there is an opening to obtain a livelihood, let families that are well grounded in the truth enter, one or two families in a place, to work as missionaries. … They can distribute our publications, hold meetings in their homes, become acquainted with their neighbors, and invite them to come to these meetings. Thus they can let their light shine in good works.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 245.



  • How does God depict the great final missionary thrust? Revelation 18:1–4. Why can’t this work be done by proxy?

Note: “God has sent message after message to arouse our people to do something, and to do it now. But to the call, ‘Whom shall I send?’ there have been few to respond, ‘Here am I; send me’ (Isaiah 6:8).” Testimonies, vol. 9, 46.

“Many professors of religion do nothing for Christ by personal effort. They are contented to have others do what properly belongs to themselves to perform, and, by lending a feeble influence for the workers, feel that they are doing good by proxy. Such persons do not possess that faith that works by love, and purifies the soul. They have no genuine religion, that enters into their daily business and regulates every action of their lives. A living faith in Christ is demonstrated by good deeds in our families, and our neighborhoods, by thoughtful, and practical consideration of the poor, by visiting and comforting the widows and the fatherless in their affliction, by keeping ourselves unspotted from the world, and by using our means and influence for the advancement of the cause of God. This must not be done grudgingly or murmuringly, but freely and cheerfully as Jesus gave all for us.” The Signs of the Times, August 22, 1878.

  • What are some of the ways in which we can be laborers together with God in this work? 1 Corinthians 3:9, 10.

Note: “Never was there greater need of earnest, self-sacrificing labor in the cause of Christ than now, when the hours of probation are fast closing. … Brethren and sisters, will you answer the [Macedonian] cry? saying: ‘We will do our best, both in sending you missionaries and money. We will deny ourselves in the embellishment of our houses, in the adornment of our persons, and in the gratification of appetite. We will give the means entrusted to us into the cause of God, and we will devote ourselves also unreservedly to His work.’ …

“Thus they can contribute money to send papers and books to those who have not the light of truth; they can help pay the expenses of students who are fitting for missionary work. Let every dollar that you can spare be invested in the bank of heaven.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 732, 733.



  • What assuring invitation of mercy are we called to give to all nations, and how are we to give it? Isaiah 55:3–5.

Note: “I entreat the Lord’s people to cease to criticize one another, and to give themselves to the proclamation of the truth for this time. … We need now to bow before God in true humility of soul; for the day of clouds and thick darkness is fast approaching.

“The last great conflict is before us; but help is to come to all who love God and obey His law, and the earth, the whole earth, is to be lighted with the glory of God.” The Review and Herald, April 19, 1906.

“This work is given to all who have had Christ set forth crucified among them. By the baptism of the Holy Spirit, God’s people are to do, through the instrumentality of their Master, the work that Christ did. They are to represent the benevolence of God to our world. Partakers of the divine nature, they are not only to save their own souls, through faith in Jesus; but Christ says of them, Ye are laborers together with God. As His witnesses, He has given to each his work. As His representatives, they are to bear to the world the message of invitation and mercy.

“Christ enjoins upon His disciples to lift up the world’s Redeemer. They are to have a sense of their obligation to devote their entrusted capabilities to the work of winning souls to the gospel of Him who has made so full a sacrifice for the enlightenment and recovery of the world.” Ibid., March 22, 1898.

  • What should be remembered by those who are seeking to share with others the light of present truth directly from God’s Word? Isaiah 55:9–11.

Note: “The plan of holding Bible readings was a heaven-born idea. There are many, both men and women, who can engage in this branch of missionary labor. Workers may thus be developed who will become mighty men of God. By this means the word of God has been given to thousands; and the workers are brought into personal contact with people of all nations and tongues. The Bible is brought into families, and its sacred truths come home to the conscience. Men are entreated to read, examine, and judge for themselves, and they must abide the responsibility of receiving or rejecting the divine enlightenment. God will not permit this precious work for Him to go unrewarded. He will crown with success every humble effort made in His name.” Christian Service, 141.



  • When the enemy overwhelms us with the temptation to give up in our efforts to reach souls, what will God do for us? Isaiah 59:19.
  • What attitude of mind will enable us to press on in the face of difficult circumstances? Isaiah 50:7.

Note: “In my youth I made up my mind that, should I allow myself to be controlled by circumstances, my life would be a failure; I went about whatever I regarded as duty, even though the surroundings were against me. My father would frequently say, ‘Ellen, if it were your duty to go to such a place, it would be made so plain that you could have no doubt in the matter. In consideration of your youth and feebleness, the Lord will give you clear evidence of your duty; and He will give you strength to do it without difficulty.’ ‘But,’ said I, ‘Father, if difficulties appear, I must summon greater resolution to meet them, and in doing this I shall gain a valuable experience, one that will help me to wisely use the abilities entrusted to my care.’

