Bible Study Guides – “Praise Ye The Lord”

March 24, 2001 – March 30, 2001

Memory Verse

“Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord” Psalm 150:6.

Study Help: Steps to Christ, 115, 126.


“Nothing tends more to promote health of body and of soul than does a spirit of gratitude and praise. It is a positive duty to resist melancholy, discontented thoughts and feelings—as much a duty as it is to pray. If we are heaven-bound, how can we go as a band of mourners, groaning and complaining all along the way to our Father’s house?” Ministry of Healing, 251.

“Rejoice In The Lord Alway”

1 What should be the continual attitude of our hearts towards God? Philippians 4:4.

note: “The melody of praise is the atmosphere of heaven; and when heaven comes in touch with the earth, there is music and song—‘thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.’ Isaiah 51:3. Above the new-created earth, as it lay, fair and unblemished, under the smile of God, ‘the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.’ Job 38:7. So human hearts, in sympathy with heaven, have responded to God’s goodness in notes of praise. Many of the events of human history have been linked with song.” Education, 161.

“Make your work pleasant with songs of praise. If you would have a clean record in the books of heaven, never fret or scold. Let your daily prayer be, ‘Lord, teach me to do my best. Teach me how to do better work. Give me energy and cheerfulness.’ . . . Bring Christ into all that you do. Then your lives will be filled with brightness and thanksgiving…. Let us do our best, moving forward cheerfully in the service of the Lord, with our hearts filled with His joy.” Child Guidance, 148.

2 How does Paul link prayer and praise? 1 Thessalonians 5:16,17.

note: “We do not value as we should the power and efficacy of prayer. ‘The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered’ (Romans 8:26). God desires us to come to Him in prayer, that He may enlighten our minds. He alone can give clear conceptions of truth. He alone can soften and subdue the heart. He can quicken the understanding to discern truth from error. He can establish the wavering mind and give it a knowledge and a faith that will endure the test. Pray, then; pray without ceasing. The Lord who heard Daniel’s prayer will hear yours if you will approach Him as Daniel did. Let us live in close communion with God. The joy of the Christian arises from a sense of God’s love and care for His children and the assurance that He will not leave them alone in their weakness.” In Heavenly Places, 75.

“And Again I Say, Rejoice”

3 At what times did Jesus exhort us to rejoice? Luke 6:22, 23.

note: “I am satisfied with the working of the Lord. If unbelief is multiplied, through the exercise of unbelief in the testimonies, having done all we can do, we will talk faith, and work on the affirmative side of the question. If my name is cast out as evil, I am in excellent company. Those who would not receive Christ were dead in trespasses and sins. As they looked upon the evidences that He presented, by curing the diseased and making the suffering ones rejoice in health, why did they not yield their unbelief? Because by such an action they would have confessed themselves to be sinners. In the place of receiving the evidence offered them, in the place of recognizing in Christ’s works the endowment of heaven, they held right on to their wicked purposes, and said, He performed this wonderful work through the devil. This was the sin against the Holy Ghost. They had not forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come.” Loma Linda Messages, 155, 156.

“Living faith in the power of Jesus Christ, not in your own efficiency and wisdom, will bring you through every difficulty and temptation. Patiently wait, watch, and pray, and hold fast to the promises. However much your enemies have bruised and wounded your soul, forgive them, and by maintaining faith in Christ, you will find Him to be to you as the shadow of a great Rock in a weary land. Endure the pressure. Submit to wrong, bear the suffering part of religion for Christ’s sake, rather than sin against God by seeking to deliver yourself.…Cannot you be a partaker with Christ in His sufferings? Cannot you endure to have your name cast out as evil, and suffer the loss of temporal interest? You may be falsely accused, but bear in mind that Jesus bore all this for you, and faint not at tribulation. Overcome evil with good. Do not become bitter and estranged from Jesus. He loves you. Put your trust in Him.…” The Upward Look, 42.

4 How did Paul find cause to rejoice even in those who preached with wrong motives? Philippians 1:15-18.

note: “In every age God’s chosen messengers have been reviled and persecuted, yet through their affliction the knowledge of God has been spread abroad. Every disciple of Christ is to step into the ranks and carry forward the same work, knowing that its foes can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. God means that truth shall be brought to the front and become the subject of examination and discussion, even through the contempt placed upon it. The minds of the people must be agitated; every controversy, every reproach, every effort to restrict liberty of conscience, is God’s means of awakening minds that otherwise might slumber.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 33.

“To The Praise Of His Glory”

5 What is perhaps the best way of praising God? Philippians 1:11; Ephesians 1:12.

note: “The Christian will be a savor of life unto life to others, although he may not be able to explain the mysteries of his experience. But he will know that when clouds and darkness compassed him about, and he cried unto the Lord, the darkness was dispersed, and peace and joy were in the temple of the soul. He will know what it is to have the pardoning love of God revealed to the heart, to experience the peace that passeth all understanding, to have praise and thanksgiving and adoration welling up in the soul unto Him who has loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood. He has peace through Jesus Christ, and joy in the Holy Ghost. One with Christ, his soul is filled with submission to His will, and heaven is enshrined in his heart while he is enfolded in the bosom of infinite love. Christians of this order will bear much fruit to the glory of God. They will rightly interpret the character of God, and manifest His attributes unto the world.” Signs of the Times, April 3, 1893.

6 In all life’s experiences, what should continually be on our lips? Hebrews 13:15

note: “We need to praise God much more than we do. We are to show that we have cause for rejoicing. ‘Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light’ (1 Peter 2:9). Are we doing this as fully as we should? Are we revealing that love in the home that will honor and glorify our Redeemer? However black the clouds that roll upon the world at the present time, there is light beyond. Ignorance, superstition, darkness, unbelief strong and masterful, will meet us at every step we advance. But our faith must soar above all and see the bow of promise encircling the throne. We must reflect the light with pen and voice, praising God before the world.” In Heavenly Places, 96.

“Rejoice With Joy Unspeakable”

7 What should be our response to trial and temptation? 1 Peter 1:5–9

note: “With a song, Jesus in His earthly life met temptation. Often when sharp, stinging words were spoken, often when the atmosphere about Him was heavy with gloom, with dissatisfaction, distrust, or oppressive fear, was heard His song of faith and holy cheer. On that last sad night of the Passover supper, as He was about to go forth to betrayal and to death, His voice was lifted in the psalm:

‘Blessed be the name of the Lord

From this time forth and for evermore.

From the rising of the sun until the going down of the same

The Lord’s name is to be praised.’” Education, 166.

8 What precious privilege do trials afford us? 1 Peter 4:12, 13.

note: “The watchful Christian is a working Christian, seeking zealously to do all in his power for the advancement of the gospel. As love for his Redeemer increases, so also does love for his fellow men. He has severe trials, as had his Master; but he does not allow affliction to sour his temper or destroy his peace of mind. He knows that trial, if well borne, will refine and purify him, and bring him into closer fellowship with Christ. Those who are partakers of Christ’s sufferings will also be partakers of His consolation and at last sharers of His glory.” Acts of the Apostles, 261.

“Both He That Soweth And He That Reapeth May Rejoice Together”

9 What spirit of cooperation should bring rejoicing to those who are working for God? John 4:36.

note: “To–day in His great harvest-field God has need of sowers and of reapers. Let those who go forth into the work, some to sow and some to reap, remember that they are never to take to themselves the glory for the success of their work. God’s appointed agencies have been before them, preparing the way for the sowing of the seed and the reaping of the harvest. ‘I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labor,’ Christ said; ‘other men labored, and ye are entered into their labours.’ [John 4:38.] ‘He that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.’ [John 4:36.] Read these words carefully. Study their meaning; for they outline God’s plan. Those who sow the seed, presenting before large and small gatherings the testing truth for this time, at the cost of much labor, may not always gather the harvest. Often the Lord’s workers are bitterly opposed, and their work is hindered. They do their best; with earnest, painstaking effort they sow the good seed. But the element of opposition becomes fiercer and fiercer. Some of the hearers may be convinced of the truth, but they are intimidated by the opposition shown, and they have not the courage to acknowledge their convictions. The lives of the workers may be endangered by those who are controlled by Satan. It is then their privilege to follow the example of their Master, and go to another place. ‘Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel,’ Christ said, ‘till the Son of man be come.’ [Matthew 10:23.] Let the messengers of truth pass on to another field. Here may be a more favourable opportunity for work, and they may successfully sow the seed of truth and reap the harvest. The report of their success will find its way to the place where the work was apparently unsuccessful, and the next messenger of truth who goes there will be more favorably received.” Gospel Workers, 409, 410.

10 Should God’s people glory in the gifts and talents that God has bestowed on them? Luke 10:19, 20.

note: “The light reflected from the cross of Calvary will humble every proud thought. Those who seek God with all the heart, and accept the great salvation offered them, will open the door of the heart to Jesus. They will cease to ascribe glory to themselves. They will not pride themselves on their acquirements, or take credit to themselves for their capabilities, but will regard all their talents as God’s gifts, to be used to His glory. Every intellectual ability they will regard as precious only as it can be used in the service of Christ.” Our High Calling, 114.

“While I Live, Will I Praise The Lord”

11 What should be the greatest cause for our rejoicing? Romans 5:1, 2.

note: “Abundant grace has been provided that the believing soul may be kept free from sin; for all heaven, with its limitless resources, has been placed at our command. We are to draw from the well of salvation. Christ is the end of law for righteousness to everyone who believeth. In ourselves we are sinners; but in Christ we are righteous. Having made us righteous through the imputed righteousness of Christ, God pronounces us just, and treats us as just. He looks upon us as His dear children. Christ works against the power of sin, and where sin abounded, grace much more abounds. ‘Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God’ (Romans 5:1, 2).” Selected Messages, Book 1, 394.

12 What lesson of praise to God may we learn from the psalmist? Psalm 146:1, 2.

note: See Christ’s Object Lessons, 299, 300.

Bible Study Guides – “Wilt Thou Not Revive Us Again?”

March 17, 2001 – March 23, 2001

Memory Verse

“O LORD, I have heard Thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive Thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.” Habakkuk 3:2.

Study Help: Selected Messages, Book 1, 121–128.


“We must pray more, and talk less. Iniquity abounds, and the people must be taught not to be satisfied with a form of godliness without the spirit and power. If we are intent upon searching our own hearts, putting away our sins, and correcting our evil tendencies, our souls will not be lifted up unto vanity; we shall be distrustful of ourselves, having an abiding sense that our sufficiency is of God.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 122.

