Bible Study Guide — At the Time of The End Shall Be the Vision

February 27 — March 4

Memory Verse: “I have sent also unto you all My servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto Me.” Jeremiah 35: 15.

Study Help: Early Writings, pages 229 – 258.

Introduction: “Preachers and people have looked upon the book of Revelation as mysterious and of less importance than other portions of the Sacred Scriptures. But I saw that this book is indeed a revelation given for the especial benefit of those who should live in the last days, to guide them in ascertaining their true position and their duty.” Early Writings, 231.

“We are on our way to the city of God, and the perils of the last days are all about us. The path we are climbing is narrow and dangerous, and we do not want to make any false steps. At such a time as this, a faithful guide is as necessary to us as to the mountain-climbers, and such a guide is provided for us in the word of God.” Signs of the Times, December 10,1885.

“My brethren and sisters, do not allow trifling things to absorb your time and attention. Keep your mind on the glorious themes of the Word of God. A study of these themes will give you a strength that will carry you through the trials and difficulties of the last days, and bring you to where you will walk with Christ in white, because you are worthy. In the Word of God, studied and obeyed, we possess a spiritual guide and instructor by which the worst forms of evil in ourselves may be brought under the discipline of His law. If the teachings of this Word were made the controlling influence in our lives, if mind and heart were brought under its restraining power, the evils that now exist in churches and in families would find no place. Upon converted households the purest blessings would descend, and from these households an influence would go forth that would make God’s people a power on the side of truth.” Review and Herald, November 24, 1904.



  • What is to be the foundation of the Christian’s faith? Luke 6: 47 – 48


NOTE: “The time has come when we must know for ourselves why we believe as we do. We must stand for God and for the truth, against a reckless, unbelieving generation. The man who has once known the way of life, and has turned from the convictions of his own heart to the sophistry of Satan, will be more inaccessible and more unimpressible than he who has never tasted the love of Christ. He will be wise to do evil. He has bound himself to Satan, even against light and knowledge. I say to my brethren: Your only hope is in God. We must be clothed with Christ’s righteousness if we would withstand the prevailing impiety. We must show our faith by our works. Let us lay up for ourselves a good foundation against the time to come, that we may lay hold on eternal life.” Testimonies Volume 4, 596, 597.

“Our hope is to be constantly strengthened by the knowledge that Christ is our righteousness. Let our faith rest upon this foundation, for it will stand fast forever. Instead of dwelling upon the darkness of Satan and fearing his power, we should open our hearts to receive light from Christ and to let it shine forth to the world, declaring that He is above all the power of Satan, that His sustaining arm will support all who trust in Him.” Testimonies Volume 5, 742.

“God’s Word should be received as the foundation and the finisher of our faith. It is to be received with the understanding and with the whole heart; it is life and is to be incorporated into our very existence. Thus received, the Word of God will humble man at the footstool of mercy and separate him from every corrupting influence.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers and Students, 374.


  • What will be the fate of those who are merely hearers of God’s Word but do not put into practice the things they have heard? Luke 6: 49


NOTE: “The reason why our people have not more power is that they profess the truth, but do not practice it. They have but little faith and trust in God. There are but few who bear the burdens connected with His work. The Lord claims the strength of brain, bone, and muscle; but it is too often withheld from Him and given to the world. The service of God is made a secondary matter, while worldly interests receive prompt attention. Thus things of minor consequence are made important, while the requirements of God, things spiritual and eternal, are treated in an indifferent manner, as something which may be taken up at will and let alone at pleasure. If the mind were stayed upon God and the truth exerted a sanctifying influence upon the heart, self would be hid in Christ. If we realize the importance of the truth which we profess to believe we should feel that we have a sacred mission to fulfil, a responsibility involving eternal results. All temporal interests would yield to this.” Testimonies Volume 4, 613, 614.



  • How are we shown that the prophets themselves did not always fully understand the things revealed to them? 1 Peter 1: 10 – 12


NOTE: “The prophets to whom these great scenes were revealed longed to understand their import. They ‘inquired and searched diligently: . . searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify. . . . Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you; . . . which things the angels desire to look into.’ 1 Peter 1:10-12. To us who are standing on the very verge of their fulfillment, of what deep moment, what living interest, are these delineations of the things to come.” Education, 183.