“Here is a work for every one of us to do. Never did I see and sense the value of souls as I do at the present time. How can we realize the importance of the work of salvation? In comparison with the value of the soul, everything else sinks into insignificance. This world and its treasures, this life and its happiness, are of little consequence, when we compare them with the joy of even one soul eternally saved. Until we have clear and distinct ideas of what that soul will enjoy when saved in the kingdom of glory; until we can fully comprehend the value of that life which measures with the life of God; until we can fully realize the riches of that reward which is laid up for those who overcome and gain the victory—we cannot know the inestimable value of the soul.” The Review and Herald, March 25, 1880.



1              How can we be persevering in our missionary work today?

2             How can lay people do a tremendous work in spreading the truth?

3             How can we heed the Macedonian cry?

4             How does genuine religion work in the life?

5             When will the world and its treasures lose their significance to us?

Insights from the Book of Isaiah II – Reaching Out to Souls

March 4 – 10, 2018

Key Text

“The next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God” (Acts 13:44).

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 7, 25–41; vol. 6, 31–57.


“A tender spirit, a gentle, winning deportment, may save the erring and hide a multitude of sins.” The Ministry of Healing, 166.


1              A MESSAGE FOR TODAY

  • What work today was foretold in the prophecy of Isaiah 56? Verses 1, 2.

Note: “The work of Sabbath reform to be accomplished in the last days is foretold in the prophecy of Isaiah. [Isaiah 56:1, 2, 6, 7 quoted.]” The Great Controversy, 451.

  • By what means can we best witness to those in large cities? Luke 14:23.

Note: “It is our work to give to the whole world—to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people—the saving truths of the third angel’s message. But it has been a difficult problem to know how to reach the people in the great centers of population. We are not allowed entrance to the churches. In the cities the large halls are expensive, and in most cases but few will come out to the best halls. We have been spoken against by those who were not acquainted with us. The reasons of our faith are not understood by the people, and we have been regarded as fanatics who were ignorantly keeping Saturday for Sunday. In our work we have been perplexed to know how to break through the barriers of worldliness and prejudice, and bring before the people the precious truth which means so much to them. The Lord has instructed us that the camp meeting is one of the most important instrumentalities for the accomplishment of this work.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 31, 32.



  • What was Isaiah shown about God’s plan for precious, sincere souls outside the fold of Christ? Isaiah 56:3–5. How was this seen in the preaching of the apostles? Acts 13:44.

Note: “The Jews had come more and more to regard themselves as superior by divine right to every other people upon the earth; yet they had not been careful to maintain their separate and holy character by rendering obedience to all the commandments of God. Now the prophet declares that the stranger who will love and obey God shall enjoy the privileges that have belonged exclusively to the chosen people. Hitherto, circumcision and a strict observance of the ceremonial law had been the conditions upon which Gentiles could be admitted to the congregation of Israel; but these distinctions were to be abolished by the gospel.” The Signs of the Times, February 28, 1884.

  • What selfish human tendency must we and our families determine to resist? Haggai 1:4.

Note: “Your interest, and efforts, and anxieties are for your family and your relatives. But you have not entertained the idea of reaching out for others around you, overcoming your reluctance to exert an influence outside of a special circle. You idolize yours, and shut yourselves within yourselves. That the Lord may save me and mine is the great burden. This spirit will have to die before you can flourish in the Lord and make spiritual advancement, before the church can grow and souls be added unto them of such as shall be saved.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 77.

  • How can we avoid the pitfalls of crowding together in one place? Luke 9:6.

Note: “How many towns and cities there are that are utterly neglected. Our people are injuring themselves by crowding into one place. When trees in a nursery are crowded thickly together, they cannot grow healthfully and sturdily. Transplant trees from your thickly planted nursery. God is not glorified in the centering of so many advantages in one place. Give room; put your plants in many places, where one will not lean for support upon another. Give them room to grow. This the Lord demands of you.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 147.



  • What is a wonderful promise given to new believers? Isaiah 56:6, 7. How are we to act a part in sharing the truth?

Note: “Every church is in need of the controlling power of the Holy Spirit, and now is the time to pray for it. But in all God’s work for man He plans that man shall co-operate with Him. To this end the Lord calls upon the church to have a higher piety, a more just sense of duty, a clearer realization of their obligations to their Creator. He calls upon them to be a pure, sanctified, working people. And the Christian help work is one means of bringing this about, for the Holy Spirit communicates with all who are doing God’s service. …

“Make regular, organized efforts to lift the church members out of the dead level in which they have been for years. Send out into the churches workers who will live the principles of health reform. Let those be sent who can see the necessity of self-denial in appetite, or they will be a snare to the church. See if the breath of life will not then come into our churches.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 266, 267.