“Let Us Return Unto The Lord”

1 What should be the focus of our prayers for the church? Psalm 85:6.

note: “A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work. There must be earnest effort to obtain the blessing of the Lord, not because God is not willing to bestow His blessing upon us, but because we are unprepared to receive it. Our heavenly Father is more willing to give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him, than are earthly parents to give good gifts to their children. But it is our work, by confession, humiliation, repentance, and earnest prayer, to fulfil the conditions upon which God has promised to grant us His blessing. A revival need be expected only in answer to prayer.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 121.

2 What spiritual qualities are needed for the Lord to bring revival? Isaiah 57:15.

note: “We have far more to fear from within than from without. The hindrances to strength and success are far greater from the church itself than from the world. Unbelievers have a right to expect that those who profess to be keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, will do more than any other class to promote and honor, by their consistent lives, by their godly example and their active influence, the cause which they represent. But how often have the professed advocates of the truth proved the greatest obstacle to its advancement! The unbelief indulged, the doubts expressed, the darkness cherished, encourage the presence of evil angels, and open the way for the accomplishment of Satan’s devices.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 122.

“Rich And Increased With Goods”

3 How does the Lord describe the mindset of His church in the closing days of earth’s history? Revelation 3:17, first part.

note: “What is our condition in this fearful and solemn time? Alas, what pride is prevailing in the church, what hypocrisy, what deception, what love of dress, frivolity, and amusement, what desire for the supremacy! All these sins have clouded the mind, so that eternal things have not been discerned. Shall we not search the Scriptures, that we may know where we are in this world’s history? Shall we not become intelligent in regard to the work that is being accomplished for us at this time, and the position that we as sinners should occupy while this work of atonement is going forward? If we have any regard for our souls’ salvation, we must make a decided change. We must seek the Lord with true penitence; we must with deep contrition of soul confess our sins, that they may be blotted out.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 125.

4 How does the Lord describe the actual spiritual condition of the church? Revelation 3:17, last part.

note: “It has been shown me that there is a fault with us, of honoring the human, flattering men, accepting their ideas, their judgement, as the voice of God, and advocating their cause. Many have such confidence in those whom they have been accustomed to regard as leaders, that they seem incapable of discerning when these persons are in error, and they are ready to cling to and defend erroneous positions, because others do so. This spirit is displeasing to God, and is dangerous to all who indulge in it; for if leading men allow themselves to be controlled by prejudice, evil surmisings, or envy, those who look to them for an example are led astray. Brethren, trust not in man; look to God; trust in His infallible wisdom. Shun as a sin the practice, so common even among Seventh-day Adventists, of becoming the echo of any man, whatever his position. Listen to the voice of the True Shepherd, and you will never be led astray.” Gospel Workers, 1892 edition, 390, 391.

“Turn To The Lord”

5 What promise is given to God’s people if they will turn back to Him? Deuteronomy 4:30, 31.

note: “There is before the church the dawn of a bright, glorious day, if she will put on the robe of Christ’s righteousness, withdrawing from all allegiance to the world. God calls upon His faithful ones, who believe in Him, to talk courage to those who are unbelieving and hopeless. Turn to the Lord, ye prisoners of hope. Seek strength from God, the living God. Show an unwavering, humble faith in His power and His willingness to save. When in faith we take hold of His strength, He will change, wonderfully change, the most hopeless, discouraging outlook. He will do this for the glory of His name.” Prophets and Kings, 260.

6 What does it mean for the church to ‘turn to the Lord’? Lamentations 3:40–45.

note: “Only to those who wait humbly upon God, who watch for His guidance and grace, is the Spirit given. The power of God awaits their demand and reception. This promised blessing, claimed by faith, brings all other blessings in its train. It is given according to the riches of the grace of Christ, and He is ready to supply every soul according to the capacity to receive.” The Desire of Ages, 672.

“A proper fear of God, in believing His threatenings, works the peaceable fruits of righteousness, by causing the trembling soul to flee to Jesus. Many ought to have this spirit today, and turn to the Lord with humble contrition, for the Lord has not given so many terrible threatenings, pronounced so severe judgements in His Word, simply to have them recorded, but He means what He says. One says, ‘Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake Thy law,’ Paul says, ‘Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.’” Review and Herald, October 21, 1890

“Be Zealous Therefore And Repent”

7 What qualities does the Lord wish to develop in His people? Revelation 3:18.

note: “We must have the buyers and the sellers cleared out of the soul temple, that Jesus may take up His abode within us. Now He stands at the door of the heart as a heavenly merchantman; He says,…‘Open unto me; buy of Me the heavenly wares; buy of Me the gold tried in the fire.’ Buy faith and love, the precious, beautiful attributes of our Redeemer.…He invites us to buy the white raiment, which is His glorious righteousness; and the eyesalve, that we may discern spiritual things. Oh, shall we not open the heart’s door to this heavenly visitor?” Our High Calling, 350.

8 What price must we pay to receive these precious gifts? Matthew 13:44; Luke 14:33.

note: “…the believer is to bear in mind that he is dedicated to God, to Christ, and to the Holy Spirit. He is to make all worldly considerations secondary to this new relation. Publicly he has declared that he will no longer live in pride and self-indulgence. He is no longer to live a careless, indifferent life. He has made a covenant with God. He has died to the world. He is to live to the Lord, to use for Him all his entrusted capabilities, never losing the realization that he bears God’s signature, that he is a subject of Christ’s kingdom, a partaker of the divine nature. He is to surrender to God all that he is and all that he has, employing all his gifts to His name’s glory.” Evangelism, 316.

“I Will Spew Thee Out”

9 If the church is unwilling to heed Christ’s call to repentance, what does the Lord promise to do? Revelation 3:15, 16.

note: “What greater deception can come upon human minds than a confidence that they are right, when they are all wrong? The message of the True Witness finds the people of God in a sad deception, yet honest in that deception. They know not that their condition is deplorable in the sight of God. While those addressed are flattering themselves that they are in an exalted spiritual condition, the message of the True Witness breaks their security by the startling denunciation of their true situation of spiritual blindness, poverty, and wretchedness. The testimony, so cutting and severe, cannot be a mistake; for it is the True Witness who speaks, and His testimony must be correct.” Review and Herald, September 16, 1873.

10 What work will purify the church? Hebrews 12:26, 27.

note: “I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God’s people. I saw that the testimony of the True Witness has not been half heeded. The solemn testimony upon which the destiny of the church hangs has been lightly esteemed, if not entirely disregarded. This testimony must work deep repentance; all who truly receive it will obey it and be purified.” Early Writings, 270.

“The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out—the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place. None but those who have been overcoming by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony will be found with the loyal and true, without spot or stain of sin, without guile in their mouths. We must be divested of our self-righteousness and arrayed in the righteousness of Christ.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 380.

“A Remnant Shall Be Saved”

11 How does the Bible picture the remnant of God’s people? Zephaniah 3:12, 13.

note: “In the last solemn work few great men will be engaged. They are self-sufficient, independent of God, and He cannot use them. The Lord has faithful servants, who in the shaking, testing time will be disclosed to view. There are precious ones now hidden who have not bowed the knee to Baal. They have not had the light which has been shining in a concentrated blaze upon you. But, it may be under a rough and uninviting exterior the pure brightness of a genuine Christian character will be revealed. In the daytime we look toward heaven, but do not see stars. They are there, fixed in the firmament, but the eye cannot distinguish them. In the night we behold their genuine luster. The time is not far distant, when the test will come to every soul.…In this time, the gold will be separated from the dross in the church. True godliness will be clearly distinguished from the appearance and tinsel of it. Many a star that we have admired for its brilliancy, will then go out in darkness. Chaff like a cloud will be borne away on the wind, even from places where we see only floors of rich wheat. All who assume the ornaments of the sanctuary, but are not clothed with Christ’s righteousness, will appear in the shame of their own nakedness.” Instruction for Effective Christian Service, 49.

12 What is to be our prayer for God’s church? Hosea 6:1–3.

note: “A revival and a reformation must take place, under the ministration of the Holy Spirit. Revival and reformation are two different things. Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of mind and heart, a resurrection from spiritual death. Reformation signifies a reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices. Reformation will not bring forth the good fruit of righteousness unless it is connected with the revival of the Spirit. Revival and reformation are to do their appointed work, and in doing this work they must blend.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 128.

13 What promise do we have that revival will do its work among God’s people? Hosea 14:7.

note: “Are we hoping to see the whole church revived? That time will never come. There are persons in the church who are not converted, and who will not unite in earnest, prevailing prayer. We must enter upon the work individually. We must pray more, and talk less.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 122.

“…the Lord will carry out His plans through a variety of ways and instruments. It is not alone the most talented, not alone those who hold high positions of trust, or are the most highly educated from a worldly point of view, whom the Lord uses to do His grand and holy work of soulsaving. He will use simple means; He will use many who have had few advantages to help in carrying forward His work. He will, by the use of simple means, bring those who possess property and lands to a belief of the truth, and these will be influenced to become the Lord’s helping hand in the advancement of His work.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 128.

Bible Study Guides – “I Pray For Them”

March 10, 2001 – March 16, 2001

Memory Verse

“Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.” John 17:17.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 8, 239–244.


“…we are to learn to answer the prayer recorded in the seventeenth chapter of John. We are to make this prayer our first study. Every gospel minister, every medical missionary, is to learn the science of this prayer. My brethren and sisters, I ask you to heed these words and to bring to your study a calm, humble, contrite spirit, and the healthy energies of a mind under the control of God. Those who fail to learn the lessons contained in this prayer are in danger of making one-sided developments, which no future training will ever fully correct.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 239.

“I Have Finished the Work Which Thou Gavest Me To Do”

1 What was the purpose of Christ’s life? John 17:1, 2, 4.

note: “In all the gracious deeds that Jesus did, He sought to impress upon men the parental, benevolent attributes of God. In all His lessons He was seeking to teach men the wonderful truth that ‘God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ Jesus would have us understand the love of the Father, and He seeks to draw us to Him by presenting His parental grace. He would have the whole field of our vision filled with the perfection of God’s character. In His prayer for His disciples He says, ‘I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do. I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world.’ Jesus came into the world to illustrate the character of God in His own life, and He swept back the misrepresentations that Satan had originated, and revealed the glory of God. It was only by living among men that He could reveal the mercy, compassion, and love of His heavenly Father; for it was only by actions of benevolence that He could set forth the grace of God.” Sons and Daughters of God, 139.

