Bible Study Guides – Stand Up for Jesus!

March 25, 2012 – March 31, 2012

Key Text

“Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” Ephesians 5:14.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 8, 244–254; vol. 9, 52–60.


“God will do a great work in every part of the field, if with willing hearts His servants put self out of sight, and labor for His glory.” The Review and Herald, December 1, 1904.


  • How is God’s method of labor so different from humans’? I Corinthians 1:26–31.

Note: “Let each work in the line which God may indicate to him by His Holy Spirit. The soul is accountable to God alone. … He will use whom He will use. He will pass by men who have not followed His counsel, men who feel capable and sufficient to work in their own wisdom; and He will use others who are thought by these supposedly wise ones to be wholly incompetent.” The Review and Herald, July 23, 1895.

  • What careful balance must guide us? Psalm 19:7–11; Ephesians 5:1, 2.

Note: “One act of disobedience against the law of God on the part of the responsible human agent, could not be outweighed by a recompense of all the honors and kingdoms of this world. Yet Satan will present his most alluring temptations, and use his most deceptive arguments in order to persuade men to make void the commandments of God.” The Review and Herald, October 9, 1894.


  • What key message to the Ephesians is urgently needed now? Ephesians 5:14–17.

Note: “Paul exhorts his Ephesian brethren to redeem the time because the days are evil. This exhortation is very applicable to you. In one sense it is impossible to redeem the time; for once gone, it is gone forever. But you are called upon to reform, to be zealous of good works in the same degree that you have been negligent of duty. Turn square about. Double your diligence to make your calling and election sure. Keep God’s commandments, and live, and His law as the apple of your eye. Tax every moment to the utmost in laboring for your own eternal interest and for the salvation of souls around you. By so doing you may save both yourself and those who are more or less controlled by your example. These are motives which should be duly considered.

“Wake up! wake up! You have work to do, and your sun is fast hastening to its setting. Your powers are becoming enfeebled; but all there is of you, every particle of your ability, belongs to God, and should be used earnestly and disinterestedly in His service. Work while the sun still lingers in the heavens; for the ‘night cometh, when no man can work’ [John 9:4].

“Come, my brother, come just as you are, sinful and polluted. Lay your burden of guilt on Jesus, and by faith claim His merits. Come now, while mercy lingers; come with confession, come with contrition of soul, and God will abundantly pardon. Do not dare to slight another opportunity. Listen to the voice of mercy that now pleads with you to arise from the dead that Christ may give you light. Every moment now seems to connect itself directly with the destinies of the unseen world. Then let not your pride and unbelief lead you to still further reject offered mercy. If you do you will be left to lament at the last: ‘The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved’ [Jeremiah 8:20].

“Wait in deep humiliation before God. From this hour resolve to be the Lord’s, doing your whole duty, trusting implicitly in the great atonement. Do this and you will have nothing to fear. The remainder of your life journey will be tranquil and happy, and you will secure to yourself that life which shall continue as long as God shall live.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 353, 354.

“Though you may be weak, erring, and sinful, the Lord holds out to you the offer of partnership with Him self. He invites you to come under divine instruction. Uniting with Christ, you may work the works of God.” Ibid., vol. 6, 438.


  • How does Paul’s solemn duty toward the Gentiles (the world) precisely reflect what is required of each one of us at this very hour? Ephesians 3:6–13.

Note: “This is the message that I am commissioned to bear to you: You are to take the words addressed by Paul to the church at Ephesus as if addressed to you personally. By alienation, disunion, and diversity of opinion, Satan has hindered the work outlined in the words of the apostle. Had believers put self out of sight, had they refused to carry out the plans devised by Satan to hinder the work of God, how much farther advanced we might now be! For years messages have been sent pointing out the work to be done. But this work has not been accomplished. Believers have stood directly across the path of its accomplishment, blocking the way by envy, evil surmisings, and faultfinding. They have sought the highest place. Commercial business has absorbed the attention and consumed the means that ought to have been given to the proclamation of the message of salvation. Thank God, something has been done, but a thousand times more might have been done than has been done. The enemy has brought in a variety of things to occupy the minds of believers. Time is fast passing, the work is still undone, and the world is growing worse and worse. And yet in mercy the Spirit of God is still striving with souls. Brethren and sisters, I call upon you to put on the whole armor of God. Those who have never heard the reasons of our faith are now to be reached.” The Review and Herald, May 10, 1906.

“When faith lays hold upon Christ, the truth will bring delight to the soul, and the services of religion will not be dull and uninteresting. Your social meetings, now tame and spiritless, will be vitalized by the Holy Spirit; daily you will have a rich experience as you practice the Christianity you profess. Sinners will be converted. They will be touched by the word of truth and will say, as did some who listened to Christ’s teaching: ‘We have seen and heard wonderful things today.’

“In view of what might be done if the church would meet its God-given responsibilities, will its members sleep on, or will they arouse to a sense of the honor conferred upon them through the merciful providence of God? Will they gather up their hereditary trusts, avail themselves of the present light, and feel the necessity of rising to meet the urgent emergency that now presents itself? Oh, that all may arouse and manifest to the world that theirs is a living faith, that a vital issue is before the world, that Jesus will soon come. Let men see that we believe that we are on the borders of the eternal world.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 437.


  • What is the secret to enlightening the world? Psalm 25:9; II Corinthians 3:5; 5:7; Ephesians 6:10, 11, 14–18.

Note: “It is not the most brilliant or the most talented whose work produces the greatest and most lasting results. Who are the most efficient laborers? Those who will respond to the invitation: ‘Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart’ [Matthew 11:29]. …

“[God] will take men who do not appear to be so richly endowed, who have not large self-confidence, and He will make the weak strong because they trust in God to do for them those things which they cannot do for themselves. God will accept the wholehearted service, and will Himself make up the deficiencies.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 443, 444.

  • Before whom will many of us be called to witness for the truth? Psalm 119:46; Matthew 10:18.

Note: “The time is not far off when the people of God will be called upon to give their testimony before the rulers of the earth. Not one in twenty has a realization of what rapid strides we are making toward the great crisis in our history. … There is no time for vanity, for trifling, for engaging the mind in unimportant matters.

“Kings, governors, and great men will hear of you through the reports of those who are at enmity with you, and your faith and character will be misrepresented before them. But those who are falsely accused will have an opportunity to appear in the presence of their accusers to answer for themselves. They will have the privilege of bringing the light before those who are called the great men of the earth. …

“You now have an opportunity to attain to the greatest intellectual power through the study of the Word of God. But if you are indolent, and fail to dig deep in the mines of truth, you will not be ready for the crisis that is soon to come upon us. …

“Let no one imagine that he has no need to study, because he is not to preach in the sacred desk. You know not what God may require of you.” Our High Calling, 355.


  • What preparation do we need before carrying out the great commission Christ has given us? II Corinthians 13:5, 6; I Peter 3:10, 11.

Note: “Will you not be just as watchful and critical over your own spirits and temperaments and words as you are over those of others, lest God should be dishonored, and His truth misrepresented? Your discernment would be greatly improved if you would do this. The truth, the living word, would be as a fire shut up in your bones, which would shine forth in clear, unmistakable distinctness, representing Christ to the world.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 296.