  • What is the plague of the Pharisees, and how can we avoid it? Matthew 23:1–3; 7:24–29. How do our personal health habits affect our Christian witness? Isaiah 56:10–12; 1 Corinthians 9:26, 27.

Note: “The Lord is not pleased with the backslidden state of His people in regard to health reform. If they do not arouse to the need of heeding the light on health reform, they will soon fail to see the importance of other phases of the message.” Spalding and Magan Collection, 418.

“If the churches expect strength, they must live the truth which God has given them. If the members of our churches disregard the light on this subject [health reform], they will reap the sure result in both spiritual and physical degeneracy. And the influence of these older church members will leaven those newly come to the faith. The Lord does not now work to bring many souls into the truth, because of the church members who have never been converted and those who were once converted but who have backslidden. What influence would these unconsecrated members have on new converts? Would they not make of no effect the God-given message which His people are to bear?” Testimonies, vol. 6, 370, 371.



  • Describe the special care God has for those who need it most. Isaiah 56:8.

Note: “Every one who loves God in sincerity and truth will love the souls for whom Christ has died. If we wish to do good to souls, our success with these souls will be in proportion to their belief in our belief in, and appreciation of, them. Respect shown to the struggling human soul is the sure means through Christ Jesus of the restoration of the self-respect the man has lost. Our advancing ideas of what he may become is a help we cannot ourselves fully appreciate. We have need of the rich grace of God every hour, then we will have a rich, practical experience, for God is love. He that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God. Give love to them that need it most. The most unfortunate, those who have the most disagreeable temperaments need our love, our tenderness, our compassion. Those who try our patience need most love. We pass through the world only once; any good thing we can do, we should do most earnestly, untiringly, with the same spirit as is stated of Christ in His work. He will not fail nor be discouraged. The rough, stubborn, sullen dispositions are the ones who need help the most. How can they be helped? Only by that love practiced in dealing with them which Christ revealed to fallen man. Treat them, you may, as they deserve. What if Christ had treated us thus? He, the undeserving, was treated as we deserve. Still we are treated by Christ with grace and love as we did not deserve, but as He deserved. Treat some characters, as you think they richly deserve, and you will cut off from them the last thread of hope, spoil your influence and ruin the soul. Will it pay? No, I say no, a hundred times no. Bind these souls who need all the help it is possible for you to give them close to a loving, sympathizing, pitying heart, overflowing with Christlike love, and you will save a soul from death and hide a multitude of sins.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 281, 282.

  • How can we work for the outcasts in our own midst? James 5:19, 20.

Note: “There are many who err and who feel their shame and folly. They look upon their mistakes and errors until they are driven almost to desperation. These souls we are not to neglect. When one has to swim against the stream, there is all the force of the current driving him back. Let a helping hand then be held out to him as was the Elder Brother’s hand to the sinking Peter. Speak to him hopeful words.” In Heavenly Places, 295.



  • How can Christ’s compassionate ministry to sin-sick souls be reflected and imitated in the life of His followers? Isaiah 61:1–3.

Note: “The mission of Christ was to heal the sick, encourage the hopeless, bind up the brokenhearted. This work of restoration is to be carried on among the needy, suffering ones of humanity. God calls not only for your benevolence, but your cheerful countenance, your hopeful words, the grasp of your hand. Relieve some of God’s afflicted ones. Some are sick, and hope has departed. Bring back the sunlight to them. There are souls who have lost their courage; speak to them, pray for them. There are those who need the bread of life. Read to them from the word of God. There is a soul sickness no balm can reach, no medicine heal. Pray for these, and bring them to Jesus Christ. And in all your work, Christ will be present to make impressions upon human hearts.” A Call to Medical Evangelism and Health Education, 23.

“We need not go to Nazareth, to Capernaum, or to Bethany, in order to walk in the steps of Jesus. We shall find His footprints beside the sickbed, in the hovels of poverty, in the crowded alleys of the great cities, and in every place where there are human hearts in need of consolation.

“We are to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and comfort the suffering and afflicted. We are to minister to the despairing, and to inspire hope in the hopeless.

“The love of Christ, manifested in unselfish ministry, will be more effective in reforming the evildoer than will the sword or the court of justice. These are necessary to strike terror to the lawbreaker, but the loving missionary can do more than this. Often the heart that hardens under reproof will melt under the love of Christ.” The Ministry of Healing, 105, 106.



1             For what specific aim were camp meetings originally designed, and why?

2             Why should we manifest interest in new souls with no family in the faith?

3             What do our personal health habits have to do with missionary success?

4             What happens when we treat people as they deserve to be treated? How does Jesus treat us?

5              Where can you find opportunities to minister personally as Christ would?

Insights from the Book of Isaiah II – Called to Witness

February 25 – March 3, 2018

Key Text

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” (Isaiah 52:7).