2 What precious gift does Christ give to His followers and for what purpose? John 17:22.

note: “The glory of God is His character. While Moses was in the mount, earnestly interceding with God, he prayed, ‘I beseech Thee, show me Thy glory.’ In answer God declared, ‘I will make all My goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.’ The glory of God—His character—was then revealed: ‘The Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty’ (Exodus 33:18, 19; 34:6, 7). This character was revealed in the life of Christ. That He might by His own example condemn sin in the flesh, He took upon Himself the likeness of sinful flesh. Constantly He beheld the character of God; constantly He revealed this character to the world. Christ desires His followers to reveal in their lives this same character. In His intercessory prayer for His disciples He declared: ‘The glory [character] which thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one; I in them, and Thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.’ (John 17:22, 23.) Today it is still His purpose to sanctify and cleanse His church ‘…that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing….’ (Ephesians 5:26, 27.)” God’s Amazing Grace, 322.

“This is Life Eternal”

3 What knowledge is essential for eternal life? John 17:3. Compare John 14:7.

note: One of the major themes of John’s writings, both in his Gospel and Epistles, is the knowledge that a follower of Christ must have.

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

4 How did Jesus communicate the knowledge of God to His disciples? John 14:8, 9.

note: “It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour each day reviewing the life of Christ from the manger to Calvary. We should take it point by point and let the imagination vividly grasp each scene, especially the closing ones of His earthly life. By thus contemplating His teachings and sufferings, and the infinite sacrifice made by Him for the redemption of the race, we may strengthen our faith, quicken our love, and become more deeply imbued with the spirit which sustained our Saviour. If we would be saved at last we must all learn the lesson of penitence and faith at the foot of the cross.….Everything noble and generous in man will respond to the contemplation of Christ upon the cross.” Maranatha, 77.

“The World Hath Hated Them”

5 What plea did Jesus make for His disciples after He was to be taken from them? John 17:11, 12.

note: “Jesus loves the purchase of His blood, and in passing through the scene of His humiliation to the scene of His exaltation in the heavens, He lost none of His compassionate nature. To–day the same loving, tender, sympathizing heart is open to all the sorrows and woes of humanity. To–day the hand that was pierced is reached forth to bless more abundantly His people that are in the world. Can Christ forget the struggling church that has been left here in the world, which has come to be like the world before the flood, fit for destruction, which has become like Sodom, meet for the wrathful fires from heaven? The Father sees the wormwood and the gall which His dear Son drank for the fallen race. He hears His prayer in behalf of His children: ‘I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as We are.…’” Sabbath School Worker, September 1, 1893.

See also The Desire of Ages, 680.

6 Why does the world hate those who seek to follow Jesus? John 17:14. Compare Matthew 10:22; Luke 6:22.

note: “Through trial and persecution the glory—the character—of God is revealed in His chosen ones. The believers in Christ, hated and persecuted by the world, are educated and disciplined in the school of Christ. On earth they walk in narrow paths; they are purified in the furnace of affliction. They follow Christ through sore conflicts; they endure self-denial and experience bitter disappointments; but thus they learn the guilt and woe of sin, and they look upon it with abhorrence. Being partakers of Christ’s sufferings, they can look beyond the gloom to the glory, saying, ‘I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.’ Romans 8:18.” Acts of the Apostles, 576, 577.

“Sanctified Through the Truth”

7 What is the will of God for His church? 1 Thessalonians 4:3; John 17:19.

note: “John and Judas are representatives of those who profess to be Christ’s followers. Both these disciples had the same opportunities to study and follow the divine Pattern. Both were closely associated with Jesus and were privileged to listen to His teaching. Each possessed serious defects of character; and each had access to the divine grace that transforms character. But while one in humility was learning of Jesus, the other revealed that he was not a doer of the word, but a hearer only. One, daily dying to self and overcoming sin, was sanctified through the truth; the other, resisting the transforming power of grace and indulging selfish desires, was brought into bondage to Satan. Such transformation of character as is seen in the life of John is ever the result of communion with Christ. There may be marked defects in the character of an individual, yet when he becomes a true disciple of Christ, the power of divine grace transforms and sanctifies him. Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, he is changed from glory to glory, until he is like Him whom he adores.” Acts of the Apostles, 558, 559.

8 What means is available to us to sanctify our characters? John 17:17; Ephesians 5:26, 27; Psalm 119:11.

note: “‘Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’ Romans 10:17. The Scriptures are the great agency in the transformation of character. Christ prayed, ‘Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth.’ John 17:17. If studied and obeyed, the word of God works in the heart, subduing every unholy attribute. The Holy Spirit comes to convict of sin, and the faith that springs up in the heart works by love to Christ, conforming us in body, soul, and spirit to His own image. Then God can use us to do His will. The power given us works from within outwardly, leading us to communicate to others the truth that has been communicated to us.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 100.

“That Thay All May Be One”

9 What was the dearest desire of Christ’s heart for all His followers? John 17:20, 21, 23.

note: “Harmony and union existing among men of varied dispositions is the strongest witness that can be borne that God has sent His Son into the world to save sinners. It is our privilege to bear this witness. But, in order to do this, we must place ourselves under Christ’s command. Our characters must be molded in harmony with His character, our wills must be surrendered to His will. We are of the same faith, members of one family, all children of the same heavenly Father, with the same blessed hope of immortality. How close and tender should be the tie that binds us together. The people of the world are watching us to see if our faith is exerting a sanctifying influence upon our hearts. They are quick to discern every defect in our lives, every inconsistency in our actions. Let us give them no occasion to reproach our faith.” God’s Amazing Grace, 210.

10 What joyful prospect awaits those who fulfil Christ’s prayer for unity? John 17:24.

note: “Oh, how the divine Head longed to have His church with Him! They had fellowship with Him in His suffering and humiliation, and it is His highest joy to have them with Him to be partakers of His glory. Christ claims the privilege of having His church with Him. ‘I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.’ To have them with Him is according to covenant promise and agreement with His Father. He reverently presents at the mercy seat His finished redemption for His people. The bow of promise encircles our Substitute and Surety as He pours out His petition of love, ‘Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory.’ We shall behold the King in His beauty, and the church will be glorified.” Testimonies to Ministers, 20, 21.

“I In Them And Thou In Me”

11 What is the secret of unity among the followers of Christ? John 17:23, first part; Colossians 1:27.

note: “The Lord has made abundant provision that His love may be given to us as His free, abundant grace, as our inheritance in this life, to enable us to diffuse the same by being yoked up with Christ. Jesus conveys the circulating vitality of a pure and sanctified Christlike love through every part of our human nature. When this love is expressed in the character, it reveals to all those with whom we associate that it is possible for God to be formed within, the hope of glory. It shows that God loved the obedient ones as He loves Jesus Christ; and nothing less than this satisfies His desires in our behalf. As soon as the human agent becomes united with Christ in heart, soul, and spirit, the Father loves that soul as a part of Christ, as a member of the body of Christ, He himself being the glorious head.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 466.

12 What gracious invitation is made to each individual Christian? Revelation 3:20.

note: “It is the voice of Jesus asking for entrance. With every knock unheeded, the disposition to open becomes weaker. The impressions of the Holy Spirit if disregarded today, will not be as strong tomorrow. The heart becomes less impressible, and lapses into a perilous unconsciousness of the shortness of life, and of the great eternity beyond. Our condemnation in the judgement will not result from the fact that we have been in error, but from the fact that we have neglected heaven-sent opportunities for learning what is truth.” The Desire of Ages, 490. See also Christ’s Object Lessons, 235.

Bible Study Guides – “Abide in Me”

March 3, 2001 – March 9, 2001

Memory Verse

“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” Genesis 5:24.

Study Help: Gospel Workers, 254–259.


“While engaged in our daily work, we should lift the soul to heaven in prayer. These silent petitions rise like incense before the throne of grace; and the enemy is baffled. The Christian whose heart is thus stayed upon God cannot be overcome. No evil arts can destroy his peace. All the promises of God’s word, all the power of divine grace, all the resources of Jehovah, are pledged to secure his deliverance. It was thus that Enoch walked with God. And God was with him, a present help in every time of need.” Gospel Workers, 254.

“Pray Without Ceasing”

1 What counsel did Paul give for success in our spiritual life? 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18.

note: “I wish I could impress upon every worker in God’s cause the great need of continual, earnest prayer. They cannot be constantly upon their knees, but they can be uplifting their hearts to God. This is the way that Enoch walked with God.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 596.

2 Where should our thoughts be as we go about our daily work? Colossians 3:2.

note: “Enoch’s walk with God was not in a trance or a vision, but in all the duties of his daily life. He did not become a hermit, shutting himself entirely from the world; for he had, in the world, a work to do for God. In the family and in his intercourse with men, as a husband and father, a friend, a citizen, he was the steadfast, unwavering servant of God. His faith waxed stronger, his love became more ardent, with the lapse of centuries. To him prayer was as the breath of the soul. He lived in the atmosphere of heaven.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 329, 330.

“Pour Out Your Heart Before Him”

3 How much may we share with God as we go about our daily tasks? Psalm 62:8.

note: “Keep your wants, your joys, your sorrows, your cares, and your fears before God. You cannot burden Him; you cannot weary Him. He who numbers the hairs of your head is not indifferent to the wants of His children. ‘The Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.’ James 5:11. His heart of love is touched by our sorrows and even by our utterances of them. Take to Him everything that perplexes the mind. Nothing is too great for Him to bear, for He holds up worlds, He rules over all the affairs of the universe. Nothing that in any way concerns our peace is too small for Him to notice. There is no chapter in our experience too dark for Him to read; there is no perplexity too difficult for Him to unravel. No calamity can befall the least of His children, no anxiety harass the soul, no joy cheer, no sincere prayer escape the lips, of which our heavenly Father is unobservant, or in which He takes no immediate interest. ‘He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.’ Psalm 147:3. The relations between God and each soul are as distinct and full as though there were not another soul upon the earth to share His watchcare, not another soul for whom He gave His beloved Son.” Steps to Christ, 100.

4 What assurance do we have that the Lord will hear our prayers? Matthew 21:22.

note: “The darkness of the evil one encloses those who neglect to pray. The whispered temptations of the enemy entice them to sin; and it is all because they do not make use of the privileges that God has given them in the divine appointment of prayer. Why should the sons and daughters of God be reluctant to pray, when prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock heaven’s storehouse, where are treasured the boundless resources of Omnipotence? Without unceasing prayer and diligent watching we are in danger of growing careless and of deviating from the right path. The adversary seeks continually to obstruct the way to the mercy seat, that we may not by earnest supplication and faith obtain grace and power to resist temptation.” Steps to Christ, 94.