  • Describe the glorious experience which is the Christian’s calling in the closing work of the gospel. Jeremiah 20:9; I Corinthians 9:16; II Corinthians 5:14, first part.

Note: “God will move upon men of humble position in society, men who have not become insensible to the bright rays of light through so long contemplating the light of truth, and refusing to make any improvement or advancement therein. Many such will be seen hurrying hither and thither, constrained by the Spirit of God to bring the light to others. The truth, the word of God, is as a fire in their bones, filling them with a burning desire to enlighten those who sit in darkness. Many, even among the uneducated, now proclaim the words of the Lord. Children are impelled by the Spirit to go forth and declare the message from Heaven. The Spirit is poured out upon all who will yield to its promptings.” The Review and Herald, July 23, 1895.

“We want to push the triumphs of the cross. Our watchword is to be, ‘Onward, ever onward!’ Our burden for the ‘regions beyond’ can never be laid down until the whole earth shall be lightened with the glory of the Lord.” Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 375.


1 What balance will be reflected in presenting God’s truth?

2 How shall we redeem the lost time taken from God?

3 How have we been distracted from the great commission?

4 Why should all believers constantly study the essential points of present truth?

5 Describe the amazing scene prophesied under the Holy Spirit’s power.

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

Bible Study Guides – Facing Trials and Opposition

March 18, 2012 – March 24, 2012

Key Text

“I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.” II Corinthians 12:15.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 9, 43–48.


“Great is the reward in heaven of those who are witnesses for Christ through persecution and reproach. While the people are looking for earthly good, Jesus points them to a heavenly reward. But He does not place it all in the future life; it begins here.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 34.


  • Today, we hear of new methods of labor to reach souls. Yet what is written for our generation as well? Ecclesiastes 1:9; Luke 10:1–3.

Note: “From door to door His [the Lord’s] servants are to proclaim the message of salvation. To every nation, kindred, tongue, and people the tidings of pardon through Christ are to be carried.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 16.

“In visions of the night, representations passed before me of a great reformatory movement among God’s people. Many were praising God. The sick were healed, and other miracles were wrought. A spirit of intercession was seen, even as was manifested before the great Day of Pentecost. Hundreds and thousands were seen visiting families and opening before them the word of God. Hearts were convicted by the power of the Holy Spirit, and a spirit of genuine conversion was manifest.” Ibid., vol. 9, 126.

“The colporteur—who in many cases has been thrown out of employment by accepting the truth—is enabled to support himself, and the sales are a financial help to the office. In the days of the Reformation, monks who had left their convents, and who had no other means of support, traversed the country, selling Luther’s works, which were thus rapidly circulated throughout Europe. Colportage work was one of the most efficient means of spreading the light then, and so it will prove now.” Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 305.


  • Why must we heed the duty of our conscience? Psalm 62:12; Galatians 6:4.

Note: “God has made you depositaries of truth, not that you may retain it, but that you may impart it to others. You should visit from house to house as faithful stewards of the grace of Christ. As you work, devise, and plan, new methods will continually present themselves to your mind, and by use the powers of your intellect will be increased. A lukewarm, slack performance of duty is an injury to the soul for whom Christ has died. If we would find the pearls buried in the debris of the cities, we should go forth ready to do the work required by the Master. Some may work quietly, creating an interest, while others speak in halls.” The Review and Herald, June 11, 1895.

  • What protection do we need as we teach the truth, and why? Ephesians 6:10–13.

Note: “Satan will scheme in every possible way so as to benumb the senses, blind the eyes, and close the ears of men against the truth; but notwithstanding this, go to work. Labor from house to house, not neglecting the poor, who are usually passed by.” The Review and Herald, June 11, 1895.

“Those who will not accept the last solemn message of warning sent to our world, will pervert the Scriptures; they will attack the character, and make false statements in regard to the faith and doctrines of the advocates of Bible truth. Every possible means will be employed to divert the attention. Shows, games, horseraces, and various other kinds of amusement will be set in operation. An intense power from beneath will stir them up to oppose the message from heaven.” Sons and Daughters of God, 280.

  • What hope comes as we face the reality of our challenge? II Timothy 3:12–15.

Note: “Wicked men, seducing teachers, will grow worse and worse, deceiving themselves and deceiving others. We may expect greater opposition than has yet been experienced.” Our High Calling, 362.


  • Serving God in a wicked world, what contrast do we need to see? Titus 2:12, 13.

Note: “Many speak of the life of the Christian taking away from us pleasures and worldly enjoyments. I say it takes away nothing worth saving. Is there perplexity, poverty, and distress endured by the Christian? Oh, yes, this is expected in this life. But is the sinner, of whom we speak as enjoying the pleasures of this world, free from these ills of life? Do we not often see them in deep perplexity and trouble? …

“Christians sometimes think they have a hard time and that it is a condescension in them to lay hold of unpopular truth and profess to be Christ’s followers, that the road seems hard and that they have many sacrifices to make, when in reality they make no sacrifice at all. If in reality they are adopted into the family of God, what sacrifice have they made? Their following Christ may have broken some friendship with their world-loving relatives, but look at the exchange—their names written in the Lamb’s book of life, elevated, yes, greatly exalted, to be partakers of salvation, heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ to an imperishable inheritance. Shall we call it a sacrifice on our part to yield error for truth, darkness for light, sin for righteousness, a perishable name and inheritance upon earth for honors that are lasting, and a treasure undefiled that fadeth not away?” Our High Calling, 201.

  • How can obstacles actually serve to invigorate us? Romans 5:3, 4; Philippians 1:27–30.

Note: “Go to work in faith. Hold fast to every point of vantage-ground gained. However strong the opposition may be, there must be no weakening. Hold fast by faith. Work and pray, watch and wait, hope and trust, leave everything to God. He can thresh mountains with a worm.

“The church that would prove successful in the Master’s service must be an aggressive one. Its members must not allow their interest in the work to flag. Heavenly intelligences are ready to co-operate with the human agent to press forward the work. At whatever cost press the battle to the gates of the enemy, yea, storm the very citadel. Do not allow yourselves to fail nor to be discouraged. Christ’s authority is supreme, His power is invincible. Through the Holy Spirit the Lord works with the human agent.” The Review and Herald, July 2, 1895.


  • What must be our response to anyone who would attempt to distract us from laboring for God according to the dictates of our conscience? Nehemiah 6:3.

Note: “Conscientious obedience to the word of God will be treated as rebellion. Blinded by Satan, the parent will exercise harshness and severity toward the believing child; the master or mistress will oppress the commandment-keeping servant. Affection will be alienated; children will be disinherited and driven from home. The words of Paul will be literally fulfilled: ‘All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution’ [II Timothy 3:12]. As the defenders of truth refuse to honor the Sunday-sabbath, some of them will be thrust into prison, some will be exiled, some will be treated as slaves. To human wisdom all this now seems impossible; but as the restraining Spirit of God shall be withdrawn from men, and they shall be under the control of Satan, who hates the divine precepts, there will be strange developments. The heart can be very cruel when God’s fear and love are removed.

