Bible Study Guides – Prayer and Study

March 21, 2010 – March 27, 2010

Key Text

“Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. Show me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.”

Psalm 25:15.

Study Help: My Life Today, 20; Marantha, 77; Testimonies, vol. 1, 121.


“At this time above all others the paths of life are beset with perils that I cannot find language to describe. In a single departure from the path of sanctified principle Satan obtains an advantage, and he leads on and on, farther and farther from right and truth.” In Heavenly Places, 258.

Personal Prayer Life—Four Main Elements

1 Worship God. In what ways can we reverence God during our personal prayer time? Psalm 95:1–6, esp. verse 6; John 4:23, 24.

Note. “Both in public and in private worship it is our privilege to bow on our knees before God when we offer our petitions to Him. Jesus, our example, ‘kneeled down, and prayed.’ Luke 22:41. Of his disciples it is recorded that they, too, ‘kneeled down, and prayed.’ Acts 9:40. Paul declared, ‘I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Ephesians 3:14. In confessing before God the sins of Israel, Ezra knelt. See Ezra 9:5. Daniel ‘kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God.’ Daniel 6:10.” Prophets and Kings, 48.

2 Confess Your Sins. Because all have sinned (Romans 3:23), we need to confess our sins. How do we ask God to show us our sins? Psalm 139:23, 24; Proverb 28:13; I John 1:9.

Note. “ ‘Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart’—the human heart, with its conflicting emotions of joy and sorrow; the wandering, wayward heart, which is the abode of so much impurity and deceit. 1 Samuel 16:7. He knows its motives, its very intents and purposes. Go to Him with your soul all stained as it is. Like the psalmist, throw its chambers open to the all-seeing eye, exclaiming, ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ Psalm 139:23, 24.” Steps to Christ, 34.

3 Thank Him for all He has done in your life. Have you something to be thankful for? Ephesians 5:20; Psalm 119:164; I Thessalonians 5:18; Psalm 50:23.

Note. “The Christian should live so near to God that he may approve things that are excellent, ‘being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God’ [Philippians 1:11]. His heart should be attuned to gratitude and praise. He should be ever ready to acknowledge the blessings he is receiving, remembering who it is that has said, ‘Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me’ [Psalm 50:23].” My Life Today, 153.

4 Intercede on Behalf of Others. Why should we intercede on behalf of others? I Timothy 2:1, 2; Ephesians 6:18.

Note. “We must be much more with God in earnest prayer. We must make God our only trust. The Lord is our God, the strength of our soul. We must take hold upon the Lord. The Lord is pleased when we importune Him for His grace and His favor, not only for ourselves but for those who are in need of help. Oh let us put implicit confidence in our Lord Jesus. Now pray, and believe, and pray, and the Lord will certainly hear us.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 6, 379, 380.

Daily Devotion—Study of God’s Word

5 Daily prayer and study are vital to spiritual development. What does God’s Word say? Psalm 119:10, 11; II Timothy 2:15; Psalm 1:1–4; John 6:54–63.

Note. “When we eat Christ’s flesh and drink His blood, the element of eternal life will be found in the ministry. There will not be a fund of stale, oft-repeated ideas. … There will be a new perception of truth, a clearness and a power that all will discern. … The fire of God’s love will be kindled within them. Their perceptive faculties will be quickened to discern the beauty and majesty of truth.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 130, 131.

6 What example can we follow of people in the Bible who loved God and how their hearts yearned to be in His presence? Psalm 5:1–3; 63:6; Daniel 6:10.

Note. “The Lord draws out the soul in prayer, and gives us to feel His precious love. We have a nearness to Him, and can hold sweet communion with Him. We obtain distinct views of His tenderness and compassion, and our hearts are broken and melted with contemplation of the love that is given to us. We feel indeed an abiding Christ in the soul. We abide in Him, and feel at home with Jesus. The promises flow into the soul. Our peace is like a river, wave after wave of glory rolls into the heart, and indeed we sup with Jesus and He with us. We have a realizing sense of the love of God, and we rest in His love. No language can describe it, it is beyond knowledge. We are one with Christ, our life is hid with Christ in God. We have the assurance that when He who is our life shall appear, then shall we also appear with Him in glory. With strong confidence, we can call God our Father.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1147, 1148.

7 As we spend that quality time in His presence, what are we placing upon ourselves, and why do we need it? Ephesians 6:10–18; I Peter 5:8.

Note. “Every one who has enlisted under the bloodstained banner of Christ has entered upon a warfare that demands constant vigilance. Satan is determined to keep up the warfare to the end. Coming as an angel of light, claiming to be the Christ, he will deceive the world. But his triumph will be short. No storm or tempest can move those whose feet are planted on the principles of eternal truth. They will be able to stand in this time of almost universal apostasy.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1106.

8 To have the spiritual strength to endure unto eternal life, what do we need? Jeremiah 15:16; Matthew 4:4.

Note. “Moses, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, had said, ‘Man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord’ [Deuteronomy 8:3]. … The rabbis themselves had a saying, that the eating of bread, in its spiritual significance, was the study of the law and the practice of good works; and it was often said that at the Messiah’s coming all Israel would be fed. The teaching of the prophets made plain the deep spiritual lesson in the miracle of the loaves. This lesson Christ was seeking to open to His hearers in the synagogue. Had they understood the Scriptures, they would have understood His words when He said, ‘I am the bread of life.’ Only the day before, the great multitude, when faint and weary, had been fed by the bread which He had given. As from that bread they had received physical strength and refreshment, so from Christ they might receive spiritual strength unto eternal life. ‘He that cometh to Me,’ He said, ‘shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.’ But He added, ‘Ye also have seen Me, and believe not’ [John 6:35, 36].” The Desire of Ages, 386.

9 Besides our personal devotions, how often should we pray? What does the Word of God reveal to us? Luke 18:1; Philippians 4:6, 7; Colossians 4:2.

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.

“We need to pray without ceasing. Let the heart long after God. Let the heart go out in daily, hourly prayer, believing, trusting, holding on to the promise, saying as did Jacob, ‘I will not let thee go, except thou bless me’ (Genesis 32:26). ‘Hold up my goings in thy paths,’ O God, ‘that my footsteps slip not’ [Psalm 17:5] into the pitfalls which men have dug for my feet.” In Heavenly Places, 258.

10 What is the Word of God to you? Psalms 19:7–11; II Timothy 2:15; 3:16, 17.

Note. “The Bible is the standard by which to test the claims of all who profess sanctification. … All whom God is leading will manifest a high regard for the Scriptures in which His voice is heard. The Bible will be to them ‘profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works’ [11 Timothy 3:16, 17].” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1147.

“Daniel was a man of prayer, and God gave him wisdom and firmness to resist every influence that conspired to draw him into the snare of intemperance. Even in his youth he was a moral giant in the strength of the Mighty One.” My Life Today, 20.

Additional Reading

“Many accept an intellectual religion, a form of godliness, when the heart is not cleansed. Let it be your prayer, ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.’ Psalm 51:10. Deal truly with your own soul. Be as earnest, as persistent, as you would be if your mortal life were at stake. This is a matter to be settled between God and your own soul, settled for eternity. A supposed hope, and nothing more, will prove your ruin.” Steps to Christ, 35.