“He Continued All Night In Prayer To God”

5 When faced with a crucial decision, how did Christ prepare Himself? Luke 6:12, 13.

note: “Christ gave His time, His soul, His strength, to labor for the benefit and blessing of humanity. Entire days were devoted to labor, and entire nights were spent in prayer, that He might be braced to meet the foe and fortified to help those who came to Him for relief.” Gospel Workers, 115.

“It was from hours spent with God that He came forth, morning by morning, to bring the light of heaven to men. The disciples had come to connect His hours of prayer with the power of His words and works. Now, as they listened to His supplication, their hearts were awed and humbled. As He ceased praying, it was with a conviction of their own deep need that they exclaimed, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’ Luke 11:1.” Thoughts From The Mount Of Blessing, 102.

6 How did Jesus often begin the day? Mark 1:35.

note: “From hours spent with God He came forth morning by morning, to bring the light of heaven to men. Daily He received a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit. In the early hours of the new day the Lord awakened Him from His slumbers, and His soul and His lips were anointed with grace, that He might impart to others. His words were given Him fresh from the heavenly courts, words that He might speak in season to the weary and oppressed. ‘The Lord God hath given Me,’ He said, ‘the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth Mine ear to hear as the learned.’ Isaiah 50:4.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 139.

“Ye Shall Afflict Your Souls”

7 What especially should be the burden of the prayers of those who live in the hour of God’s judgement? Psalm 139:23, 24. Compare Leviticus 23:27.

note: “We are now living in the great day of atonement. In the typical service, while the high priest was making the atonement for Israel, all were required to afflict their souls by repentance of sin and humiliation before the Lord, lest they be cut off from among the people. In like manner, all who would have their names retained in the book of life should now, in the few remaining days of their probation, afflict their souls before God by sorrow for sin and true repentance. There must be deep, faithful searching of heart.” Lift Him Up, 330.

8 What is the sacrifice required of the Christian today? Romans 12:1, 2. Compare Psalm 51:16, 17.

note: “Shall we not, right here, make a covenant with God by sacrifice? Shall we not come up to the help of the Lord against the mighty powers of darkness? Who will pledge themselves today to seek the Lord while He may be found? You can not convert others until you find God for yourselves. Only when you have found Him yourselves can you make Him known to others. Will you not open your hearts and minds to the influence of the Spirit of God, so that the testimony borne will be lasting in its results?” Review and Herald, April 8, 1909.

“Men Ought Always to Pray”

9 What parable did Jesus give to illustrate the importance of perseverance in prayer? Luke 18:1–8.

note: “Christ here draws a sharp contrast between the unjust judge and God. The judge yielded to the widow’s request merely through selfishness, that he might be relieved of her importunity. He felt for her no pity or compassion; her misery was nothing to him. How different is the attitude of God toward those who seek Him. The appeals of the needy and distressed are considered by Him with infinite compassion.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 165.

10 Upon whose assistance may we rely in prayer? Romans 8:26.

note: “Pray often to your heavenly Father. The oftener you engage in prayer, the closer your soul will be drawn into a sacred nearness to God. The Holy Spirit will make intercession for the sincere petitioner with groanings which cannot be uttered, and the heart will be softened and subdued by the love of God. The clouds and shadows which Satan casts about the soul will be dispelled by the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, and the chambers of mind and heart will be illuminated by the light of Heaven.” In Heavenly Places, 89.

“Ye Shall Ask What Ye Will”

11 How will a constant walk with Jesus affect our prayers? John 15:7.

note: “When you pray, present this promise. It is our privilege to come to Him with holy boldness. As in sincerity we ask Him to let His light shine upon us, He will hear and answer us. But we must live in harmony with our prayers. They are of no avail if we walk contrary to them. I have seen a father who, after reading a portion of scripture and offering prayer, would often, almost as soon as he had risen from his knees, begin to scold his children. How could God answer the prayer he had offered? And if, after scolding his children, a father offers prayer, does that prayer benefit the children? No; not unless it is a prayer of confession to God.” Child Guidance, 499.

12 What was the testimony borne about Enoch? Hebrews 11:5.

note: “Enoch had temptations as well as we. He was surrounded with society no more friendly to righteousness than is that which surrounds us. The atmosphere he breathed was tainted with sin and corruption, the same as ours; yet he lived a life of holiness. He was unsullied with the prevailing sins of the age in which he lived. So may we remain pure and uncorrupted. He was a representative of the saints who live amid the perils and corruptions of the last days. For his faithful obedience to God he was translated. So, also, the faithful, who are alive and remain, will be translated. They will be removed from a sinful and corrupt world to the pure joys of heaven.” Conflict and Courage, 29.

Bible Study Guides – “Pray For One Another”

February 24, 2001 – March 2, 2001

Memory Verse

“Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11.

Study Help: In Heavenly Places, 93; That I May Know Him, 271.


“A truly Christian life will cost us thoughtfulness, searching of the Scriptures, and most earnest, persevering prayer. It will not be prayer without point and purpose, but it will be the intercession of a heart burdened for poor sinners out of Christ. It will be a heart longing to do service for Jesus in personal effort for the saving of souls of men.” Pastoral Ministry, 151.

“I Pray for Them”

1 At the crisis of His life, what example of intercessory prayer did Jesus reveal? John 17:9–19.

note: “Christ declared He sanctified Himself, that we also might be sanctified. He took upon Himself our nature, and became a faultless pattern for men. He made no mistake, that we also might become victors, and enter into His kingdom as overcomers. He prayed that we might be sanctified through the truth. What is truth? He declared, ‘Thy word is truth.’ His disciples were to be sanctified through obedience to the truth.” Review and Herald, July 2, 1889.

2 How are we also included in Christ’s intercessory prayer? John 17:20–24.

note: “He says, ‘Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word.’ That prayer was for us; we have believed in the testimony of the disciples of Christ. He prays that His disciples may be one, even as He and the Father are one; and this unity of believers is to be as testimony to the world that He has sent us, and that we bear the evidence of His grace.” Review and Herald, July 2, 1889.

3 What command did Jesus give to His followers? John 13:34. Compare John 15:12, 17; 1 John 4:7.

note: “‘I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given me; for they are Thine. And all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I am glorified in them’ (John 17:9, 10). Mark the words. It is Jesus Christ that is praying to His Father, ‘and all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.’ Is it truth? Are we Bible believers? Is Christ glorified in us? I want you to consider this. He is speaking of the oneness and that unity that shall exist with Christ and His disciples. In that unity, in that oneness, Christ is glorified in us. Now I would have you consider how very light a matter many of us make of seeking to preserve this unity. Why, this unity with believers in and through Christ is the great strength of the church! The oneness, the love which through their faith and unity exists with God’s people through faith in Christ, is a power. How earnest, how decided, how determined should be our efforts to answer the prayer of Christ that we may have that harmony one with another for which Christ died to perfect; that we may be one with Christ; for, unless we are constantly laboring for this harmony and this unity, we shall certainly fail of answering the prayer of being one with Christ as He was one with the Father.” Sermons and Talks vol. 1, 194.

“If Not, Blot Me Thee, Out of Thy Book”

4 How did Moses express his love for his people? Exodus 32:31, 32.

note: “Moses manifested his great love for the people in his entreaty to the Lord to forgive their sin, or blot his name out of the book which He had written. His intercessions here illustrate Christ’s love and mediation for the sinful race. The Lord refused to let Moses suffer for the sins of his backsliding people. He declared to him that those who had sinned against Him He would blot out of His book which He had written; for the righteous should not suffer for the guilt of the sinner. The book here referred to is the book of records in Heaven, where every name is recorded, and their acts, their sins, and obedience, are faithfully written. When any one commits sins which are too grievous for the Lord to pardon, their names are erased from the book, and they are devoted to destruction. Although Moses realized the dreadful fate of those whose names should be dropped from the book of God, yet he plainly declared before God that if the names of his erring Israel should be blotted out, and be no more remembered by Him for good, he wished his name to be blotted out with theirs; for he could never endure to see the fullness of His wrath come upon the people for whom He had wrought such wonders.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 252, 253.

5 How did the Lord reveal to Moses His character of mercy and steadfast love? Exodus 33:19, 20; Exodus 34:6, 7.

note: “Now, indeed, we would expect the prophet to cease pleading; but no, emboldened by his success, he ventures to come still nearer to God, with a holy familiarity which is almost beyond our comprehension. He now makes a request which no human being ever made before: ‘I beseech thee, show me thy glory.’ What a petition to come from finite, mortal man! But is he repulsed? Does God reprove him for presumption? No; we hear the gracious words: ‘I will make all my goodness pass before thee.’ In the history of Moses we may see what intimate communion with God it is man’s privilege to enjoy.” Conflict and Courage, 99.

“When He Prayed for His Friends”

6 What was the turning point in Job’s experience? Job 42:10. Compare Job 16:2.

note: “The Lord turned the captivity of Job when he prayed, not only for himself, but for those who were opposing him. When he felt earnestly desirous that the souls that had trespassed against him might be helped, he himself received help. Let us pray, not only for ourselves, but for those who have hurt us, and are continuing to hurt us. Pray, pray, especially in your mind. Give not the Lord rest; for His ears are open to hear sincere, importunate prayers, when the soul is humbled before Him.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1141.

7 How did Jesus express this important aspect of prayer? Luke 6:28.

note: “When the believer, in view of all his transgressions, exercises faith in God, believes that he is pardoned because Christ has died as his sacrifice, he will be so filled with gratitude to God that his tender sympathy will be reaching out to those who, like himself, have sinned and have need of pardon. Pride will find no place in his heart. Such faith as this will be a death blow to a revengeful spirit. How is it possible for one who finds forgiveness, and who is daily dependent upon the grace of Christ, to turn away in coldness from those who have been overtaken in a fault, and to display to the sinner an unforgiving spirit? Everyone who has real faith in God will crush pride under his feet.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 15, 198.

8 How did Christ manifest this spirit of sympathy towards His enemies? Luke 23:34. Compare Acts 7:59, 60.

note: “While the soldiers were doing their fearful work, Jesus prayed for His enemies, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ His mind passed from His own suffering to the sin of His persecutors, and the terrible retribution that would be theirs. No curses were called down upon the soldiers who were handling Him so roughly. No vengeance was invoked upon the priests and rulers, who were gloating over the accomplishment of their purpose. Christ pitied them in their ignorance and guilt. He breathed only a plea for their forgiveness,—‘for they know not what they do.’” The Desire of Ages, 744.

