Bible Study Guides – Jacob’s Experience

February 17, 2008 – February 23, 2008

Key Text

“And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and [Esau] sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.” Genesis 25:33.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 177–182.


“Jacob had learned from his mother of the divine intimation that the birthright should fall to him, and he was filled with an unspeakable desire for the privileges which it would confer. It was not the possession of his father’s wealth that he craved; the spiritual birthright was the object of his longing.” Conflict and Courage, 60.

1. What was revealed to Rebekah about her two children? Genesis 25:21–23.

Note: “Jacob and Esau, the twin sons of Isaac, present a striking contrast, both in character and in life. This unlikeness was foretold by the angel of God before their birth. When in answer to Rebekah’s troubled prayer he declared that two sons would be given her, he opened to her their future history, that each would become the head of a mighty nation, but that one would be greater than the other, and that the younger would have the preeminence.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 177.

2. What contrasting lifestyle did the two brothers follow? Genesis 25:27.

Note: “Esau grew up loving self-gratification and centering all his interest in the present. Impatient of restraint, he delighted in the wild freedom of the chase, and early chose the life of a hunter. Yet he was the father’s favorite. . . . Jacob, thoughtful, diligent, and care-taking, ever thinking more of the future than the present, was content to dwell at home, occupied in the care of the flocks and the tillage of the soil.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 177.

3. What duties and privileges did the firstborn son have?

Note: “Jacob had learned from his mother of the divine intimation that the birthright should fall to him, and he was filled with an unspeakable desire for the privileges which it would confer. It was not the possession of his father’s wealth that he craved; the spiritual birthright was the object of his longing. To commune with God as did righteous Abraham, to offer the sacrifice of atonement for his family, to be the progenitor of the chosen people and of the promised Messiah, and to inherit the immortal possessions embraced in the blessings of the covenant—here were the privileges and honors that kindled his most ardent desires. His mind was ever reaching forward to the future, and seeking to grasp its unseen blessings.

“With secret longing he listened to all that his father told concerning the spiritual birthright; he carefully treasured what he had learned from his mother. Day and night the subject occupied his thoughts, until it became the absorbing interest of his life.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 178.

4. What did Jacob do to obtain the promised birthright? Genesis 25:29–34. Why?

Note: “But while he thus esteemed eternal above temporal blessings, Jacob had not an experimental knowledge of the God whom he revered. His heart had not been renewed by divine grace. He believed that the promise concerning himself could not be fulfilled so long as Esau retained the rights of the first-born, and he constantly studied to devise some way whereby he might secure the blessing which his brother held so lightly, but which was so precious to himself.

“When Esau, coming home one day faint and weary from the chase, asked for the food that Jacob was preparing, the latter, with whom one thought was ever uppermost, seized upon his advantage, and offered to satisfy his brother’s hunger at the price of the birthright. ‘Behold, I am at the point to die,’ cried the reckless, self-indulgent hunter, ‘and what profit shall this birthright do to me?’ [Genesis 25:32.] And for a dish of red pottage he parted with his birthright, and confirmed the transaction by an oath. A short time at most would have secured him food in his father’s tents, but to satisfy the desire of the moment he carelessly bartered the glorious heritage that God Himself had promised to his fathers.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 178, 179.

5. What is written about Esau? Genesis 25:34, last part.

Note: “Esau had no love for devotion, no inclination to a religious life. The requirements that accompanied the spiritual birthright were an unwelcome and even hateful restraint to him. The law of God, which was the condition of the divine covenant with Abraham, was regarded by Esau as a yoke of bondage. Bent on self-indulgence, he desired nothing so much as liberty to do as he pleased. To him power and riches, feasting and reveling, were happiness. He gloried in the unrestrained freedom of his wild, roving life.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 178.

6. What lessons are applicable to us today about Esau’s experience? Hebrews 12:16, 17.

Note: “There are very many who are like Esau. He represents a class who have a special, valuable blessing within their reach,—the immortal inheritance, life that is as enduring as the life of God, the Creator of the universe, happiness immeasurable, and an eternal weight of glory,—but who have so long indulged their appetites, passions, and inclinations, that their power to discern and appreciate the value of eternal things is weakened.

“Esau had a special, strong desire for a particular article of food, and he had so long gratified self that he did not feel the necessity of turning from the tempting, coveted dish. He thought upon it, making no special effort to restrain his appetite, until the power of appetite . . . controlled him, and he imagined that he would suffer great inconvenience, and even death, if he could not have that particular dish. The more he thought upon it, the more his desire strengthened, until his birthright, which was sacred, lost its value and its sacredness.

“Esau passed the crisis of his life without knowing it. What he regarded as a matter worthy of scarcely a thought was the act which revealed the prevailing traits of his character. It showed his choice, showed his true estimate of that which was sacred and which should have been sacredly cherished. He sold his birthright for a small indulgence to meet his present wants, and this determined the after course of his life.” Conflict and Courage, 61.

7. What mistake did Jacob and Rebekah make? Genesis 27:1–29.

Note: “No sooner had Esau departed on his errand than Rebekah set about the accomplishment of her purpose. She told Jacob what had taken place, urging the necessity of immediate action to prevent the bestowal of the blessing, finally and irrevocably, upon Esau. And she assured her son that if he would follow her directions, he might obtain it as God had promised. Jacob did not readily consent to the plan that she proposed. The thought of deceiving his father caused him great distress. He felt that such a sin would bring a curse rather than a blessing. But his scruples were overborne, and he proceeded to carry out his mother’s suggestions. It was not his intention to utter a direct falsehood, but once in the presence of his father he seemed to have gone too far to retreat, and he obtained by fraud the coveted blessing.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 180.

8. What results immediately followed their wrong action? Genesis 27:41–45.

Note: “Jacob and Rebekah succeeded in their purpose, but they gained only trouble and sorrow by their deception. God had declared that Jacob should receive the birthright, and His word would have been fulfilled in His own time had they waited in faith for Him to work for them. But like many who now profess to be children of God, they were unwilling to leave the matter in His hands. Rebekah bitterly repented the wrong counsel she had given her son; it was the means of separating him from her, and she never saw his face again. From the hour when he received the birthright, Jacob was weighed down with self-condemnation. He had sinned against his father, his brother, his own soul, and against God. In one short hour he had made work for a lifelong repentance. This scene was vivid before him in afteryears, when the wicked course of his sons oppressed his soul.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 180.

9. What does God’s law say about deception? Exodus 20:16.

Note: “False speaking in any matter, every attempt or purpose to deceive our neighbor, is here included. An intention to deceive is what constitutes falsehood. By a glance of the eye, a motion of the hand, an expression of the countenance, a falsehood may be told as effectually as by words. All intentional overstatement, every hint or insinuation calculated to convey an erroneous or exaggerated impression, even the statement of facts in such a manner as to mislead, is falsehood. This precept forbids every effort to injure our neighbor’s reputation by misrepresentation or evil surmising, by slander or tale bearing. Even the intentional suppression of truth, by which injury may result to others, is a violation of the ninth commandment.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 309.

10. What characteristic is mentioned about the 144,000? Revelation 14:5.

Note: “I address the people of God who today are holding fast their confidence, who will not depart from the faith once delivered unto the saints, who stand amid the moral darkness of these days of corruption. The word of the Lord to you is: ‘I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people.’ [Isaiah 65:19.] Can we not here see the paternal love of God expressed to those who hold fast to the faith in righteousness? The closest relationship exists between God and His people. Not only are we objects of His sparing mercy, His pardoning love; we are more than this. The Lord rejoices over His people. He delights in them. He is their surety. He will beautify all who are serving Him with a whole heart with the spirit of holiness. He clothes them with righteousness.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 414, 415.