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 7, 9–24.


“By communicating to others the grace we receive, we shall be made partakers of the rich blessings of God.” The Review and Herald, February 25, 1909.



  • When tempted to waste our time in selfish pursuits or trivial matters, what should we consider? Isaiah 55:6, 7; Hebrews 3:12, 13.

Note: “My brethren and sisters, seek the Lord while He may be found. There is a time coming when those who have wasted their time and opportunities will wish they had sought Him.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 106, 107.

  • Why is it important to study the word of God now? Amos 8:11, 12. What effect will personal Bible study have on us? John 8:31, 32; John 17:17.

Note: “Those who study the Bible, counsel with God, and rely upon Christ will be enabled to act wisely at all times and under all circumstances. Good principles will be illustrated in actual life. Only let the truth for this time be cordially received and become the basis of character, and it will produce steadfastness of purpose, which the allurements of pleasure, the fickleness of custom, the contempt of the world-loving, and the heart’s own clamors for self-indulgence are powerless to influence. Conscience must be first enlightened, the will must be brought into subjection. The love of truth and righteousness must reign in the soul, and a character will appear which heaven can approve.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 43.



  • What will the constraining love of God lead us to do? 2 Corinthians 5:14, 15.

Note: “If the love of God is in the heart, it will surely be revealed in tender love for others. The Lord is honored by our acts of mercy, by the exercise of thoughtful consideration for the unfortunate and distressed. The widow and the fatherless need more than our charity. They need sympathy and watchcare, compassionate words, and a helping hand to place them where they can help themselves. All deeds done for those who need help are done to Christ. In our study to know how to help the unfortunate, we should study the way in which Christ worked. He did not refuse to work for those who made mistakes; His works of mercy were performed for every class, the righteous and the unrighteous. For all alike He healed disease and gave lessons of instruction.” The Signs of the Times, July 14, 1909.

  • When this motive is lacking, what call to repentance must we accept—and why? Revelation 2:4, 5.

Note: “My brother, my sister, what are you doing for Christ? Are you seeking to be a blessing to others? Are your lips uttering words of kindness, sympathy, and love? Are you putting forth earnest efforts to win others to the Saviour?

“It is a mystery that there are not hundreds at work where now there is but one. The heavenly universe is astonished at the apathy, the coldness, the listlessness, of those who profess to be sons and daughters of God. For years the work has been kept before us, but many have been asleep.” The Review and Herald, August 7, 1913.

  • How can doing our “first works” in missionary lines improve our spirituality in the church?

Note: “Every departure from true missionary effort, every failure to cherish the missionary spirit, has reacted upon the church, and there has been a decline of spirituality. But every earnest effort that has been made in missionary lines has brought spiritual health to the church, and has not only increased the membership of the church, but has increased its holy zeal and gladness.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 205, 206.


3              REWARDING RESULTS

  • What encouraging words illustrate the gratefulness that those who hear the message will have for those who bring the message? Isaiah 52:7.

Note: “He [God] wants you to institute meetings for those outside the churches, that the people may learn the truths of this last message of warning. There are places where you will be gladly received, where souls will thank you for coming to their help. May the Lord help you to take hold of this work as you have never yet taken hold of it.

“Let us begin to work for those who have not had the light. … What we need is a living faith, faith to proclaim over the rent sepulcher of Joseph that we have a living Saviour, one who will go before us and who will work with us. God will do the work if we will furnish Him the instruments. There needs to be among us a great deal more of prayer and much less of unbelief. We need to lift up the standard higher and still higher before the people. We need to remember that Christ is always at our right hand as we proclaim liberty to the captives and deal the bread of life to hungry souls. When we keep before our minds the urgency and importance of our work, the salvation of God will be revealed in a remarkable manner.

“God help us to put on the armor and to act as if we were in earnest, as if the souls of men and women were worth saving. Let us seek a new conversion.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 107.

  • What can happen as we join hands in this great endeavor? Isaiah 52:8, 15.

Note: “The Lord is calling upon His people to take up different lines of missionary work. Those in the highways and hedges are to hear the saving gospel message. Church members are to do evangelistic work in the homes of those of their friends and neighbors who have not yet received full evidence of the truth.” Reflecting Christ, 202.

“If we teach the truth as it is in Jesus, we shall teach it in the spirit of the true Educator; and we will not have various opinions, and cling to our own ideas with tenacity, but will see eye to eye.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 914.



  • How does the apostle Paul echo Isaiah’s call to service? Romans 10:13–15.

Note: “His [Christ’s] life was one of unselfish service, and it is to be our lesson book.