“We Have Sinned”

9 What example of intercession may be seen in the life of Daniel? Daniel 9:3–19.

note: “The prophet Daniel was an example of true sanctification. His long life was filled up with noble service for his Master. He was a man ‘greatly beloved’ (Daniel 10:11) of Heaven. Yet instead of claiming to be pure and holy, this honored prophet identified himself with the really sinful of Israel as he pleaded before God in behalf of his people: ‘We do not present our supplications before Thee for our righteousness, but for Thy great mercies.’ ‘We have sinned, we have done wickedly.’ He declares: ‘I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people.’” The Great Controversy, 470.

10 How did Nehemiah also manifest this humble spirit of intercession? Nehemiah 1:6–11.

note: “…he turned in his affliction to the sure Helper. ‘I prayed,’ says he, ‘before the God of Heaven.’ He knew that all this ruin had come because of the transgressions of Israel; and in deep humiliation he came before God for pardon of sin and a renewal of the divine favor. He addressed his petitions to the God of Heaven, ‘the great and terrible God;’ for such the Lord had shown Himself to be in the fearful judgements brought upon Israel. But with a gleam of hope, Nehemiah continues, ‘that keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and observe His commandments.’ For repentant and believing Israel there was still mercy. Faithfully the man of God makes confession of his sins and the sins of his people.” Signs of the Times, November 29, 1883.

“In their work, Ezra and Nehemiah humbled themselves before God, confessing their sins and the sins of their people, and entreating pardon as if they themselves were the offenders.” Prophets and Kings, 675.

“That Ye May Be Healed”

11 For what especially may we pray? James 5:16.

note: “…the offering of such prayer is a most solemn act, and should not be entered upon without careful consideration. . . .To those who desire prayer for their restoration to health, it should be made plain that the violation of God’s law, either natural or spiritual, is sin, and that in order for them to receive His blessing, sin must be confessed and forsaken. . . .We know that God hears us if we ask according to His will. But to press our petitions without a submissive spirit is not right; our prayers must take the form, not of command, but of intercession.” The Faith I Live By, 315.

12 How is such prayer for healing to be done? James 5:14, 15.

note: “In prayer for the sick it should be remembered that ‘we know not what we should pray for as we ought.’ Romans 8:26. We do not know whether the blessing we desire will be best or not. Therefore our prayers should include this thought: ‘Lord, Thou knowest every secret of the soul. Thou art acquainted with these persons. Jesus, their Advocate, gave His life for them. His love for them is greater than ours can possibly be. If, therefore, it is for Thy glory and the good of the afflicted ones, we ask, in the name of Jesus, that they may be restored to health. If it be not Thy will that they may be restored, we ask that Thy grace may comfort and Thy presence sustain them in their sufferings.’” Ministry of Healing, 229.

“Many have expected that God would keep them from sickness merely because they have asked Him to do so. But God did not regard their prayers, because their faith was not made perfect by works. God will not work a miracle to keep those from sickness who have no care for themselves, but are continually violating the laws of health and make no efforts to prevent disease. When we do all we can on our part to have health, then may we expect that the blessed results will follow, and we can ask God in faith to bless our efforts for the preservation of health. He will then answer our prayer, if His name can be glorified thereby. But let all understand that they have a work to do. God will not work in a miraculous manner to preserve the health of persons who are taking a sure course to make themselves sick, by their careless inattention to the laws of health.” Medical Ministry, 13.

Food for Life – Brownies

“If February gives much snow,
a fine summer it doth foreshow.”
English Rhyme.

This year we will be looking through “Counsels on Health” to see if we can keep our hearts tuned to the divine blueprint.

“When Christ first saw the multitudes that gathered about Him, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted and were scattered abroad as sheep having no shepherd. Christ saw the sickness, the sorrow, the want and degradation of the multitudes that thronged His steps. To Him were presented the needs and woes of humanity throughout the world. Among the high and the low, the most honored and the most degraded, he beheld souls who were longing for the very blessing He had come to bring; souls who needed only a knowledge of His grace to become subjects of His kingdom.

“Today, the same needs exist. The world is in need of workers who will labor as Christ did for the suffering and the sinful. There is indeed a multitude to be reached. The world is full of sickness, suffering, distress, and sin. It is full of those who need to be ministered unto…the weak, the helpless, the ignorant, the degraded.

“Many of the youth of this generation, in the midst of churches, religious institutions, and professedly Christian homes, are choosing the path to destruction. Through intemperate habits they bring upon themselves disease, and through greed to obtain money for sinful indulgences they fall into dishonest practices. Health and character are ruined. Aliens from God, and outcasts from society, these poor souls feel that they are without hope either for this life or for the life to come. The hearts of parents are broken. Men speak of these erring ones as hopeless; but God looks upon them with pitying tenderness. He understands all the circumstances that have led them to fall under temptation. This is a class that demands labor.

“Nigh and afar off are souls, not only the youth, but those of all ages, who are in poverty and distress, sunken in sin, and weighted down with a sense of guilt. It is the work of God’s servants to seek for these souls, to pray with them and for them, and lead them step by step to the Saviour.

“But those who do not recognize the claims of God are not the only ones who are in distress and in need of help. In the world today, where selfishness, greed, and oppression rules, many of the Lord’s true children are in need and affliction. In lowly, miserable places, surrounded with poverty, disease, and guilt, many are patient bearing their own burden of suffering, and trying to comfort the hopeless and sin-stricken about hem. Many of them are almost unknown to the churches or to the ministers; but they are the Lord’s lights, shining amid the darkness.” Counsels on Health, 13, 14.

Recipe – Brownies

1 pound nuts (walnuts, pecans, peanuts)
1 pound dates or date pieces
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon nonalcoholic vanilla
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons (heaping) carob powder
soy or cashew mild to hold together

Mix thoroughly and bake at 275° for 1 hour.

Children’s Story – A Cobra in the Closet

Hiss! Hiss! Hiss! Philip looked around. Yes, this time he could clearly hear the hissing sound coming from the pile of coconuts in the corner of the little room. That room was dark. As he looked through the small wooden window, he could see the green leaves of a creeper peeping in and a group of caterpillars crawling on the leaves. He wondered about the way the caterpillars walked—they seemed to have 100 legs. He wished he had legs like them. As he was looking at the caterpillars, amused, something cold touched his bare feet and at once he could see the tail of a black snake slowly disappearing under the pile of dry coconuts.

Philip was shocked! Stunned, a wave of fear spread over his brain; his knees grew weak, and he was about to collapse.

Little Philip is only six years old. He is a resident of our home. Every morning he dusts that storeroom with a piece of cloth. Above the pile of coconuts there is a closet where we store our Bibles, tracts, brochures and cassette tapes. It is a little closet with three shelves. Next to the wall we have two big boxes where we keep our clothes.

Oh! There was a big cry, and the next minute Philip ran to me and hugged me. He was shivering and sobbing. I could feel how fast his little heart was beating as he hugged me.

“What happened, Philip?” I asked him repeatedly, but his sobs swallowed up his answers. His eyes were filled with fear as he pointed toward the storeroom.

“S-s-snake,” he sobbed. “A snake with a black tail! It is (sob) under the pile of coconuts.”

“Might have come through the open window,” I mused.

“It is there, it has touched my feet.” He shivered at the memory.

Suddenly there was confusion and loud noise as all the residents came running, but none dared to enter the storeroom.

A black cobra! Oh, it is the most dangerous thing! There are many strange stories about cobras in India. If the hit is missed, the cobra returns and takes revenge.

Fifteen minutes have passed and nothing has been done. “Jesus, help us!” I murmured. Then came our pastor. He had a long, strong stick in his hand. He waved his hand and asked us not to shout.

“It is under the pile of coconuts.” We said.

The search continued for almost half an hour. We could hear different sounds coming from the storeroom. Running, disturbing, furniture being dragged, etc. At last there was a hitting sound.

“I found it Ma’am! It was in the closet under the papers, all coiled up!” He came out with a big black snake hanging like a rope over the stick. We all followed him outside. The children carefully piled up dry wood and palm leaves over the snake, and we set it on fire.

It is very hot outside, so no wonder the snakes, scorpions and centipedes want to take shelter in a cool place such as ours. But what would have happened if it had touched my little ones?

We watched the snake burn to ashes, and then I prayed, “Jesus, what a wonderful Saviour You are. Be it in a forest or a city, human life is in constant danger unless You protect and care for us. We cannot survive without You. I know You love the little ones. Thank you.”

As I opened my eyes, I could see the children looking at me with wet eyes. I took my Bible, and read, very meaningfully, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: He that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: He shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.” Psalm 121.

That night as we all prepared to sleep on the floor, I could see everyone praying very fervently. Yes, it was a genuine plea for protection and a sincere offering of thanks and gratitude.

Restoring the Temple – Health For the Total Person

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” — Galileo Galilei

Every year 1.7 million Americans die from chronic diseases.i The ten leading causes of death include heart disease, cancer, strokes, lung disease, diabetes, and kidney and liver diseases,ii all of which are affected by diet. The remaining two leading causes of death-accident and suicide-are often effected by lifestyle choices like alcohol and drug abuse. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) admits that these major killers “are an extension of what people do, or do not do, as they go about the business of daily living. Those who practice health-damaging behaviors risk decreased quality of life and early death.”iii Heart disease and cancer, the first and second killers on the list, can often be prevented by modifying high risk behaviors like tobacco use, poor nutrition, and physical inactivity. You have the power in your own hands to change the future of your health.

There are many ways of practicing the healing art; but there is only one way that Heaven approves. God’s remedies are simple agencies of nature that will not tax or debilitate the system through their powerful properties. Pure air and water, cleanliness a proper diet, purity of life, and a firm trust in God, are remedies for the want of which thousands are dying; yet these remedies are going out of date because their skillful use requires work that people do not appreciate. Fresh air, exercise, pure water, and clean, sweet premises, are within the reach of all… iv

  • (The King James Version is used in all biblical quotations.)
  • i Chronic Diseases and Their Risk Factors: The Nation’s Leading Causes of Death, CDC Report, 1999
  • ii Ten Leading Causes of Death, United States, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) Vital Statistics System, 1997
  • iii Chronic Diseases, ibid.
  • iv Counsels on Diet and Foods, E.G. White, Review and Herald Publishing Association, Washington, DC, 1938, 301.2

The Devil’s Trinities

Before me as I write is a small booklet written by one Margaretha Tierney of Australia dealing with the concept of the “Trinity.” The author has done a commendable job of sifting through the writings of such well-known authorities as Alexander Hislop, Benjamin Wilkinson, and others to establish the fact that virtually all of the pagan religions of the world had the concept of a “Trinity.” This is not new. The Jehovah’s Witnesses have been saying the same thing for many years. Tierney sets forth seven major pagan religions of the world as examples, and quotes her author’s affirmations that there is virtually no exception to the rule that pagan religions had “Trinities.” She then goes a step further and proposes that since all pagan religions come from the devil, it follows that the concept of the “Trinity” came into these pagan religions only from Satan, who originated it.