“As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the third angel’s message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition. By uniting with the world and partaking of its spirit, they have come to view matters in nearly the same light; and when the test is brought, they are prepared to choose the easy, popular side. Men of talent and pleasing address, who once rejoiced in the truth, employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls. They become the most bitter enemies of their former brethren. When Sabbathkeepers are brought before the courts to answer for their faith, these apostates are the most efficient agents of Satan to misrepresent and accuse them, and by false reports and insinuations to stir up the rulers against them.” The Great Controversy, 608.

  • What example has our Master given us in the face of opposition? Isaiah 42:4.

Note: “We are to present the word of life to those whom we may judge to be as hopeless subjects as if they were in their graves. Though they may seem to be unwilling to hear or to receive the light of truth, without questioning or wavering we are to do our part.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 442.


  • How may we ourselves be in danger of actually causing some of the tribulation faced by our own brethren and sisters in the faith? Malachi 2:10; Mark 3:25.

Note: “This is no time to criticize. That which is needed now is genuine sympathy and decided help. We should individually consider the necessities of our brethren. Let every breath devoted to this matter be used in speaking words that shall encourage. Let every power be employed in actions that shall lift.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 455, 456.

  • With trials before us, what should we remember? Psalm 138:7.

Note: “The path to freedom from sin is through crucifixion of self, and conflict with the powers of darkness. Let none be discouraged in view of the severe trials to be met in the time of Jacob’s trouble, which is yet before them. They are to work earnestly, anxiously, not for that time, but for today. What we want is to have a knowledge of the truth as it is in Christ now, and a personal experience now. In these precious closing hours of probation, we have a deep and living experience to gain. We shall thus form characters that will ensure our deliverance in the time of trouble.” Our High Calling, 321.

“Only those who are willing to sacrifice all for eternal life will have it, but it will be worth suffering for, worth crucifying self and sacrificing every idol for. The far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory will outweigh every earthly treasure and eclipse every earthly attraction.” Ibid., 189.


1 Where shall we begin taking part in fulfilling the visions of God’s messenger?

2 How should we view the things that will oppose our presentation of truth?

3 What is necessary in order for the church to do a successful work?

4 In what sense should we be inspired by the example of Nehemiah in his reforms?

5 What is the secret to having God’s protection in the time of trouble?

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

Bible Study Guides – A Call to Self-Sacrifice

March 11, 2012 – March 17, 2012

Key Text

“We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not Himself.” Romans 15:1–3.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 9, 31–42, 49–51; vol. 6, 445–453.


“Suppose that Christ’s professed followers were representatives of Christ in our earth, would not worldlings see this and take knowledge of such that they had learned of Jesus? Will not such be a power?” Sermons and Talks, vol. 2, 96.


  • In our busy life, how may we be tempted to neglect our calling in connection with the threefold message? Luke 21:34, 35.

Note: “We are to be busy, to be weighted with the last message of mercy to a perishing world. We are to have the truth planted in the heart, and teach it to others as it is in Jesus. The world is in a very solemn period; for souls are deciding what will be their eternal destiny. … Who are willing to be co-laborers with Christ?” The Review and Herald, October 9, 1894.

  • What have been some hindrances that have prevented many of us from properly focusing on the fulfillment of Christ’s commission? Luke 12:15–21.

Note: “The reason why more has not been done in the past is that men have held so firmly to themselves, and have thought that they were capable of doing some great thing. Satan tempted them because they were self-sufficient.” The Review and Herald, October 9, 1894.


  • In the fast-paced society of today, on what—and where—is our chief business to be centered? Luke 2:49.

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

“It is not the purpose of God that His people should colonize or settle together in large communities. The disciples of Christ are His representatives upon the earth, and God designs that they shall be scattered all over the country, in the towns, cities, and villages, as lights amidst the darkness of the world. They are to be missionaries for God, by their faith and works testifying to the near approach of the coming Saviour.

“The lay members of our churches can accomplish a work which, as yet, they have scarcely begun. None should move into new places merely for the sake of worldly advantage; but where there is an opening to obtain a livelihood, let families that are well grounded in the truth enter, one or two families in a place, to work as missionaries. They should feel a love for souls, a burden of labor for them, and should make it a study how to bring them into the truth. They can distribute our publications, hold meetings in their homes, become acquainted with their neighbors, and invite them to come to these meetings.” Ibid., 244, 245.

  • As we seek to go forth in Christ’s vineyard, what aspect of the Saviour’s experience may also end up as ours? Isaiah 63:3, first part; Psalm 102:7.

Note: “Let the workers stand alone in God, weeping, praying, laboring for the salvation of their fellow men. … While so many love the praise of men more than the favor of God, let it be yours to labor in humility. Learn to exercise faith in presenting your neighbors before the throne of grace and pleading with God to touch their hearts.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 245.


  • When we focus on missionary efforts in dark areas where God may perhaps impress us to relocate, what should we keep in mind? Luke 14:33.

Note: “If families would locate in the dark places of the earth, places where the people are enshrouded in spiritual gloom, and let the light of Christ’s life shine out through them, a great work might be accomplished. Let them begin their work in a quiet, unobtrusive way, not drawing on the funds of the conference until the interest becomes so extensive that they cannot manage it without ministerial help.

“When [Bible seminar] institutes and similar meetings are held, let them not be held in connection with our large, established churches. Let them give character to the work and spread the knowledge of the truth in localities where it is little known. This may not be convenient; but I ask, Was it convenient for Christ to leave the royal courts? Was it convenient for Him to leave His honor, His glory, His high command, and humble Himself to become one with us? He did not go to unfallen beings, but to those who needed Him most. His example we, to whom He has entrusted His work, are to copy. …

“There is danger in delay. That soul whom you might have found, that soul to whom you might have opened the Scriptures, passes beyond your reach. Satan has prepared some net for his feet, and tomorrow he may be working out the plans of the archenemy of God. Why delay one day? Why not go to work at once?” Testimonies, vol. 6, 442, 443.

  • What inspired vision should be deeply, prayerfully considered, especially by those who are young? Lamentations 3:27.

Note: “I was shown that the young, especially young men, who profess the truth, have yet a lesson of self-denial to learn. If these made more sacrifice for the truth, they would esteem it more highly. It would affect their hearts, and purify their lives, and they would hold it more dear and sacred.

“The young do not take the burden of the cause of God, or feel any responsibility in regard to it. Is it because God has excused them? Oh, no; they excuse themselves! … Unless they possess the spirit of self-denial and sacrifice, they can never possess the immortal inheritance.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 177, 178.


  • Why can we be encouraged and motivated by the self-denial of Paul? Acts 20:18, 20, 33–35.

Note: “In many places self-supporting missionaries can work successfully. It was as a self-supporting missionary that the apostle Paul labored in spreading the knowledge of Christ throughout the world. … [Acts 20:18, 20, 33–35 quoted.]

“Many today, if imbued with the same spirit of self- sacrifice, could do a good work in a similar way. Let two or more start out together in evangelistic work. Let them visit the people, praying, singing, teaching, explaining the Scriptures, and ministering to the sick. Some can sustain themselves as canvassers; others, like the apostle, can labor at some handicraft or in other lines of effort. As they move forward in their work, realizing their helplessness, but humbly depending upon God, they gain a blessed experience.” The Ministry of Healing, 154, 155.