“Human beings have no right to think that there is a limit to the efforts that they are to make in the work of soul-saving. Did Christ ever become weary in His work? Did He ever draw back from sacrifice and hardship? Church-members are to put forth the continuous, persevering efforts that He put forth.” The Review and Herald, August 7, 1913.

  • Do we need to wait for a government decree or a General Conference resolution in order to wake up? If not, why not? Romans 13:11–14; 1 Thessalonians 5:4–8.

Note: “The whole earth is to be lightened with the glory of God’s truth. The Lord will not close up the period of probation until the warning message shall be more distinctly proclaimed. The trumpet must give a certain sound. The law of God is to be magnified, its claims must be presented in their true, sacred character; that the people may be brought to decide for or against the truth. …

“You have long expected the wonderful startling events that are to take place just prior to the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Now I ask, Are you prepared to give the trumpet a certain sound? Do you know that you are connected with God, and living in the light of His countenance? Who feels day by day that he belongs to the great co-partnership for honoring Christ by working out the Lord’s plan for the redemption of men? The best way to keep your own souls in the love of God is to become diligent workers for the salvation of others. …

“All heaven, if I may use the expression, is impatiently waiting for men to cooperate with the divine agencies in working for the salvation of souls. [Isaiah 52:7 quoted.] Who will arise and shine because the light has come, and the glory of the Lord hath risen upon them? Who have joined themselves to the Lord in holy covenant to become channels for the communication of heaven’s light and grace to our world?” General Conference Daily Bulletin, January 28, 1893.



  • What confession do we need to make while probation still lingers? Isaiah 45:23; Romans 14:11; 10:9, 10.

Note: “Lose no time; confess Christ without delay. It is the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, the Spirit of truth that testifies of Christ. Jesus said, ‘Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth’ (Acts 1:8). To grieve the Holy Spirit which would make you a witness of Christ is a terrible thing. You know not when you may grieve the Spirit for the last time. The Holy Spirit does not work upon the human heart to compel you to give yourself to Christ, to force you to yield your conscience: but [the Spirit] shines into the chambers of the mind in a way to convict of sin, and to entice you unto righteousness. If you do not confess Christ now, the time will come when, overwhelmed with a sense of the great things that you have lost, you will make confession. But why not confess Christ now while mercy’s voice invites you?” The Youth’s Instructor, August 1, 1895.

  • When we confess Christ as our source of strength and righteousness, what effect will this have on our missionary efforts? Isaiah 45:24, 25.

Note: “In a special manner truth is adapted to the necessities of every human heart. As the children of God comprehend the ability of the Lord to supply their needs, they will reach out to meet the needs of the souls who are perishing in sin. God will accept all who will exercise faith in Him and become doers of His word.” The Review and Herald, August 12, 1909.



1              Why is it important for us to know what is truth?

2              What happens to our spirituality if we fail to do missionary work?

3              When seeking to share Christ, on whom should we begin our focus?

4              What example has Christ given in daily life—and how can we follow it?

5              How can my personal confession of Christ be a more effective witness?

Food – Tropical Tangy Grapefruit

We can thank the Jamaicans for this relatively recent addition to the citrus family, with fruits spotted in the forests of the Caribbean on the island of Barbados in the middle 1700s. The grapefruit was known as the shaddock or shattuck until the 1800s. Its current name alludes to fruit grown in clusters as it resembles large clusters of yellow grapes on the tree, with premature fruit similar in shape to unripe green grapes.

The fruit we know today as grapefruit is most likely a natural cross between the pummelo and the sweet orange, now cultivated in many tropical, semi-tropical, and warm temperate regions worldwide for the sweet-sour fruit that often graces the breakfast, lunch, or dinner table.

Grapefruit come in white, pink and red varieties, colors that refer to the fleshy interior. Pink and red grapefruit contain over fifty times the carotenoid of white, which convert to healthy levels of vitamin A, an antioxidant required for maintaining healthy mucosa, skin, and peripheral vision. They are also high in lycopene, an antioxidant believed to help lower the risk of prostate cancer. White grapefruit contains the flavonoid naringin which is responsible for giving it its bitter taste and is essentially an antioxidant that seeks and destroys free radicals (cancer-promoting agents).

This luscious, nutritious fruit contains fairly high levels of potassium, important in controlling blood pressure, as well as the B vitamin inositol, helpful in metabolizing fat and cholesterol, reducing triglycerides, and critical for cell growth in the bone marrow, eye membranes, and intestines. Grapefruit is even more highly valued as a powerhouse of vitamin C–just a half provides nearly 70 percent of the recommended daily allowance. Vitamin C, a powerful natural antioxidant, aids the body in developing resistance against infectious agents by optimizing immune function. In addition, vitamin C is required for the maintenance of healthy connective tissue and early wound healing.