“How are the faithful servants of Christ employed? ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,’ praying in the closet, in the family, in the congregation, everywhere; ‘and watching thereunto with all perseverance’ [Ephesians 6:18]. They feel that souls are in peril, and with earnest, humble faith they plead the promises of God in their behalf. The ransom paid by Christ—the atonement on the cross—is ever before them. They will have souls as seals of their ministry.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 190.

“But the most enthusiastic zeal will accomplish nothing without the co-operation of God. Divine power must combine with human effort, and heart must meet heart as you intercede for the souls of men who are out of Christ. Deep, fervent piety at home, in the church, and in the neighborhood, will bring souls to behold wondrous things out of the law, and to see the glorious truth of Christ our righteousness.” The Review and Herald, August 13, 1889.

“Build a fortification of prayer and faith about your children, and exercise diligent watching thereunto. You are not secure a moment against the attacks of Satan. You have no time to rest from watchful, earnest labor. You should not sleep a moment at your post. This is a most important warfare. Eternal consequences are involved. It is life or death with you and your family. Your only safety is to break your hearts before God and seek the kingdom of heaven as little children. You cannot be victors in this warfare if you continue to pursue the course you have pursued. You are not very near the kingdom of heaven.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 397, 398.

Lesson Studies were prepared by Judy Hallingstad of the LandMarks staff. She can be contacted at .

Bible Study Guides – Rock or Sand—Your Choice

March 14, 2010 – March 20, 2010

Key Text

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 1, 416, 417; The Faith I Live By, 314.


“Here is the greatest deception that can affect the human mind; these persons believe that they are right when they are wrong.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 417.

1 Who will enter into the kingdom of heaven? Matthew 7:21.

Note. “Christ declares that those who do His words are like a man who built his house upon a rock. This house the tempest and flood could not sweep away.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, 368.

“Christianity is simply living by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. We are to believe in, and live in, Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life. We have faith in God when we believe His word; we trust and obey God when we keep His commandments; and we love God when we love His law.” The Review and Herald, March 25, 1902.

2 Those who profess to know God but deny Him in works are described in what way? Titus 1:16; I John 2:4.

Note. “These may profess to be followers of Christ, but they have lost sight of their Leader. They may say, ‘Lord, Lord’; they may point to the sick who are healed through them, and to other marvelous works, and claim that they have more of the Spirit and power of God than is manifested by those who keep His law. But their works are done under the supervision of the enemy of righteousness, whose aim it is to deceive souls, and are designed to lead away from obedience, truth, and duty.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 975, 976.

3 What ground did the wise man, who heard the Lord’s words and did them, build his house upon? Matthew 7:24.

Note. “To a great extent everyone is the architect of his own character. Every day the structure more nearly approaches completion. The Word of God warns us to take heed how we build, to see that our building is founded upon the Eternal Rock. The time is coming when our work will stand revealed just as it is. Now is the time for all to cultivate the powers that God has given them, that they may form characters for usefulness here and for a higher life hereafter.

“Faith in Christ as a personal Saviour will give strength and solidity to the character. Those who have genuine faith in Christ will be sober-minded, remembering that God’s eye is upon them, that the Judge of all men is weighing moral worth, that heavenly intelligences are watching to see what manner of character is being developed.” Child Guidance, 164, 165.

4 What ground did the foolish man, who did not follow the Word of God, build his house upon? Matthew 7:26.

Note. “With some the knowledge of their true state seems to be hidden from them. They see the truth, but perceive not its importance or its claims. They hear the truth, but do not fully understand it, because they do not conform their lives to it, and therefore are not sanctified through obeying it. And yet they rest as unconcerned and well satisfied as though the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, as token of God’s favor, went before them. They profess to know God, but in works deny Him. They reckon themselves His chosen, peculiar people, yet His presence and power to save to the uttermost are seldom manifested among them. How great is the darkness of such! yet they know it not. The light shines, but they do not comprehend it.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 406, 407.

5 The result of professing to keep the law of God, yet walking contrary to the principles of that law is seen in which house? Matthew 7:26, 27.

Note. “Those who do not do Christ’s words are like the man who built his house upon the sand. Storm and tempest beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. It was an entire wreck. The result of professing to keep the law of God, yet walking contrary to the principles of that law, is seen in the wrecked house. Those who make a profession while failing to obey cannot stand the storm of temptation. One act of disobedience weakens the power to see the sinfulness of the second act. One little disregard of a ‘Thus saith the Lord’ is sufficient to stop the promised blessing of the Holy Spirit. By disobedience the light once so precious becomes obscure. Satan takes charge of the mind and soul, and God is greatly dishonored.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, 368, 369.

6 The foolish virgins and the stony ground hearers that had no root are parallels with the foolish man who built his house upon the sand. Matthew 13:5, 6. How would you explain a plant with no root in comparison with the foolish virgins and the foolish man?

Note. “Jesus explained this part of the parable as referring to a certain class of hearers. He said: ‘He that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for awhile: for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, by and by he is offended’ [Matthew 13:20, 21]. This class of hearers is again represented by the parable of the foolish builder. Jesus says, ‘Every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it’ [Matthew 7:26, 27].

“The seed sown upon stony ground finds little depth of soil in which to take root.” The Review and Herald, June 7, 1892.

7 A fool is not obedient to the Laws of God, is lacking in discernment or comprehension which comes from God and so describes a foolish virgin or a foolish builder. What does the Word of God say about a fool and what they have become? Psalm 53:1–3.

Note. “He who would build up a strong, symmetrical character must give all and do all for Christ. The Redeemer will not accept divided service. Daily he must learn the meaning of self-surrender. He must study the Word of God, getting its meaning and obeying its precepts. Thus he may reach the highest standard of Christian excellence. There is no limit to the spiritual advancement that he may make if he is a partaker of the divine nature. Day by day God works in him, perfecting the character that is to stand in the day of final test. Each day of his life he ministers to others. The light that is in him shines forth and stills the strife of tongues. Day by day he is working out before men and angels a vast, sublime experiment, showing what the gospel can do for fallen human beings.” In Heavenly Places, 148.

8 A hearer of the law will listen and enjoy all that is said but has not been rendered just, or justified and therefore his house is built on sand. Why has he not been set free or rendered just? Romans 2:13.

Note. “In the lives of many whose names are on the church books there has been no genuine change. The truth has been kept in the outer court. There has been no genuine conversion, no positive work of grace done in the heart.” In Heavenly Places, 148.

9 A doer of the law is a performer, or accomplishes in thoughts, words and actions, what he has heard. Has the doer been rendered just or set free? Where is his house setting? Romans 2:13.

Note. “We should bear in mind that it is not the hearers of the law that are justified before God, but the doers of the law. If the principles of God’s law rule in our hearts, we shall have the spirit of Christ; we shall manifest in our daily life that mercy which is better than sacrifice. Every Christian must be a learner in the school of Christ; and there is need of diligent and persevering effort to reach that standard of righteousness which God’s word requires.” Sketches from the Life of Paul, 232.