  • Describe the great personal victory that Paul achieved. Philippians 4:11, 12.
  • As in the experience of Paul, how is our purpose in life to reflect clearly—in bright, shining rays—the mission of our Master? Romans 15:1–3; Acts 10:37, 38.

Note: “There is a call for Christian families to go into communities that are in darkness and error, to go to foreign fields, to become acquainted with the needs of their fellow men, and to work for the cause of the Master. If such families would settle in the dark places of the earth, places where the people are enshrouded in spiritual gloom, and let the light of Christ’s life shine out through them, what a noble work might be accomplished.

“This work requires self-sacrifice. While many are waiting to have every obstacle removed, the work they might do is left undone, and multitudes are dying without hope and without God. Some for the sake of commercial advantage, or to acquire scientific knowledge, will venture into unsettled regions and cheerfully endure sacrifice and hardship; but how few for the sake of their fellow men are willing to move their families into regions that are in need of the gospel.” The Ministry of Healing, 155, 156.


  • What is assured when we share present truth? Psalm 126:6; Isaiah 58:8.

Note: “[Isaiah 58:8 quoted.] … Ye churches of the living God, study this promise, and consider how your lack of faith, of spirituality, of divine power, is hindering the coming of the kingdom of God. If you would go forth to do Christ’s work, angels of God would open the way before you, preparing hearts to receive the gospel. Were every one of you a living missionary, the message for this time would speedily be proclaimed in all countries, to every people and nation and tongue. This is the work that must be done before Christ shall come in power and great glory. I call upon the church to pray earnestly that you may understand your responsibilities. Are you individually laborers together with God? If not, why not? When do you mean to do your heaven-appointed work?” Testimonies, vol. 6, 438.

“The Lord calls for volunteers who will be self-denying, who will endure hardness as good soldiers of the cross of Christ.” The Signs of the Times, June 21, 1899.

  • Even if we may not consider ourselves wealthy, what should be our aim with regard to the material goods with which God has entrusted us? Luke 12:33–40.

Note: “We are travelers, pilgrims and strangers, on earth. Let us not spend our means in gratifying desires that God bids us repress. Let us rather set a right example before our associates. Let us fitly represent our faith by restricting our wants. …

“If you do less than your duty in giving help to the perishing, remember that your indolence is incurring guilt.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 452.


1 Everyone is busy these days. What is really my primary focus?

2 How may attachments to friends and family be hindering our aims for God?

3 What should be impressed upon us all—as early in life as possible?

4 Why is Paul such an inspiring role model for us in this critical hour of history?

5 Even if we cannot move to darker areas, how can we nonetheless promote the truth there?

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

Bible Study Guides – Brightening Our Surroundings

March 4, 2012 – March 10, 2012

Key Text

“For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.” Isaiah 62:1.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 9, 26–29; vol. 6, 421–439.


“The light that God has given His people is not to be shut up within the churches that already know the truth. It is to be shed abroad into the dark places of the earth.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 24.


  • What is God’s urgent call to all who have been entrusted with the present truth? Isaiah 54:1, 2.

Note: “The light that God has given His people is not to be shut up within the churches that already know the truth. It is to be shed abroad into the dark places of the earth. Those who walk in the light as Christ is in the light will co-operate with the Saviour by revealing to others what He has revealed to them. It is God’s purpose that the truth for this time shall be made known to every kindred and nation and tongue and people. In the world today men and women are absorbed in the search for worldly gain and worldly pleasure. There are thousands upon thousands who give no time or thought to the salvation of the soul. The time has come when the message of Christ’s soon coming is to sound throughout the world.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 24.

  • Why are God’s people able to take decided action in expanding missionary efforts with holy boldness? Isaiah 54:3, 4.

Note: “Unmistakable evidences point to the nearness of the end. The warning is to be given in certain tones.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 25.


  • Where should our main energies be refocused? Isaiah 56:8; 62:1, 2.

Note: “Time and energy and means are devoted to those who know the truth, instead of being used to enlighten the ignorant. Our churches are being tended as though they were sick lambs by those who should be seeking for the lost sheep. If our people would minister to other souls who need their help, they would themselves be ministered unto by the Chief Shepherd, and thousands would be rejoicing in the fold who are now wandering in the desert. Instead of hovering over our people, let every soul go to work to seek and to save the lost. Let every soul labor, not in visiting among our churches, but in visiting the dark places of the earth where there are no churches.

“In places where the standard of truth has never been lifted, more souls will be converted as a result of the same amount of work than ever before.” The Review and Herald, June 25, 1895.

“The way must be prepared for the coming of the Prince of Peace in the clouds of heaven. There is much to be done in the cities that have not yet heard the truth for this time. We are not to establish institutions to rival in size and splendor the institutions of the world; but in the name of the Lord, with the untiring perseverance and unflagging zeal that Christ brought into His labors, we are to carry forward the work of the Lord.

“As a people we greatly need to humble our hearts before God, pleading His forgiveness for our neglect to fulfill the gospel commission.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 25.

  • What vision should we have for languishing churches? Matthew 21:28: Mark 13:34.

Note: “The best medicine you can give the church is not preaching or sermonizing, but planning work for them. If set to work, the despondent would soon forget their despondency, the weak would become strong, the ignorant intelligent, and all would be prepared to present the truth as it is in Jesus. They would find an unfailing helper in Him who has promised to save all who come unto Him.” Evangelism, 356.

“Every agency is to be set in operation, not to work for the churches, but to work for those who are in the darkness of error.” The Review and Herald, June 25, 1895.


  • What should be the earnest prayer of every assembly of believers, and how only can this prayer be answered? Habakkuk 3:2; II Timothy 2:15.

Note: “The work that is done for those who know the truth, and yet who do not feed on Christ, would be better devoted to carrying the truth to the cities of our world. Who is willing to go to these cities, and, clothed in the meekness of Christ, work for the Master? Will any one presume to lay hands upon those who are willing to engage in house-to-house labor, and say, ‘You must not go unless we send you’? God is calling for workers, and the end of all things is at hand. If one tithe of the labor that has been expended upon our churches had been devoted to those who are perishing in ignorance, living in sin, many would have repented long ago.” The Review and Herald, June 11, 1895.

“When souls are converted, set them to work at once. And as they labor according to their ability, they will grow stronger. It is by meeting opposing influences that we become confirmed in the faith. As the light shines into their hearts, let them diffuse its rays. Teach the newly converted that they are to enter into fellowship with Christ, to be his witnesses, and to make Him known unto the world.

“None should be forward to enter into controversy, but they should tell the simple story of the love of Jesus.” Evangelism, 355, 356.

  • What attitude must we all cherish in witnessing for Jesus? I Peter 3:15.

Note: “Even though a church may be composed of poor and uneducated and unknown persons, yet if they are believing, praying members, their influence will be felt for time and for eternity. If they go forth in simple faith, relying upon the promises of the Word of God, they may accomplish great good. If they let their light shine, Christ is glorified in them, and the interests of His kingdom are advanced. If they have a sense of their individual accountability to God, they will seek for opportunities to work, and will shine as lights in the world. They will be examples of sincerity and of zealous fervor in working out God’s plan for the salvation of souls. The poor, the unlearned, if they choose, may become students in the school of Christ, and He will teach them true wisdom. The life of meek, childlike trust, of true piety, true religion, will be effective in its influence upon others.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 265.