This does not surprise me, nor does it trouble me. What does astonish me is the fact that virtually all anti-Trinity writers drop their investigations at this point, and act as if they have said all that there is to say on the subject. This is very far from the truth. No treatment of this subject can be considered adequate unless it deals with the vital and critical question, where did the devil get the idea of a Trinity?

Why did he so unfailingly work that idea into all of his false religions?

Why did he never set up a false religion with a godhead of two divine beings, or four, or five, or six?

Why did he stick so religiously to his “false religion blueprint,” that there must always be a godhead of three divine beings in every false religion?

Let us proceed slowly and carefully. In order to achieve the greatest possible degree of simplicity and clarity, let us use a question and answer method.

Question: Where was the devil born?

Answer: The devil was not born, he was created.

Question: Who created the devil?

Answer: God created him.

Question: Did a good God create a bad devil?

Answer: No, God created Lucifer, a perfect angel, and he made himself a devil.

Question: Where did God create Lucifer?

Answer: God created Lucifer in heaven.

Question: What was Lucifer’s position in heaven?

Answer: “Among the inhabitants of heaven, Satan, next to Christ, was at one time most honored of God, and highest in power and glory. Before his fall, Lucifer, “son of the morning,” was first of the covering cherubs, holy and undefiled. He stood in the presence of the great Creator, and the ceaseless beams of glory enshrouding the eternal God rested upon him.” Signs of the Times, July 23, 1902.

Question: In that position, would it have been possible for Lucifer to know about the Godhead: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit?

Answer: It would have been impossible for him not to know about them. He had Daily converse and association with them. He knew them as intimately as it is possible for any created being to know its Creator.

Question: How can we be sure that there was a “Trinity” in heaven and that Lucifer knew about it?

Answer: Because he set up a counterfeit of it in all of his false religions. Satan is a master counterfeiter. God has a Sabbath; Satan has a counterfeit, Sunday. God has baptism: Satan has a counterfeit, sprinkling. God has prophets; Satan has counterfeits, false prophets. God has a gift of tongues; Satan has a counterfeit, gibberish. God has divine healing; Satan has a counterfeit, pretended healing. God has faith; Satan has a counterfeit, presumption. God has divine worship; Satan has a counterfeit, celebration worship. God has conditional immortality for the faithful, Satan as a counterfeit, natural immortality for everybody. God has fire that will destroy the wicked: Satan has a counterfeit, a fire that will never stop burning the wicked. And so on and on. Satan has overlooked nothing. He has counterfeited everything that God is or does!

In view of these unquestionable realities, and in view of his intimate knowledge of the three heavenly persons of the true Godhead, would it not be reasonable for us to suppose that he would fail to counterfeit the heavenly Trinity? And is it not perfectly obvious that he did not fail to do this? Just look at his pagan religions. Do they not all have their trinities?

And there is another point to be considered. Several of Satan’s false religions not only have their trinities; they also have their miraculously born babies. Tierney faithfully copies Hislop’s list of them on page two of her booklet. How did this happen, and what does it mean? Does it prove that the miraculous birth of Jesus is only a pagan myth? Not by any means. It only affords additional proof that Satan counterfeits everything God does. How did Satan know about the miraculous birth of Jesus so long before it happened? Look again at the first promise of a Redeemer in Genesis 3:15.

“I will put enmity between thee (Satan) and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15.

Visualize the three persons listening intently to these words, Adam, Eve, and Satan. Would not Satan’s first puzzlement be the greatest? Consider the progression of his thoughts. “A child of this woman bruise my head? That is ridiculous! No human being could bruise my head.” Then, “Not even an angel could bruise my head.” Then, “No one but God could bruise my head.” Then, “That is it! If any child descended from this woman is going to bruise my head, that would have to be a child who is part God, a divine-human child! That is the only what that it could happen! I will have to do something about that!”

So that is why some pagan religions not only had a trinity, they also had miraculously born child, a divine-human child, long before Isaiah wrote, “A virgin shall conceive, and bear a child.”

Counterfeits are more effective when they are made in advance. And consider this question: Do counterfeiters put forth likenesses of things that do not exist? Have you ever seen, or heard of, a counterfeit four-dollar bill? Or a six, seven, or eight-dollar bill? Does not the existence of the counterfeit indicate the existence of the genuine? Think it over. Satan may not have anticipated that Christ Himself would come down from His throne to be that divine-human baby, but he surely saw the principle involved.

Now tell me what you would think of me if I did something like this. I come out on the platform to speak and observe a man sitting on the front row, and a lady sitting beside him.

“Sir,” I say to him, “Who is that lady sitting beside you?”

He answers, “She is my wife.”

Then I proceed to talk to him like this: “Do you think I was born yesterday? You must think I am pretty dumb. Well let me tell you something, sir. I am not so dumb. I have been to school and I know how to count. The Bible states clearly that when a man and a woman marry, they become “one.” But you two are certainly not one. You are two. I am not blind. I can count. Do not try to tell me that you are married. You are not one.”

I believe that you would be ready to say, “Larson, you are making a fool of yourself.”

And you would be right. I would be making a fool of myself. Yet how many times we have heard people talk just like that when the subject of the Trinity is brought up. I find it very depressing. We have to face it, folks. Our little heads simply cannot be wrapped around the Godhead. It just is not possible! “Canst thou by searching find out God?” Job 11:7.

“Human talent and human conjecture have tried by searching to find out God. Many have trodden this pathway. The highest intellect may tax itself until it is wearied out, in conjectures regarding God, but the effort will be fruitless; and the fact will remain that man, by searching, cannot find out God. This problem has not been given us to solve.” Loma Linda Messages, 253.

I have seen it tried. I have watched a class of highly educated graduate students spend an entire hour trying to work out a definition of the Godhead that would express clearly both the unity of the Godhead and the individuality of the Godhead. When they were finished they had nothing better to offer than the simple Bible affirmation that there are three divine beings, and that the three are one. This combines unity with individuality in a way that no human mind can explain, but it is the “given” with which we have to do. Like the statement that a husband and wife are one, it is a truth as stated, but not explained. If we were to study the mystery of the Godhead throughout eternity, there would still be mysteries beyond our comprehension. We have been told as much as we need to know. Let us accept that and move on. Let us waste no time in conjectures and speculations about the nature of the Godhead. And let us not forget that the devil had his concept of a trinity from heaven. He did not just manufacture it out of thin air. He did not originate it. He was counterfeiting what he had seen in the courts of glory.

It cannot be denied that our pioneers, who came from different religious backgrounds, took awhile to learn this. They also took awhile to learn the truth about the Sabbath and unclean meats. But God sent light to them through His chosen messenger, Ellen White, which gradually cleared away the darkness. Here is a small sampling of the light that came through her.

Concerning the Three–member Godhead:

“The three powers of the Godhead, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…” Australasian Union Conference Record. October 7, 1907.

“The eternal heavenly dignitaries—God, and Christ, and the Holy Spirit…” Manuscript 145, 1901.

“…The Godhead was stirred with pity for the race, and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit gave themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption.” God’s Amazing Grace, 190.

Concerning the divinity of the Holy Spirit:

“…the Spirit being God, knoweth the mind of God.” Signs of the Times, October 3, 1892.

“…the third person of the Godhead,” Advent Review and Sabbath Herald. November 19, 1908.

“…the Spirit in all the fullness of the Godhead.” In Heavenly Places, 336.

“…the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.” Evangelism, 617.

On the divinity of Christ:

“The divinity of Christ is our assurance of eternal life.” The Youth’s Instructor, February 11, 1897.

“Another dangerous error, is the doctrine that denies the divinity of Christ, claiming that he had no existence before his advent to this world…If men reject the testimony of the inspired Scriptures concerning the divinity of Christ, it is in vain to argue the point with them; for no argument, however conclusive, could convince them.” The Great Controversy, 524.

“That doctrine that denies the absolute Godhead of Jesus Christ denies also the Godhead of the Father.” Signs of the Times, June 27, 1895.

Is there a ray of light through the confused and confusing theories and arguments that are now besetting the Historic Adventist people? I think there is. When the devil gives a great deal of time and attention to a movement among God’s people, I think that it is pretty clear indication that those people are doing something right.

Courage in the Lord.


A Touchy Subject

The idea of organization has been a touchy subject among us as Seventh-day Adventists, even in the situation we now find ourselves in. It is a subject that needs to be approached with much tact, prayer and concern. However, I have observed, over the last few years, that we have been too quick to throw the baby out with the bath water. If something did not work correctly for us in the past, we are a little more gun shy now.

Why are we, as a movement, here? Because we want true fellowship; we want to be where God’s people are; we want cooperation; we want to hear the truth; we do not want it watered down.

Jesus is doing something here, folks, and we really need to do some deep thinking so that we understand the whys and the wherefores of what is really happening. It will give us a better understanding of what God expects from us in the future. We are where we are today because what we receive and what we desire to get we are not getting in the regular Seventh-day Adventist Churches.

I want to present to you our thoughts and concepts as we began to organize an association of small churches in Maine. We have had to come to grips with a lot of things, and I want to share these with you. I am not telling you that we have something with which you need to fall in line, but I hope this article will reaffirm concepts you have been forming.

Many of the things that I have mentioned are the exact reasons why I started going to independent meetings in my area almost 12 years ago. I wanted to hear things that were actuated and empowered by the Spirit of God! I would sit in the regular church, and I would say, “Why do I want to go to sleep? I should listen, but what am I hearing? Even though I am hearing words, I am really not hearing anything.”

Missing the Point

Communication is more than just words. It is the concepts and the spirit behind the communication. The idea that we see many of the things that are wrong within the regular church does not mean that we have really come clear of that completely. Often times my heart has been wrung over the years as we have basically licked our wounds and talked a lot about what the conference has done to us, and we have missed the whole point.

Take a look at some of the early settlers in this country who fled severe persecution in Europe, only to come here and pass religious laws and put people in stocks who did not follow their rules and regulations. I have often seen, in our groups in Maine, the same spirit that we condemn within the conference. So we have to ask, what is happening?.