“Yet while it was not given to the prophets to understand fully the things revealed to them, they earnestly sought to obtain all the light which God had been pleased to make manifest. They ‘inquired and searched diligently,’ ‘searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify.’ What a lesson to the people of God in the Christian age, for whose benefit these prophecies were given to His servants! ‘Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister.’ Witness those holy men of God as they ‘inquired and searched diligently’ concerning revelations given them for generations that were yet unborn. Contrast their holy zeal with the listless unconcern with which the favored ones of later ages treat this gift of Heaven. What a rebuke to the ease-loving, world-loving indifference which is content to declare that the prophecies cannot be understood!” Great Controversy, 344.


  • What example are we given of a prophet who did not fully understand the things revealed to him and his search for enlightenment? Daniel 8: 13 – 14, 27, 9: 2 – 3, 17


NOTE: “Not all was made clear to the prophet. ‘My cogitations much troubled me,’ he wrote of his experience at the time, ‘and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.’ Daniel 7:28. Through another vision further light was thrown upon the events of the future; and it was at the close of this vision that Daniel heard ‘one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision?’ Daniel 8:13. The answer that was given, ‘Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed’ (verse 14), filled him with perplexity. Earnestly he sought for the meaning of the vision. He could not understand the relation sustained by the seventy years’ captivity, as foretold through Jeremiah, to the twenty-three hundred years that in vision he heard the heavenly visitant declare should elapse before the cleansing of God’s sanctuary. The angel Gabriel gave him a partial interpretation; yet when the prophet heard the words, ‘The vision . . . shall be for many days,’ he fainted away. ‘I Daniel fainted,’ he records of his experience, ‘and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king’s business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.’ Verses 26, 27. Still burdened in behalf of Israel, Daniel studied anew the prophecies of Jeremiah. They were very plain, so plain that he understood by these testimonies recorded in books ‘the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.’ Daniel 9:2. With faith founded on the sure word of prophecy, Daniel pleaded with the Lord for the speedy fulfillment of these promises. He pleaded for the honor of God to be preserved. In his petition he identified himself fully with those who had fallen short of the divine purpose, confessing their sins as his own. ‘I set my face unto the Lord God,’ the prophet declared, ‘to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: and I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession.’ Verses 3, 4. Though Daniel had long been in the service of God, and had been spoken of by heaven as ‘greatly beloved,’ yet he now appeared before God as a sinner, urging the great need of the people he loved. His prayer was eloquent in its simplicity, and intensely earnest.” Prophets and Kings, 553-555.



  • How did God answer his prayer? Daniel 9: 20 – 23


NOTE: “As Daniel’s prayer is going forth, the angel Gabriel comes sweeping down from the heavenly courts to tell him that his petitions are heard and answered. This mighty angel has been commissioned to give him skill and understanding, to open before him the mysteries of future ages. Thus, while earnestly seeking to know and understand the truth, Daniel was brought into communion with Heaven’s delegated messenger. In answer to his petition, Daniel received not only the light and truth which he and his people most needed, but a view of the great events of the future, even to the advent of the world’s Redeemer. Those who claim to be sanctified, while they have no desire to search the Scriptures or to wrestle with God in prayer for a clearer understanding of Bible truth, know not what true sanctification is. Daniel talked with God. Heaven was opened before him. But the high honors granted him were the result of humiliation and earnest seeking. All who believe with the heart the Word of God will hunger and thirst for a knowledge of His will. God is the author of truth. He enlightens the darkened understanding and gives to the human mind power to grasp and comprehend the truths which He has revealed.” The Sanctified Life, 48 – 49.


  • Until what time were the things revealed to Daniel sealed up? Daniel 12: 4, 9


NOTE: “Honored by men with the responsibilities of state and with the secrets of kingdoms bearing universal sway, Daniel was honored by God as His ambassador, and was given many revelations of the mysteries of ages to come. His wonderful prophecies, as recorded by him in chapters 7 to 12 of the book bearing his name, were not fully understood even by the prophet himself; but before his life labors closed, he was given the blessed assurance that ‘at the end of the days’, in the closing period of this world’s history, he would again be permitted to stand in his lot and place. It was not given him to understand all that God had revealed of the divine purpose. ‘Shut up the words, and seal the book,’ he was directed concerning his prophetic writings; these were to be sealed ‘even to the time of the end.’ ” Prophets and Kings, 547.