  • What happens if we refuse or neglect Christ’s commission? Matthew 6:23.

Note: “Communicate the knowledge of the truth to others. This is God’s plan to enlighten the world. If you do not stand in your allotted place, if you do not let your light shine, you will become enshrouded in darkness.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 266.

  • What assurance is ours, even when some reject our efforts? Ezekiel 33:7–9.

Note: “There are those in all our cities who have not had the truth presented to them; who have not heard the warning message of the Lord’s soon coming; who have not heard that the end of all things is at hand. Unless messengers go to them in the Spirit of Christ, how shall these people hear the gospel invitation? How shall they know that their sins may be forgiven through the mercy of a crucified and risen Saviour? Aggressive warfare must be entered upon with a devoted, self-sacrificing spirit that many know nothing about. As opportunities offer, as doors open, and the word of life is brought to the people, opposition to the truth will start into operation. The door that is open to the missionary will also be open to the opposer of truth. But if the truth is presented as it is in Jesus, the hearers are responsible for its rejection.” The Review and Herald, July 2, 1895.

  • In view of the shortness of time, what must we keep in mind? John 9:4.

Note: “What shall be done to meet our responsibilities? How shall we make proper use of the opportunities presented? There must be prayer, earnest, humble prayer; there must be determined wrestling with God for the endowment of His Holy Spirit.” The Review and Herald, July 2, 1895.

“The opportune time for us to work is now, just now, while the day lasts. But there is no command for anyone to search the Scripture in order to ascertain, if possible, when probation will close. God has no such message for any mortal lips. He would have no mortal tongue declare that which He has hidden in His secret councils.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 192.


  • Regardless of how incapable we may feel to be missionaries for Christ, what understanding should we quickly adopt? II Corinthians 3:5, 6; John 14:26.

Note: “Many have willing hands and hearts, but they are discouraged from putting their energies into the work. They are criticised [sic] if they try to do anything, and finally allow their talents to lie dormant for fear of criticism, when if they were encouraged to use them, the work would be advanced. … Many more who ought to have an opportunity to develop into efficient workers for the Lord, are left in the shadow. …

“There are to be no secret societies in our churches. ‘All ye are brethren’ [Matthew 23:8]. The minister’s work is the lay member’s work as well. Heart should be bound to heart. Let all press forward, shoulder to shoulder. Is not every true follower of Christ open to receive His teachings? And should not all have an opportunity to learn of Christ’s methods by practical experience? …

“Let church members awake. Let them take hold and help to stay up the hands of the ministers and the workers, pushing forward the interests of the cause. There must be no measuring of talent by comparison. If a man exercises faith, and walks humbly with his God, he may have little education, he may be accounted a weak man, yet he can fill his appointed place as well as the man who has the finest education. He who yields himself most unreservedly to the influence of the Holy Spirit is best qualified to do acceptable service for the Master. God will inspire men who do not occupy responsible positions to work for Him. … Let men have freedom to carry out that which the Holy Spirit indicates. Do not put the shackles upon humble men whom God would use.” The Review and Herald, July 9, 1895.


1 What is God’s purpose for His people at this very hour in history?

2 How can a sickly congregation be revived?

3 Of what simple, non-controversial topic can new converts witness?

4 Why will it become increasingly challenging to witness for Christ?

5 Regarding our brethren, how may we be in danger of quenching the Holy Spirit?

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

Bible Study Guides – Molded by the Master

February 26, 2012 – March 3, 2012

Key Text

“O Lord, Thou art our Father; we are the clay, and Thou our Potter; and we all are the work of Thy hand.” Isaiah 64:8.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 9, 19–26.


“Let the church arouse and go forth to do her appointed work. Every believer, educated or uneducated, can bear the message.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 26.


  • What privilege is available to every soul in God’s family, and what is necessary in order to lay hold of it? Isaiah 64:8; Hebrews 13:6.

Note: “You are to be as clay in the hands of the potter, and if you submit yourself to Christ, He will fashion you into a vessel unto honor, fit for the Master’s use. The only thing that stands in the way of the soul who is not fashioned after the divine Pattern is that he does not become poor in spirit; for he who is poor in spirit will look to a higher Source than himself, that he may obtain the grace which will make him rich unto God. While he will feel that he cannot originate anything, he will say, ‘The Lord is my helper.’ ” The Signs of the Times, May 16, 1892.

  • In facing difficulties, what understanding can comfort our heart? Job 23:10.

Note: “The fact that we are called upon to endure trial shows that the Lord Jesus sees in us something precious which He desires to develop. If He saw in us nothing whereby He might glorify His name, He would not spend time in refining us. He does not cast worthless stones into His furnace. It is valuable ore that He refines. …

“As the clay is in the hands of the potter, so are we to be in His hands. We are not to try to do the work of the potter. Our part is to yield ourselves to be molded by the Master Worker.” The Ministry of Healing, 471, 472.


  • Whatever our task at hand may be, what must we consider? Ecclesiastes 9:10.

Note: “Let us remember that while the work we have to do may not be our choice, it is to be accepted as God’s choice for us. Whether pleasing or unpleasing, we are to do the duty that lies nearest.” The Ministry of Healing, 472, 473.

  • With what attitude should we brighten today’s toil? Colossians 3:23, 24.

Note: “It is easy for us to entertain ideas that we know more than we really do, and when tried we stumble over little matters as though they were great difficulties. Do not aspire to do some great service, when the duty of today has not been done with fidelity. Take up the commonplace care, trade on the humble talent with a solemn sense of your responsibility for the right use of every power, every thought that God has given you. God asks no less of the lowliest, than of the most exalted; each must do his appointed work with cheerful alacrity, according to the measure of the gift of Christ. The first thing to gain is a humble sense of your own weakness. Begin to see that you do not possess one tithe of the knowledge that you should possess. Begin to see how you have wasted your privileges, and how much you owe to the mercy of God.” The Review and Herald, May 1, 1888.

  • What lesson can we learn from the caged bird? What is the purpose of the shadows of affliction permitted by God? I Peter 4:12, 13.

Note: “In the full light of day, and in hearing of the music of other voices, the caged bird will not sing the song that his master seeks to teach him. He learns a snatch of this, a trill of that, but never a separate and entire melody. But the master covers the cage, and places it where the bird will listen to the one song he is to sing. In the dark, he tries and tries again to sing that song until it is learned, and he breaks forth in perfect melody. Then the bird is brought forth, and ever after he can sing that song in the light. Thus God deals with His children. He has a song to teach us, and when we have learned it amid the shadows of affliction we can sing it ever afterward.” The Ministry of Healing, 472.


  • Regardless of what others may do, what should we remember? Romans 14:12.

Note: “Let none mourn that they have not larger talents to use for the Master. While you are dissatisfied and complaining, you are losing precious time and wasting valuable opportunities. Thank God for the ability you have, and pray that you may be enabled to meet the responsibilities that have been placed upon you. If you desire greater usefulness, go to work and acquire what you mourn for. Go to work with steady patience, and do your very best, irrespective of what others are doing. [Romans 14:12 quoted.] Let not your thought or your words be, ‘O that I had a larger work! O that I were in this or that position!’

