Bible Study Guides – A Special Invitation

March 23, 2008 – March 29, 2008

Key Text

“Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Romans 8:30.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 328–332.


“Calling and justification are not one and the same thing. Calling is the drawing of the sinner to Christ, and it is a work wrought by the Holy Spirit upon the heart, convicting of sin, and inviting to repentance.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 390.

1 What invitation does Jesus Christ send to all of us? Matthew 11:28.

Note: “And to those who are longing for rest and peace today just as truly as to those who listened to His words in Judea, He is saying, ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ [Matthew 11:28.]” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1103.

“Turning from the ambitious, self-satisfied favorites of this world, He declared that those were blessed who, however great their need, would receive His light and love. To the poor in spirit, the sorrowing, the persecuted, He stretched out His arms, saying, ‘Come unto Me, …. and I will give you rest.’ Matthew 11:28.” Education, 79, 80.

2 What is the relationship between Christ’s invitation and the Sabbath? Isaiah 58:13, 14.

Note: “And the Lord says, ‘If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; … then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord.’ Isaiah 58:13, 14. To all who receive the Sabbath as a sign of Christ’s creative and redeeming power, it will be a delight. Seeing Christ in it, they delight themselves in Him.” The Desire of Ages, 289.

3 What does Christ offer us together with His invitation? Matthew 11:29.

Note: “‘Take My yoke upon you,’ Jesus says. The yoke is an instrument of service. Cattle are yoked for labor, and the yoke is essential that they may labor effectually. By this illustration Christ teaches us that we are called to service as long as life shall last. We are to take upon us His yoke, that we may be coworkers with Him.

“The yoke that binds to service is the law of God. The great law of love revealed in Eden, proclaimed upon Sinai, and in the new covenant written in the heart, is that which binds the human worker to the will of God. If we were left to follow our own inclinations, to go just where our will would lead us, we should fall into Satan’s ranks and become possessors of his attributes. Therefore God confines us to His will, which is high, and noble, and elevating. He desires that we shall patiently and wisely take up the duties of service. The yoke of service Christ Himself has borne in humanity. He said, ‘I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart.’ Psalm 40:8. ‘I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me.’ John 6:38.” The Desire of Ages, 329, 330.

“When you find your work hard, when you complain of difficulties and trials, when you say that you have no strength to withstand temptation, that you cannot overcome impatience, and that the Christian life is uphill work, be sure that you are not bearing the yoke of Christ; you are bearing the yoke of another master.” Child Guidance, 267.

4 What is Christ willing to teach us? Matthew 11:29.

Note: “We are to enter the school of Christ, to learn from Him meekness and lowliness. Redemption is that process by which the soul is trained for heaven. This training means a knowledge of Christ. It means emancipation from ideas, habits, and practices that have been gained in the school of the prince of darkness. The soul must be delivered from all that is opposed to loyalty to God.

“In the heart of Christ, where reigned perfect harmony with God, there was perfect peace. He was never elated by applause, nor dejected by censure or disappointment. Amid the greatest opposition and the most cruel treatment, He was still of good courage.” The Desire of Ages, 330.

5 What does Christ mean when He says, “My yoke is easy”? Matthew 11:30.

Note: “The yoke is placed upon the oxen to aid them in drawing the load, to lighten the burden. So with the yoke of Christ. When our will is swallowed up in the will of God, and we use His gifts to bless others, we shall find life’s burden light. He who walks in the way of God’s commandments is walking in company with Christ, and in His love the heart is at rest. When Moses prayed, ‘Show me now Thy way, that I may know Thee,’ the Lord answered him, ‘My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.’ And through the prophets the message was given, ‘Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.’ Exodus 33:13, 14; Jeremiah 6:16. And He says, ‘O that thou hadst hearkened to My commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.’ Isaiah 48:18.” The Desire of Ages, 331.

6 What words does John employ to utter the same message? 1 John 5:3.

Note: “In the new birth the heart is brought into harmony with God, as it is brought into accord with His law. When this mighty change has taken place in the sinner, he has passed from death unto life, from sin unto holiness, from transgression and rebellion to obedience and loyalty. The old life of alienation from God has ended; the new life of reconciliation, of faith and love, has begun. Then ‘the righteousness of the law’ will ‘be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’ Romans 8:4. And the language of the soul will be: ‘O how love I Thy law! it is my meditation all the day.’ Psalm 119:97.

“‘The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.’ Psalm 19:7. Without the law, men have no just conception of the purity and holiness of God or of their own guilt and uncleanness. They have no true conviction of sin and feel no need of repentance. Not seeing their lost condition as violators of God’s law, they do not realize their need of the atoning blood of Christ. The hope of salvation is accepted without a radical change of heart or reformation of life. Thus superficial conversions abound, and multitudes are joined to the church who have never been united to Christ.” The Great Controversy, 468.

7 What is the main hindrance that has prevented our entrance into the heavenly Canaan? Hebrews 3:18, 19.

Note: “It was not the will of God that the coming of Christ should be … delayed. God did not design that His people, Israel, should wander forty years in the wilderness. He promised to lead them directly to the land of Canaan, and establish them there a holy, healthy, happy people. But those to whom it was first preached, went not in ‘because of unbelief.’ Their hearts were filled with murmuring, rebellion, and hatred, and He could not fulfill His covenant with them.

“For forty years did unbelief, murmuring, and rebellion shut out ancient Israel from the land of Canaan. The same sins have delayed the entrance of modern Israel into the heavenly Canaan. In neither case were the promises of God at fault. It is the unbelief, the worldliness, unconsecration, and strife among the Lord’s professed people that have kept us in this world of sin and sorrow so many years.

“We may have to remain here in this world because of insubordination many more years, as did the children of Israel; but for Christ’s sake, His people should not add sin to sin by charging God with the consequence of their own wrong course of action.” Evangelism, 696.

8 On the other hand, how can we enter into Christ’s rest? Hebrews 4:1–3.

Note: “It is not a conclusive evidence that a man is a Christian because he manifests spiritual ecstasy under extraordinary circumstances. Holiness is not rapture: it is an entire surrender of the will to God; it is living by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God; it is doing the will of our heavenly Father; it is trusting God in trial, in darkness as well as in the light; it is walking by faith and not by sight; it is relying on God with unquestioning confidence, and resting in His love.” The Acts of the Apostles, 51.

“By giving the gospel to the world it is in our power to hasten our Lord’s return.” The Desire of Ages, 633.

9 What is the fruit of entering into Christ’s rest? Hebrews 4:10, 11.

Note: “[Hebrews 4:9, 11 quoted.] The rest here spoken of is the rest of grace, obtained by following the prescription, Labor diligently. Those who learn of Jesus, His meekness and lowliness, find rest in the experience of practicing His lessons. It is not in indolence, in selfish ease and pleasure-seeking, that rest is obtained. Those who are unwilling to give the Lord faithful, earnest, loving service will not find spiritual rest in this life or in the life to come. Only from earnest labor comes peace and joy in the Holy Spirit—happiness on earth and glory hereafter.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 928.