Additional Reading:

Experimental Religion: “How shall we know for ourselves God’s goodness and His love? The psalmist tells us—not, hear and know, read and know, or believe and know; but—‘Taste and see that the Lord is good.’ Psalm 34:8. Instead of relying upon the word of another, taste for yourself. Experience is knowledge derived from experiment. Experimental religion is what is needed now.” God’s Amazing Grace, 252.

“Experience is knowledge derived from experiment. Experimental religion is what is needed now. . . . Some—yes, a large number—have a theoretical knowledge of religious truth, but have never felt the renewing power of divine grace upon their own hearts. . . . They believe in the wrath of God, but put forth no earnest efforts to escape it. They believe in heaven, but make no sacrifice to obtain it. . . . They know a remedy for sin, but do not use it. They know the right, but have no relish for it. All their knowledge will but increase their condemnation. They have never tasted and learned by experience that the Lord is good.” Maranatha, 74.

“Just as long as God has a church, he will have those who will cry aloud and spare not, who will be his instruments to reprove selfishness and sins, and will not shun to declare the whole counsel of God, whether men will hear or forbear. I [Ellen White] saw that individuals would rise up against the plain testimonies. It does not suit their natural feelings. They would choose to have smooth things spoken unto them, and have peace cried in their ears. I view the church in a more dangerous condition than they ever have been. Experimental religion is known but by a few. The shaking must soon take place to purify the church.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, 284.

Deception: “The young man who makes the Bible his guide need not mistake the path of duty and of safety. That Book will teach him to preserve his integrity of character, to be truthful, to practice no deception. It will teach him that he must never transgress God’s law in order to accomplish a desired object, even though to obey involves a sacrifice.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 449.

“All who would enter the city of God must during their earthly life set forth Christ in their dealings. It is this that constitutes them the messengers of Christ, His witnesses. They are to bear a plain, decided testimony against all evil practices, pointing sinners to the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world. He gives to all who receive Him, power to become the sons of God. Regeneration is the only path by which we can enter the city of God. It is narrow, and the gate by which we enter is strait; but along it we are to lead men and women and children, teaching them that, in order to be saved, they must have a new heart and a new spirit. The old, hereditary traits of character must be overcome. The natural desires of the soul must be changed. All deception, all falsifying, all evil speaking, must be put away. The new life, which makes men and women Christlike, is to be lived.” Lift Him Up, 359.

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

Bible Study Guides – The Heavenly Trio

February 10, 2008 – February 16, 2008

Key Text

“Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:2.

Study Help: “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7A, 442.


“There are three living persons of the heavenly trio; in the name of these three great powers—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—those who receive Christ by living faith are baptized, and these powers will co-operate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their efforts to live the new life in Christ.” Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, 63.

1. How many persons of the Godhead were present at Jesus’ baptism? Matthew 3:16, 17.

Note: “When Christ bowed on the banks of Jordan, after his baptism, the heavens were opened, and the Spirit descended in the form of a dove, like burnished gold, and encircled him with its glory; and the voice of God from the highest heaven was heard, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ [Matthew 3:17.] The prayer of Christ in man’s behalf opened the gates of heaven, and the Father had responded, accepting the petition for the fallen race. Jesus prayed as our substitute and surety, and now the human family may find access to the Father through the merits of his well-beloved Son.” Review and Herald, February 28, 1888.

2. What assurance is given to those who believe in Christ as their personal Saviour? John 20:17.

3. How many persons are mentioned in Christ’s promise to send the Comforter? John 14:16.

Note: “The Comforter that Christ promised to send after He ascended to heaven, is the Spirit in all the fullness of the Godhead, making manifest the power of divine grace to all who receive and believe in Christ as a personal Saviour. There are three living persons of the heavenly trio; in the name of these three great powers—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—those who receive Christ by living faith are baptized, and these powers will co-operate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their efforts to live the new life in Christ.” Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, 63.

4. Why is the Holy Spirit called “another Comforter” in John 14:16? Compare 1 John 2:1.

Note: “The promise of the Comforter presented a rich truth to the disciples. It assured them that they should not lose their faith under the most trying circumstances. The Holy Spirit, sent in the name of Christ, was to be their Guide, teaching them all things, and bringing all things to their remembrance. This Comforter was to be the representative of Christ their Advocate, who is constantly pleading in behalf of the fallen race.

“He who knows the end from the beginning has provided for the attack of satanic agencies; and he will fulfill his Word to the faithful in every age. That Word is sure and steadfast; not one jot or tittle of it can fail. The Holy Spirit is constantly at work, teaching, reminding, testifying, coming to the soul as a divine comforter, and convincing of sin as an appointed judge and guide. If men will keep under the protection of God, he will be to them as an impregnable fortress. He will give evidence that his Word can never fail. He will prove a light that shineth in a dark place until the day dawn; as the Sun of Righteousness he will arise with healing in his beams.” The Signs of the Times, November 18, 1897.

5. Who was mentioned by Christ in His commission to His disciples? Matthew 28:19.

Note: “The disciples were to carry their work forward in Christ’s name. Their every word and act was to fasten attention on His name, as possessing that vital power by which sinners may be saved. Their faith was to center in Him who is the source of mercy and power. In His name they were to present their petitions to the Father, and they would receive answer. They were to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Christ’s name was to be their watchword, their badge of distinction, their bond of union, the authority for their course of action, and the source of their success. Nothing was to be recognized in His kingdom that did not bear His name and superscription.” The Acts of the Apostles, 28.

6. What assurance did Christ give to His followers? Matthew 28:20.

Note: “Christ gave His disciples their commission. He made full provision for the prosecution of the work, and took upon Himself the responsibility for its success. So long as they obeyed His word, and worked in connection with Him, they could not fail. Go to all nations, He bade them. Go to the farthest part of the habitable globe, but know that My presence will be there. Labor in faith and confidence, for the time will never come when I will forsake you.

“The Saviour’s commission to the disciples included all the believers. It includes all believers in Christ to the end of time. It is a fatal mistake to suppose that the work of saving souls depends alone on the ordained minister. All to whom the heavenly inspiration has come are put in trust with the gospel. All who receive the life of Christ are ordained to work for the salvation of their fellow men. For this work the church was established, and all who take upon themselves its sacred vows are thereby pledged to be co-workers with Christ.” The Desire of Ages, 822.

7. How does Peter salute the readers of his epistle? 1 Peter 1:2. What does Paul mention also? 11 Thessalonians 2:13, 14.

Note: “ ‘God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation,’ the apostle Paul writes, ‘through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.’ 11 Thessalonians 2:13. In this text the two agencies in the work of salvation are revealed—the divine influence, and the strong, living faith of those who follow Christ. It is through the sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth that we become laborers together with God. Christ waits for the co-operation of His church. He does not design to add a new element of efficiency to His word; He has done His great work in giving His inspiration to the word. The blood of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the divine word, are ours. The object of all this provision of heaven is before us—the salvation of the souls for whom Christ died; and it depends upon us to lay hold on the promises God has given, and become laborers together with Him. Divine and human agencies must co-operate in the work.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 22.

8. Who worked out the plan of redemption at the very beginning?

Note: “The Godhead was stirred with pity for the race, and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit gave Themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption. In order fully to carry out this plan, it was decided that Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, should give Himself an offering for sin. What line can measure the depth of this love? God would make it impossible for man to say that He could have done more. With Christ He gave all the resources of heaven, that nothing might be wanting in the plan for man’s uplifting. Here is love—the contemplation of which should fill the soul with inexpressible gratitude! Oh, what love, what matchless love! The contemplation of this love will cleanse the soul from all selfishness. It will lead the disciple to deny self, take up the cross, and follow the Redeemer.” Counsels on Health, 222, 223.