“Do your duty where you are. Make the best investments possible with your intrusted gift in the very place where your work will count the most before God. Put away all murmuring and strife. Labor not for the supremacy. Be not envious of the talents of others; for that will not increase your ability to do a good or a great work. Use your gift in meekness.” The Review and Herald, May 1, 1888.

  • Why does the Lord allow us to be tempted and tested? Deuteronomy 8:2.

Note: “God leads His people on, step by step. He brings them into positions which are calculated to reveal the motives of the heart. Some endure at one point, but fall off at the next. At every advance step the heart is tested and tried a little closer. If any find their hearts opposed to the straight work of God, it should convince them that they have a work to do in overcoming, or they will be finally rejected of the Lord.

“This world is the place in which to prepare to appear in God’s presence. Individuals will here show what power affects their hearts, and controls their actions. If it is the power of divine truth, it will lead them to good works, and make them noble-hearted and generous, like their divine Lord. But, on the other hand, selfishness, covetousness, and pride will manifest themselves as the sure result of yielding to evil impulses.

“All who become connected with the cause of God will have opportunity to know what is in their hearts.” The Review and Herald, April 8, 1880.

“It is not purse power or brain power, but heart power we need.” Our High Calling, 162.


  • Why is the teaching of the gospel given to the humble? I Corinthians 1:18–31.

Note: “The highest grade of schooling that any human being can attain to is the schooling given by the Divine Teacher. This is the knowledge that in a special sense we shall greatly need as we draw near the close of this world’s history, and every one will do well to obtain this kind of education. The Lord requires that men shall be under His training. There is a great work to be done. …

“Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. He received an education in the providence of God; but a large part of that education had to be unlearned, and accounted as foolishness. Its impression had to be blotted out by forty years of experience in caring for the sheep and the tender lambs. If many who are connected with the work of the Lord could be isolated as was Moses, and could be compelled by circumstances to follow some humble vocation until their hearts became tender, they would make much more faithful shepherds than they now do in dealing with God’s heritage. They would not be so prone to magnify their own abilities, or seek to demonstrate that the wisdom of an advanced education could take the place of a sound knowledge of God.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 360.

  • How are we made polished vessels in the Potter’s hands? II Timothy 2:19–21.

Note: “When self is woven into our labors, then the truth we bear to others does not sanctify, refine, and ennoble our own hearts; it will not testify that we are fit vessels for the Master’s use. It is only through fervent prayer that we may hold sweet fellowship with Jesus, and through this blessed communion the words and the spirit are made fragrant with the spirit of Christ. There is not a heart that will not bear watching. Jesus, the precious Saviour, enjoined watchfulness. The oversight of self must not be relaxed for a moment. The heart must be kept with diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 405.

“What kind of vessels are meet for the Master’s use?—Empty vessels. When we empty the soul of every defilement, we are ready for use.

“Are we emptied of self? Are we cured of selfish planning? Oh, for less self-occupation!” Ye Shall Receive Power, 111.


  • What activates and equips the vessels the Master is molding? II Corinthians 5:14.

Note: “The true test of character is found in the willingness to bear burdens, to take the hard place, to do the work that needs to be done, though it bring no earthly recognition or reward.” Education, 295.

“It is not the capabilities you now possess or ever will have that will give you success. It is that which the Lord can do for you. We need to have far less confidence in what man can do and far more confidence in what God can do for every believing soul. He longs to have you reach after Him by faith. He longs to have you expect great things from Him. He longs to give you understanding in temporal as well as in spiritual matters. He can sharpen the intellect.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 146.

“In this closing work of the gospel there is a vast field to be occupied; and, more than ever before, the work is to enlist helpers from the common people. Both the youth and those older in years will be called from the field, from the vineyard, and from the workshop, and sent forth by the Master to give His message. Many of these have had little opportunity for education; but Christ sees in them qualifications that will enable them to fulfill His purpose. If they put their hearts into the work, and continue to be learners, He will fit them to labor for Him. …

“He [Christ] will be present to help those whose hearts are susceptible to pity, though their hands may be rough and unskilled. He will work through those who can see mercy in misery, and gain in loss. When the Light of the world passes by, privilege will be discerned in hardship, order in confusion, success in apparent failure.” Education, 269, 270.


1 Why are the poor in spirit the only clay soft enough for molding?

2 What should we remember when faced with daily drudgery?

3 What current test is revealing the condition of my heart?

4 How was Moses remade into a more worthy vessel—and how can we be?

5 Why will Christ choose to work with vessels of such little apparent worth?

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

Recipe – Mixed Berry Smoothie

2 frozen bananas

4-5 strawberries

1 cup blueberries

1 cup raspberries

1 Tbsp. maple syrup or sugar

1-2 Tbsp. ground flax seeds

½ cup frozen spinach (Optional)

1-2 cups ice (depending on desired thickness)

(If using frozen berries, use soy, almond or rice milk instead of ice)

Toss all ingredients together into a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth.

Food – Benefits of Fiber

Have you noticed lately that there’s been more and more in the news about the importance of fiber in our diets? It seems like everywhere I look there are new high fiber foods (processed junk foods) that are hitting the grocer’s shelves or being touted on television ads as being good for you and your waistline simply because they are full of fiber. Yes, fiber is good for you and serves lots of purposes—especially if it comes naturally in whole, unprocessed foods.

Eating fiber-rich foods aids in digestion and the absorption of nutrients, and helps you to feel fuller longer after a meal (which can help curb overeating and weight gain). Eating the right amount of fiber has been shown to have a wide range of health benefits. Foods that are high in fiber can help in the treatment of constipation, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis (the inflammation of pouches in the digestive tract) and irritable bowel syndrome. Dietary fiber may also help lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.

Do you think that you eat enough fiber? Does the thought of fiber-rich foods conjure up thoughts of oatmeal and sawdust-dry bread? Well, I guess that’s one way you could increase the fiber content, but I like the idea of eating whole foods a whole lot better. Whole foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains are loaded with fiber, while dairy and meat have virtually no fiber at all. So if you want to increase the amount of fiber in your diet, try the following ideas:

  1. Eat at least 2 cups of fruits and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables each day. Fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber include:
  • Beans (cooked) such as:
    • navy (1/2 cup = 9.5 grams)
    • kidney (1/2 cup = 8.2 grams)
    • pinto (1/2 cup = 7.7 grams)
    • black (1/2 cup = 7.5 grams)
    • lima (1/2 cup = 6.6 grams)
    • white (1/2 cup = 6.3 grams)
    • great northern (1/2 cup = 6.2 grams)
  • Artichokes (1 artichoke = 6.5 grams)
  • Sweet potatoes (1 medium sweet potato = 4.8 grams)
  • Pears (1 small pear = 4.4 grams)
  • Green peas (1/2 cup = 4.4 grams)
  • Berries such as raspberries (1/2 cup = 4.0 grams) and blackberries (1/2 cup = 3.8 grams)
  • Prunes (1/2 cup = 3.8 grams)
  • Figs and dates (1/4 cup = 3.6 grams)
  • Spinach (1/2 cup = 3.5 grams)
  • Apples (1 medium apple = 3.3 grams)
  • Oranges (1 medium orange = 3.1 grams)
  1. Replace refined white bread with whole-grain breads and cereals. Eat brown rice instead of white rice. Eat more of the following foods:
  • Bran muffins
  • Oatmeal
  • Bran or multiple-grain cereals, cooked or dry
  • Brown rice
  • Popcorn
  • 100% whole-wheat bread
  1. Aim for 5 grams of fiber per serving
  • Add 1/4 cup of wheat bran (miller’s bran) to foods such as cooked cereal, applesauce or meat loaf
  • Eat beans each week

Be sure to drink more fluids when you increase the amount of fiber you eat. Liquids help your body digest fiber. Drink 8 glasses of water each day.