“The question of deepest interest to each one should be, Am I meeting the requirements of the law of God? … Only by a close examination of self in the light of God’s Word can we discover our deviations from His holy rule of right.” Lift Him Up, 342.

10 Wouldn’t it be terrible to think our foundation is all right when it is not? Our thoughts, words and actions are fruits flowing from our foundation. Matthew 7:20. On what foundation is your house sitting?

Note. “No stronger delusion can deceive the human mind than that which makes them believe that they are right, and that God accepts their works, when they are sinning against Him. They mistake the form of godliness for the spirit and power thereof. They suppose that they are rich, and have need of nothing, when they are poor, wretched, blind, and naked, and need all things.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 406, 407.

Additional Reading

“Those who obtain eternal life must give evidence to the world that they love God with all the capabilities that He has given them. They are to obey the two supreme commands, which embody all the whole law, acknowledging by their course of action that they are doers of the law.” The Upward Look, 367.

“The end of all things is at hand. The Lord is soon coming. Already his judgments are abroad in our land. We are not only to talk of Christ’s coming, but in every action, we are to reveal the fact that he is soon to be manifested in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Have we the wedding garment on? Have we personal piety? Have we co-operated with divine agencies, in a whole-hearted, unreserved manner, in weaving into our life’s practices the divine principles of God’s holy law? It is one thing to talk the law, and it is another thing entirely to practice it. It is the doers of the law that shall be justified before God; for those who do the law represent the character of God, and lie not against the truth.” Special Testimonies to Ministers and Workers, vol. 3, 12.

“Those who claim modern sanctification would have come boastingly forward, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, do you not know us? Have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works’ [Matthew 7:22]? The people here described, who make these pretentious claims, apparently weaving Jesus into all their doings, fitly represent those who claim modern sanctification, but who are at war with the law of God. Christ calls them workers of iniquity, because they are deceivers, having on the garments of righteousness to hide the deformity of their characters, the inward wickedness of their unholy hearts. Satan has come down in these last days, to work with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish. His satanic majesty works miracles in the sight of false prophets, in the sight of men, claiming that he is indeed Christ Himself. Satan gives his power to those who are aiding him in his deceptions; therefore those who claim to have the great power of God can only be discerned by the great detector, the law of Jehovah. The Lord tells us if it were possible they would deceive the very elect. The sheep’s clothing seems so real, so genuine, that the wolf cannot be discerned only as we go to God’s great moral standard and there find that they are transgressors of the law of Jehovah.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1087, 1088.

Lesson Studies were prepared by Judy Hallingstad of the LandMarks staff. She can be contacted at .

Bible Study Guides – Who is Your Master?

March 7, 2010 – March 13, 2010

Key Text

“But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” Romans 6:17, 18.

Study Help: The Faith I Live By, 135; Lift Him Up, 340; Reflecting Christ, 94.


“A profession of Christianity without corresponding faith and works will avail nothing. No man can serve two masters.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 404.

1 How are we to consider ourselves in relation to sin? Romans 6:11.

Note. “The natural man must die, and the new man, Christ Jesus, take possession of the soul, so that the follower of Jesus may say in verity and truth: ‘I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me’ [Galatians 2:20].

“Self is difficult to conquer. Human depravity in every form is not easily brought into subjection to the Spirit of Christ. But all should be impressed with the fact that unless this victory is gained through Christ, there is no hope for them. The victory can be gained; for nothing is impossible with God. By His assisting grace, all evil temper, all human depravity, may be overcome. Every Christian must learn of Christ, ‘who, when He was reviled, reviled not again’ [I Peter 2:23].” Testimonies, vol. 4, 348, 349.

2 What is it that is corrupt, or degraded? What are we to do with it? Ephesians 4:22–24.

Note. “The refining influence of the grace of God changes the natural disposition of man. Heaven would not be desirable to the carnal-minded; their natural, unsanctified hearts would feel no attraction toward that pure and holy place, and if it were possible for them to enter, they would find there nothing congenial. The propensities that control the natural heart must be subdued by the grace of Christ before fallen man is fitted to enter heaven and enjoy the society of the pure, holy angels. When man dies to sin and is quickened to new life in Christ, divine love fills his heart; his understanding is sanctified; he drinks from an inexhaustible fountain of joy and knowledge, and the light of an eternal day shines upon his path, for with him continually is the Light of life.” The Acts of the Apostles, 273.

3 Who lives in us when we live by faith? Galatians 2:20.

Note. “The refining influence of the grace of God changes the natural disposition of man. Heaven would not be desirable to the carnal-minded; their natural, unsanctified hearts would feel no attraction toward that pure and holy place, and if it were possible for them to enter, they would find there nothing congenial. The propensities that control the natural heart must be subdued by the grace of Christ before fallen man is fitted to enter heaven and enjoy the society of the pure, holy angels. When man dies to sin and is quickened to new life in Christ, divine love fills his heart; his understanding is sanctified; he drinks from an inexhaustible fountain of joy and knowledge, and the light of an eternal day shines upon his path, for with him continually is the Light of life.” The Acts of the Apostles, 273.

4 In Christ we are a new creature. What has passed away? II Corinthians 5:17.

Note. “Those who have been truly converted have been buried with Christ in the likeness of His death, and raised from the watery grave in the likeness of His resurrection, to walk in newness of life. By faithful obedience to the truth they are to make their calling and election sure.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1115.

5 If raised with Christ, what are we to seek? Colossians 3:1–3.

Note. “When His words of instruction have been received, and have taken possession of us, Jesus is to us an abiding presence, controlling our thoughts and ideas and actions. We are imbued with the instruction of the greatest Teacher the world ever knew. A sense of human accountability and of human influence gives character to our views of life and of daily duties. Jesus Christ is everything to us—the first, the last, the best in everything. Jesus Christ, His Spirit, His character, colors everything; it is the warp and the woof, the very texture of our entire being. The words of Christ are spirit and life. We cannot, then, center our thoughts upon self; it is no more we that live, but Christ that liveth in us, and He is the hope of glory. Self is dead, but Christ is a living Saviour. Continuing to look unto Jesus, we reflect His image to all around us.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 389.

6 Whomever we yield ourselves to, we become servants to. What two choices for masters do we have? Romans 6:16; II Peter 2:19.

Note. “If one sin is cherished in the soul, or one wrong practice retained in the life, the whole being is contaminated. The man becomes an instrument of unrighteousness.” The Desire of Ages, 313.

“ ‘To whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey’ [Romans 6:16]. If we indulge anger, lust, covetousness, hatred, selfishness, or any other sin, we become servants of sin. ‘No man can serve two masters’ [Matthew 6:24]. If we serve sin, we cannot serve Christ. The Christian will feel the promptings of sin, for the flesh lusteth against the Spirit; but the Spirit striveth against the flesh, keeping up a constant warfare. Here is where Christ’s help is needed. Human weakness becomes united to divine strength, and faith exclaims, ‘Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ’ [I Corinthinians 15:57]!