9. What promise does the apostolic benediction include? 11 Corinthians 13:14.

Note: “To His church, Christ has given ample facilities, that He may receive a large revenue of glory from His redeemed, purchased possession. The church, being endowed with the righteousness of Christ, is His depository, in which the wealth of His mercy, His love, His grace, is to appear in full and final display. The declaration in His intercessory prayer, that the Father’s love is as great toward us as toward Himself, the only-begotten Son, and that we shall be with Him where He is, forever one with Christ and the Father, is a marvel to the heavenly host, and it is their great joy. The gift of His Holy Spirit, rich, full, and abundant, is to be to His church as an encompassing wall of fire, which the powers of hell shall not prevail against.” Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White, 209.

10. How can we avail ourselves of the help of the heavenly trio? Luke 11:11–13.

Note: “Christ illustrates the willingness of God to bless by the willingness of a father to grant the request of his child. He says, ‘If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?’ Luke 11:11–13.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 242.

Additional Reading:

“The Father is all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and is invisible to mortal sight.

“The Son is all the fullness of the Godhead manifested. The Word of God declares Him to be ‘the express image of His person.’ ‘God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ [Hebrews 1:3; John 3:16.] Here is shown the personality of the Father.

“The Comforter that Christ promised to send after He ascended to heaven, is the Spirit in all the fullness of the Godhead, making manifest the power of divine grace to all who receive and believe in Christ as a personal Saviour.” Evangelism, 614, 615.

“The Holy Spirit comes to convict of sin, and the faith that springs up in the heart works by love to Christ, conforming us in body, soul, and spirit to His own image. Then God can use us to do His will.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 100.

“All who receive the gospel message into the heart will long to proclaim it. The heaven-born love of Christ must find expression. Those who have put on Christ will relate their experience, tracing step by step the leadings of the Holy Spirit—their hungering and thirsting for the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent, the results of their searching of the Scriptures, their prayers, their soul agony, and the words of Christ to them, ‘Thy sins be forgiven thee.’ [Matthew 9:2.]” Ibid., 125.

“Our sanctification is the work of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is the fulfilment of the covenant that God has made with those who bind themselves up with Him, to stand with Him, with His Son, and with His Spirit in holy fellowship. Have you been born again? Have you become a new being in Christ Jesus? Then co-operate with the three great powers of heaven who are working in your behalf. Doing this you will reveal to the world the principles of righteousness.” The Signs of the Times, June 19, 1901.

“Those who are baptized in the threefold name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, at the very entrance of their Christian life declare publicly that they have forsaken the service of Satan and have become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly king.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 91.

“When truth becomes an abiding principle in the life, the soul is ‘born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.’ [1 Peter 1:23.] This new birth is the result of receiving Christ as the Word of God. When by the Holy Spirit divine truths are impressed upon the heart, new conceptions are awakened, and the energies hitherto dormant are aroused to co-operate with God.” The Acts of the Apostles, 520.

“Those who study the word of God with hearts open to the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, will not remain in darkness as to the meaning of the word. ‘If any man willeth to do His will,’ Christ said, ‘he shall know of the teaching whether it be of God, or whether I speak from Myself.’ John 7:17, R.V.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 36.

“Morning by morning, as the heralds of the gospel kneel before the Lord and renew their vows of consecration to Him, He will grant them the presence of His Spirit, with its reviving, sanctifying power. As they go forth to the day’s duties, they have the assurance that the unseen agency of the Holy Spirit enables them to be ‘laborers together with God.’ ” The Acts of the Apostles, 56.

“What was the strength of those who in the past have suffered persecution for Christ’s sake? It was union with God, union with the Holy Spirit, union with Christ.” Ibid., 84.

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

Bible Study Guides – The Holy Spirit

February 3, 2008 – February 9, 2008

Key Text

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” Genesis 1:1, 2.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 668–672.


“Through the creation we are to become acquainted with the Creator. The book of nature is a great lesson-book, which in connection with the Scriptures we are to use in teaching others of his character, and guiding lost sheep back to the fold of God. As the works of God are studied, the Holy Spirit flashes conviction into the mind.” The Watchman, November 3, 1908.

1. What title does the apostle Peter apply to the Holy Spirit? Acts 5:3, 4.

Note: “God hates hypocrisy and falsehood. Ananias and Sapphira practiced fraud in their dealing with God; they lied to the Holy Spirit, and their sin was visited with swift and terrible judgment. When Ananias came with his offering, Peter said: ‘Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.’ [Acts 5:3, 4.]” The Acts of the Apostles, 72.

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

2. What is the Holy Spirit called in Isaiah 6:8–10? Compare Acts 28:25–27.

3. What divine attribute is applied to the Holy Spirit in Hebrews 9:14?

4. What other attribute is mentioned by the angel Gabriel? Luke 1:35.

Note: “The omnipotent power of the Holy Spirit is the defense of every contrite soul. Not one that in penitence and faith has claimed His protection will Christ permit to pass under the enemy’s power. The Saviour is by the side of His tempted and tried ones. With Him there can be no such thing as failure, loss, impossibility, or defeat; we can do all things through Him who strengthens us. When temptations and trials come, do not wait to adjust all the difficulties, but look to Jesus, your helper.” The Desire of Ages, 490–493.

“A portion of the joy which was set before Christ, was the joy of seeing his truth armed with the omnipotent power of the Holy Spirit, impressing his image upon the life and character of his followers. . . .

“What has the rich blessing of God done for those who were humble and contrite in heart to receive it? Has the blessing been cherished? Have the receivers been showing forth the praises of Him who has called them out of darkness into his marvelous light? There are some who are already questioning the work that was so good, and that should have been most highly appreciated. They are looking upon it as a certain species of fanaticism. It would be surprising if there were not some, who, not being well-balanced in mind, have spoken and acted indiscreetly; for whenever and wherever the Lord works in giving a genuine blessing, a counterfeit is also revealed, in order to make of none effect the true work of God. Therefore we need to be exceedingly careful, and walk humbly before God, that we may have spiritual eyesalve that we may distinguish the working of the Holy Spirit of God from the working of that spirit that would bring in wild license and fanaticism. ‘By their fruits ye shall know them’ [Matthew 7:20]. Those who are really beholding Christ will be changed into His image, even by the Spirit of the Lord, and will grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit of God will inspire men with love and purity; and refinement will be manifest in their characters.” Review and Herald, February 6, 1894.

5. What characteristic does Paul mention with reference to the Holy Ghost? 1 Corinthians 2:10, 11.

Note: “Never can humanity, of itself, attain to a knowledge of the divine. ‘It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?’ Job 11:8. Only the spirit of adoption can reveal to us the deep things of God, which ‘eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man.’ ‘God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.’ 1 Corinthians 2:9, 10.” The Desire of Ages, 412.

6. Mention another quality described in Psalm 139.

Note: “Although our Lord ascended from earth to heaven, the Holy Spirit was appointed as His representative among men. ‘If ye love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless.’ John 14:15–18.

“Cumbered with humanity, Christ could not be in every place personally; therefore it was altogether for their advantage that He should leave them, go to His father, and send the Holy Spirit to be His successor on earth. The Holy Spirit is Himself divested of the personality of humanity and independent thereof. He would represent Himself as present in all places by His Holy Spirit, as the Omnipresent. ‘But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall (although unseen by you), [This phrase was added by Ellen White.] teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.’ John 14:26. ‘Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will come not unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.’ John 16:7.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 14, 23, 24.