10 What is the final rest reserved for God’s people? Revelation 7:15–17.

Note: “As through Jesus we enter into rest, heaven begins here. We respond to His invitation, Come, learn of Me, and in thus coming we begin the life eternal. Heaven is a ceaseless approaching to God through Christ. The longer we are in the heaven of bliss, the more and still more of glory will be opened to us; and the more we know of God, the more intense will be our happiness. As we walk with Jesus in this life, we may be filled with His love, satisfied with His presence. All that human nature can bear, we may receive here.” The Desire of Ages, 331, 332.

Additional Reading:

“The Lord God has provided a banquet for the whole human race. It is represented in the parable as a great supper where there is provided a festival for every soul. All connected with this supper may enjoy the heavenly feast, which is the gospel. This feast is open to all who will receive it. All are invited and urged to come. …

“All who are partakers of the wedding feast, the gospel feast, by this act say that they have accepted Christ as their personal Saviour. They wear His distinguishing dress. They have accepted the truth as it is in Jesus, which is the robe of Christ’s righteousness. Only those do honor to Christ who accept the invitation, ‘Come, for all things are now ready; come to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ These put on the white linen, the clean, pure character, showing that they no longer live their old citizen life that they lived in their ignorance. Their speech is changed. Their conversation is in altogether another line. …

“All who have the light of the Word presented to them are highly favored. That Word is the bread of life to those who eat of it. ‘In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.’ Luke 10:21.

“The priests and scribes and rulers were so self-sufficient that they would not heed the words of Christ. They were convicted, their understanding was convinced, but they would not receive the Sent of God. They had been privileged with every temporal and spiritual advantage, but Christ looked upon them as rejecters of all the mercy and compassion and tenderness and love that He had come to the world to bring them. They turned away from the light and evidence that Christ had given them, and scorned His mercy. He looked upon them with yearning desire, and said, ‘Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight’ (verse 21). He was grieved that the people most favored upon the face of the earth should be the very ones to deny Him and refuse His offer of everlasting life.

“There is to be a constant advancement on our part. The revelation of the Father to the human agent will be such a revelation that the mind can take hold of and comprehend. All who follow on steadfastly to know the truth as it is in Jesus will know that there is still more to be learned. Expansion, development, an increase of faith and holiness, will give us an experience in the religious life, and this is the law of the Christian life.” The Upward Look, 304.

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

Bible Study Guides – False Justification

March 16, 2008 – March 22, 2008

Key Text

“Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Romans 4:4, 5.

Study Help: Faith and Works, 15–18.


“Justification is wholly of grace and not procured by any works that fallen man can do.” Faith and Works, 20.

1 What is written about the purpose of God’s Law? Romans 3:20, 28.

Note: “I would call on all who would win heaven, to take warning. Do not devote your precious probationary time to sewing together fig leaves to cover the nakedness which is the result of sin. As you look into the Lord’s great moral looking glass, His holy law, His standard of character, do not for a moment suppose that it can cleanse you. There are no saving properties in the law. It cannot pardon the transgressor. The penalty must be exacted.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1070.

2 What is written about the Israelites as a nation? Romans 10:1–4.

Note: “Priests and rulers became fixed in a rut of ceremonialism. They were satisfied with a legal religion, and it was impossible for them to give to others the living truths of heaven. They thought their own righteousness all-sufficient, and did not desire that a new element should be brought into their religion. The good will of God to men they did not accept as something apart from themselves, but connected it with their own merit because of their good works.” The Acts of the Apostles, 15.

3 What does the Bible say about the good works of a person? Romans 4:1–5.

Note: “The reward is not of works, lest any man should boast; but it is all of grace. ‘What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.’ Romans 4:1–5. Therefore there is no occasion for one to glory over another or to grudge against another. No one is privileged above another, nor can anyone claim the reward as a right.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 401, 402.

“The work of faith means more than we think. It means genuine reliance upon the naked word of God. By our actions we are to show that we believe that God will do just as He has said. The wheels of nature and of providence are not appointed to roll backward nor to stand still. We must have an advancing, working faith, a faith that works by love and purifies the soul from every vestige of selfishness. It is not self, but God, that we must depend upon. We must not cherish unbelief. We must have that faith that takes God at His word. …

“Sanctification of soul, body, and spirit will surround us with the atmosphere of heaven. If God has chosen us from eternity, it is that we might be holy, our conscience purged from dead works to serve the living God. We must not in any way make self our god. God has given Himself to die for us, that He might purify us from all iniquity. The Lord will carry on this work of perfection for us if we will allow ourselves to be controlled by Him. He carries on this work for our good and His own name’s glory.” Bible Training School, June 1, 1915.

4 What is said about the works of righteousness and our salvation? Titus 3:5.

Note: “Our acceptance with God is sure only through His beloved Son, and good works are but the result of the working of His sin-pardoning love. They are no credit to us, and we have nothing accorded to us for our good works by which we may claim a part in the salvation of our souls.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1122.

5 What did the apostle Paul explain to the Galatians? Galatians 2:16.

Note: “Let the subject be made distinct and plain that it is not possible to effect anything in our standing before God or in the gift of God to us through creature merit. Should faith and works purchase the gift of salvation for anyone, then the Creator is under obligation to the creature. Here is an opportunity for falsehood to be accepted as truth. If any man can merit salvation by anything he may do, then he is in the same position as the Catholic to do penance for his sins. Salvation, then, is partly of debt, that may be earned as wages. If man cannot, by any of his good works, merit salvation, then it must be wholly of grace, received by man as a sinner because he receives and believes in Jesus. It is wholly a free gift. Justification by faith is placed beyond controversy. And all this controversy is ended, as soon as the matter is settled that the merits of fallen man in his good works can never procure eternal life for him.” Faith and Works, 19, 20.

6 Who is the author of the theory of salvation by works?

Note: “A legal religion can never lead souls to Christ; for it is a loveless, Christless religion. Fasting or prayer that is actuated by a self-justifying spirit is an abomination in the sight of God. The solemn assembly for worship, the round of religious ceremonies, the external humiliation, the imposing sacrifice, proclaim that the doer of these things regards himself as righteous, and as entitled to heaven; but it is all a deception. Our own works can never purchase salvation.” The Desire of Ages, 280.

“The principle that man can save himself by his own works lay at the foundation of every heathen religion; it had now become the principle of the Jewish religion. Satan had implanted this principle. Wherever it is held, men have no barrier against sin.” Ibid., 35, 36.

7 What did James explain about false faith? James 2:14–20.

Note: “The apostle James saw that dangers would arise in presenting the subject of justification by faith, and he labored to show that genuine faith cannot exist without corresponding works. The experience of Abraham is presented. ‘Seest thou,’ he says, ‘how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?’ James 2:22. Thus genuine faith does a genuine work in the believer. Faith and obedience bring a solid, valuable experience. …

“The so-called faith that does not work by love and purify the soul will not justify any man. ‘Ye see,’ says the apostle, ‘how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.’ James 2:24. Abraham believed God. How do we know that he believed? His works testified to the character of his faith, and his faith was accounted to him for righteousness. We need the faith of Abraham in our day, to lighten the darkness that gathers around us, shutting out the sweet sunlight of God’s love, and dwarfing spiritual growth. Our faith should be prolific of good works; for faith without works is dead.” The Faith I Live By, 115.

8 On the other hand, what is the result of true faith? Galatians 5:6.

Note: “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.

“The faith that works by love and purifies the soul could find no place for union with the religion of the Pharisees, made up of ceremonies and the injunctions of men.” The Acts of the Apostles, 15.