Some people with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and other inflammatory disorders find that eating grapefruit daily seems to alleviate these symptoms. This relief is thought to stem from plant chemicals that block prostaglandins, substances that cause inflammation.

Grapefruits do, however, contain a class of compounds known as furanocoumarin derivatives, that interfere with the action of various prescription medications, posing a potentially lethal health risk.

Consult your healthcare practitioner before consuming grapefruit or the juice if taking pharmaceutical drugs. People on medication for kidney disease must also be cautious when consuming grapefruit.

Soothe the inflammation of a sore throat and cough with the juice of a grapefruit combined with warm water and honey. Consume regularly until relief occurs.

Enjoy a sectioned grapefruit raw or briefly broiled. Nothing compares in flavor to a freshly squeezed glass of grapefruit juice. Frozen substitutes excellently when fresh is not available. Having a natural affinity for avocado, grapefruit can be combined in a salad with orange and tangerine sections arranged over baby greens or spinach topped with a creamy avocado dressing.



Pomegranate Apple Grapefruit Juice

2 grapefruits, peeled ½ cup pomegranate arils
3 red or green apples, organic, if possible
Juice the grapefruits, apples, and pomegranate arils. Enjoy the delicious, refreshing, vitalizing boost of natural vitamins C and A.


Life Sketches – Your Eternal Destiny

For three and a half years while the disciples were with Jesus, watching Him lovingly minister day after day to the multitudes, they failed to learn to get along with each other. In fact, the night Jesus was betrayed, the Bible says, “Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest. And He said to them, ‘The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called “benefactors.” But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table?  Yet I am among you as the One who serves’ ” (Luke 22:24-27).

O, friend, herein is the secret to how you can resolve differences. Jesus promised them that after He ascended to heaven He would give to them a special gift that would guide them into all truth and solve all the problems that they had had for over three years—getting along. In Luke 24:49, it says, “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”

Acts 1:8 says, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” So, when the Holy Spirit came upon them, what happened? “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1). Jesus also promised in John 16 that the Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth, and when people are all guided into all truth, they have the unity of the faith. Paul says in Ephesians 4:1-3, “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Unity and harmony takes work. Jesus told His followers that they must learn how to endure, to bear with one another, because they had differences of thought. They were going to need lowliness, gentleness, and longsuffering. But it is not enough just to have those things. The Holy Spirit must give gifts in the church that result in the unity of all Christian believers. Ellen White wrote, “Christ declares that our heavenly Father is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him, than earthly parents are to give gifts to their children.” Reflecting Christ, 304.

Notice how it is described in Ephesians 4:11–15, (literal translation): “He Himself gave some [gifts] to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ.”

Notice, it is God’s plan for His believers to grow up to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, to come into the unity of the faith. And this can only be done as the Holy Spirit guides people back to Bible truth. Jesus said in His last prayer with His disciples before Gethsemane, “Sanctify them … ,” that is,  My followers, “… sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17). The truth is God’s word, and when people come into harmony with it, they will be in harmony with each other. The reason there is not harmony in Christianity today is because Christians are not fully in harmony with God’s word.

Jesus said, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

Peter was appointed to take the gospel to the Jews, along with James and John, but Paul was especially appointed to take the gospel to the nations. It is never convenient to be a missionary, for it involves hardship. It also involves an expenditure of money, time, and resources. However, this has been the mission since then for those God has appointed as missionaries to those who do not know the gospel. Paul and Barnabas went out and began to preach the gospel in various places. One of the first places they preached after leaving Antioch was in Cyprus. It says of them, “Being sent out by the Holy Spirit” (Acts 13:4, first part).

Notice, when a person is filled with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit is going to send that person out as a witness for Christ. It was the Holy Spirit that sent out Barnabas and Saul. “They went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. … they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. They also had John as their assistant.

“Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus, who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith” (Acts 13:4, last part–8).

The devil has always had agents of various kinds to try to keep people, especially those having education, influence or leadership ability, from accepting the gospel. This has been the case for thousands of years. This sorcerer had closed his eyes to the truth of the Bible that had been available to him. This is a dangerous thing to do, for God may do something to get you to see the error of your ways. In doing such, a judgment came upon this man.

Acts 13:9–12 says, “Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, ‘O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.’ And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.”

The sorcerer was leading people away from the truth that the apostles were presenting. So they had to stand their ground and oppose him, not because they did not like him, but because he was leading other people to reject the gospel. That is more serious than most people realize. Peter said, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

It is a false idea that there are many ways of salvation. There is no other way. Only through the gospel of Jesus Christ can you be saved. Everything else leads to death and loss of eternal life, what the Bible describes as the second death (Revelation 20:14). In this world, we know something about death because it is all around us. We see death, we go to funerals, we have cemeteries, and we are very conscious of the frailty of life. However, for the saved, the death that is experienced in this world is only temporary.