7. Mention some evidences concerning the personality of the Holy Spirit:

  • The Holy Spirit speaks: Acts 28:25
  • He teaches: John 14:26
  • He strives with sinners: Genesis 6:3
  • He comforts: Acts 9:31
  • He helps in our infirmities: Romans 8:26
  • He is vexed: Isaiah 63:10
  • He is grieved: Ephesians 4:30
  • He can be resisted: Acts 7:51
  • He has a mind: Romans 8:27

Note: “Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon His church.” The Desire of Ages, 671.

“We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds.” Sermons and Talks, vol. 2, 137.

“The Holy Spirit is a person, for He beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God. When this witness is borne, it carries with it its own evidence. At such times we believe and are sure that we are the children of God.” Sons and Daughters of God, 28.

“The Holy Spirit has a personality, else He could not bear witness to our spirits and with our spirits that we are the children of God. He must also be a divine person, else He could not search out the secrets which lie hidden in the mind of God. ‘For what man knoweth the things of a man save the spirit of man, which is in him; even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.’ [1 Corinthians 2:11.]” Manuscript Releases, vol. 20, 69.

“The prince of the power of evil can only be held in check by the power of God in the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.” Special Testimonies, Series A, No. 10, 37.

8. Mention some of the actions of the Holy Spirit:

  • He creates: Job 33:4
  • He renews: Isaiah 32:15
  • He convicts: John 16:8–11
  • He regenerates: John 3:3, 5
  • He indwells: Romans 8:11
  • He anoints: 1 John 2:20, 27
  • He baptizes: Acts 2:17, 18

Additional Reading:

“The Holy Spirit is the breath of spiritual life in the soul. The impartation of the Spirit is the impartation of the life of Christ. It imbues the receiver with the attributes of Christ. Only those who are thus taught of God, those who possess the inward working of the Spirit, and in whose life the Christ-life is manifested, are to stand as representative men, to minister in behalf of the church.” The Desire of Ages, 805.

“We need the softening, subduing, refining influence of the Holy Spirit, to mold our characters, and to bring every thought into captivity to Christ. It is the Holy Spirit that will enable us to overcome, that will lead us to sit at the feet of Jesus, as did Mary, and learn His meekness and lowliness of heart.

“We need to be sanctified by the Holy Spirit every hour of the day, lest we be ensnared by the enemy and our souls be imperiled.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 223.

“The power of the Holy Spirit is needed to chase away our unbelief and unchristlike attributes. We must see our need of a physician. We are sick, and do not know it. May the Lord convert the hearts of His workmen! When there is a converted ministry, then look for results. But we cannot convert our own hearts. This work can be done only by the power of the Holy Spirit. In every stage of the work let this be remembered: ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’ [Zechariah 4:6.]” Reflecting Christ, 114.

“We have the privilege of being trained under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. All the attributes that are excellent are to strengthen our moral powers, that they may have no mist or tarnish upon them. We are weaving our threads in the web of humanity; not a thread of self-glory must be woven into the fabric. All heaven is imparting its help that we may surmount every obstacle. . . . We are to build characters of a goodly fabric, spiritual, heavenly, perfect. God bids us work for time and for eternity that we may grow after the divine likeness.” In Heavenly Places, 165.

“The followers of Christ are to shed light into the darkness of the world. Through the Holy Spirit, God’s word is a light as it becomes a transforming power in the life of the receiver. By implanting in their hearts the principles of His word, the Holy Spirit develops in men the attributes of God. The light of His glory—His character—is to shine forth in His followers.” God’s Amazing Grace, 214.

“Jesus did not seek you and me because we were his friends; for we were estranged from him, and unreconciled to God. It was while we were yet sinners that Christ died for us. But he has promised to give us his Holy Spirit, that we might become assimilated to his nature, changed into his image. Therefore we must put away everything like passion, impatience, murmuring, and unrest, and find a place for Jesus in the heart.” Bible Echo, January 15, 1892.

“We are called by Christ to come out from the world and to be separate. We are called to live holy lives, having our hearts continually drawn out to God, and having in our lives the Holy Spirit as an abiding presence. Every true believer in Christ will reveal that the grace of His love is in the heart. Where once there was estrangement from God, there will be revealed co-partnership with Him; where once the carnal nature was manifest, there will be seen the attributes of the divine.” Ye Shall Receive Power, 28.

“The law of God is to be obeyed. . . . God’s law is a law of mercy, an expression of goodness; it holds His creatures responsible for allegiance to Him, places them under obligation to reveal in their characters the attributes of its Author. Through the power of the Holy Spirit the law of God is to be exemplified in the life of a Christian.” Lake Union Herald, November 17, 1909.

“Wherever the holy precepts of God are observed, it is an evidence that the word and the Spirit of God have penetrated the human heart and transformed the natural character. The law of God is the true standard of character, and the commandments can not be disregarded and ignored without detriment to character.” The Signs of the Times, April 2, 1896.

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

Bible Study Guides – “The Word Was Made Flesh”

January 27, 2008 – February 2, 2008

Key Text

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. . . . And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:1–4, 14.

Study Help: Selected Messages, Book 1, 252–256.


“The apostle [Paul] exalted Christ before his brethren as the One by whom God had created all things and by whom He had wrought out their redemption. He declared that the hand that sustains the worlds in space, and holds in their orderly arrangements and tireless activity all things throughout the universe of God, is the hand that was nailed to the cross for them.” The Acts of the Apostles, 471, 472.

1 How does Paul summarize the incarnation? 1 Timothy 3:16.

Note: “ ‘Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in His apparel, traveling in the greatness of His strength?’ Isaiah 63:1. With assurance comes the answer: ‘Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.’ 1 Timothy 3:16.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 262.

2 How can we get a glimpse of this mystery? Matthew 16:24; Galatians 6:14.

Note: “The cross of Christ is all covered with reproach and stigma, yet it is the hope of life and exaltation to man. No one can comprehend the mystery of godliness so long as he is ashamed to bear the cross of Christ.” Review and Herald, April 15, 1875.

3 What other description does Paul make of the incarnation? Philippians 2:5–8.

Note: “Point after point Paul lingered over, in order that those who should read his epistle might fully comprehend the wonderful condescension of the Saviour in their behalf. Presenting Christ as He was when equal with God and with Him receiving the homage of the angels, the apostle traced His course until He had reached the lowest depths of humiliation. Paul was convinced that if they could be brought to comprehend the amazing sacrifice made by the Majesty of heaven, all selfishness would be banished from their lives. He showed how the Son of God had laid aside His glory, voluntarily subjecting Himself to the conditions of human nature, and then had humbled Himself as a servant, becoming obedient unto death, ‘even the death of the cross’ (Philippians 2:8), that He might lift fallen man from degradation to hope and joy and heaven.” The Acts of the Apostles, 333.

4 Why did Christ submit Himself to such humiliation? John 3:16.

Note: “When we study the divine character in the light of the cross we see mercy, tenderness, and forgiveness blended with equity and justice. We see in the midst of the throne One bearing in hands and feet and side the marks of the suffering endured to reconcile man to God. We see a Father, infinite, dwelling in light unapproachable, yet receiving us to Himself through the merits of His Son. The cloud of vengeance that threatened only misery and despair, in the light reflected from the cross reveals the writing of God: Live, sinner, live! ye penitent, believing souls, live! I have paid a ransom.

“In the contemplation of Christ we linger on the shore of a love that is measureless. We endeavor to tell of this love, and language fails us. We consider His life on earth, His sacrifice for us, His work in heaven as our advocate, and the mansions He is preparing for those who love Him, and we can only exclaim, O the height and depth of the love of Christ! ‘Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.’ ‘Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.’ 1 John 4:10; 3:1.” The Acts of the Apostles, 333, 334.