“If we would develop a character which God can accept, we must form correct habits in our religious life. Daily prayer is as essential to growth in grace, and even to spiritual life itself, as is temporal food to physical well-being. We should accustom ourselves to often lift the thoughts to God in prayer. If the mind wanders, we must bring it back; by persevering effort, habit will finally make it easy. We cannot for one moment separate ourselves from Christ with safety. We may have His presence to attend us at every step, but only by observing the conditions which He has Himself laid down.” Messages to Young People, 114, 115.

7 What are we not to yield our members to? Romans 6:13, 14.

Note. “I was referred to this scripture: ‘Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God’ [Romans 6:12, 13]. Professed Christians, if no further light is given you than that contained in this text, you will be without excuse if you suffer yourselves to be controlled by base passions.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 454.

“A profession of Christianity without corresponding faith and works will avail nothing. No man can serve two masters. The children of the wicked one are their own master’s servants; to whom they yield themselves servants to obey, his servants they are, and they cannot be the servants of God until they renounce the devil and all his works. It cannot be harmless for servants of the heavenly King to engage in the pleasures and amusements which Satan’s servants engage in, even though they often repeat that such amusements are harmless. God has revealed sacred and holy truths to separate His people from the ungodly and purify them unto Himself. Seventh-day Adventists should live out their faith.” Ibid., vol. 1, 404.

8 What must we do daily so Satan will not gain the victory? I Corinthians 15:31.

Note. “The Christian life is a battle and a march. In this warfare there is no release; the effort must be continuous and persevering. It is by unceasing endeavor that we maintain the victory over the temptations of Satan. Christian integrity must be sought with resistless energy and maintained with a resolute fixedness of purpose.” The Ministry of Healing, 453.

“The position you must come into is to value salvation dearer than earthly gain, to count everything but loss that you may win Christ. The consecration on your part must be entire. God will admit of no reserve, of no divided sacrifice; you can cherish no idol. You must die to self and to the world. Renew your consecration to God daily. Everlasting life is worth a lifelong, persevering, untiring effort.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 49.

9 What is the constraining power in our lives? II Corinthians 5:14, 15.

Note. “None are living Christians unless they have a daily experience in the things of God and daily practice self-denial, cheerfully bearing the cross and following Christ. Every living Christian will advance daily in the divine life. As he advances toward perfection, he experiences a conversion to God every day; and this conversion is not completed until he attains to perfection of Christian character, a full preparation for the finishing touch of immortality.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 505.

10 What are we to awake to and what knowledge are some lacking? Which master are you awaking to? I Corinthians 15:34.

Note. “The riches of this world will never advance us in the knowledge of God or in a Christian experience. The Saviour bids us seek for the true riches that are laid up in store for the righteous. To one who came to him saying, ‘I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest,’ Christ replied, ‘Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head’ [Luke 9:57, 58]. Christ owned nothing in this world, and yet the world was his. Let us study his holy, self-denying example.

“We have no time to spend on the vanities and follies of this world. There is a world to be saved, and we should carefully consider the example we give to those around us, conforming our lives to the life of him who became a child of humanity that he might give a perfect example to every human being. From a study of his life and labors and his struggles with temptation, we are to learn how to become partakers of the divine nature, and overcome the corruption that is in the world through lust. Nowhere shall we find anything that will help our spiritual life as will a study of the life of Christ. And as we seek to walk in his footsteps, there will come to us a supply of divine grace such as sustained him under every circumstance.” The Review and Herald, January 6, 1910.

Additional Reading

“Sanctification is a daily work. Let none deceive themselves with the belief that God will pardon and bless them while they are trampling upon one of His requirements. The willful commission of a known sin silences the witnessing voice of the Spirit, and separates the soul from God. Whatever may be the ecstasies of religious feeling, Jesus cannot abide in the heart that disregards the divine law. God will honor those only who honor Him.

“ ‘To whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey.’ If we indulge anger, lust, covetousness, hatred, selfishness, or any other sin, we become servants of sin. ‘No man can serve two masters.’ If we serve sin, we cannot serve Christ. The Christian will feel the promptings of sin, for the flesh lusteth against the Spirit; but the Spirit striveth against the flesh, keeping up a constant warfare. Here is where Christ’s help is needed. Human weakness becomes united to divine strength, and faith exclaims, ‘Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!’

“If we would develop a character which God can accept, we must form correct habits in our religious life. Daily prayer is as essential to growth in grace, and even to spiritual life itself, as is temporal food to physical well-being. We should accustom ourselves to often lift the thoughts to God in prayer. If the mind wanders, we must bring it back; by persevering effort, habit will finally make it easy. We cannot for one moment separate ourselves from Christ with safety. We may have His presence to attend us at every step, but only by observing the conditions which He has Himself laid down.” Messages to Young People, 114, 115.

Lesson Studies were prepared by Judy Hallingstad of the LandMarks staff. She can be contacted at .

Bible Study Guides – Whose Garment are you Wearing?

February 28, 2010 – March 6, 2010

Key Text

“And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” Jude 23.

Study Help: Sons and Daughters of God, 100; “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1178.


“With garments of sin and shame the enemy clothes those who have been overpowered by his temptations, and then he declares that it is unfair for Christ to be their Light, their Defender.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1178.

1 Is it possible to “clothe” ourselves with our own anger, cursing or foul language? Is that the garment you would like to wear? Psalm 109:18, 19.

Note. “If our lips have need of cleansing, if we realize our destitution, and come to God in contrition of heart, the Lord will remove the uncleanness. He will say to his angel, ‘Take away the filthy garments,’ and clothe him with ‘change of raiment’ [Zechariah 3:4].” The Review and Herald, December 22, 1896.

“If in word and spirit you represent the character of Christ, then you are Christians; for to be a Christian is to be Christ-like. The tongue will testify of the principles that characterize the life; it is the sure test of what power controls the heart. We may judge our own spirit and principles by the words that proceed from our lips. The tongue is always to be under the control of the Holy Spirit.” The Review and Herald, May 26, 1896.

2 Where does this anger and foul language begin? Matthew 12:34–36.

Note. “Then let them not be used in bringing from the treasure of the heart words that will dishonor God and discourage those around you, but use them for the praise and glory of God, who has formed them for this purpose. When the cleansing coal is applied from the glowing altar, the conscience will be purged from dead works to serve the living God; and when the love of Jesus is the theme of contemplation, the words coming from human lips will be full of praise and thanksgiving to God and to the Lamb.” The Review and Herald, December 22, 1896.

3 When there is an evil treasure in our hearts that brings forth evil, what do we need and where do we find it? Ezekiel 36:26, 27.

Note. “When Jesus speaks of the new heart, He means the mind, the life, the whole being. To have a change of heart is to withdraw the affections from the world, and fasten them upon Christ. To have a new heart is to have a new mind, new purposes, new motives. What is the sign of a new heart—a changed life. There is a daily, hourly dying to selfishness and pride.

“Then a spirit of kindness will be manifested, not by fits and starts, but continually. There will be a decided change in attitude, in deportment, in words and actions toward all with whom you are in any way connected. You will not magnify their infirmities, you will not place them in an unfavorable light. You will work in Christ’s lines.” Sons and Daughters of God, 100.

4 The enemy wants to clothe us with his garments of character. What other garment descriptions are we warned about? Psalm 73:6–9.