  • How was the apostle John shown the unsealing of Daniel’s prophecies at the time of the end? Revelation 10: 1 – 11


NOTE: “After the seven thunders uttered their voices, the injunction comes to John as to Daniel in regard to the little book, ‘Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered.’ Those relate to future events which will be disclosed in their order. Daniel shall stand in his lot at the end of the days. John sees the little book unsealed. Then Daniel’s prophecies have their proper place in the First, Second and Third Angels’ Messages to be given to the world. The unsealing of the little book was the message in relation to time. The books of Daniel and Revelation are one. One is a prophecy, the other a revelation; the one a book sealed, the other a book opened.” Manuscript 59, 1900. (See Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7A, 971.)



  • In trying to understand Bible prophecy, what error are we first warned against? 2 Peter 1: 20


NOTE: “While exalting the ‘sure word of prophecy’ as a safe guide in times of peril, the apostle solemnly warned the church against the torch of false prophecy, which would be uplifted by ‘false teachers,’ who would privily bring in ‘damnable heresies, even denying the Lord.’ These false teachers arising in the church are accounted true by many of their brethren in the faith, but the apostle compared them to ‘wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved forever.’ ‘The latter end is worse with them,’ he declared, ‘than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.’ ” Review and Herald, September 26, 1912.


  • What solemn denunciation given to the Jews should be a warning to those who look to Israel as the focus of end-time prophecy? Matthew 21:43


NOTE: “Let the mind be educated to look to Jesus. Let an effort be made to become doers of His word. The curse of God is upon Jerusalem and its surroundings, and the land is defiled under the inhabitants thereof. There is no real foundation for feelings of awe in looking upon the land of Palestine. In revering these earthly things, men clothe them with a false glory.” Review and Herald, February 25,1896.


  • What counsel is given to those who desire rightly to divide the Word of truth? 2 Timothy 2: 15


NOTE: The word “study” in this verse means “show diligence.” This verse should not be understood simply as an exhortation to Bible study. This diligence should be exhibited in every aspect of the Christian’s life. “You must experience a death to self, and must live unto God. ‘If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.’ Self is not to be consulted. Pride, self-love, selfishness, avarice, covetousness, love of the world, hatred, suspicion, jealousy, evil surmisings, must all be subdued and sacrificed forever. When Christ shall appear, it will not be to correct these evils and then give a moral fitness for His coming. This preparation must all be made before He comes. It should be a subject of thought, of study, and earnest inquiry, What shall we do to be saved? What shall be our conduct that we may show ourselves approved unto God?” Testimonies, Volume 1, 705.



  • What promise is given to those who open their hearts to the Word of God? Psalm 119: 130


NOTE: “The work which the Lord has laid out before me especially is to urge young and old, learned and unlearned, to search the Scriptures for themselves; to impress upon all that the study of God’s Word will expand the mind and strengthen every faculty, fitting the intellect to wrestle with problems of truth, deep and far-reaching; to assure all that the clear knowledge of the Bible outdoes all other knowledge in making man what God designed he should be. ‘The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.’ With the light communicated through the study of His word, with the special knowledge given of individual cases among His people under all circumstances and in every phase of experience, can I now be in the same ignorance, the same mental uncertainty and spiritual blindness, as at the beginning of this experience?” Testimonies, Volume 5, 686.


  • What promise of guidance is given to those who come to God, repenting of their sins? Psalm 32: 5 – 8


NOTE: “Let every child of God make Him their Counselor, and firmly believe that He is at their right hand to help them, trusting the promise, ‘I will guide thee with Mine eye.’ So many mistakes would not be made if all would make God their dependence, believing that He who never makes a mistake will prepare their way before them. We must believe in Christ as a personal, sympathizing Savior, who doeth all things well. Our path, however rugged it may be, is marked out for us by the Lord; but He will walk with us, for we are to be co-laborers with Him, guided by the Holy Spirit. ‘And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and to the left.’ ” Pacific Union Recorder, November 7, 1901.