5 How does God the Father address Christ? Hebrews 1:7–10.

Note: “The Angel of the covenant came in the name of God, as the invisible leader of Israel. The Son of God over His own house is higher than Moses, higher than the highest angel. He bears the name of Jehovah upon His miter, while on His breastplate is written the name of Israel. Christ took humanity that humanity might touch humanity. In the form of man He humbled Himself, and became a servant, but as the Son of God He was higher than the angels. By His life in humanity man may become a partaker of the divine nature. As the Majesty of heaven, He was exalted above the angels, and in His work of redemption He carries with Him all who have received Him and believed on His name.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 928.

6 How clearly does John recognize the divinity of Christ? 1 John 5:20.

Note: “Everyone who is chosen of God should improve his intellectual powers. Jesus came to represent the character of the Father, and He sent His disciples into the world to represent the character of Christ. He has given us His word to point out the way of life, and He has not left us simply to carry that word, but has also promised to give it efficiency by the power of the Holy Spirit. Is there need, then, that any should walk in uncertainty, grieving that they do not know and experience the movings of the Holy Spirit upon their hearts? Are you hungering and thirsting for instruction in righteousness? Then you have the sure promise that you shall be filled. ‘And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.’ [1 John 5:20.]

“The Lord would have us in possession of the spirit of heavenly wisdom. Are we all being impressed to pray to the Lord humbly and earnestly as our necessities require, importuning Him for the spirit of wisdom? Do we pray, saying, ‘Show me the secrets which I know not, teach Thou me’? Oh, for humble, earnest prayer to go forth from unfeigned lips praying for the counsel that is of God! He says, Counsel is Mine, and sound wisdom.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 199, 200.

7 What was prophesied about Christ’s incarnation? Psalm 40:6–8. Compare with Hebrews 10:5–7.

Note: “Christ alone was able to represent the Deity. He who had been in the presence of the Father from the beginning, He who was the express image of the invisible God, was alone sufficient to accomplish this work. No verbal description could reveal God to the world. Through a life of purity, a life of perfect trust and submission to the will of God, a life of humiliation such as even the highest seraph in heaven would have shrunk from, God Himself must be revealed to humanity. In order to do this, our Saviour clothed His divinity with humanity. He employed the human faculties, for only by adopting these could He be comprehended by humanity. Only humanity could reach humanity. He lived out the character of God through the human body which God had prepared for Him. He blessed the world by living out in human flesh the life of God, thus showing that He had the power to unite humanity to divinity.” Review and Herald, June 25, 1895.

“Christ in the courts of heaven had known that the time would come when the power of Satan must be met and conquered if the human race was ever to be saved from his dominion. And when that time came, the Son of God laid off His kingly crown and royal robe, and clothing His divinity with humanity, came to the earth to meet the prince of evil, and to conquer him. In order to become the advocate of man before the Father, the Saviour would live His life on earth as every human being must, accepting its adversities and sorrows and temptations.” Ibid., January 28, 1909.

8 How did Christ manifest His divinity even in His human nature? Matthew 2:2, 11.

Note: “ ‘When [the wise men from the East] were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and fell down, and worshiped Him.’ Beneath the lowly guise of Jesus, they recognized the presence of Divinity. They gave their hearts to Him as their Saviour, and then poured out their gifts,—‘gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.’ [Matthew 2:11.]” The Desire of Ages, 63.

9 What other evidence do we have about Christ’s divinity in His human nature? Matthew 12:25; Luke 6:8.

Note: “In the multitude that listened to Christ’s teaching there were many Pharisees. These noted contemptuously how few of His hearers acknowledged Him as the Messiah. And they questioned with themselves how this unpretending teacher could exalt Israel to universal dominion. Without riches, power, or honor, how was He to establish the new kingdom? Christ read their thoughts and answered them.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 76.

10 How did Christ publicly reveal His divinity in Capernaum? Matthew 9:1–7.

Note: “Jesus had declared that the sins of the paralytic were forgiven. The Pharisees caught at these words as blasphemy, and conceived that they could present this as a sin worthy of death. They said in their hearts, ‘He blasphemeth: who can forgive sins but One, even God?’ Mark 2:7, R.V.” The Desire of Ages, 269.

“They saw that Christ possessed a power which they had ascribed to God alone; yet the gentle dignity of His manner was in marked contrast to their own haughty bearing. They were disconcerted and abashed, recognizing, but not confessing, the presence of a superior being. The stronger the evidence that Jesus had power on earth to forgive sins, the more firmly they entrenched themselves in unbelief.” Ibid., 270, 271.

Additional Reading:

“Christ was the greatest teacher the world has ever known. He came to this earth to shed abroad the bright beams of truth, that men might gain a fitness for heaven. ‘For this cause came I into the world,’ He declared, ‘that I should bear witness unto the truth.’ John 18:37. He came to reveal the character of the Father, that men might be led to worship Him in spirit and in truth.

“Man’s need for a divine teacher was known in heaven. The pity and sympathy of God were aroused in behalf of human beings, fallen and bound to Satan’s chariot car; and when the fullness of time was come, He sent forth His Son. The One appointed in the councils of heaven came to this earth as man’s instructor. The rich benevolence of God gave Him to our world, and to meet the necessities of human nature He took humanity upon Himself. To the astonishment of the heavenly host the eternal Word came to this world as a helpless babe. Fully prepared, He left the royal courts and mysteriously allied Himself with fallen human beings. . . .

“When Christ left His high command, He might have taken upon Him any condition in life that He chose. But greatness and rank were nothing to Him, and He chose the most humble walk of life. No luxury, ease, or self-gratification came into His experience. The truth of heavenly origin was to be His theme; He was to sow the world with truth, and He lived in such a way as to be accessible to all.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 259.

“Jesus is called the Word of God. He accepted His Father’s law, wrought out its principles in His life, manifested its spirit, and showed its beneficent power in the heart. Says John: ‘The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.’

“All that man needs to know or can know of God has been revealed in the life and character of His Son. . . .

“Taking humanity upon Him, Christ came to be one with humanity and at the same time to reveal our heavenly Father to sinful human beings. He was in all things made like unto His brethren. He became flesh, even as we are. He was hungry and thirsty and weary. He was sustained by food and refreshed by sleep. He shared the lot of men, and yet He was the blameless Son of God.” The Faith I Live By, 17.

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

Recipe – Stir-Fried Rice Noodles

2 Tablespoons minced garlic

6 oz package Morningstar Farms® Meal Starters™ Grillers® Recipe Crumbles™ or TVP, soaked

14 oz package rice noodles,* soaked and cooled

1 lb bean sprouts or chopped cabbage

1 bottle vegetarian stir-fry sauce*

1/2 cup sweet chili sauce*

1 bunch scallions, chopped (optional)

Soak the rice noodles in water overnight or for two hours. Do not cook. Drain off the water when ready to fry. Heat small amount of cooking oil in a wok (Asian stir-fry pan), add minced garlic, and vegeburger crumbs, and fry for two minutes until garlic is slightly golden. Add the cold, drained noodles, sauces, and bean sprouts. Stir-fry for about 8 minutes or until noodles are soft. Once done, stir in scallions. (Serves 4–5 people.)

*Ingredients may be available in the oriental section of your grocery market or at any larger Asian supermarket.

Food for Life – Laws of Health

God has three expectations of us in regard to our health. First, He expects us to learn the laws of health. Just as the natural world around us is governed by laws, there are laws central to and within our very being that we need to learn in order to be healthy.

“God has placed it in our power to obtain a knowledge of the laws of health. He has made it a duty to preserve our physical powers in the best possible condition, that we may render to Him acceptable service. Those who refuse to improve the light and knowledge that have been mercifully placed within their reach are rejecting one of the means which God has granted them to promote spiritual as well as physical life. They are placing themselves where they will be exposed to the delusions of Satan.” Counsels on Health, 454.