Note. “With garments of sin and shame the enemy clothes those who have been overpowered by his temptations, and then he declares that it is unfair for Christ to be their Light, their Defender.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1178.

5 Knowing that the enemy’s garments are garments of death, full of leprosy, which garment would you like to be clothed with? Isaiah 61:10.

Note. “Every true turning to the Lord brings abiding joy into the life. When a sinner yields to the influence of the Holy Spirit, he sees his own guilt and defilement in contrast with the holiness of the great Searcher of hearts. He sees himself condemned as a transgressor. But he is not, because of this, to give way to despair; for his pardon has already been secured. He may rejoice in the sense of sins forgiven, in the love of a pardoning heavenly Father. It is God’s glory to encircle sinful, repentant human beings in the arms of His love, to bind up their wounds, to cleanse them from sin, and to clothe them with the garments of salvation.” Prophets and Kings, 668.

6 With what will the Lord replace the spirit of heaviness? Isaiah 61:3.

Note. “There is nothing in us from which we can clothe the soul so that its nakedness shall not appear. We are to receive the robe of righteousness woven in the loom of heaven, even the spotless robe of Christ’s righteousness.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 965.

7 Since our filthy garments will not be taken from us, what are we told to do? Philippians 2:12, last part.

Note. “The work of overcoming is a great work. Shall we take hold of it with energy and perseverance? Unless we do, our ‘filthy garments’ will not be taken from us. We need never expect that these will be torn from us violently; we must first show a desire to rid ourselves of them. We must seek to separate sin from us, relying upon the merits of the blood of Christ; and then in the day of affliction, when the enemy presses us, we shall walk among the angels. They will be like a wall of fire about us; and we shall one day walk with them in the city of God.” The Review and Herald, November 19, 1908.

8 If we do not want to be found naked, what are we to do? Revelation 16:15.

Note. “Trial is part of the education given in the school of Christ, to purify God’s children from the dross of earthliness. It is because God is leading His children that trying experiences come to them. Trials and obstacles are His chosen methods of discipline, and His appointed conditions of success. He who reads the hearts of men knows their weaknesses better than they themselves can know them. He sees that some have qualifications which, if rightly directed, could be used in the advancement of His work. In His providence He brings these souls into different positions and varied circumstances, that they may discover the defects that are concealed from their own knowledge. He gives them opportunity to overcome these defects and to fit themselves for service. Often He permits the fires of affliction to burn, that they may be purified.

“God’s care for His heritage is unceasing. He suffers no affliction to come upon His children but such as is essential for their present and eternal good. He will purify His church, even as Christ purified the temple during His ministry on earth. All that He brings upon His people in test and trial comes that they may gain deeper piety and greater strength to carry forward the triumphs of the cross.” The Acts of the Apostles, 524, 525.

9 To all that overcome and have not defiled their garments, what is promised? Revelation 3:4.

Note. “It is right to love beauty and to desire it; but God desires us to love and seek first the highest beauty, that which is imperishable. No outward adorning can compare in value or loveliness with that ‘meek and quiet spirit’ [I Peter 3:4], the ‘fine linen, white and clean’ (Revelation 19:14), which all the holy ones of earth will wear. This apparel will make them beautiful and beloved here, and will hereafter be their badge of admission to the palace of the King. His promise is, ‘They shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy.’ Revelation 3:4.” The Acts of the Apostles, 523, 524.

10 Read Zechariah 3:2–7. Tell in your own words what these verses mean to you and which garment you prefer.

Note. “Satan seeks to bring us into temptation, that the evil of our characters may be revealed before men and angels, that he may claim us as his own. In the symbolic prophecy of Zechariah, Satan is seen standing at the right hand of the Angel of the Lord, accusing Joshua, the high priest, who is clothed in filthy garments, and resisting the work that the Angel desires to do for him. This represents the attitude of Satan toward every soul whom Christ is seeking to draw unto Himself. The enemy leads us into sin, and then he accuses us before the heavenly universe as unworthy of the love of God. But ‘the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?’ And unto Joshua He said, ‘Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.’ Zechariah 3:1–4.

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

Additional Reading

“Pride and weakness of faith are depriving many of the rich blessings of God. There are many who, unless they humble their hearts before the Lord, will be surprised and disappointed when the cry is heard: ‘Behold, the Bridegroom cometh.’ Matthew 25:6. They have the theory of the truth, but they have no oil in their vessels with their lamps. Our faith at this time must not stop with an assent to, or belief in, the theory of the third angel’s message. We must have the oil of the grace of Christ that will feed the lamp and cause the light of life to shine forth, showing the way to those who are in darkness.

“If we would escape having a sickly experience, we must begin in earnest without delay to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. There are many who give no decided evidence that they are true to their baptismal vows. Their zeal is chilled by formality, worldly ambition, pride, and love of self. Occasionally their feelings are stirred, but they do not fall on the Rock, Christ Jesus. They do not come to God with hearts that are broken in repentance and confession. Those who experience the work of true conversion in their hearts will reveal the fruits of the Spirit in their lives. Oh, that those who have so little spiritual life would realize that eternal life can be granted only to those who become partakers of the divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust!

“The power of Christ alone can work the transformation in heart and mind that all must experience who would partake with Him of the new life in the kingdom of heaven. ‘Except a man be born again,’ the Saviour has said, ‘he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ John 3:3. The religion that comes from God is the only religion that can lead to God. In order to serve Him aright, we must be born of the divine Spirit. This will lead to watchfulness. It will purify the heart and renew the mind, and give us a new capacity for knowing and loving God. It will give us willing obedience to all His requirements. This is true worship.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 155, 156.

Lesson Studies were prepared by Judy Hallingstad of the LandMarks staff. She can be contacted at .

Recipe – Oatmeal Cookies

5 cups oats

2 cups flour

1 tsp. salt

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup raisins and/or carob chips

1 cup water or soy milk

1 cup oil (can decrease or substitute with ½ applesauce)

1 cup honey/maple syrup mixture

2 tsp. vanilla

Mix all dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, mix all wet ingredients. Add both mixtures together. Let sit 5-10 minutes. Drop by 1 spoonful onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Food – Benefits of Sunlight

Not only is sunlight good for our planet, it is good for the creatures God created, good for our environment and it is good also for you and me.

Sunlight can lower our vital signs—our respiratory rate, heart rate and blood pressure. Not only does it increase the oxygen content in the blood, it plays a role in decreasing blood cholesterol and also creates Vitamin D. Sunlight also enhances the immune system which helps us fight diseases of all kinds. The production of many of the body hormones that regulate our bodily functions is dependent upon sunlight. It can lower blood sugar if too high and raise it if too low. Sunlight also strengthens bones, helps lower waste products in the blood, and helps the function of the thyroid, pineal and pituitary glands. It stimulates production of red and white blood cells. It is known to help with arthritis; a speed wound healing, treatment of hyperactive children, and helps some skin disorders.

The benefits of sunlight are increased when combined with fresh air and exercise. For health we need only to have a 15 cm square of the face or extremities exposed for an hour of sunlight a day. The early morning hours are some of the best hours of the day to get sunlight.