“Do not be afraid to trust God. Rely upon His sure promise, ‘Ask, and ye shall receive.’ Do not let go of the promise, even though you do not see an immediate answer to your prayers. God is too wise to err, and too good to withhold any good thing from them that walk uprightly. Man is erring, and although his petitions may be sent up from an honest heart, he does not always ask for the things that are good for him or that will glorify God. When this is so, our wise and good Father hears our prayers, and answers, sometimes immediately; but He gives us the things that are for our good and His own glory. If we could look into His plan, we should clearly see that our prayers are answered in wisdom and love. And through the temptations and trials of life the promise will be fulfilled, ‘I will guide thee with mine eye.’ ” Southern Watchman, March 24, 1908.

” ‘Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.’ These are they who are repairing the breach in the Law of God. In the face of bitter opposition, they take their stand under the banner of Prince Immanuel, proclaiming, bravely and fearlessly, the message He has given them. God watches over these faithful witnesses, and abundantly rewards their confidence. The way to His throne is always open to them. He sees and supplies their wants. They find their safety in looking to Him. When Jehovah gives them His protection, and says of them, Ye are laborers together with Me, they are safe in the midst of the greatest danger. Satan tries to deceive them, but God lifts up for them a standard against the enemy. Those who work righteousness have an ever-present help in time of trouble. In every time of need He is near. When they are tempted, He stands as their defense, saying, ‘I will guide thee with mine eye.’ I will deliver thee from perplexity, and be a covert for thee against the strife of tongues. The cause is the Lord’s. He is on board the ship as commander-in-chief. He will guide us safely into port. He can command the winds and the waves, and they will obey Him. If we follow His directions, we have no need to be anxious or troubled. In Him we may trust. He bestows His richest endowments upon those who love Him and keep His commandments. He will never forsake those who work in His lines.” Review and Herald, July 16, 1901.

“Do not say, ‘It is impossible for me to overcome.’ Do not say, ‘It is my nature to do thus and so, and I can not do otherwise. I have inherited weaknesses that make me powerless before temptation.’ In your own strength, you can not overcome, but help has been laid upon One that is mighty. Breathe the prayer, ‘Show me Thy ways, O Lord; teach me Thy paths.’ Then believe the promise, ‘The meek will He guide in judgement: and the meek will He teach His way.’ Yes, the Lord says, ‘I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye.’ In order to receive the virtue of the blood of Christ, even the forgiveness of your sins, you must consent to the conditions He imposes. ‘If any man will come after Me,’ He says, ‘let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.’ Seeking pardon of sin from His cross, you will seek direction from His throne. Looking to and believing in Christ as your personal Savior, is your only hope of salvation. Receiving Christ in all His completeness, you are in truth able to sing: ‘I will follow Thee, my Savior, wheresoe’er my lot may be. Where Thou goest, I will follow; Yes, my Lord, I’ll follow Thee.’ ” Youth’s Instructor, October 2, 1902.


Bible Study Guide — Holy Men Of God Spake

February 20—26

Memory Verse: “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1: 21.

Study Help: Testimonies Volume 5, pages 62 – 83.

Introduction: “The light of present truth is a precious talent lent to God’s people by Him who is truth. It is not to be hoarded, but constantly imparted. The Lord desires that His professed people shall themselves profit by the truths received. It is given, first for their own development, of heart and mind and affections; then for the help and enlightenment of those in the darkness of unbelief. In this age the Lord is sending His servants with no ordinary message, but with special truths that must come before believers of every rank and tongue. Many of our church members have never studied fully into the more sure word of prophecy, and do not understand the facts that have made us what we are. All should bring into exercise the powers of the intellect, that they may clearly understand the different phases of present truth, and especially the subjects of prophecy which were opened to us when the message of Christ’s soon coming was first heralded.” Review and Herald, April 2, 1908.