Pen of Inspiration – Heaven’s Judgments on the Wicked

Sabbath [February 16, 1895] … Byron Belden, Sarah Belden, and Sister May Lacey accompanied me to my appointment at Prospect [New South Wales]. … Our meeting closed quite late.

As we left the house we saw a storm coming. The blackness grew deeper—so portentous that we drove with our colts as fast as we dared. When we were almost home the fury of the gale struck. Large hailstones began to fall—as large around as a hen’s egg, but not as long. The horses could not keep their footing and twice slipped down on their haunches, for the road was slippery clay. The great hailstones frightened the young horse, for they were striking her with terrible force. I said, “Byron, get out at once.” He had not considered this the best thing to do, thinking he could control the horse better where he was, in the carriage. I said, “Go to her head; talk to her. Let the horses know it is not you that are beating them.” He jumped out at this suggestion. I said, “May Lacey and Sarah, get out.” They did but they cannot tell how. The colt was about frantic. She is a strong, sound colt, but broken to the harness only a few months. But she did not kick, neither did she break into a run, but tried to get away from something terrible.

I got out next, May and Sarah helping me. Then they helped me, one on one side and one on the other. The wind was blowing with such force that hats were taken from our heads and cushions were blown from the wagon. The heavy carriage cushions, umbrellas, and heavy carriage robes were blown into the field, and were flying in every direction. But we were all out from the carriage, Byron firmly holding the young frightened horse. Had it known its power, it could have freed itself from his grasp and torn everything to pieces and killed itself.

What a scene! Sister Belden, May Lacey, and I reached the house hatless. I grasped my hat in my hand as it was blowing before me on the ground. All of us three women were in the home drenched. Byron was with the poor terror-stricken new horse. Sarah Belden caught up a shawl and ran out again in the fast-falling hail. We could not see them although they were in full sight of the house. The fast-falling rain made it impossible to discern anything distinctly. We could only lift up our hearts to God for His help.

Byron said afterwards he did not dare to stir up the horses, fearing my horse would become uncontrollable. The colt was finally led close to the paddock fence, and Sarah Belden tried to untackle the traces but could not. She then climbed over the fence and held the horse’s head over the fence while Byron unhitched the traces and let the horse free. He then led her down to the yard, taking her through the front yard grounds. Sarah Belden came into the house drenched to the skin. After the storm had spent its force, Byron again took the colt and attached her to the wagon and picked up the scattered things which had been blown about, and brought them to the house.

This is the sharpest experience I have ever had in a carriage in a storm. When the blackness deepened, with the clouds in the south, I supposed it would be no ordinary storm that we should have, and I thought of the day when the judgment of God would be poured out upon the world, when blackness and horrible darkness would clothe the heavens as sackcloth of hair. We have no question but our prayers were answered and the angel of God stood by the horses’ heads. Nothing was broken. The Lord preserved us, and His name shall be glorified. But I was deeply impressed. My imagination anticipated what it must be in that period when the Lord’s mighty voice shall give commission to His angels, “Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth” (Revelation 16:1). …

When the plagues of God shall come upon the earth, hail will fall upon the wicked about the weight of a talent. The hail had struck Brother Belden. One stone struck him on the back of the head, raising a large lump. Another stone struck him very near the temple. The bruise still shows upon the hands of Sister Belden. But what must it be when the hail shall be so much increased in size, falling upon those who would not care for and obey God but insulted Him and despised all His mercies? …

The Lord has a people whom He will preserve. John beheld the “four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree” (Revelation 7:1, 3) till the seal of the living God shall be placed upon those who love God and keep His commandments. …

And if we have been mercifully shielded from accident, if lightning and tempest have passed us by unharmed, if the waves that talked with death have submerged the proud vessels but have brought the one on which we sailed to the harbor, let us bow in gratitude to God and thank Him that the power of mighty angels, at His bidding, have held back the winds and waves that they did not destroy.

Manuscript Releases, vol. 15, 217–221.

Health – Oregano

Oregano, a Valuable Plant

“God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day.” Genesis 1:11–13

Historical Uses

Jethro Kloss, in his book, Back to Eden, Back to Eden Books Publishing, Loma Linda, California, which was originally published in 1939, recognized the value of this herb. He describes some of the uses as follows:

“Very strengthening to the stomach and increases the appetite. Excellent for relieving sour stomach. Excellent in tuberculosis and severe cough. Good in suppressed urine, suppressed menstruation, dropsy, yellow jaundice, scurvy, and itch. The extracted juice is excellent for deafness or pain and noise in the ears. Drop a few drops in the ear whenever necessary. The oil dropped in the hollow of an aching tooth will stop the pain. Will expel gas from the stomach and bowels.

“Very helpful in dyspepsia. Good for rheumatism, colic, nausea, and neuralgia. A poultice made from this herb is very beneficial for painful swellings, sprains, felons, boils, and carbuncles. It is an excellent medicine in nervous persons. Good to use in salves and liniments. It is excellent for a sore throat when applied as a heating compress. Steep a heaping tablespoonful in a pint of boiling water for thirty minutes. Dip a cloth in this hot tea, apply to the neck, binding snugly with a dry cloth.

“It is well to cover the compress with oiled silk or a piece of plastic, which will keep it moist. For general use, steep a teaspoonful to a cup of boiling water for twenty minutes; drink cold one or two cupfuls a day, one hour before meals. Children less according to age.” Back to Eden, 162, 163.

Updated Benefits and Uses

Just think of all the benefits from this one little plant. We need to keep this valuable information accessible to share with all who are interested. Research is now indicating that herbs are a rich source of healthy antioxidants and that oregano ranks the highest. “Some herbs should be considered as regular vegetables,” says Shiow Y. Wang, Ph.D., the study’s lead researcher and a plant physiologist/ biochemist with the USDA’s Beltsville Agricultural Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland. “People should use more herbs for flavoring instead of salt and artificial chemicals.”

Wang found that herbs with the highest antioxidant activity belonged to the oregano family. In general, oregano had 3 to 20 times higher antioxidant activity than the other herbs studied.

On a per gram fresh weight basis, oregano and other herbs ranked even higher in antioxidant activity than fruits and vegetables, which are known to be high in antioxidants. In comparison to the antioxidant activities of a few select fruits and vegetables, the potency of oregano ranks supreme. Oregano has 42 times more antioxidant activity than apples, 30 times more than potatoes, 12 times more than oranges and 4 times more than blueberries, Wang says.