9 What is written about our own righteousness? Isaiah 64:6; Revelation 3:18.

Note: “The true Witness has said, ‘Buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear.’ Revelation 3:18. What is the shame of this nakedness and poverty? It is the shame of clothing ourselves with self-righteousness, and of separating ourselves from God, when He has made ample provision for all to receive His blessing.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 965.

10 What will be the fate of those who cling to their own righteousness? Revelation 3:16.

Note: “There are those who, though professedly serving God, are witnessing against Him. To them the message to the Laodicean church is given. Christ says to them, ‘I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot.’ [Revelation 3:15.] When the avenging angel shall pass through the land, Christ cannot say of them, ‘Touch them not. I have graven them upon the palms of my hands.’ No; of these halfhearted ones He says, ‘I will spew them out of my mouth. They are offensive to me.’ ” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 963.

Additional Reading:

“While one class pervert the doctrine of justification by faith and neglect to comply with the conditions laid down in the Word of God—‘If ye love Me, keep My commandments’ [John 14:15]—there is fully as great an error on the part of those who claim to believe and obey the commandments of God but who place themselves in opposition to the precious rays of light—new to them—reflected from the cross of Calvary. The first class do not see the wondrous things in the law of God for all who are doers of His Word. The others cavil over trivialities and neglect the weightier matters, mercy and the love of God.

“Many have lost very much in that they have not opened the eyes of their understanding to discern the wondrous things in the law of God. On the one hand, religionists generally have divorced the law and the gospel, while we have, on the other hand, almost done the same from another standpoint. We have not held up before the people the righteousness of Christ and the full significance of His great plan of redemption. We have left out Christ and His matchless love, brought in theories and reasonings, and preached argumentative discourses.

“Unconverted men have stood in the pulpits sermonizing. Their own hearts have never experienced, through a living, clinging, trusting faith, the sweet evidence of the forgiveness of their sins. How, then, can they preach the love, the sympathy, the forgiveness of God for all sins? How can they say, ‘Look and live’? Looking at the cross of Calvary, you will have a desire to bear the cross. A world’s Redeemer hung upon the cross of Calvary. Behold the Saviour of the world, in whom dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Can any look and behold the sacrifice of God’s dear Son, and their hearts not be melted and broken, ready to surrender to God heart and soul?

“Let this point be fully settled in every mind: If we accept Christ as a Redeemer, we must accept Him as a Ruler. We cannot have the assurance and perfect confiding trust in Christ as our Saviour until we acknowledge Him as our King and are obedient to His commandments. Thus we evidence our allegiance to God. We have then the genuine ring in our faith, for it is a working faith. It works by love. Speak it from your heart: ‘Lord, I believe Thou hast died to redeem my soul. If Thou hast placed such a value upon the soul as to give Thy life for mine, I will respond. I give my life and all its possibilities, in all my weakness, into Thy keeping.’

“The will must be brought into complete harmony with the will of God. When this is done, no ray of light that shines into the heart and chambers of the mind will be resisted. The soul will not be barricaded with prejudice, calling light darkness and darkness light. The light from heaven is welcomed, as light filling all the chambers of the soul. This is making melody to God.” Faith and Works, 15, 16. [Author’s italics.]

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

Bible Study Guides – The Righteousness of Christ

March 9, 2008 – March 15, 2008

Key Text

“The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable.” Isaiah 42:21.

Study Help: Selected Messages, Book 1, 236–241.


“Paul and his fellow workers proclaimed the doctrine of righteousness by faith in the atoning sacrifice of Christ. They presented Christ as the one who, seeing the helpless condition of the fallen race, came to redeem men and women by living a life of obedience to God’s law and by paying the penalty of disobedience.” The Acts of the Apostles, 207.

1 What did Jeremiah prophesy about Jesus? Jeremiah 23:5, 6.

Note: “Jeremiah also bore witness of the coming Redeemer as a Prince of the house of David: ‘Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness.’ And again: ‘Thus saith the Lord: David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel; neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before Me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually.’ Jeremiah 23:5, 6; 33:17, 18.” The Acts of the Apostles, 223.

2 How did Micah identify Jesus in his prophecy? Micah 5:1.

Note: “Had not Micah prophesied, ‘They shall smite the Judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek’? Micah 5:1.” The Acts of the Apostles, 225.

3 What did Pilate declare about Jesus during the judgment? Luke 23:4.

Note: “Christ affirmed that His word was in itself a key which would unlock the mystery to those who were prepared to receive it. It had a self-commending power, and this was the secret of the spread of His kingdom of truth. He desired Pilate to understand that only by receiving and appropriating truth could his ruined nature be reconstructed.

“Pilate had a desire to know the truth. His mind was confused. He eagerly grasped the words of the Saviour, and his heart was stirred with a great longing to know what it really was, and how he could obtain it. ‘What is truth?’ he inquired. But he did not wait for an answer. The tumult outside recalled him to the interests of the hour; for the priests were clamorous for immediate action. Going out to the Jews, he declared emphatically, ‘I find in Him no fault at all.’ [John 18:38.]” The Desire of Ages, 727.

4 What words did Judas utter before the Sanhedrin? Matthew 27:3, 4.

Note: “As the trial [of Jesus] drew to a close, Judas could endure the torture of his guilty conscience no longer. Suddenly a hoarse voice rang through the hall, sending a thrill of terror to all hearts: He is innocent; spare Him, O Caiaphas!

“The tall form of Judas was now seen pressing through the startled throng. His face was pale and haggard, and great drops of sweat stood on his forehead. Rushing to the throne of judgment, he threw down before the high priest the pieces of silver that had been the price of his Lord’s betrayal. Eagerly grasping the robe of Caiaphas, he implored him to release Jesus, declaring that He had done nothing worthy of death. Caiaphas angrily shook him off, but was confused, and knew not what to say. The perfidy of the priests was revealed. It was evident that they had bribed the disciple to betray his Master.

“‘I have sinned,’ again cried Judas, ‘in that I have betrayed the innocent blood.’ But the high priest, regaining his self-possession, answered with scorn, ‘What is that to us? see thou to that.’ Matthew 27:4. The priests had been willing to make Judas their tool; but they despised his baseness. When he turned to them with confession, they spurned him.” The Desire of Ages, 721, 722.

5 What powerful public testimony did Peter give about Jesus? Acts 3:14, 15.

Note: “When Jesus died, the priests thought that no more miracles would be performed among them, that the excitement would die out and the people would again turn to the traditions of men. But lo! right among them the disciples were working miracles, and the people were filled with amazement. Jesus had been crucified, and they wondered where His followers had obtained this power. When He was alive, they thought that He imparted power to them; but when He died, they expected the miracles to cease. Peter understood their perplexity and said to them, ‘Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified His Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied Him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; and killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. And His name through faith in His name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know.’ [Acts 3:12–16.]” Early Writings, 192.

6 What did the same apostle write later? I Peter 2:21–23.

Note: “Christ was holy, harmless, undefiled. He did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth.” The Acts of the Apostles, 570.