  • What important counsel did Jehoshaphat give to God’s people? 2 Chronicles 20: 20


NOTE: “2 Chron. 20:20. ‘Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe His prophets, so shall ye prosper.’ Isa. 8:20. ‘To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.’ Two texts are here set before God’s people: two conditions for success. The law spoken by Jehovah Himself, and the Spirit of Prophecy, are the two sources of wisdom to guide His people in every experience. Deuteronomy 4: 6. ‘This is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, who shall say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ The law of God and the Spirit of Prophecy go hand in hand to guide and counsel the church, and whenever the church has recognized this by obeying His law, the Spirit of Prophecy has been sent to guide her in the way of truth. Revelation 12: 17. [Compare Revelation 19: 10 & 22: 8 – 9]”Loma Linda Messages, 33.


  • How must the Law of God and the testimony of the prophets be used to test those who claim to speak for God? Isaiah 8: 20


NOTE: “Our watchword is to be: ‘To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.’ Isaiah 8:20. We have a Bible full of the most precious truth. It contains the alpha and omega of knowledge. The Scriptures, given by inspiration of God, are ‘profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.’ 2 Timothy 3:16, 17. Take the Bible as your study book. All can understand its instruction.” Testimonies Volume 8, 299.

“Those who have entered upon the work of teaching, or who have been called to any position of responsibility, should not be satisfied to take the product of the researches of other minds, but they should investigate truth for themselves. If they do not form the habit of investigating themes of truth for themselves, they will become superficial in their life and acquirements. The opinions of your associates may be of value to you, but you should not rely upon them and have no definite ideas of your own. You should examine the truths you have been led to believe, until you know that they are without a flaw. You lose much when you do not bring every point of faith you hold to the law and to the testimony, for you do not see or appreciate the truth as it is.” Testimonies on Sabbath School Work, 61.

“We are thankful that we have a sure word of prophecy, so that none of us need be deceived. We know that there are heresies and fables in our world at the present time, and we want to know what is truth. It becomes us to search carefully for ourselves that we may gain this knowledge. We cannot do this with a mere reading of the Scriptures, but we must compare scripture with scripture. We must search the Scriptures for ourselves, so that we shall not be led astray; and while many may be led astray because there are all kinds of doctrines in our world, there is one truth. Many may come to you and tell you that they have the truth, but it is your privilege to search the Scriptures for yourself. ‘To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.’ We must be acquainted with the Scriptures ourselves, that we may understand the true reason of the hope that is within us.” Review and Herald, April 3, 1888.



  • What was the response of some who heard God’s prophets in former times? Jeremiah 20: 7 – 8, Ezekiel 2: 3 – 7


NOTE: ” ‘If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.’ These words were proved true in the history of the Jewish nation. Christ’s last and crowning miracle was the raising of Lazarus of Bethany, after he had been dead four days. The Jews were given this wonderful evidence of the Savior’s divinity, but they rejected it. Lazarus rose from the dead and bore his testimony before them, but they hardened their hearts against all evidence, and even sought to take his life. (John 12: 9 – 11.) The law and the prophets are God’s appointed agencies for the salvation of men. Christ said, Let them give heed to these evidences. If they do not listen to the voice of God in His word, the testimony of a witness raised from the dead would not be heeded. Those who heed Moses and the prophets will require no greater light than God has given; but if men reject the light, and fail to appreciate the opportunities granted them, they would not hear if one from the dead should come to them with a message. They would not be convinced even by this evidence; for those who reject the law and the prophets so harden their hearts that they will reject all light.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 265.


  • What counsel did Paul give to the Thessalonian believers concerning prophecy? 1 Thessalonians 5: 19 – 21


NOTE: “The apostle cautioned the Thessalonians not to despise the gift of prophecy, and in the words, ‘Quench not the Spirit; despise not prophesyings; prove all things; hold fast that which is good,’ he enjoined a careful discrimination in distinguishing the false from the true.” Acts of the Apostles, 263.



  • How is the remnant of the church to be recognized in the final struggle with the power of Satan? Revelation 12: 17


NOTE: “It was Christ that spoke to His people through the prophets. The apostle Peter, writing to the Christian church, says that the prophets ‘prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow.’ 1 Peter 1: 10, 11. It is the voice of Christ that speaks to us through the Old Testament. ‘The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.’ Revelation 19: 10.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 366, 367.