Sunlight has received much negative press. This has been unfair because the problem is not exposure to sunlight, but overexposure to sun leading to burning, which is the problem. There are other things in our lifestyle which also contribute to problems relating to the sun. For instance, a diet high in fat, low levels of Vitamins A, C, E, and selenium can lead to sunlight problems. Also exposure to radiation, some drugs, deodorants, soaps and cosmetics can enhance problems along with alcohol consumption.

Some people burn more easily than others and it is important to know if you are more susceptible to burning. People who have blue eyes, blonde or red hair, fair skin, or are diabetic burn more easily. Understand what your burn potential is. Guard against factors that increase your risk to burn and guard yourself from burning. Then enjoy the healthful benefits of the sun.

Children’s Story – Grandmother’s Hands

“Today I’m giving you an unusual homework assignment,” the teacher said. “Sunday morning you must get up early and write down everything that your mother’s hands do during that day. Then draw a picture of her hands.”

Nicky’s mother had passed away and her grandmother had come to live with her and her father, so she decided to use her grandmother’s hands for her assignment.

Nicky asked her grandmother to put her hands on a sheet of paper so she could draw around them. They were so old and wrinkled and Nicky could not help but notice the comparison when she looked at her own slim, pink fingers. Why didn’t the teacher ask us to draw an artist’s hands, or even our own hands? She thought there was nothing beautiful about grandmother’s hands.

Grandmother spent the whole weekend cooking, washing and ironing and Nicky’s hands got tired of writing everything that grandmother did. Her chores were boring, and Nicky said to her, “Grandmother, sing me a song or play the piano. Remember how you played it on Dad’s birthday?”

“I don’t have time, dear. I still have to clean your shoes and help you get ready for school,” grandmother smiled.

All day Sunday Nicky was busy watching grandmother’s hands. On Monday, the teacher said, “Well done, Nicky. You wrote more than anyone else. Please read us what your grandmother did on Sunday.”

Nicky started to read loud and clear.

“My Grandmother prepared breakfast, ironed my dress and braided some blue hair ribbons. Then she made me a mug of hot chocolate and some pancakes. She washed the dishes and put new covers on my books.”

A few children laughed and someone shouted out: “What class is your grandmother in?” “Does she still wear ribbons in her hair?” said someone else.

Nicky turned red, but she continued to read. “Grandmother made the bed and carefully laid out my dolls on the bedspread. I like all my dolls to sit on the bed during the day.”

“Your grandmother plays with dolls!” the children laughed.

“Be quiet everyone,” the teacher said. “Please go on, Nicky.”

“Grandmother sharpened my coloring pencils because we have drawing class today.”

The children started to laugh again, and the teacher said, “Good, Nicky. Your grandmother must be very busy if she does all your chores as well as her own.”

Nicky went home feeling upset and, as she walked into the house, she announced, “Grandmother, it’s not fair. You do everything for me. Starting today, I’m going to do all my chores myself.”

Grandmother said nothing, and simply sighed sadly. Nicky put down her school bag and decided to sew on the button which had come off her coat. She pricked her finger and the thread got all tangled in the needle, but she did manage to sew on the button. Feeling upset, Nicky tried to cook dinner, but she burnt her patties and then broke her favorite plate as she tried to wash it up afterwards.

For the first time in her life, Nicky went to bed without doing her homework. She was so tired that she couldn’t even begin to write. Before she fell asleep, Nicky looked at grandmother’s hands and said, “Grandmother, your hands are so old, but they do everything so quickly and so well. They must know some sort of secret.” “Of course they do, dear, but they can’t tell you. Let’s swap hands and you can find out what the secret is,” grandmother replied.

“What do you mean, grandmother? That’s impossible!” Nicky said grinning while secretly thinking that she wouldn’t like to swap her delicate pink hands for her grandmother’s dark, wrinkled ones anyway.

Nicky went to bed so tired that she tossed and turned all night dreaming.  She woke up an hour earlier than usual. Instead of lounging around in bed, she jumped up and discovered with horror that she had grandmother’s wrinkled hands. She was about to burst into tears, but then realized that there was no time to cry. She had to wash up and then prepare breakfast for everyone, clean daddy’s coat, finish her homework and then do a million more things.

Before Nicky even had time to think about what she had to do, her hands quickly began to complete one task after another.

But when her hands tried to put some unfinished sewing into her school bag so that they could finish it at break time, Nicky resisted, thinking that break time is for relaxing! But her hands wanted to stay busy at all times. So Nicky was really having a battle with her grandmother’s hands. All of a sudden she heard a familiar voice.

“Time to get up, dear,” said grandmother’s kind voice, and Nicky woke with a start. She was so relieved that having grandmother’s hands had all just been a dream. She climbed out of bed, got dressed and ran to the kitchen.

A delicious breakfast was waiting for her on the table. Her school book was packed up in her bag with her homework completed. Nicky took hold of her grandmother’s hands and squeezed them tight and said, “Grandmother, you have the best hands in the whole wide world. I want mine to be just the same. From now on I’m going to help you in everything you do.”

Nicky was true to her word and from that time forward she helped out wherever she was able. There were times she would rather have played or done something she enjoyed, but she was glad to be of help to her grandmother. She even found that the more she helped, the happier she was and that she always found time for her personal activities. Her respect and love for her grandmother grew day by day.

Draw your grandmother’s, mother’s or father’s hands and write down everything they do in one day. How often have your parents or others shown self-denial and self-forgetfulness in caring and doing for you? Remember to be cheerful and bring some sunshine into your home as a thank you to your parents for all that they do for you. Give them a helping hand and you will find that you will be much happier as was Nicky when she helped each day wherever she could.

There is a good reason why God has told us to “honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” Exodus 20:12.

Health – Olive Oil

Olive oil is recommended for culinary as well as medicinal use—only the first-pressed, or virgin, unrefined olive oil, as the later pressings do not yield the same medicinal factors. Virgin olive oil is made by simple traditional processes, without heat, without refining, bleaching, degumming and deodorizing. If an olive oil is not labeled virgin, you can be sure that it is non-virgin and may have gone through any of these treatments. These refined oils negatively affect human health.

Olive oil contains linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid, in quantities from 3.5% to 20%, averaging 10%. It also contains the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid from 0.1% to 0.6%. This makes olive oil not a significant source of the essential fatty acids which should be procured from other sources, notably flaxseed oil. Olive oil does contain some lecithin, which can help with liver functions.

The special health-enhancing functions of olive oil are found mainly in its minor constituents. These are only present in the unrefined or virgin oil. They include beta carotene, or pro-vitamin A, and tocopherols, or vitamin E. Also included are chlorophyll, squalene, which is heart-protective, and phytosterols, which protect against cholesterol absorption from foods.

Virgin olive oil improves brain maturity and function in animals deficient in essential fatty acids. These research results almost assuredly transfer to humans as well, because brain development and function are similar in both animals and humans.

Olive oil has other components with specific beneficial effects:

Beta-sitosterol lowers high cholesterol levels.

Triterpenic acids are anti-inflammatory.

Caffeic and gallic acids stimulate the flow of bile. Gallic acid also inhibits lactic dehydrogenase in the liver, a sign of liver malfunction.