In Acts 24:15, speaking to Felix, the governor, Paul said, “I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.” He acknowledged that both he and Paul believed the same thing, that there is going to be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and of the unjust. So, death in this world is temporary. But the big question is, after a person dies, in which resurrection will they participate? Will it be the resurrection of the just, or will they participate in the resurrection of the unjust? Everybody will be raised, but not all will be raised in the same resurrection. Some will be raised in the resurrection of the just and others in the resurrection of the unjust.

In Daniel 12:2, it says, “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt.” So, it is very serious to lead somebody to reject the gospel and teach them to distrust the Bible and the word of the prophets and the apostles, because if you do not believe, you cannot receive salvation. Jesus said, “He that believes on Me has everlasting life” (John 6:47, literal translation).

However, if you don’t believe, He said to the Jews, “You are not willing to come to Me that you may have life” (John 5:40). On another occasion Jesus said to the Jews, “ ‘I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come.’ So the Jews said, ‘Will He kill Himself, because He says, “Where I go you cannot come?” ’ And He said to them, ‘You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe I am He, you will die in your sins’ ” (John 8:21–24). That is a very serious business. Death is not serious; death is of small moment, small account, to a person who is a Christian. It is just a moment of silence and darkness—a sleep. At the resurrection he will be raised; he will awake to everlasting life.

However, if you die in your sins because you do not believe, you have no hope. You will then be part of the resurrection of the unjust. For this reason, it is unwise to reject the gospel, and even more serious to lead somebody else to reject the gospel, because in doing that you rob them of their hope of an eternal inheritance.

In Acts 13:14, 15, we read that when Paul and Barnabas left that area “… they came to Antioch and Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down. And after the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, ‘Men and brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.’ ”

They asked Paul and Barnabas if they had any exhortation to give to the people. Paul (Saul) replied that indeed he did and related the experience of the Israelites on their pilgrim journey from Egypt to the Promised Land as recorded in Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. “Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, ‘Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen: The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He brought them out of it. Now for a time of about forty years He put up with their ways in the wilderness. And when He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He distributed their land to them by allotment.’ (See the book of Joshua.)

“ ‘After that He gave them judges for about four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet [described in the book of Judges]. And afterward they asked for a king; so God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years [described in 1st and 2nd Samuel]. And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, “I have found David the son of Jessie, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.” From this man’s (David’s) seed according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Saviour—Jesus—after John had first preached, before His coming, the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel (the first part of Matthew). And as John was finishing his course, he said, “Who do you think I am? I am not He. But behold, there comes One after me, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to loose” (John 1).

“ ‘Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent. For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him. And though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death. Now when they had fulfilled all that was written [in the Old Testament] concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead. He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people (1 Corinthians 15:6). And we declare to you glad tidings—that promise which was made to the fathers. God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: “You are My Son, today I have begotten You” (verse 7). And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: “I will give you the sure mercies of David” (Acts 13:34). Therefore He also says in another Psalm: “You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption” (Psalm 16:10).

“ ‘For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption; but He whom God raised up saw no corruption. Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. Beware, therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you:

“Behold, you despisers,

Marvel and perish!

For I work a work in your days,

A work which you will by no means believe,

Though one were to declare it to you” ’ ” (Acts 13:16–41).

The Gentile people who were also listening to Paul’s discourse had never heard the story of Jesus or the gospel that their sins could be forgiven by believing, without animal sacrifices. “So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God” (Ibid., verses 42–44).

But now something terrible happened—something that has existed for generations up to the present time. Some people feel that their race is superior and their nation superior to other races of people and look down upon others who are different from them for various reasons, even skin color. The Jews had that very problem—exclusivism. They became envious of the fact that now the Gentiles were going to be offered salvation and there would eventually be more Gentiles that would accept Jesus than there would be Jews.

It says, “But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul. Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, ‘It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us: “I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth” ’ ” (Ibid., verses 45–47).

Friend, how is it with you? There are many people today doing the very same thing that the Jews did in this instance. They don’t like somebody in a church or in a certain place, so they reject the gospel. These Jews rejected the gospel because of racial prejudice. By rejecting the gospel, a person declares that they are unworthy of eternal life.

God will allow those who declare themselves to be unworthy of eternal life by rejecting the gospel of Jesus and refusing to believe in Him to have their choice, but it will be at an eternal cost.

Don’t ever forget that you choose for yourself your own eternal destiny.

(Unless appearing in quoted references or otherwise identified, Bible texts are from the New King James Version.)

Pastor John J. Grosboll is Director of Steps to Life and pastors the Prairie Meadows Church in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by email at:, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.