In Hosea 4:6 we are told that not only are God’s people destroyed for lack of knowledge, but “because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee.” God expects us to study the laws of our being and the laws of health.

Knowledge alone will not make us healthy. God also expects us to apply that knowledge in practice and obedience. “We have no right wantonly to violate a single principle of the laws of health.” Healthful Living, 18. “Our first duty, one which we owe to God, to ourselves, and to our fellowmen, is to obey the laws of God. These include the laws of health.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 12.

The Bible also makes it very clear that we are to glorify God through our bodies: “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20. (See also 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17.) God’s second expectation of us is that we practice or obey the laws of health.

Third, God expects us to teach the laws of health. “No teacher of truth should feel that his education is completed till he has studied the laws of health, and knows the bearing of right practices on the spiritual life. He should be qualified to speak to the people intelligently in regard to these things, and to set them an example that will give force to his words.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 16, 59. We must educate people in right principles of health if we expect them to have perfect physical, mental, social, and spiritual health.

Restoring the Temple – Vegetarian Foods, Powerful for Health Part II

World-renowned figures as diverse as philosophers Plato and Nietzsche, political leaders Benjamin Franklin and Gandhi, and pop icons Paul McCartney and Bob Marley have all advocated a vegetarian diet. Science is also on the side of vegetarianism. Multitudes of studies have demonstrated the remarkable health benefits of a vegetarian diet.

“Vegetarian” is defined as avoiding all animal flesh, including fish and poultry. Vegetarians who avoid flesh, but do eat animal products such as cheese, milk, and eggs, are ovo-lacto-vegetarians (ovo = egg; lacto = milk, cheese, etc.). The ranks of those who abstain from all animal products are rapidly growing; these people are referred to as pure vegetarians or vegans. Scientific research shows that health benefits increase as the amount of food from animal sources in the diet decreases, so vegan diets are the healthiest overall.

Preventing Cancer

Vegetarian diets—naturally low in saturated fat, high in fiber, and replete with cancer-protective phytochemicals—help to prevent cancer. Large studies in England and Germany have shown that vegetarians are about 40 percent less likely to develop cancer compared to meat-eaters.1-3 In the United States, studies of Seventh-day Adventists have shown significant reductions in cancer risk among those who avoided meat.4,5 Similarly, breast cancer rates are dramatically lower in nations, such as China, that follow plant-based diets.6 Interestingly, Japanese women who follow Western-style, meat-based diets are eight times more likely to develop breast cancer than women who follow a more traditional plant-based diet.7 Meat and dairy products contribute to many forms of cancer, including cancer of the colon, breast, ovaries, and prostate.

Harvard studies that included tens of thousands of women and men have shown that regular meat consumption increases colon cancer risk by roughly 300 percent.8,9 High-fat diets also encourage the body’s production of estrogens, in particular, estradiol. Increased levels of this sex hormone have been linked to breast cancer. A recent report noted that the rate of breast cancer among premenopausal women who ate the most animal (but not vegetable) fat was one-third higher than that of women who ate the least animal fat.10 A separate study from Cambridge University also linked diets high in saturated fat to breast cancer.11 One study linked dairy products to an increased risk of ovarian cancer. The process of breaking down the lactose (milk sugar) into galactose evidently damages the ovaries.12 Daily meat consumption triples the risk of prostate enlargement. Regular milk consumption doubles the risk, and failure to consume vegetables regularly nearly quadruples the risk.13

Vegetarians avoid the animal fat linked to cancer and get abundant fiber, vitamins, and phytochemicals that help to prevent cancer. In addition, blood analysis of vegetarians reveals a higher level of “natural killer cells,” specialized white blood cells that attack cancer cells.14

Beating Heart Disease

Vegetarian diets also help prevent heart disease. Animal products are the main source of saturated fat and the only source of cholesterol in the diet. Vegetarians avoid these risky products. Additionally, fiber helps reduce cholesterol levels15 and animal products contain no fiber. When individuals switch to a high-fiber, low-fat diet their serum cholesterol levels often drop dramatically.16,17 Studies have demonstrated that a low-fat, high-fiber, vegetarian or vegan diet combined with stress reduction techniques, smoking cessation, and exercise, or combined with prudent drug intervention, could actually reverse atherosclerosis—hardening of the arteries.18,19 Heart diets that include lean meat, dairy products, and chicken are much less effective, usually only slowing the process of atherosclerosis.

Lowering Blood Pressure

In the early 1900s, nutritionists noted that people who ate no meat had lower blood pressure.20 They also discovered that vegetarian diets could, within two weeks, significantly reduce a person’s blood pressure.21 These results were evident regardless of the sodium levels in the vegetarian diets. People who follow vegetarian diets typically have lower blood pressure.22-24 No one knows exactly why vegetarian diets work so well, but probably cutting out meat, dairy products, and added fats reduces the blood’s viscosity (or “thickness”) which, in turn, brings down blood pressure.25 Plant products are generally lower in fat and sodium and have no cholesterol at all. Vegetables and fruits are also rich in potassium, which helps lower blood pressure.

Preventing and Reversing Diabetes

Non-insulin-dependent (adult-onset) diabetes can be better controlled and sometimes even eliminated through a low-fat, vegetarian diet along with regular exercise.26 Such a diet, low in fat and high in fiber and complex carbohydrates, allows insulin to work more effectively. The diabetic person can more easily regulate glucose levels. While a vegetarian diet cannot eliminate the need for insulin in people with type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes, it can often reduce the amounts of insulin used. Some scientists believe that insulin-dependent diabetes may be caused by an auto-immune reaction to dairy proteins.27,28

Gallstones, Kidney Stones, and Osteoporosis

Vegetarian diets have been shown to reduce one’s chances of forming kidney stones and gallstones. Diets that are high in protein, especially animal protein, tend to cause the body to excrete more calcium, oxalate, and uric acid. These three substances are the main components of urinary tract stones. British researchers have advised that persons with a tendency to form kidney stones should follow a vegetarian diet.29 The American Academy of Family Physicians notes that high animal protein intake is largely responsible for the high prevalence of kidney stones in the United States and other developed countries and recommends protein restriction for the prevention of recurrent kidney stones.30

Similarly, high-cholesterol, high-fat diets—the typical meat-based diet—are implicated in the formation of gallstones. The consumption of meaty diets, compared to vegetarian diets, has been shown to nearly double the risk of gallstones in women.31

For many of the same reasons, vegetarians are at a lower risk for osteoporosis. Since animal products force calcium out of the body, eating meat can promote bone loss. In nations with mainly vegetable diets (and without dairy product consumption), osteoporosis is less common than in the United States, even when calcium intake is also less than in the United States.32 Calcium is important, but there is no need to get calcium from dairy products. . . .


A 1985 Swedish study demonstrated that individuals with asthma practicing a vegan diet for a full year have a marked decrease in the need for medications and in the frequency and severity of asthma attacks. Twenty-two of the 24 subjects reported improvement by the end of the year.33

Common Concerns

Some people still worry about whether a vegetarian diet can provide all essential nutrients. However, it is very easy to have a well-balanced diet with vegetarian foods, since these foods provide plenty of protein. Careful combining of foods is not necessary. Any normal variety of plant foods provides more than enough protein for the body’s needs. Although there is somewhat less protein in a vegetarian diet than a meat-eater’s diet, this is actually an advantage. Excess protein has been linked to kidney stones, osteoporosis, and possibly heart disease and some cancers. A diet focused on beans, whole grains, and vegetables contains adequate amounts of protein without the “overdose” most meat-eaters get.