For example, she says that one tablespoon of fresh oregano contains the same antioxidant activity as one medium-sized apple.

Even if you’re not into oregano, other herbs also appear to pack a significant antioxidant punch. Among the more familiar, ranked in order, are dill, garden thyme, rosemary and peppermint.

The most active phenol component in some of the herbs with the highest antioxidant activity, particularly oregano, was rosmarinic acid, a strong antioxidant, the researcher says.

Fruits and vegetables have long been viewed as a rich source of antioxidant compounds. Health officials have been urging consumers for years to eat more fruits and vegetables in order to gain the health benefits of antioxidants, but progress has been slow, according to researchers. Westerners still tend to favor diets that are rich in fats and carbohydrates.

Now, herbs have emerged as a quick and easy way to get a concentrated source of antioxidants without all the extra calories of whole foods, Wang says. She recently compared the antioxidant activity of herbs to a few select spices, including paprika, garlic, curry, chili, and black pepper. Herbs came out on top, she says.

Herbs can be consumed in a variety of ways. Some people prefer to drink herb extracts, which can be made by adding herbs to hot water to make potent antioxidant teas. Others use concentrated herbal oils available in some health food stores. Most of us prefer a little dash and sprinkle of the familiar leafy or powdered versions to add flavor to our favorite foods.

In general, fresh herbs and spices are healthier and contain higher antioxidant levels compared to their processed counterparts. For example, the antioxidant activity of fresh garlic is 1.5 times higher than dry garlic powder, the researcher says.

These measures of fresh herbs contain the same antioxidant activity as one apple:

  • 1 tablespoon of oregano
  • 3 tablespoons of dill
  • 4.5 tablespoons of thyme
  • 7 tablespoons of sage
  • 8 tablespoons of parsley

Source: Shiow Y. Wang, Ph.D., USDA/Agricultural Research Service, Fruit Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.

God has provided us with such a wealth of nutrients through His creation and we have the blessing of growing these little miracles in our own kitchens. I am sure we do not realize or appreciate the value of each plant provided for our sustenance and health. To God be the glory, great things He hath done!

Children’s Story – You Can’t Fool God

During the early years of Adventism, there was much confusion of belief, many false ideas, and much fanaticism. Through Satan, many things were taught that were opposite to what Jesus and the Bible teach. God, because He loves us, sent a special messenger to help straighten out these false and fanatical beliefs. Her name was Ellen (Harmon) White.

This story recounts how two fanatical people tried to trick Ellen, to escape hearing God’s messages through her, and to keep others from hearing as well. But while they could have tricked Ellen, they could not trick God.

One day a man, Otis Nichols, from Dorchester, Massachusetts, visited the Harmon home. He asked that Ellen and Sarah, her sister, visit them. They wanted to hear about Ellen’s visions and, if possible, put an end to the fanatical teachings of two men living and preaching in their area.

When Mr. Nichols returned to his home in Dorchester, Ellen and Sarah went with him. Soon after arriving, two men knocked on the door on a business errand. Upon finishing their business, they asked Mr. Nichols if they could stay the night. Mr. Nichols, happy with the request, invited them in, explaining that they would get to meet and visit with the Harmon sisters.

Remarkably, the two men, Mr. Robbins and Mr. Sargent, quickly decided that they had urgent business that would prevent their staying the night. Disappointed, Mr. Nichols said, “Too bad, but you will have a chance to meet the sisters in Boston. We’re planning to bring Sister Ellen with us to speak to the company on Sabbath.” The two men said that was fine, and they would spread the word and meet them there.

That evening during family worship, God gave Ellen a vision, in which He told her that on Sabbath, rather than going to Boston as planned, she was to go to Randolph, about ten miles south of Boston.

Mr. Nichols was alarmed and protested, reminding her of all the people already notified and eagerly looking forward to hearing about her visions. Calmly she replied that she would do as God had bidden her and that He would make clear the reasons after their arrival in Randolph.

What Ellen, Sarah and Mr. Nichols did not know, but the Lord knew, was that upon leaving Mr. Nichols’ home, Mr. Robbins and Mr. Sargent, rather than keeping their word to spread the news of Miss Harmon speaking in Boston, had announced that there would be no meeting in Boston but that the meeting would instead be in Randolph.

Sabbath morning, eager men, women and children gathered at a believer’s home for worship. Happy in outwitting the Harmon sisters and Mr. Nichols, Mr. Sargent, who did most of the speaking, was sharing his fanatical views. He also told the people, “You have heard about those visions of Ellen Harmon. Don’t listen to them; they are of the devil.” As he was speaking, there was a knock on the door. Imagine the astonishment and dismay of the speaker and his colleague when in walked Ellen, Sarah and Mr. Nichols! Stopping in the middle of a sentence, Mr. Sargent turned to Mr. Robbins, requesting him to announce the closing hymn and stating that they would meet again after lunch.

Mealtime soon over, the people eagerly gathered again in the meeting room awaiting what would follow. During opening prayer, the Lord gave Ellen another vision. Nothing could have displeased the two fanatical preachers more. They knew that Ellen was against their strange teachings. Something, they thought, must be done to take the attention off Ellen and her vision. Mr. Robbins stood up and, announcing a hymn, began to sing, but few joined him. Mr. Sargent also attempted to distract the people. Picking up a Bible, he began reading in a loud voice. Someone from the audience requested, “Will you please stop singing and reading. We want to hear what Sister Ellen is saying.”

Desperate to distract, they continued shouting and singing until both were hoarse and so shaky that they could scarcely hold their books. During that time, Ellen’s voice “rang out clear and distinct. Every word could be heard.” All could see that she was under God’s control. They noticed her dignified manner. They noticed, to their shock, that she was not breathing, even when she spoke. They recognized that the words she spoke, far from being of the devil, were words full of encouragement, light and truth.

Mr. Thayer, who owned the home where the meeting took place, stood up. He said, “I have been told that visions which come from Satan can be stopped by laying an open Bible on the person having the vision. Mr. Sargent, will you make this test?”

“I will not!” was the reply.

At that point Ellen was sitting in a chair resting comfortably against the wall. Mr. Thayer, picking up a large family Bible, approached Ellen and placed the Bible on her chest. Immediately she lifted that heavy Bible over her head in one hand and proclaimed, “The inspired testimony from God!”

For an entire hour she held that heavy Bible above her head with one hand and, while speaking, turned the pages with her other hand, pointing at the pages.

Someone exclaimed, “Let’s see if she is pointing at, and quoting the texts correctly!” With eager anticipation someone brought a chair. One at a time different people climbed up on that chair to see, exclaiming in astonishment, “Sister Ellen is turning the pages and pointing her finger at the very texts she is using. Without looking, she is quoting correctly!” As the vision was about to close, nearly four hours later, Ellen began sharing scenes relating to the punishment of the wicked. Mr. Sargent and Mr. Robbins became troubled and silent. The hushed audience waited, hoping and praying. Would they confess? Sadly, they did not. But did they fool God? Not for a moment. God knew all along and in His love and providence brought true light to those who sincerely love Him.

Story adapted from Stories of My Grandmother, by Ella M. Robinson, Review and Herald Publishing Association, Hagerstown, Maryland.