“Christ is our Master. By definite instructions He prepared His followers for their work before leaving them. As soon as He could talk, Christ used the talent of speech, in the family circle and among friends and acquaintances, in a way that was without fault. Not one impure word escaped His lips. Never did He do a wrong action, for He was the Son of God. Although He possessed a human form, yet He was without a taint of sin.” Welfare Ministry, 286, 287.

7 What other title was prophetically applied to Jesus? Psalm 118:22; Isaiah 28:16.

Note: “Centuries before the Saviour’s advent Moses had pointed to the Rock of Israel’s salvation. The psalmist had sung of ‘the Rock of my strength.’ Isaiah had written, ‘Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation.’ Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 62:7; Isaiah 28:16.” The Desire of Ages, 413.

“But every building erected on other foundation than God’s word will fall. He who, like the Jews in Christ’s day, builds on the foundation of human ideas and opinions, of forms and ceremonies of man’s invention, or on any works that he can do independently of the grace of Christ, is erecting his structure of character upon the shifting sand. The fierce tempests of temptation will sweep away the sandy foundation and leave his house a wreck on the shores of time.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 150, 151.

8 What application did Jesus make of this prophecy? Matthew 21:42–44.

Note: “The prophets had spoken of the rejected stone; and Christ Himself, speaking on one occasion to the priests and elders, said: ‘Did ye never read in the Scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.’ Matthew 21:42–44.” The Acts of the Apostles, 64.

“Christ would have averted the doom of the Jewish nation if the people had received Him. But envy and jealousy made them implacable. They determined that they would not receive Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah. They rejected the Light of the world, and thenceforth their lives were surrounded with darkness as the darkness of midnight. The doom foretold came upon the Jewish nation. Their own fierce passions, uncontrolled, wrought their ruin. In their blind rage they destroyed one another. Their rebellious, stubborn pride brought upon them the wrath of their Roman conquerors.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 295, 296.

9 How did Peter apply the prophecy of Isaiah to Jesus? Acts 4:11; I Peter 2:4–8.

Note: “Peter himself, writing by inspiration, applies this prophecy to Jesus. He says, ‘If ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious: unto whom coming, a living stone, rejected indeed of men, but with God elect, precious, ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house.’ I Peter 2:3–5, R. V.” The Desire of Ages, 413.

10 What did Paul declare about the “chief corner stone”? Ephesians 2:20–22.

Note: “In infinite wisdom, God chose the foundation stone, and laid it Himself. He called it ‘a sure foundation.’ The entire world may lay upon it their burdens and griefs; it can endure them all. With perfect safety they may build upon it. Christ is a ‘tried stone.’ Those who trust in Him, He never disappoints. He has borne every test. He has endured the pressure of Adam’s guilt, and the guilt of his posterity, and has come off more than conqueror of the powers of evil. He has borne the burdens cast upon Him by every repenting sinner. In Christ the guilty heart has found relief. He is the sure foundation. All who make Him their dependence rest in perfect security.” The Desire of Ages, 598, 599.

Additional Reading

“Before the believer is held out the wonderful possibility of being like Christ, obedient to all the principles of the law. But of himself man is utterly unable to reach this condition. The holiness that God’s Word declares he must have before he can be saved is the result of the working of divine grace as he bows in submission to the discipline and restraining influences of the Spirit of truth. Man’s obedience can be made perfect only by the incense of Christ’s righteousness, which fills with divine fragrance every act of obedience. The part of the Christian is to persevere in overcoming every fault. Constantly he is to pray to the Saviour to heal the disorders of his sin-sick soul. He has not the wisdom or the strength to overcome; these belong to the Lord, and He bestows them on those who in humiliation and contrition seek Him for help.

“The Holy Spirit will be given to those who seek for its power and grace and will help our infirmities when we would have an audience with God. Heaven is open to our petitions, and we are invited to come ‘boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ Hebrews 4:16. We are to come in faith, believing that we shall obtain the very things we ask of Him.

“If you have a sense of need in your soul, if you hunger and thirst after righteousness, this is an evidence that Christ has wrought upon your heart, in order that He may be sought unto to do for you, through the endowment of the Holy Spirit, those things which it is impossible for you to do for yourself.

“If we will empty the soul of self, He will supply all our necessities.” God’s Amazing Grace, 217.

“That which should cause us the deepest joy is the fact that God forgives sin. If we take Him at His word and forsake our sins, He is ready and willing to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. He will give us a pure heart and the abiding presence of His Spirit, for Jesus lives to intercede for us. But … spiritual things are spiritually discerned. It is a living, active, abiding faith that discerns the will of God, that appropriates the promises, and profits by the truths of His word. It is not because we are righteous, but because we are dependent, faulty, erring, and helpless ourselves, that we must rely upon Christ’s righteousness, and not upon our own. …

“Many feel that their faults of character make it impossible for them to meet the standard that Christ has erected, but all that such ones have to do is to humble themselves at every step under the mighty hand of God. Christ does not estimate the man by the amount of work he does, but by the spirit in which the work is performed.

“When He sees men lifting the burdens, trying to carry them in lowliness of mind, with distrust of self and with reliance upon Him, He adds to their work His perfection and sufficiency, and it is accepted of the Father. We are accepted in the Beloved. The sinner’s defects are covered by the perfection and fullness of the Lord our Righteousness. Those who with sincere will, with contrite heart, are putting forth humble efforts to live up to the requirements of God, are looked upon by the Father with pitying, tender love; He regards such as obedient children, and the righteousness of Christ is imputed unto them.” In Heavenly Places, 23.

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

Bible Study Guides – The Great Law of Love

March 2, 2008 – March 8, 2008

Key Text

“Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” Psalm 119:18.

Study Help: Selected Messages, Book 1, 211–215.


“The law of God is as holy as He is holy, as perfect as He is perfect. It presents to men the righteousness of God. It is impossible for man, of himself, to keep this law; for the nature of man is depraved, deformed, and wholly unlike the character of God. The works of the selfish heart are ‘as an unclean thing;’ and ‘all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.’ Isaiah 64:6.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessings, 54.

1 What is written about the Law of God? Psalm 19:7, 8.

Note: “In the precepts of His holy law, God has given a perfect rule of life; and He has declared that until the close of time this law, unchanged in a single jot or tittle, is to maintain its claim upon human beings. Christ came to magnify the law and make it honorable. He showed that it is based upon the broad foundation of love to God and love to man, and that obedience to its precepts comprises the whole duty of man.” The Acts of the Apostles, 505.

2 What is the relation between the Law of God and the unconverted heart? Romans 8:7.

Note: “By nature the heart is evil, and ‘who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.’ Job 14:4. No human invention can find a remedy for the sinning soul. ‘The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.’ ‘Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.’ Romans 8:7; Matthew 15:19.” The Desire of Ages, 172.

3 What did Paul declare in regard to the Law? Romans 7:12.

Note: “Through the plan of salvation the law holds its dignity in condemning the sinner, and the sinner can be saved through the propitiation of Christ for our sins, ‘in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.’ [Ephesians 1:7.] The law is not changed in any particular to meet man in his fallen condition. It remains what it ever has been,—holy, just, and good.” The Review and Herald, May 23, 1899.