What is happening is that the regular Seventh-day Adventist Church is not organized. You say, “What do you mean? They have conferences, pastors, teachers, conference presidents and all that.”

I want to introduce into your mind the concept that the Adventist movement, before it formed an organization in 1863, starting when the Michigan Conference was organized. They were spiritually organized, and this spiritual order is what we need to understand.

We seek to become involved in an outward organization that will facilitate doing God’s work, which I believe is necessary. But it is the icing on the cake. We have to understand true spiritual order, in order to have physical organization really function. Otherwise all we have done, again, is form another situation that will follow the track of Romanism at some point in time.

Some time ago I heard a friend of mine speak on apostasy. He quoted many things from the Bible and a lot of things from the Testimonies dealing with the alpha and the omega. Our eyes were opened. A lot of things that I had thought about were confirmed. I was thrilled to hear my thoughts echoed in what he said.

When I shared these things with fellow members in the Adventist Church, I was set back when I saw the displeasure on their faces. So my wife and I learned that there were places where we would be fed and there were other places where we would not.

Divisive and Disloyal?

After awhile we said, “Why should we go someplace where we are not fed when we can go to a place where we are fed?” To make a long story short, after two or three business meetings at the church, we were disfellowshipped for belonging to a divisive and disloyal organization. Well, I am sorry to say, brothers and sisters, to my disappointment and to the disappointment of others, within a year that organization folded.

It was an embarrassment to the Lord, and it was heart–rending to most of the participants. I now understand that even though it was an organization, it was not truly organized in gospel order. That was why, as soon as something came along that was controversial, everybody ducked and ran for their corners.

The problem is, brothers and sisters, our thinking, as Seventh-day Adventists, is in the same mode as the children of Israel when they said, “Let us make us a king.” (See 1 Samuel 18:5.)

Still Looking to Man

This organization was formed around a man. He was a very charismatic speaker, so people said, “Let us get together and raise funds so that you can speak.” It was based on an individual.

Now there is room for personal ministries, and they have filled a void, but if we look for people like that to fill those voids, instead of taking our own place in service, we are going to be in big trouble.

It is a human tendency to sit back and say, “Let us make us a king that will judge among us” and then have some kind of central government. But I believe that God would have a kingdom with Jesus as the Head. Christ said, “All ye are brethren,” (See Matthew 23:8) with an invisible but obvious Leader. When we learn to order ourselves in that manner, then we can go forward. Without ordering ourselves in this manner we cannot accomplish the work, neither can we have personal victory.

Some of us think, “I just cannot deal with other folks. I just want to go off by myself and get this right.” If we do this, at some point in time we are going to be missing out on the interaction that occurs among brethren and in the strengths and weaknesses that bind us together. When we work in concert, we can be balanced.

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffer-ing, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1–3.

Many times I have seen division after division after division take place. If you have not, brothers and sisters, I feel thankful for you, but I have seen this so many times in so many groups. I have heard of it in so many different places and people ask “Why?” Oftentimes we think these divisions are of little consequence, because we are in the shaking time. There are those who are going to depart from us.

But in Ephesians 4, Paul said that we must endeavor to keep “the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace.” He did not say endeavor to make it but endeavoring to keep it. You would not get married to someone you did not love with the hope that, just because you were getting married, you would love each other eventually.

Just Living Together, but Never Married!

Oftentimes that is what so-called Christianity is doing today in ecumenism. “Well, let us just get together and live together because we have some common goals and we will put all these other things aside for now.” That is not what God is asking for. He is wants us to become one, as He and the Father are one. That occurs through sanctification of the truth.

The disciples did not fully understand it, being brought up in the system in which they were. They had been taught to look for a temporal kingdom and a temporal king. Jesus would often try to teach them a lesson but their minds would be darkened because of their own preconceived ideas. Jesus would tell them, “Oh, but My kingdom is like this,” and He would try to give them an example. (See John 18:36.) They did many things which showed that, even though they were teachable, there were still wrong ideas within them.

We are dealing with the same thing today. We cannot make unity. God in His Spirit, within us, draws us into unity, but we have to understand the concepts of Christian conduct among ourselves so we know how to conduct ourselves in the church for God.

There are things that we are doing that God would not have us to do, and there are things that we are not doing that God would have us to do. There is conduct that is acceptable, and there is conduct that is not acceptable. If we have an intelligent faith, God expects us to study His Word and come into line.

We may talk to 20 different people and come up with 20 different ideas of organization. My friend has often said, “There is the “Big O” organization and there is the “Little o” being organized.” There is no way that anybody can efficiently do anything or amount to anything unless they are organized.

In the Testimonies the Servant of the Lord has told us that God’s angels are not authorized to work with confusion. (See Testimonies, vol. 1, 649.) Orderly conduct, “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore He saith When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Now that He ascended, what is it but He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things.” Ephesians 4:3–10.

New life, new spirit—the human carnal nature that is within us must be eradicated in order to have true unity.

I am not saying that we cannot go forward unless we all have perfect victory. I am saying we need to be aware of what spirit is within us and what that Spirit leads us to do, as far as conduct within our family, within the church, or within larger groups.

Responsibility Within the Church

When there is no order within the home, that disorder spills over into a lack of order within the church. I am not talking about being a hard, dictatorial individual who drives your family. We, as men and fathers, women and mothers, grandparents or children, have a place within the family, a responsibility, and we must fulfill it in a diligent manner. Otherwise there is going to be trouble in the family.

It is also true in the church. There are those whom God has given to fill places of responsibility in the church. If those people take more responsibility than what God has given them, there is trouble. If they do not take the responsibility that God has given them, there is trouble. So we cannot go either way; and since we are gun shy of organization, because of what the “Big O”organization has been doing, we will find ourselves going to perdition because we lack order and organization among us.

Brothers and sisters, there is no option. It is mandatory that we have order. We are forming no new organization, and we encourage no one else to form a new organization. This organization has been around since before this world existed. This organization is still there, existing, in place. The only problem is that we do not understand where our place is to function within it.

Jesus Christ is now calling for all of those who have faith to fall into line and to understand their place within the temple of God. When we fall into line, it will start a domino effect for perfection of character, for the building up of the church and for an understanding of the truth. We will no longer be divided and will not be tossed around by every wind of doctrine. Those things have come in among us and have given us all heartache, trouble, contention and confusion. It is not God’s will. It is because we are not organized.

“And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.” Ephesians 4:11. Here are the gifts. He has given gifts to men, not positions of authority but positions of responsibility. These positions of responsibility are given straight from the Commander to those generals whom He has chosen as leaders.

Christ has set these positions in place. If these are not soon coming about within historic Adventism, we are in trouble. We have no right to point to the regular Seventh-day Adventist Church and say, “Shame on you.” Shame on us! We are in as much trouble, if not more than them, because our knowledge of truth should be greater than those who say, “Well, I just do not care. I think we just ought to love.”

If we serve God with a faith that is based upon correct and right principles, we have an intelligent faith. These positions of responsibility Jesus put within His church, not to function as independent atoms but to culminate and work in concert with all the rest of the people and with the other gifts within the church, “For the perfecting of the saints,” (See Ephesians 4:12), bringing about character development.

Do We Really Love God?

We have talked many times in groups, as brothers and sisters, about the concept of character perfection. I am sure that most of us understand that God expects us to overcome every sin. Just to say that I love Jesus is not good enough.

The overcoming of every sin is not going to happen until things come to order in the church. Yes, sin is personal between you and God. It effects the group, however, when individual problems come to the surface. How do you deal with that? There is a tactful way to give counsel. If my brother is at fault, or if people begin to realize that I am off balance, then we say, “Help me, brother. Help me, sister, to see where I should put my next footstep.”

Working in concert within a group, as brethren, begins to give balance and provides a format where people can see those deep rooted tendencies they have not seen. The way things are now, if someone is continually coming up with a problem, how are they to know? They will think it is because so-and-so put them in that situation. They have no way to sit down to bring about justice, to have good counsel and to deal with problems that arise in the church.

How are you really going to follow Matthew 18 through in most cases? It is impossible. “…for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:12–16.

How is this working together in concert to happen? This is the key to understanding where we stand before God and how we proceed. Often we have said, “Well, let us just go do the work.” We have tried that with sometimes success and sometimes very limited success. I dare say that God is not going to bring in that great influx of people, which we have been promised, until things are done decently and in order.

People are not foolish. They are not spiritually dumb, and they are not ignorant. These people are wide awake. They understand issues. They just have not had everything revealed to them, and I dare say that God is not taking the blinders off, in many cases. Oftentimes, all they would be brought into is a very discouraging circumstance of wrangling, faultfinding, backbiting, gossiping, self-righteousness, and condemnation of someone because they are not following the convictions of the one doing the condemning.

There are going to be problems, but when people come in and see the love of God brought about in an orderly fashion, they will know this is completely different than what they experience anywhere else.

Choose Ye This Day—God or Man?

Everywhere else man rules! And where man rules, one man is exalted and other men are put down. That situation is never going to bring about perfection of Christian character. All it is going to do is discourage character development and produce fanaticism.

Another situation we have to deal with is that God expects us to come into unity and all speak the same thing. Unless you are greatly immune from what we in New England have experienced, every wind of doctrine has also blown your way. In many cases some of these winds of doctrines have not necessarily been that far off from truth. We have kind of puzzled over them to see what is really occurring. Remember, communication is more than words. We have to learn to detect the spiritual undertow of what is presented.

We have come to the conclusion that many of these people have one prominent issue. It is on their mind, and they come and teach this one prominent issue. Even if you may not disagree, they want you to stand fully for that issue. Sister White calls these people “one-idea people.” (See Gospel Workers, 1915 edition, 119.) They have made this one issue the prominent test. That is it.

So accepting or rejecting that one issue determines whether you are in their group or whether you are not in their group. This has caused more division or heartache than is imaginable. If you have had trouble with that, and I am sure you have to some extent, remember, there are testing truths that God has given, which are not optional.

The Issue

The message we have to take to the world, to warn the world; the information we need in order to put together the nuts and bolts of a practical Christian character; the sealing of ourselves, our families and those out there in the world, is the issue.

If we are ever going to accomplish this work and go home to see our Saviour, we must come to the point where we ask, “What is the priority?” The concepts that are involved in the Three Angels’ Messages apply to our lives, and when taught and applied to the lives of others, they are the key to going home. It is the key to finishing the sealing so Christ can finish His work in the Most Holy Place, is it not?

If Satan can distract us on any other issue, so that we are waylaid, held up, and resources expended in any other way, even though it may be an important issue, we have failed to address the prominent emergency of the day. That is where we need to get centered. What are those issues?