Calcium is easy to find in a vegetarian diet. Many dark green leafy vegetables and beans are loaded with calcium, and some orange juices, non-dairy “milks,” and cereals are calcium-fortified. Iron is plentiful in whole grains, beans, and fruits.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a genuine issue for vegans, although very easy to deal with. Found mainly in animal products, small amounts may be found in plant products due to bacterial contamination.34, 35 However, these plant and fermented foods, such as spirulina, sea vegetables, tempeh, and miso, do not provide an active and reliable source,36 so vitamin B12 must be obtained elsewhere in the diet. Regular intake of vitamin B12 is important to meet nutritional needs. Good sources include all common multiple vitamins (including vegetarian vitamins), fortified cereals, nutritional yeast, and fortified soymilk. It is especially important for pregnant women, breast-feeding mothers, and children to get enough vitamin B12.

Special Concerns: Pregnancy, Infants, and Children

During pregnancy, nutritional needs increase. The American Dietetic Association has found vegan diets adequate for fulfilling nutritional needs during pregnancy, but pregnant women and nursing mothers should supplement their diets with vitamins B12 and D.36 Most doctors also recommend that pregnant women supplement their diet with iron and folic acid, although vegetarians normally consume more folic acid than meat-eaters.

Vegetarian women have a lower incidence of pre-eclampsia in pregnancy and significantly more pure breast milk. Analyses of vegetarians’ breast milk show that the levels of environmental contaminants in their milk are much lower than in non-vegetarians.37 Studies have also shown that in families with a history of food allergies, when women abstain from allergenic foods, including milk, meat, and fish, during pregnancy, they are less likely to pass allergies onto the infant.38 Mothers who drink milk pass cow antibodies along to their nursing infants through their breast milk. These antibodies can cause colic.

Vegetarian children also have high nutritional needs, but these are met within a vegetarian diet. A vegetarian menu is life extending. As young children, vegetarians may grow more gradually, reach puberty somewhat later, and live substantially longer than do meat-eaters. . . .

Further Reading

For more information on vegetarian diets, PCRM recommends:

  • Breaking the Food Seduction, by Neal Barnard, M.D.
  • Foods That Fight Pain, by Neal Barnard, M.D.
  • Eat Right, Live Longer, by Neal Barnard, M.D.
  • Food for Life, by Neal Barnard, M.D.
  • The McDougall Plan, by John McDougall, M.D.
  • Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease, by Dean Ornish, M.D.

[Editor’s Note: We also recommend reading Counsels on Diet and Foods and Counsels on Health by Ellen G. White.]


  1. Salie F. Influence of vegetarian food on blood pressure. Med Klin 1930;26:929-31.
  2. Donaldson AN. The relation of protein foods to hypertension. Calif West Med 1926;24:328-31.
  3. Rouse IL, Beilin LJ. Editorial review: vegetarian diet and blood pressure. J Hypertension 1984;2:231-40.
  4. Lindahl O, Lindwall L, Spangberg A, Stenram A, Ockerman PA. A vegan regimen with reduced medication in the treatment of hypertension. Br J Nutr 1984;52:11-20.
  5. Appleby PN, Davey GK, Key TJ. Hypertension and blood pressure among meat eaters, fish eaters, vegetarians and vegans in EPIC-Oxford. Public Health Nutr 2002;5:645-54.
  6. Ernst E, Pietsch L, Matrai A, Eisenberg J. Blood rheology in vegetarians. Br J Nutr 1986;56:555-60.
  7. Nicholson AS, Sklar M, Barnard ND, et al. Toward improved management of NIDDM: A randomized, controlled, pilot intervention using a low-fat, vegetarian diet. Prev Med 1999;29:87-91.
  8. Scott FW. Cow milk and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus: is there a relationship? Am J Clin Nutr 1990;51:489-91.
  9. Karjalainen J, Martin JM, Knip M, et al. A bovine albumin peptide as a possible trigger of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. N Engl J Med 1992;327:302-7.
  10. Robertson WG, Peacock M, Heyburn PJ. Should recurrent calcium oxalate stone formers become vegetarians? Br J Urol 1979;51:427-31.
  11. Goldfarb DS, Coe FL. Prevention of Recurrent Nephrolithiasis. Am Fam Physician 1999;60:2269–76.
  12. Pixley F, Wilson D, McPherson K, Mann J. Effect of vegetarianism on development of gall stones in women. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985;291:11-2.
  13. Hegsted DM. Calcium and osteoporosis. J Nutr 1986;116:2316-9.
  14. Lindahl O, Lindwall L, Spangberg A, Stenram A, Ockerman PA. Vegan regimen with reduced medication in the treatment of bronchial asthma. J Asthma 1985;22:45-55.
  15. Herbert V. Vitamin B-12: plant sources, requirements, and assay. Am J Clin Nutr 1988;48:852-8.
  16. Rauma A, Torronen R, Hanninen O, Mykkanen H. Vitamin B-12 status of long-term adherents of a strict uncooked vegan diet (“living food diet”) is compromised. J Nutr 1995;125:2511-5.
  17. Position of the American Dietetic Association: vegetarian diets. J Amer Diet Assoc 2003;103(6):748-765.
  18. Hergenrather J, Hlady G, Wallace B, Savage E. Pollutants in breast milk of vegetarians (letter). N Engl J Med 1981;304:792.
  19. Allergies in infants are linked to mother’s diets. New York Times, 30 August 1990.

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

Question – Who am I, and what am I worth to the world anyway?


Who am I, and what am I worth to the world anyway?


This question has been asked by several individuals, and I have put it in my own words. It may not be exactly the way originally written, but it is a credible question to ask, and I will seek to give a credible answer.

In the first place, man was created in the image of God; man was perfect in every way and greatly loved by his heavenly Father. Satan had been cast out of heaven because of his animosity against God and especially against His Son Jesus. It became Satan’s determination to gain all the followers he could and to do all that it was possible to do to hurt God and His Son. So he tempted man to disobey God.

When man disobeyed God, which is sin, he cut himself off from God, which meant that he no longer had a source of life, because life comes from God. But God loves man with a supreme love, and the thought of not having him for a friend was a very great sorrow which filled all heaven, for they knew that apart from God there is no life. That meant that when the life man had was used up, the human race would become extinct.

In their great love for mankind, God and Jesus created a plan of redemption whereby man could be saved.

“The soul that has given himself to Christ is more precious in His sight than the whole world.” The Desire of Ages (1898), 483.

“The wealth of earth dwindles into insignificance when compared with the worth of a single soul for whom our Lord and Master died. He who weigheth the hills in scales and the mountains in a balance regards a human soul as of infinite value.” God’s Amazing Grace, 173.

“The value of a soul, who can estimate? Would you know its worth, go to Gethsemane, and there watch with Christ through those hours of anguish, when He sweat as it were great drops of blood. Look upon the Saviour uplifted on the cross. Hear that despairing cry, ‘My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’ Mark 15:34. Look upon the wounded head, the pierced side, the marred feet. Remember that Christ risked all. For our redemption, heaven itself was imperiled. At the foot of the cross, remembering that for one sinner Christ would have laid down His life, you may estimate the value of a soul.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 196.

You, dear reader, are the one soul for whom Christ went through all the agony of the farce of a trial and the cross. He did it to save you for eternity that you might escape eternal death. After all, there are only two choices. We are all going to one place or the other.

You may be apparently alone and you may feel like nobody cares; your life may seem worthless in this wicked and troublesome world, but you are not alone. Jesus through the gift of the Holy Spirit and His angels are with you. His love for you is stronger than death. You may talk to Him about your loneliness and all your troubles. He will listen and answer.