4 Mention one of the purposes of the Law. Romans 7:7, 8.

Note: “Paul says that ‘as touching the law,’—as far as outward acts were concerned,—he was ‘blameless,’ but when the spiritual character of the law was discerned, when he looked into the holy mirror, he saw himself a sinner. Judged by a human standard, he had abstained from sin, but when he looked into the depths of God’s law, and saw himself as God saw him, he bowed in humiliation, and confessed his guilt. He did not go away from the mirror and forget what manner of man he was, but he exercised genuine repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. He was washed, he was cleansed. He says, ‘I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once; but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.’ [Romans 7:7–9.]

“Sin then appeared in its true hideousness, and his self-esteem was gone. He became humble. He no longer ascribed goodness and merit to himself. He ceased to think more highly of himself than he ought, and he ascribed all the glory to God. He was no longer ambitious for greatness. He ceased to want to avenge himself, and was no longer sensitive to reproach, neglect, or contempt. He no longer sought earthly alliance, station, or honor. He did not pull others down to uplift himself. He became gentle, condescending, meek and lowly of heart, because he had learned his lesson in the school of Christ.” Review and Herald, July 22, 1890.

5 What other essential function does the Law of God have? Galatians 3:24.

Note: “‘The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.’ [Galatians 3:24.] In this scripture, the Holy Spirit through the apostle is speaking especially of the moral law. The law reveals sin to us, and causes us to feel our need of Christ, and to flee unto Him for pardon and peace by exercising repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1110.

“When the law was proclaimed from Sinai, God made known to men the holiness of His character, that by contrast they might see the sinfulness of their own. The law was given to convict them of sin, and reveal their need of a Saviour. It would do this as its principles were applied to the heart by the Holy Spirit. This work it is still to do. In the life of Christ the principles of the law are made plain; and as the Holy Spirit of God touches the heart, as the light of Christ reveals to men their need of His cleansing blood and His justifying righteousness, the law is still an agent in bringing us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith. ‘The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.’ Psalm 19:7.” The Desire of Ages, 308.

6 What is the essence of God’s Law? Romans 13:8–10.

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

7 What will be the standard of judgment of all human beings? Romans 2:12, 13.

Note: “There are only two classes in the world today, and only two classes will be recognized in the judgment—those who violate God’s law and those who obey it. Christ gives the test by which to prove our loyalty or disloyalty. ‘If ye love Me,’ He says, ‘keep My commandments. … He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me. And he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him. … He that loveth Me not keepeth not My sayings; and the word which ye hear is not Mine, but the Father’s which sent Me.’ ‘If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.’ John 14:15–24; 15:10.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 283.

“He who becomes a partaker of the divine nature will be in harmony with God’s great standard of righteousness, His holy law. This is the rule by which God measures the actions of men. This will be the test of character in the judgment.” Ibid., 314.

8 How is the duty of every person clearly delineated? Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14; Matthew 5:17–20.

Note: “In the precepts of His holy law, God has given a perfect rule of life; and He has declared that until the close of time this law, unchanged in a single jot or tittle, is to maintain its claim upon human beings. Christ came to magnify the law and make it honorable. He showed that it is based upon the broad foundation of love to God and love to man, and that obedience to its precepts comprises the whole duty of man. In His own life He gave an example of obedience to the law of God. In the Sermon on the Mount He showed how its requirements extend beyond the outward acts and take cognizance of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” The Acts of the Apostles, 505.

9 What vital question did a learned man put to Christ? Matthew 19:16.

Note: “The Lord desires every one of us to be decidedly in earnest. We cannot afford to make a mistake in spiritual matters. The life-and-death question with us is, ‘What shall I do that I may be saved, eternally saved?’ ‘What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life—a life that measures with the life of God?’ This is a question that it becomes every one of us to consider carefully.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 98.

10 What was Christ’s answer? Matthew 19:17.

Note: “‘If thou wilt enter into life,’ He [the Saviour] added, ‘keep the commandments.’ [Matthew 19:17.] The character of God is expressed in His law; and in order for you to be in harmony with God, the principles of His law must be the spring of your every action.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 391.

Additional Reading

“By the death of Christ the changeless character of this moral standard of righteousness [Law of God] is shown. Christ lived the law of God’s government; he was an expression of God’s character; and he died to save men from the penalty of the transgression of this law. Those who reject God’s law crucify the Son of God afresh. They identify themselves with those who crucified him between two thieves on the cross of Calvary.” Review and Herald, January 30, 1900.

“Every soul who receives Christ, is to reveal Christ to the world through a transformed character. His life is to be a continual manifestation of devotion to the will of God. By obedience to the commandments of God, man is to honor and glorify his Maker. In his own transformed character he is to magnify before the world the plan of salvation as a plan that is laid in the mercy and the love of God. The name of Jesus will be exalted by these representatives of Christ; for there is no other name given among men whereby we may be saved.

“The man who is truly converted is taken into the plan of God, to work for the salvation of his fellow-men. In his own life he reproduces the character of Christ. The earnest, disinterested labor of Christ in behalf of sinners is repeated in his life; the same fervor and solicitude is revealed in his prayers. The Saviour often left His disciples for seasons of prayer with His Father. At these times he poured out His soul in strong crying and tears for those He had come to save, and for power and grace to carry out the great plan of redeeming the world. His example in prayer Christ desired should be a lesson to His disciples in all ages. …

“The law of God is to be obeyed. God’s Word sums up obedience of God’s law in the words, ‘Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself.’ [Luke 10:27.] God’s law is a law of mercy, an expression of goodness; it holds His creatures responsible for allegiance to Him, places them under obligation to reveal in their characters the attributes of its Author. Through the power of the Holy Spirit the law of God is to be exemplified in the life of a Christian.

“To live the law of God, means to reveal the holiness of God’s character in every action of the law. In the lives of many of our teachers and ministers this holiness is sadly lacking. With many, the law has become a dead letter. To those who, instead of allowing their lives to be controlled by the law of righteousness and truth, are being swayed by hereditary and cultivated traits of character, I [Ellen White] am given this message: There is no time to lose. The end of all things is at hand. …

“The Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul assures us that all our external privileges, all our high profession of acceptance with God, cannot take the place of faith. Sincere faith in Christ is that alone which can secure for us an entrance into the city of God. Faith in Christ, expressed in the life and character, revealed in love for God and for our brethren, makes the human agent a power in the world and in the church. I am made sad to see that many have not this faith and love; for these are the signs of our Christianity, the witness that we are the children of God.” Lake Union Herald, November 17, 1909.

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

Bible Study Guides – Jacob’s Dream

February 24, 2008 – March 1, 2008

Key Text

“And [Jacob] dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.” Genesis 28:12.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 183–187.


“The ladder represents Jesus, the appointed medium of communication. Had He not with His own merits bridged the gulf that sin had made, the ministering angels could have held no communion with fallen man. Christ connects man in his weakness and helplessness with the source of infinite power.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 184.

  1. After deceiving his brother, what step was Jacob forced to take? Genesis 28:10, 11.

Note: “Threatened with death by the wrath of Esau, Jacob went out from his father’s home a fugitive; but he carried with him the father’s blessing; Isaac had renewed to him the covenant promise, and had bidden him, as its inheritor, to seek a wife of his mother’s family in Mesopotamia. Yet it was with a deeply troubled heart that Jacob set out on his lonely journey.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 183.