Phenolic compounds protect against peroxidation of fatty acids and cholesterol. 2-phenylethanol stimulates the production of fat-digesting enzymes in the pancreas.

Triterpenic acids (only found in olive oil) stimulate pancreatic enzymes.

Cycloartenol, stored in the liver, lowers the amount of circulating cholesterol and increases bile secretion.

One of the most significant reasons for using virgin olive oil is that virtually every other oil on the market has been damaged by heat in its preparation. In practical terms, heat and chemically damaged oils are extremely dangerous to the health.

A Little History

Olives are said to have come into cultivation around the end of 4000 B.C. in the Near East and southeast Europe. In Israel and surrounding areas, olive trees grow everywhere, and in many areas it is the only tree that can be seen. Olive oil was used lavishly by the Egyptians for the hair and the skin, as well as in all sorts of ceremonies.

An even earlier reference to the tree comes in Genesis 8:11, where the dove brings back the plucked leaf of the olive tree to Noah as a signal that the land is drained and they can now leave the Ark. Some authorities say that this olive leaf was really a tamarisk, but most scholars believe that it was olive, which had to come from a tree so common that it could be identified from a single leaf. Both the olive tree and the dove are symbols of peace and friendship, probably originating from the Noah story. The olive leaf or branch is regarded almost universally as a symbol of peace. This is true in almost every land. Early navigators found that green olive branches carried in the hands or placed in the ground were everywhere used and understood as emblems of peace among all the islanders, including those in the South Seas. The Greeks prayed for prosperity and peace with green olive boughs held in their hands, garlands around their necks and crowns upon their heads. It was also the custom of the Greeks, especially of the Athenians, to carry an olive branch to the homes of their neighbors on the day of the new year as a symbol of peaceful intentions. Among the Chinese, disputes or quarrels were settled by sending the offended person an olive wrapped in red paper.

Olive oil has always been a symbol of prosperity and divine blessing, beauty, luxury, and strength. It was so abundantly cultivated in Bible times that the expression olive yards is quite often coupled with vineyards and grain fields in descriptions of the land. Almost every Middle Eastern village has its olive grove or orchards. Even though the tree is comparatively plentiful today, it used to be even more cultivated. There are many oil presses in archaeological sites throughout the Middle East which indicate that the olive was much more important than it is now.

The tree requires years of patient labor before reaching full fruitfulness, implying a certain degree of peace. A hostile army could, in a few days, destroy the work of two generations. Perhaps this may have something to do with its being an emblem of peace. Enemies of a village or of an individual today in the Middle East often carry out revenge by cutting away a ring of bark from the trunks of the olive trees, killing them in a few months.

Olive oil is recommended for weak persons who cannot seem to gain weight. Dr. John Christopher tells of a young man who was unable to ingest food because his system would reject anything he took internally. Unwilling to undergo intravenous feeding, he was given olive oil massages daily. The olive oil fed into his system and nourished him until, with the use of other therapies, he was able to eat food again. Dr. John Christopher commented that, as far as his health was concerned, he might be better off with the olive oil nourishment than with some of the junk food he might be tempted to eat! Babies who are teething or whose digestive systems are otherwise upset can be nourished with olive oil massage in the same way. After a good, warm bath, the skin absorbs the oil very well.

Soldiers in World War 1 were treated with an emulsified olive oil to help with shell shock or nervous conditions. In Greece, where heart and artery problems are very low, olive oil is consumed freely. Blood cholesterol is said to be reduced with the use of olive oil. Studies in France indicated that the use of olive oil reduces blood cholesterol from 14 to 26 percent. Patients were given as much olive oil to drink as they wanted, but no other oil or fat.

Olive oil taken internally is also reported to protect against the bad effects of x-rays and irradiation. Laboratory studies conducted on mice, which were exposed to doses of irradiation, showed that the animals whose diets were fortified with olive oil received no damage to the liver, kidneys and lungs, as well as any adverse reactions with the skin and hair. Of course, Dr. John Christopher and his students deplore the use of animals in such experiments.

Olive oil is used as an important part of Dr. John Christopher’s treatment for gallstones and kidney stones. The oil causes strong healthy contractions of the gall bladder, greatly favoring complete emptying, which prevents the bile from backing up and clogging. Most treatments involve taking olive oil and lemon before bed, following up in the morning with hot water or apple juice.

Dr. H.C.A. Vogel, the famous herbalist of Switzerland, said that an Italian woman came to him with a case of gallstones which she was afraid of having removed surgically. As he knew that Italians can swallow oil easily, he recommended an olive oil cure. First, he said that the intestinal tract had to be thoroughly cleansed by soaked prunes or flaxseed. Then swallow 4 to 14 ounces of virgin olive oil. Lie down, turn over on the right side, and remain in that position for two hours. The lady followed these instructions and came back to him beaming; a lot of stones came away and the operation was unnecessary. The lady’s doctor could not believe it. Not everyone can take a pint of oil as that lady did, but smaller quantities taken over a few days can help remove small stones.

Olive oil taken internally will strengthen the gums and improve the hair. Italian hair was often preferred for wigs because the olive oil gave it such a marvelous healthy texture.

Olive oil can be applied to burns. It is used on skin inflammations, to protect an injured surface from air and from germs, and can be applied to any wounds, bruises, sores, stings, and so on.

Dr. John Christopher used olive oil exclusively for preparing herbal oils. Such a preparation made with St. Johns Wort is recommended for wounds, sores and abrasions. It can be used on the skin to remove crusts and scales and facilitate smooth skin. In Israel, it is used as a skin dressing and also on the hair, although most westerners prefer a less oily appearance. It can be rubbed into dry skin and cuticles to keep them soft. It can be used for massage for the feet, as an aid to reflexology. It is used with oil of rosemary to control dandruff. Many women apply the oil to the eyelashes and fingernails to strengthen them. You probably know of the familiar hot olive oil treatment to strengthen hair. Warmed olive oil is applied to hair and scalp and rubbed in well. The head is wrapped with a warm towel and the application is allowed to cool. The hair is shampooed and the resulting texture is wonderful.

Olive oil is sometimes used for engorged breasts during nursing. One part witch hazel and ten parts olive oil are mixed and applied to the breast frequently. This gives speedy relief to the pain and reduces the swelling. If you cannot bathe a bedridden person, you can dampen a cotton ball and moisten it with olive oil to clean the skin. This is soothing and cleansing at the same time.

Garlic oil is made by steeping peeled and cut garlic cloves in olive oil. Strain after a day or two and it is ready for use. This can be warmed and put into the ears for ear infections.

Knowing what we do about damaged commercial oils, we use olive oil in almost all of our food preparations. We put it in homemade salad dressing, sauté with it, and use it as a dressing on vegetables. In Israel, people dip their pita bread in olive oil. In Spain, people spread olive oil on their bread or toast, often adding minced garlic and salt.

A suggestion would be that you use either olive or flaxseed oil for all your food preparations.

Questions & Answers – Many people want to go to heaven but will they all be there?

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. Jesus died for everybody and His heart yearns over each human being.