Health – Rest, What is it?

Very few people know what the word rest means. Webster’s Dictionary describes it this way:

1) the quiet or repose of sleep;

2) ease or inactivity after the exertion of labor;

3) relief or freedom especially from trouble;

4) cessation or absence from motion.

Are you familiar with any of these descriptions? Vicki Griffin, PhD, makes the following comments on rest:

Sleepier Than Ever! Americans are suffering from daytime sleepiness so pervasive that it interferes with their daily activities, according to the experts at the National Sleep Foundation. According to their surveys, 40% of adults say that they are so sleepy during the day that it interferes with their daily activities.

Burning on Both Ends? Is getting to bed on time on your list of important things to do each day? “Burning the midnight oil” may be burning you out—in more ways than one!

Michael Irwin, a psychiatrist at the San Diego Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and his team studied 23 healthy men, age 22 to 61, who spent four nights in a sleep laboratory. He found that even modest levels of sleep deprivation resulted in a 30 percent drop in immune function. Returning to normal sleep patterns restored immunities. God made the beasts to go out after dark—not man! “Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth” (Psalm 104:20).

Early to Bed, Early to Rise … . Is it true that early-to-bed, early-to-rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise? Even though this saying is not in the Bible, there is a similar truth laid out by our Creator:

“The sun ariseth, (the wild beasts) gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens. Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening” (Psalm 104:22, 23).

Science confirms this simple truth about man’s proper bedtime being soon after sunset.

Dr. Thomas Weir, head of the clinical psychobiology branch of the National Institute of Mental Health, is conducting some interesting studies to see if people who follow the “early-to-bed, early-to-rise” maxim are actually gaining health benefits. So far, his studies have shown that sleeping in a “dusk-to-dawn” pattern, as opposed to late bedtime and late rising, actually causes an increase in the brain’s production of melatonin. Melatonin insufficiency may be involved in such disorders as chronic fatigue, insomnia and jet lag, lethargy and fatigue in night workers, depression, and even suicide.

Research suggests that the majority of memory storage takes place in the brain when sleep is deep and uninterrupted. In a study published in Science, researchers reported that deep sleep is critically important to the learning process, and that people tend to absorb knowledge about new skills while sleeping.

In the words of the researchers, “We and others have found that an improvement in perceptual performance occurs neither during or immediately after practice of a procedure, but rather eight to 10 hours after a training session has ended.”

Sleep Time – Valued Time! Many people not only go to bed late, they also get up early, catching naps in order to “keep going.” But according to some researchers, fragmented sleep may be worse than a bout of no sleep at all, in terms of the affect on motor skills, mood, and cognitive ability.

Remember the Fabulous Four? Don’t cheat yourself out of sleep. There are four essentials to establishing good sleep habits.

Quantity. The average person needs eight to nine hours of sleep daily. This is essential for proper immune function, tissue repair, and nervous system and hormone balance. Children and teenagers need more.

Regularity. Having a set bedtime and rising, as well as set times for eating, exercise, study and work, help your body to establish regular biorhythms, which reduces cancer risk and normalizes hormone metabolism.

Timing. As mentioned before, an early-to-bed pattern of sleeping enhances learning, mood, overall health, and childhood development.

Quality. Ever sleep a long time and wake up tired? There are a number of factors that can interfere with quality sleep. Eating late, sugary foods, lack of regular exercise, smoking, and the use of caffeinated beverages or drugs can seriously impair the quality of sleep. Certain prescription drugs, including sleeping pills and anti-depressants, can cause sleep problems.

Stress, television, harsh music and bright lights at night can also reset the body’s inner clock to late-night wakefulness and diminish quality sleep. Anger and guilt can destroy peaceful sleep.

Someone once said, “A clear conscience makes a soft pillow.” Hanging onto grudges and anger robs us of inner peace that is essential to sound sleep. Perhaps that is why the Bible tells us not to let the sun go down on our wrath, but as far as possible “be at peace among yourselves” (1 Thessalonians 5:13).

Sleep: It Should Be a Top Priority! Your Creator and Savior understands your need to sleep, and He will help you plan it into your lifestyle. Indeed, we now know from science that if you do not make proper sleep a top priority, you will pay a price!

In this troubled and perplexing world, our Savior is interested in our sleep habits: “It is vain for you to … sit up late, … He giveth His beloved sleep” (Psalm 127:2).

It was Jesus who, pressed with cares and an urgent mission, told His weary disciples, “Come ye yourselves apart … and rest awhile” (Mark 6:31). …

Extracted from The Guilt-free Gourmet, by Vicki B. Griffin, PhD, MACN and Gina M. Griffin, pages 317–321. (Remnant Publications, 1999).

Rest is really a gift from God. Don’t lose out! Enjoy!