  1. Describe the state of Jacob’s conscience.

Note: “The evening of the second day found him [Jacob] far away from his father’s tents. He felt that he was an outcast, and he knew that all this trouble had been brought upon him by his own wrong course. The darkness of despair pressed upon his soul, and he hardly dared to pray. But he was so utterly lonely that he felt the need of protection from God as he had never felt it before. With weeping and deep humiliation he confessed his sin, and entreated for some evidence that he was not utterly forsaken. Still his burdened heart found no relief. He had lost all confidence in himself, and he feared that the God of his fathers had cast him off.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 183.

  1. How did the Lord manifest Himself to His fugitive servant? Genesis 28:12–15.

Note: “But God did not forsake Jacob. His mercy was still extended to His erring, distrustful servant. The Lord compassionately revealed just what Jacob needed—a Saviour. He had sinned, but his heart was filled with gratitude as he saw revealed a way by which he could be restored to the favor of God.

“Wearied with his journey, the wanderer lay down upon the ground, with a stone for his pillow. As he slept he beheld a ladder, bright and shining, whose base rested upon the earth, while the top reached to heaven. Upon this ladder angels were ascending and descending; above it was the Lord of glory, and from the heavens His voice was heard: ‘I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac.’ The land whereon he lay as an exile and fugitive was promised to him and to his posterity, with the assurance, ‘In thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ This promise had been given to Abraham and to Isaac, and now it was renewed to Jacob. Then in special regard to his present loneliness and distress, the words of comfort and encouragement were spoken: ‘Behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.’ [Genesis 28:13–15.]” Patriarchs and Prophets, 183.

  1. How did Jacob react to his dream? Genesis 28:16–22.

Note: “Jacob awoke from his sleep in the deep stillness of night. The shining forms of his vision had disappeared. Only the dim outline of the lonely hills, and above them the heavens bright with stars, now met his gaze. But he had a solemn sense that God was with him. An unseen presence filled the solitude. ‘Surely the Lord is in this place,’ he said, ‘and I knew it not. . . . This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.’ [Genesis 28:16, 17.]” Patriarchs and Prophets, 187.

  1. What was revealed to Jacob through his dream?

Note: “The Lord knew the evil influences that would surround Jacob, and the perils to which he would be exposed. In mercy He opened up the future before the repentant fugitive, that he might understand the divine purpose with reference to himself, and be prepared to resist the temptations that would surely come to him when alone amid idolaters and scheming men. There would be ever before him the high standard at which he must aim; and the knowledge that through him the purpose of God was reaching its accomplishment, would constantly prompt him to faithfulness.

“In this vision the plan of redemption was presented to Jacob, not fully, but in such parts as were essential to him at that time.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 184.

  1. How did Jesus explain the meaning of this ladder? John 1:51.

Note: “The mystic ladder revealed to him in his dream was the same to which Christ referred in His conversation with Nathanael. Said He, ‘Ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.’ John 1:51. Up to the time of man’s rebellion against the government of God, there had been free communion between God and man. But the sin of Adam and Eve separated earth from heaven, so that man could not have communion with his Maker. Yet the world was not left in solitary hopelessness. The ladder represents Jesus, the appointed medium of communication. Had He not with His own merits bridged the gulf that sin had made, the ministering angels could have held no communion with fallen man. Christ connects man in his weakness and helplessness with the source of infinite power.

“All this was revealed to Jacob in his dream. Although his mind at once grasped a part of the revelation, its great and mysterious truths were the study of his lifetime, and unfolded to his understanding more and more.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 184.

  1. Describe the ladder Jacob saw and its meaning. Genesis 28:12, 13; John 1:51. Compare Matthew 3:13–16.

Note: “ ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.’ [John 1:51.]

“Here Christ virtually says, On the bank of the Jordan the heavens were opened, and the Spirit descended like a dove upon Me. That scene was but a token that I am the Son of God. If you believe on Me as such, your faith shall be quickened. You shall see that the heavens are opened, and are never to be closed. I have opened them to you. The angels of God are ascending, bearing the prayers of the needy and distressed to the Father above, and descending, bringing blessing and hope, courage, help, and life, to the children of men.” The Desire of Ages, 142, 143.

  1. Why could only Christ be humanity’s Saviour? Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23.

Note: “From the days of eternity the Lord Jesus Christ was one with the Father; He was ‘the image of God,’ the image of His greatness and majesty, ‘the outshining of his glory.’ [11 Corinthians 4:4.] It was to manifest this glory that He came to our world. To this sin-darkened earth He came to reveal the light of God’s love—to be ‘God with us.’ [Matthew 1:23.] . . .

“Our little world is the lesson book of the universe. God’s wonderful purpose of grace, the mystery of redeeming love, is the theme into which ‘angels desire to look,’ [1 Peter 1:12] and it will be their study throughout endless ages. Both the redeemed and the unfallen beings will find in the cross of Christ their science and their song. It will be seen that the glory shining in the face of Jesus is the glory of self-sacrificing love. In the light from Calvary it will be seen that the law of self-renouncing love is the law of life for earth and heaven; that the love which ‘seeketh not her own’ [1 Corinthians 13:5] has its source in the heart of God. . . .

“Jesus might have remained at the Father’s side. He might have retained the glory of heaven, and the homage of the angels. But He chose to give back the scepter into the Father’s hands, and to step down from the throne of the universe, that He might bring light to the benighted, and life to the perishing.” God’s Amazing Grace, 45.

  1. Describe the animal sacrificed for purification. Numbers 19:2.

Note: “This heifer was to be red without spot, which was a symbol of blood. It must be without blemish, and one that had never borne a yoke. Here again Christ was typified. The Son of God came voluntarily to accomplish the work of atonement. There was no obligatory yoke upon him, for he was independent and above all law.” Review and Herald, January 9, 1883.

  1. Where should the red heifer be offered as a sacrifice? Numbers 19:3. Where was Jesus offered as sacrifice for us? Hebrews 13:11, 12.

Note: “The sacrificial heifer was conducted without the camp and slain in the most solemn manner. Thus Christ suffered without the gates of Jerusalem, for Calvary was outside the city walls. This was to show that Christ did not die for the Hebrews alone, but for all mankind. He proclaims to a fallen world that he has come to be their Redeemer, and urges them to accept the salvation which he offers.” Review and Herald, January 9, 1883.

  1. What is our duty as Christ’s followers? Hebrews 13:13; Matthew 28:19, 20.

Note: “Go to the farthest part of the habitable globe, but know that My presence will be there. Labor in faith and confidence, for the time will never come when I will forsake you.” The Desire of Ages, 822.

Additional Reading:

“The reason why we have no more men of great breadth and extended knowledge, is because they trust to their own finite wisdom, and seek to place their own mold upon the work, in the place of having the mold of God. They do not earnestly pray and keep the communication open between God and their souls, that they can recognize His voice. Messengers of light will come to the help of those who feel that they are weakness itself, without the guardianship of Heaven. The word of God must be studied more, and be brought into the life and character, fashioned after the standard of righteousness God has laid down in His word.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 110.

“God will hear the prayer of faith; but the sincerity of our prayers will be made manifest in our harmony with the great moral standard which will test every man’s character. We need to open our hearts to the influence of the Spirit, and to realize its transforming power. The reason why you do not receive more of the saving help of God is that the channel of communication between Heaven and your own souls is clogged by worldliness, love of display, and desire for supremacy. While some are conforming more and more to the world’s customs and maxims, we should be moulding our lives after the divine model. And our covenant-keeping God will restore unto us the joys of his salvation, and uphold us by his free Spirit.” Gospel Workers (1892), 452.