Consider this quotation: “Those who think of the result of hastening or hindering the gospel think of it in relation to themselves and to the world. Few think of its relation to God. Few give thought to the suffering that sin has caused our Creator. All heaven suffered in Christ’s agony; but that suffering did not begin or end with His manifestation in humanity. The cross is a revelation to our dull senses of the pain that, from its very inception, sin has brought to the heart of God. Every departure from the right, every deed of cruelty, every failure of humanity to reach His ideal, brings grief to Him.” Education, 263.

Sin is a terrible enemy and is responsible for all the pain, sickness, death and sorrow that has happened in this earth for the past 6,000 years, to say nothing of the billions of human beings who have been crippled and mentally deficient. Praise God, He is determined to rid the universe of sin. If it were allowed to enter heaven we would have this misery repeated over again, only on a larger scale.

After our first parents (Adam and Eve) fell into sin (disobedience to God), He had such pity for the human race that He was willing to sacrifice His only begotten son, who suffered unbelievable torture and death to save the human family from the results of sin, which is death.

At such a heavy cost for the redemption of man, no one who is clinging to sin could be allowed into heaven, for sin would ruin the whole universe again. Everyone must make their own choice either for the pleasures of sin for a season, or for a life of victory through Jesus to overcome sin and enjoy eternal life.

It is sin, the transgression of the law (I John 3:4), which causes all the misery and heartache in the world.

God’s law is a law of love. The foundation of His kingdom is the Ten Commandments, which may be summed up in the following words: “Thou shalt 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 neighbour as thyself.” Luke 10:27. It is imperative that those who enter heaven keep His law, to prevent the whole sin problem from erupting all over again. It would only be safe for God to take to heaven those who love His law and are happy and determined to live by its precepts.

Sin must be eradicated from the life. God has promised power to overcome sin and the devil. Those who follow in the footsteps of Jesus, believing in Him, will endure to the end and be saved.

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

Inspiration – The Investigative Judgment

“I Beheld,” says the prophet Daniel, “till thrones were placed, and One that was ancient of days did sit. His raiment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, and the wheels thereof burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him; thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the Judgment was set, and the books were opened.” Daniel 7:9, 10, R.V.

Thus was presented to the prophet’s vision the great and solemn day when the characters and the lives of men should pass in review before the Judge of all the earth, and to every man should be rendered “according to his works.” Matthew 16:27.

“And, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away.” Daniel 7:13, 14. The coming of Christ here described is not his second coming to the earth. He comes to the Ancient of days in Heaven to receive dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, which will be given him at the close of his work as a mediator. It is this coming, and not his second advent to the earth, that was foretold in prophecy to take place at the termination of the 2300 days, in 1844. Attended by heavenly angels, our great High Priest enters the holy of holies, and there appears in the presence of God, to engage in the last acts of his ministration in behalf of man, to perform the work of investigative Judgment, and to make an atonement for all who are shown to be entitled to its benefits.

In the typical service, only those who had come before God with confession and repentance, and whose sins, through the blood of the sin-offering, were transferred to the sanctuary, had a part in the service of the day of atonement. So in the great day of final atonement and investigative Judgment, the only cases considered are those of the professed people of God. The judgment of the wicked is a distinct and separate work, and takes place at a later period. “Judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel?” I Peter 4:17.

“The Judgment was set, and the books were opened.” The Revelator, describing the same scene, adds, “Another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Revelation 20:12.

“A book of remembrance” is written before God, in which are recorded the good deeds of “them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.” Malachi 3:16. Their words of faith, their acts of love, are registered in Heaven. … In the book of God’s remembrance every deed of righteousness is immortalized. There every temptation resisted, every evil overcome, every word of tender pity expressed, is faithfully chronicled. And every act of sacrifice, every suffering and sorrow endured for Christ’s sake, is recorded. …

There is a record also of the sins of men. “For God shall bring every work into Judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:14. …

Every man’s work passes in review before God, and is registered for faithfulness or unfaithfulness. Opposite each name in the books of Heaven is entered, with terrible exactness, every wrong word, every selfish act, every unfulfilled duty, and every secret sin, with every artful dissembling. Heaven-sent warnings or reproofs neglected, wasted moments, unimproved opportunities, the influence exerted for good or for evil, with its far-reaching results, all are chronicled by the recording angel.

The law of God is the standard by which the characters and the lives of men will be tested in the Judgment. …

The righteous dead will not be raised until after the Judgment at which they are accounted worthy of “the resurrection of life.” Hence they will not be present in person at the tribunal when their records are examined, and their cases decided.

Jesus will appear as their advocate, to plead in their behalf before God. “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” I John 2:1. …

As the books of record are opened in the Judgment, the lives of all who have believed on Jesus come in review before God. … Every name is mentioned, every case closely investigated. Names are accepted, names rejected. When any have sins remaining upon the books of record, unrepented of and unforgiven, their names will be blotted out of the book of life, and the record of their good deeds will be erased from the book of God’s remembrance. …

All who have truly repented of sin, and by faith claimed the blood of Christ as their atoning sacrifice, have had pardon entered against their names in the books of Heaven; as they have become partakers of the righteousness of Christ, and their characters are found to be in harmony with the law of God, their sins will be blotted out, and they themselves will be accounted worthy of eternal life. …

The work of the investigative Judgment and the blotting out of sins is to be accomplished before the second advent of the Lord. …

At the time appointed for the Judgment—the close of the 2300 days, in 1844—began the work of investigation and blotting out of sins. All who have ever taken upon themselves the name of Christ must pass its searching scrutiny. Both the living and the dead are to be judged “out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” …

How solemn is the thought! Day after day, passing into eternity, bears its burden of records for the books of Heaven. Words once spoken, deeds once done, can never be recalled. Angels have registered both the good and the evil. The mightiest conqueror upon the earth cannot call back the record of even a single day. Our acts, our words, even our most secret motives, all have their weight in deciding our destiny for weal or woe. Though they may be forgotten by us, they will bear their testimony to justify or to condemn. …

Those who would share the benefits of the Saviour’s mediation should permit nothing to interfere with their duty to perfect holiness in the fear of God. …

We are now living in the great day of atonement. … 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. The light, frivolous spirit indulged by so many of professed Christians must be put away. There is earnest warfare before all who would subdue the evil tendencies that strive for the mastery. The work of preparation is an individual work. We are not saved in groups. The purity and devotion of one will not offset the want of these qualities in another. Though all nations are to pass in judgment before God, yet he will examine the case of each individual with as close and searching scrutiny as if there were not another being upon the earth. Everyone must be tested, and found without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.

Solemn are the scenes connected with the closing work of the atonement. Momentous are the interests involved therein. The Judgment is now passing in the sanctuary above. … Soon—none know how soon—it will pass to the cases of the living. In the awful presence of God our lives are to come up in review. At this time above all others it behooves every soul to heed the Saviour’s admonition, “Watch and pray; for ye know not when the time is.” Mark 13:33. “If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” Revelation 3:3.

When the work of the investigative Judgment closes, the destiny of all will have been decided for life or death. Probation is ended a short time before the appearing of the Lord in the clouds of heaven. Christ in the Revelation, looking forward to that time, declares: “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:11, 12.

Excerpts from The Great Controversy, 479–491.