Sometimes we cannot seem to see through the maze of the events that are happening to us—death of our loved ones, rejection by those we love the most—and it seems that no one cares. But God has His hand over it all: “Higher than the highest human thought can reach is God’s ideal for His children. Godliness—godlikeness—is the goal to be reached.” Education, 18. God is working out for you a far more wondrous future than you can even imagine. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. Have faith in God.

Nature Nugget – Ant Lions

Ant lions are a worldwide family of insects in the order Neuroptera. The name ant lion is derived from the fierce looks and feeding habits of the larvae. Adults are winged and resemble damselflies, but have long, prominent, apically clubbed antennae and a different wing venation pattern. The larvae are carnivorous, feeding on ants and other insects, while most adults feed on pollen and nectar. The larvae are also called doodlebugs, because of the odd winding, spiraling trails they leave in the loose soil or sand while looking for a good location to build their pitfall traps with which they capture their prey. The ant lion larvae prefer to build their pits in locations that are sheltered from rainfall such as in old barns, under rock ledges, and under big trees. In areas with little rainfall, they will build out in the open.

An average sized larvae digs a funnel-shaped pit two inches deep and three inches wide at the top. When constructing their pit traps, the ant lion larvae marks out the chosen site with a circular groove, then moves backwards using its abdomen as a plough to shovel up the soil. Using one front leg, it places consecutive heaps of loose soil on its head, then with a quick jerk of the head, throws the soil out away from the construction site. Continuing with this procedure, it works its way in a circle toward the center, gradually getting deeper and deeper until the slope angle of the pit reaches the “angle of repose.” The “angle of repose” is the steepest angle the soil or sand walls can maintain without collapsing. When the pit is finished, the ant lion, which is equipped with two enormous, powerful, toothed mandibles (jaws), lays wait, buried at the bottom of the pit with just its mandibles exposed. Any ant or other insect that inadvertently falls into the pit is unable to climb out because of the steep, loose, collapsing walls, and eventually ends up at the bottom of the pit where it is grabbed by the ant lion. The ant lion will even flick soil at an insect trying to climb out of its trap, which undermines the sides of the pit, causing them to collapse, bringing the prey down with them.

Like the ant lion that digs a pit trap and lies in wait, Satan has laid pitfalls for us. “All the way along, Satan has prepared pitfalls for the feet of the unwary. But following our Guide, we may walk with perfect security; for the path is consecrated by his footsteps. It may be steep and rugged, but he has traveled it; his feet have pressed down the thorns to make the way easier for us.” The Youth’s Instructor, May 1, 1902.

“The children of God have reached the most critical part of their pilgrimage; for the nets and pitfalls of the enemy are on every side. And yet with the guidance of the Lord, with that which is plainly revealed in his word, we may walk securely and not stumble. But we shall daily need to seek God, to inquire, ‘Is this the way of the Lord?’ You cannot go on following your own inclination, and at the same time be treading in safe paths. You cannot live to please yourself, but must submit your will to God. But how will you understand what is the will of God unless you study his word with humble and contrite heart? You should be anxious to know, What saith the word of God to me?” Ibid., May 18, 1893.

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

The Pen of Inspiration – Christ Our Life

“Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” John 5:28, 29.

This statement was called out by a remark previously made with reference to the salvation of the soul. Jesus was presenting before his hearers, the Pharisees and Sadducees, the great principles of true religion; for they had become corrupt through sin, and were ignorant both of the Scriptures and the power of God. He would impress upon his hearers that all who will finally be heirs of the kingdom of heaven must be satisfied with nothing short of a conversion, a moral change, which is equal to a new creation.

The scribes and Pharisees listened in amazement to such words as these: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.” [John 5:24.] The conversion of the soul is, as it were, a resurrection from the dead. It is like a re-creation to those, who, through the transforming power of the grace of God, have passed from death unto life. Those who listened to the Saviour’s words did not believe them. They said in their hearts, This is an impossibility. Jesus discerned their incredulity, and added: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live.” [John 5:25.]

Now we want to keep in mind these two great facts: the change that takes place at conversion, and that which takes place at the resurrection of the dead. There are but two classes brought to view in the text. They are not divided into many grades, one composed of very great sinners, another of persons not so guilty, and still others of persons a little less guilty; but the two classes stand distinct. They are those who have accepted Christ, and those who have not.

There is no way to reach the city of God but by the cross of Calvary. As we lift this cross, which is covered with shame and reproach in the eyes of men, we may know that Christ will help us; and we need divine aid. The sinner has lived in sin; he must die to sin, and live a new life of holiness to God. Paul wrote to the Colossians: “Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” [Colossians 3:3.] The apostle here refers to the death to sin, the death of the carnal mind, and not to the death of the body.

Let me emphasize the importance of making Christ our hope and refuge every day of our lives. It is a pleasing fable that is presented to us in this age, that if we only believe in Christ, that is all that is required; works have nothing to do with our acceptance with God. Many trample the law of God under their feet, cherishing in their hearts the delusive thought that it is not binding on them. This is not the truth. In the resurrection all will come forth, they that have done good and they that have done evil, and the fate of each will be decided according as his works have been. All good works spring from genuine faith, and the fruits in the works show the character of the faith. Hence it is by our works that we shall be judged.

We each have a work to do in character-building. As we advance in this work, Satan stands ready to oppose us, and there are crosses to take up, and obstacles to be overcome; but our efforts may be a success. When we take hold on the merits of Christ, we shall overcome. He has made it possible for every one to gain eternal life. Many, looking forward to the solemn realities of the future, tremble in their hearts as they question. How will it be with me in the Judgment? To what fate shall I awaken, when all that are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live? This is a question for us to decide each for himself. All stand on an equal footing. We are all free moral agents; we may accept God’s terms—keep his commandments and believe on Christ—and live; or we may disbelieve, pursue our own course, and perish.

The distance from earth to heaven may seem very great, for sin has fixed a great gulf; it has separated man from God, and has brought woe and misery upon the human race. But Christ throws himself into the gap. He it is that opens communication between man and God. He is the ladder that Jacob saw in his vision, the base resting on the earth, and the top reaching into the highest heaven. . . .

The God of the universe has given our cases in the Judgment into the hands of his Son, one who is acquainted with our infirmities, and knows that we are but dust. He has taken our nature upon him, and has himself felt the force of our temptations; he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows. When man rebelled, Christ became his surety and substitute. He undertook the combat with the powers of darkness; and when through death he destroyed him that had the power of death, the highest honors were bestowed upon him. He ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and sat down at the right hand of God;—the very Jesus who had borne the curse of sin for us. And there was given him a name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow. To him God has delegated his power; he has the keys of death and the grave.

And they that are in their graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth. Jesus shall come, and the angels of God with him; and the glory of his appearing shall flash on human eyes as the vivid lightning or as a consuming fire. He will descend with a shout and with the voice of a great trumpet, and those that hear that vivifying voice will spring rejoicing from the grave. And they will recognize the voice that awakens them to immortal life as that of Him who said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” [Matthew 11:28.] . . .

Now we have opportunity to prepare for the solemn scenes before us. We may be converted to God, and have a change of character; but when Christ shall come there will be no time for this. The change then will be with our bodies. “This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” [1 Corinthians 15:53.] A new year is opening before us, and what shall its record be? You look back upon the past year, and you see many things that you would be glad to have different, that you wish had been better. How will it be with the new year that is just opening? Shall we not at its commencement present ourselves to God, an acceptable offering, to work, to suffer, and to endure according to his will? Shall we not, every one of us, live a life of faith in the Son of God?

Bible Echo, January 15, 1889.