“When we bring our lives to complete obedience to the law of God, regarding God as our supreme Guide, and clinging to Christ as our hope of righteousness, God will work in our behalf. This is a righteousness of faith. . . . The commandments of God diligently studied and practiced, open to us communication with heaven, and distinguish for us the true from the false. This obedience works out for us the divine will, bringing into our lives the righteousness and perfection that was seen in the life of Christ.” Sons and Daughters of God, 66.

“We cannot enter heaven with any deformity or imperfection of character, and we must be fitted for heaven now in this probationary life. We want the deep movings of the Spirit of God, that we may have an individual experience, and be complete in Him who is the fullness of the Godhead. Through the power of the righteousness of Christ, we are to depart from all iniquity. There must be a living connection of the soul with its Redeemer. The channel of communication must be open continually between man and his God, that the soul may grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord.” The Signs of the Times, February 15, 1892.

“Were it not for the communication between heaven and earth, there would be no light in the world. Like Sodom and Gomorrah, all men would perish beneath the just judgments of God. But the world is not left in darkness. Provision has been made whereby the communication between heaven and our souls may be free and open. It is our privilege to stand with the light of heaven upon us. The light of the glory of God, which shines in the face of Jesus Christ, may shine upon us.” The Watchman, March 10, 1908.

Reprinted with permission, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia.

Recipe – Fruited Breakfast Quinoa

1/2 cup rinsed quinoa

1-1/2 cups vanilla rice milk

2 Tablespoons raisins

1 cup chopped fresh or canned apricots

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

To thoroughly rinse quinoa, cover it with water in a mixing bowl, then rub it between the palms of your hands. Pour off the cloudy liquid through a strainer and then repeat the process two or three more times, until the rinse liquid remains clear.

In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the rinsed and drained quinoa with rice milk. Bring to a slow simmer, then cover and cook for about 15 minutes until the quinoa is tender. Stir in the remaining ingredients; then transfer about 1-1/2 cups of the mixture to a blender; purée. Return puréed mixture to the pan and stir to mix. Serve warm or chilled. Makes about 3 cups.

Recipe from Foods That Fight Pain, by Neal Barnard, M.D. (Harmony Books, New York, 1998.)

Food For Life – Healthy Breakfast – The Best Way to Begin Your Day

It might be the last thing on your morning to-do list, or it might not be on your list at all, but a healthy breakfast refuels your body and jump-starts your day. So do not overlook this important meal. Select healthy options that fit your taste and lifestyle, and put breakfast back into your morning.

Breakfast not only starts your day off right, but also lays the foundation for lifelong health benefits. People who eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to:

  • Consume more vitamins and minerals and less fat and cholesterol,
  • Have better concentration and productivity throughout the morning,
  • Control their weight, and
  • Have lower cholesterol, which reduces the risk of heart disease.

Breakfast is especially important for children and adolescents. According to the American Dietetic Association, children who eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to have better concentration, problem-solving skills and eye-hand coordination. They may also be more alert, creative and less likely to miss days of school.

A healthy breakfast should consist of a variety of foods, for example, whole grains, low-fat protein sources, and fruit. This provides complex carbohydrates, protein, and a small amount of fat—a combination that delays hunger symptoms for hours.

Addressing the importance of breakfast, Ellen White gave the following counsel to one mother about her daughter: “Never let her go from home to school without her breakfast. Do not venture to give full scope to your inclinations in this matter. Place yourself entirely under the control of God, and He will help you to bring all your desires into harmony with His requirements.

“It is the custom and order of society to take a slight breakfast. But this is not the best way to treat the stomach. At breakfast time the stomach is in a better condition to take care of more food than at the second or third meal of the day. The habit of eating a sparing breakfast and a large dinner is wrong. Make your breakfast correspond more nearly to the heartiest meal of the day.” Child Guidance, 390.

Question – Do the principles contained in the testimonies Ellen White wrote…


Do the principles contained in the testimonies Ellen White wrote to specific people about specific incidences still apply to us today?


Looking at this from a biblical standpoint, Paul said to Timothy, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15. [Emphasis added.] The Spirit of Prophecy is part of “the word of truth.”

There are testimonies and prophecies in Ellen White’s writings that may not directly apply to you or to me personally, such as the testimony where Ellen White said that ladies as well as men should learn how to harness a horse. (Education, 216, 217.) She was stating the practical truth for her time. Statements she made about bicycles and horses may well apply to automobiles and tractors today. From a practical standpoint, we can see that our religion needs to be applied in all our everyday activities.

“Great truths must be brought into little things. Practical religion is to be carried into the lowly duties of daily life. The greatest qualification for any man is to obey implicitly the word of the Lord.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 359.

We are blessed in having the instruction from the Spirit of Prophecy as a guide in our daily living. We may follow the principles given in these inspired writings in our business transactions, our health questions, our family discipline, our worship, our preparation for eternal life, and our social life. God has been very gracious to give us divine instruction on many things. These instructions are not rigid rules, but helpful guidelines to give us happiness while we are occupying this earth.

The following quotations from Ellen White’s writings are cautions we do well to heed:

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

“When the testing time shall come, those who have made God’s word their rule of life will be revealed. In summer there is no noticeable difference between evergreens and other trees; but when the blasts of winter come, the evergreens remain unchanged, while other trees are stripped of their foliage. So the falsehearted professor may not now be distinguished from the real Christian, but the time is just upon us when the difference will be apparent. Let opposition arise, let bigotry and intolerance again bear sway, let persecution be kindled, and the halfhearted and hypocritical will waver and yield the faith; but the true Christian will stand firm as a rock, his faith stronger, his hope brighter, than in days of prosperity.” The Great Controversy, 602.

Jesus is coming to take us home. May God bless you as you make your calling and election sure.

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Restoring the Temple – Diet and Diabetes

Glucose, a simple sugar, is the body’s main fuel. It is present in the bloodstream, but in people with diabetes it cannot get into the cells where it is needed. In type 1 diabetes (which was once referred to as childhood-onset diabetes), the problem is an inadequate supply of insulin, the hormone that ushers sugar into the cells of the body. Without insulin, the cell membranes keep sugar out. About 5 to 10 percent of people with diabetes have this type.

The more common type of diabetes, type 2, usually does not occur until adulthood. In this form, there may be plenty of insulin in the bloodstream, but the cells are resistant to it. Glucose cannot easily get into the cells, and it backs up in the bloodstream. Over the short run, people with uncontrolled diabetes may experience fatigue, thirst, frequent urination, and blurred vision. In the long run, they are at risk for heart disease, kidney problems, disorders of vision, nerve damage, and other difficulties.

Dietary Approaches to Diabetes

Food can be powerful in preventing and reversing diabetes. However, dietary approaches have changed as we have learned more about the disease.

The traditional approach to diabetes focuses on limiting refined sugars and foods that release sugars during digestion—starches, breads, fruits, pasta, etc. With carbohydrates reduced, the diet may contain an unhealthful amount of fat and protein. So diabetes experts have taken care to limit fats—especially saturated fats that can raise cholesterol levels—and to limit protein for people with impaired kidney function.