In New England, we are, as you know, very strong personality people, and there have been issues that have divided us. We have had to come together and say, “We believe at this point in time that some of these issues can be tabled for now because there is a situation on which we must go forward, otherwise things will not progress, and we will not progress personally either.”

Remember the divisions in Corinth? Paul wrote them a letter. He said, “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” 1 Corinthians 1:10.

Isaiah 9 says that Christ’s kingdom is going to be set up and He is going to order it in justice and judgment. How many folks have gone out from groups like ours because there was no justice and there was no judgment?

We Cannot go Back

That has to stop! Jesus would bring in justice and judgment, but He wants us to all speak the same thing! What is it? Now truth runs close to error. You have those people out there saying, “You believe one thing; we believe another. Let us just put aside our differences and work together.” My reply would be, “No, we cannot just put our differences aside. We need to resolve our differences.”

There needs to be some fence mending. There needs to be some prayer and fasting so we can find out where we are not in harmony with God’s order. That is a must! “I will have you all speak the same mind,” He said. Why were they not speaking the same thing and why were they not of the same mind?

It is very obvious that in Corinth the people were choosing men to lead them. “For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.”
1 Corinthians 1:11, 12.

It is the human tendency to make a king. This was brought out to me on one of our brother’s back lawns a few weeks ago. As we began to come together, we read the chapter in Patriarchs and Prophets of when the children of Israel finally asked for a king. They came to Samuel. They had already been thinking about this, and they said, “Your sons are not just. So we want a king to reign over us and to judge us.” Ibid., 604.

How often I have heard it said that if the regular church would stop celebrating; if they would stop some of the erroneous training of the pastors; if that (and the list goes on) was corrected, then we could go back. I say to you what Jesus said to His disciples when they suggested the same thing: “You cannot put new wine into old bottles lest the old bottles burst.” (See Matthew 9:17.) Brothers and sisters, I believe that we could not go back into the regular church unless the whole thing was set up on completely different principles.

In order to do that you would have to dismantle it from top to bottom. To say that just putting different men in those positions would correct the problem is not the right concept. Look around you. We have done that. It is still a human tendency to set up these kingdoms with a prominent individual that we can look at and say, “Here, world, here is a charismatic individual, a steady, spiritual individual. He is our leader.”

Are You Asleep in the Pew?

As we have looked at the regular church with the pastors who are man–made leaders just because they have gone through the system and have been ordained, it seems the people think, “Well, he has to be God’s appointed.” Well, no! Then you have the people who sit in the pews and say “Amen” to whatever they hear. But if somebody new comes along who is not endorsed by those in authority, then these same people find fault with him, no matter what is said.

I have also seen this within the independent ministries. It is still not so much what is spoken as how it is spoken and by whom it is advocated. We have to get over that hump. We have to come to the place where we stop looking for a human king and start looking for our King Jesus. Then all of us can come into line and say, “All of us are brethren.” (See Matthew 23:8.) Paul said, “I would have you all of the same mind, the same judgment.” (See
1 Corinthians 1:10.) The reason they were not of the same mind is that they were following different leaders and receiving a different spirit.

You know, the disciples had their problems. Upon their return from a missionary tour, John said to Jesus, “…Master, we saw one casting out devils in Thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in My name, that can lightly speak evil of me.” Mark 9:38, 39.

So even the disciples had the concept that if someone was not part of their group, then they were not with the program. This is the thinking that we have.

We are No Man’s Master!

There have been more ills caused in Adventism because we have not understood that we are not mind and judgment for our brothers. We are to be wise counselors, but we are not another man’s master. Christ is the Master of all. In giving counsel we can give information, but then, if the individual is not involved in open error or open sin, that brother or sister must follow their own convictions, even though we do not agree.

Many times we have not discerned the difference between counsel and law. For instance, we are told that Eve was counseled not to leave the side of her husband. (See Early Writings, 147, 148.) Did she sin when she left his side? No, she did not. She did not sin until she ate of the tree, but departing from that counsel was the first step leading up to her sin.

So there are things we have been counseled to do and not to do. We need to heed that counsel very closely, and if we expect to honor God, we will. When someone else has departed from that counsel, we cannot treat them as though they have transgressed.

There is a great difference there. Out of that misunderstanding we have the “dress police,” and we have the “food police.” We have people who will, at a potluck dinner, scrutinize the food to the point where they do not even want to be there, or eat, because somebody has brought something that is not quite what they are convicted ought to be on the table. God is not asking us to be somebody else’s policeman. We are not to be mind and judgment for someone else. Many times we watch our brethren to see where they are in the faith, rather than examining our own hearts to see whether we are in the faith.

Louder than Words?

There is, however, a condition where we seek Christ’s approval, and then we go ahead and do things to the contrary. How many times have we made mistakes because we want to be seen as good Christians, yet we have neglected to do the things that God says constitutes being a good Christian. “And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” Matthew 23:9–12.

So the idea of being exalted, as opposed to being brethren and servants, was formed. I think if we sat down with His disciples at the time, they would not realize that they thought that way. I think it is that way among us, too, even though we talk about being a servant and being the least; our natural tendencies like to take over. Actions speak louder than words.

Often our actions have said that we would like to be first. Jesus said this could not be. You know, we talk about the pope and all of these things that go on in Romanism, and a lot of times we miss the point that what is wrong with Romanism is the exaltation of man in the place of God and the putting down of other men. That exists among us today. You do not just have to look to the structured church to see that.

Primitive Godliness?

If there is anything that I can impress upon your minds, it is this: we have not fully understood the deep underlying reasons and concepts of what has really happened within the structured church and why we are where we are. We need to understand those, and we need to understand it like the disciples did.

Look at Acts 1:6. The disciples had gone through so much. They had Jesus, Who was raised right before their faces, and still they asked, “…Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” These men still had not come to an understanding of what Jesus was saying when He said, “My kingdom is not of this world. My kingdom is spiritual. The words that I speak unto you are spirit and they are life.” (See John 18:36.)

They were still looking for a temporal kingdom and they wanted somebody on that throne. However, Jesus said to them, “…It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power. But 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. You know, it is so wonderful how Jesus does things, and it is something that we have to learn about counseling people.

Oftentimes people are doing something, and we would like to say, “Do not do that!” Jesus, rather than hitting them on that point would draw them onto a higher plane of truth. He would almost avoid the subject, but He would take them beyond that situation.

Another place He said, “…but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” Luke 24:49. So these individuals were put in a situation where they were to tarry. They fellow-shipped together. They prayed together and something began to happen. “And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell that he might go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots….” Acts 1:24, 25.

Now look at Acts 2:1. “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” Now everybody in the world cannot get together in one place, but it says to not neglect the gathering of yourselves together as you see that day approaching. As these men were together in one place, the Spirit of God began to work on their hearts and they began to see how they had been treating each other.

Me, First!

They had been putting themselves first; they were looking for a king, but who did they really want for a king? They wanted to be a king themselves. They realized of what spirit they were, and they then began to confess their faults among one another.

They started to mend some fences and go to their brothers and say, “Look, I am sorry how I did this, and said that, and how I injured you.” I believe they started to get very specific in how they had been doing things to one another.

That is what I think needs to be done among groups where there have been divisions. There may be such a broad area of doctrinal difference that healing cannot occur. There may be other individuals who cannot work closely together because of their strong tendencies. But certainly these things, the strife and contention that we have had among us, must be put away. It cannot be shuffled under the carpet. It has to be resolved.

The apostles began to repent of their sins before God, and that prepared the way. “…suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And their appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:2–4.

Some have said that Acts of the Apostles would be more rightly titled, the Acts of the Holy Spirit. These men came into order; they came to a place where they could go no other way. They realized that what they had been taught was going nowhere. They had run right into a theological wall, and they had to rethink everything. There was no place for them to go. They could not turn around and go back to the Sanhedrin; they knew that was not going to work. So they had nothing left to do but to resolve things. They saw, that even though there was contention, differences and strong personalities, these were the people whom God was going to use to move His work forward as soon as they received the Spirit of God.

In that situation, God could fill them. Then they were teachable. They were no longer like Peter saying, “I can do it!” But they were meek, saying, “Let us have faith and God will guide us.”

Suspicious of Ourselves

They became what the Servant of the Lord has often talked about; we should be more suspicious of ourselves than we are of others. (See Review and Herald, April 15, 1880; Ibid., October 29, 1901.) Many of you have probably been in the Adventist Church all of your lives. I think that we should be more suspicious of ourselves than we are of the structured church.

We have a great knowledge, and we need to be suspicious of ourselves. As we come before God and allow Him to point out where we have erred, we will be a lot more gracious with our brothers and sisters as they err.

Acts continues to tell about how they preached; and many dwelling in Jerusalem were added to the church that God would have saved. God is not adding all to the church today that need to be saved, and there is a good reason for it.

Gun Shy

Brothers and sisters, I want to appeal to you today. We, as Seventh-day Adventists have been so gun shy of organization, because it has been drummed into our heads from the time we were small that the Adventist Church is the last church. It is God’s only church. Just stick with the church. But God is going to sift the sinners out of Zion. Quotes from the Testimonies have been misused to contradict clear and plain “Thus saith the Lord” from Scripture on coming into order. We must come into order!

Over one hundred years ago, the Servant of the Lord wrote, “I would hope there would not be another coming out.” She lays down principle, and the principle is bigotry. If you look it up you will find that bigotry comes from a term that is meant to take an oath, to dig in your heels, personal opinion. “This is where I am going to stand. I am not going to move.” That is not what God would have. It is also synonymous with what the Scripture calls a heretic. Someone who is an opinionated person. We need people who are able to move with a “Thus saith the Lord.” If you have taken a position and you are not willing to move when more light is given, you have a serious problem. That is going to cause division, too.

There is much need of men who will hold to principle, who are able to say, “I am sorry,” when they have erred. That is what we need today. People who are able to say, “I am sorry. I really messed up. I believed that this was the issue. I believed this is where we were supposed to stand, but now that I have had more light revealed to me, I see where I have been mistaken, and we need to move along in this other area.” That would be a great change of spirit from what I have seen over the years.

To be Organized?

So these are the principles and concepts that we need to understand to move forward. This is the “Little o” that my friend is talking about, a physical organization on top of the spiritual organization.

Just because the “Big O,” which has become a monster of its own, is coming after the church, does not mean that we should not have the “Little o” organized. We must be organized. You cannot do anything officially without being organized, and God and all beings in the universe are very well organized. Order must come into our ranks.