The new approach focuses more attention on fat. Fat is a problem for people with diabetes. The more fat there is in the diet, the harder time insulin has in getting glucose into the cells. Conversely, minimizing fat intake and reducing body fat help insulin do its job much better. Newer treatment programs drastically reduce meats, high-fat dairy products, and oils. At the same time, they increase grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. One study found that 21 of 23 patients on oral medications and 13 of 17 patients on insulin were able to get off of their medications after 26 days on a near-vegetarian diet and exercise program. During two- and three-year follow-ups, most people with diabetes treated with this regimen have retained their gains. The dietary changes are simple, but profound, and they work. Low-fat, vegetarian diets are ideal for people with diabetes.

A 2006 study, conducted by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine with the George Washington University and the University of Toronto, looked at the health benefits of a low-fat, unrefined, vegan diet (excluding all animal products) in people with type 2 diabetes. Portions of vegetables, grains, fruits, and legumes were unlimited. The vegan diet group was compared with a group following a diet based on American Diabetes Association (ADA) guidelines. The results of this 22-week study were astounding:

  • Forty-three percent of the vegan group and 26 percent of the ADA group reduced their diabetes medications. Among those whose medications remained constant, the vegan group lowered hemoglobin A1C, an index of long-term blood glucose control, by 1.2 points, three times the change in the ADA group.
  • The vegan group lost an average of about 13 pounds, compared with only about 9 pounds in the ADA group.
  • Among those participants who did not change their lipid-lowering medications, the vegan group also had more substantial decreases in their total and LDL cholesterol levels compared to the ADA group.

This study illustrates that a plant-based diet can dramatically improve the health of people with diabetes. It also showed that people found this way of eating highly acceptable and easy to follow.

Exercise plays an important role in diabetes management. Through regular exercise, the need for insulin injections or oral medications can often be reduced. This holds true not only for people with type 2 diabetes, but also to some extent for those with type 1. Exercising muscles have a voracious appetite for fuel. When an individual is engaged in regular aerobic exercise, glucose is able to enter the cells without the need for as much—or perhaps any—insulin.

While people with type 2 diabetes can often reduce (and sometimes eliminate) medications when their weight is reduced and food and exercise are better controlled, those with type 1 diabetes will always need a source of insulin. The cause of type 1 diabetes remains elusive. Several studies have implicated cow’s milk consumption as a possible contributor. When milk consumption patterns were examined across various nations, there was a strong correlation with the incidence of type 1 diabetes. It may be that milk proteins cause an autoimmune reaction in which the body mistakenly attacks its own insulin-producing cells. Even so, a good diet and regular exercise can minimize the amount of insulin required.

The New Dietary Approach to Diabetes

This new and effective approach to diabetes is remarkably simple. Here are four simple steps to managing your blood sugar (and weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol) with diet.

  1. Begin a Vegan Diet: Avoid Animal Products

Animal products contain fat, especially saturated fat, which is linked to heart disease, insulin resistance, and certain forms of cancer. These products also contain cholesterol and, of course, animal protein. It may surprise you to learn that diets high in animal protein can aggravate kidney problems and calcium losses. Animal products never provide fiber or healthful carbohydrates. A vegan diet is one that contains no animal products at all. So, you will want to avoid red meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, and eggs.

  1. Avoid Added Vegetable Oils and Other High-Fat Foods

Although most vegetable oils are in some ways healthier than animal fats, you will still want to keep them to a minimum. All fats and oils are highly concentrated in calories. A gram of any fat or oil contains nine calories, compared with only four calories for a gram of carbohydrate. Avoid foods fried in oil.

  1. Favor Foods with a Low Glycemic Index

High-glycemic-index foods include sugar itself, white potatoes, most wheat flour products, and most cold cereals.

  1. Go High Fiber

Start slowly. Load up on beans, vegetables, and fruits. Choose whole grains (try barley, oats, quinoa, millet, whole wheat pasta, etc.). …

To put these guidelines to work, … choose unlimited amounts of grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. …

Grains: pasta, rice, high-fiber cereals, corn, oatmeal, couscous, bulgur wheat, millet, barley, rye, etc. …

Legumes: beans (black, pinto, kidney, garbanzo, white, etc.), peas, split peas, lentils, nonfat soy products.

Fruits: . . . Bananas, apples, grapes, pears, peaches, oranges, melons, grapefruit, kiwi, and berries, among others, are all good choices.

Vegetables: all, except white potatoes. Examples include tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale, collards, squash, green beans, bok choy, sweet potatoes, and artichokes.

©2007 Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine; all rights reserved. Reprinted by permission.

Nature Nugget – The American Chestnut

The American chestnut was one of the most important trees of eastern North America. Reaching heights of up to 150 feet tall with trunks up to 10 feet in diameter, the rapidly growing American chestnut was known as the redwood of the eastern forests. Found east of the Mississippi River from southern Canada to Mississippi, this deciduous hardwood tree was once an important timber tree. Its wood was rich in tannins, which made it highly resistant to decay.

The American chestnut was also a prolific bearer of nuts, with usually three nuts enclosed in each spiny, green burr. These nuts were very important to wildlife, providing much of the fall masts for species such as White-tailed Deer, Wild Turkey, and Black Bears. The nuts, known as chestnuts, were also once an important economic resource in the United States and were commonly roasted and sold on the streets of the larger cities during the Christmas season.

The chestnut blight, an airborne bark fungus, was accidentally introduced into North America in the early 1900s on imported Asiatic chestnut trees. The American chestnut was highly susceptible to this rapidly spreading disease, and by 1940, mature trees were virtually extinct. It has been estimated that before the blight, there were three billion chestnut trees in eastern North America and that 25 percent of the trees in the Appalachian Mountains were American chestnuts. Now the surviving number of large chestnut trees within the tree’s former range is estimated to be less than 100.

Despite the devastation caused by the blight, the root collar and root system of the chestnut are fairly resistant to the blight, so a large number of small chestnut trees still persist as shoots from existing root bases. These shoots are seldom able to grow large enough to reproduce, however, before the blight attacks them. Fortunately, a few adult trees are surviving with apparent resistance to the disease. Several organizations are using these trees to breed blight resistant trees for reintroduction to their former range.

“There is a blight upon everything. The earth feels the curse that God pronounced upon it, because of the disobedience of our first parents. They broke the command of God in eating of the forbidden tree, after he had given them the privilege of eating of all the other trees in the garden. They listened to the tempter, ate of the forbidden tree, and were expelled from the beautiful garden of Eden.” The Youth’s Instructor, August 1, 1856.

“When the veil that darkens our vision shall be removed, and our eyes shall behold that world of beauty of which we now catch glimpses through the microscope; when we look on the glories of the heavens, now scanned afar through the telescope; when, the blight of sin removed, the whole earth shall appear in ‘the beauty of the Lord our God’ (Psalm 90:17), what a field will be open to our study! There the student of science may read the records of creation and discern no reminders of the law of evil. He may listen to the music of nature’s voices, and detect no note of wailing or undertone of sorrow. In all created things he may trace one handwriting—in the vast universe behold ‘God’s name writ large,’ and not in earth or sea or sky one sign of ill remaining.” God’s Amazing Grace, 365.

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