“This prophecy points out clearly that the remnant church will acknowledge God in His law and will have the prophetic gift. Obedience to the law of God, and the spirit of prophecy has always distinguished the true people of God, and the test is usually given on present manifestations. In Jeremiah’s day the people had no question about the message of Moses, Elijah, or Elisha, but they did question and put aside the message sent of God to Jeremiah until its force and power was wasted and there was no remedy but for God to carry them away into captivity. Likewise in the days of Christ, the people had learned that Jeremiah’s message was true, and they persuaded themselves to believe that if they had lived in the days of their fathers they would have accepted his message, but at the same time they were rejecting Christ’s message, of whom all the prophets had written. As the third angel’s message arose in the world, which is to reveal the law of God to the church in its fullness and power, the prophetic gift was also immediately restored. This gift has acted a very prominent part in the development and carrying forward of this message.” Loma Linda Messages, 33.


  • What warnings are given about Satan also having prophets in the last days? Matthew 24: 4 – 5, 11, 23 – 26, Ephesians 4: 14


NOTE: “False prophets arose to sow confusion among the people by turning them away from obeying the divine commands given through Jeremiah, but God’s judgments were pronounced against them in consequence of their grievous sin of bringing rebellion against Him. Just such men arise in these days and breed confusion and rebellion among the people who profess to obey the law of God. But just as certainly as divine judgement was visited upon the false prophets, just so surely will these evil workers receive their full measure of retribution; for the Lord has not changed. Those who prophesy lies encourage men to look upon sin as a small matter. When the terrible results of their crimes are made manifest, they seek, if possible, to make the one who has faithfully warned them responsible for their difficulties, even as the Jews charged Jeremiah with t heir evil fortunes. Those who pursue a course of rebellion against the Lord can always find false prophets who will justify them in their acts and flatter them to their destruction. Lying words often make many friends, as in the case of Ahab and Zedekiah. These false prophets, in their pretended zeal for God, found many more believers and followers than the true prophet, who delivered the simple message of the Lord.” Testimonies Volume 4, 173, 174.



  • What test may be used to distinguish a false prophet? Deuteronomy 18: 21 – 22, Jeremiah 28: 9, Isaiah 41: 21 – 23


NOTE: ” ‘The prophet which prophesieth of peace,’ Jeremiah proposed in conclusion, ‘when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the Lord hath truly sent him.’ If Israel chose to run the risk, future developments would effectually decide which was the true prophet. The words of Jeremiah counseling submission aroused Hananiah to a daring challenge of the reliability of the message delivered. Taking the symbolic yoke from Jeremiah’s neck, Hananiah broke it, saying, ‘Thus saith the Lord; Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years. ‘And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.’ Verse 11. Apparently, he could do nothing more than to retire from the scene of conflict. But Jeremiah was given another message. ‘Go and tell Hananiah,’ he was bidden, ‘Thus saith the Lord; Thou hast broken the yokes of wood; but thou shalt make for them yokes of iron. For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him. . . . ‘Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The Lord hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie. Therefore thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the Lord. So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.’ Verses 13-17. The false prophet had strengthened the unbelief of the people in Jeremiah and his message. He had wickedly declared himself the Lord’s messenger, and he suffered death in consequence. In the fifth month, Jeremiah prophesied the death of Hananiah, and in the seventh month, his words were proved true by their fulfillment.” Prophets and Kings, 445 – 446.


  • What further test did the apostle John give for proving whether a prophet is inspired by the Spirit of God or another spirit? 1 John 4: 1 – 3


NOTE: “Letters have been coming in to me, affirming that Christ could not have had the same nature as man, for if He had, He would have fallen under similar temptations. If He did not have man’s nature, He could not be our example. If He was not a partaker of our nature, He could not have been tempted as man has been. If it were not possible for Him to yield to temptation, He could not be our helper. It was a solemn reality that Christ came to fight the battles as man, in man’s behalf. His temptation and victory tell us that humanity must copy the Pattern; man must become a partaker of the divine nature.” Selected Messages Book 1, 408.



  • What straightforward test did Jesus give us to identify false prophets? Matthew 7: 15 – 20


NOTE: “Here is a test which all may apply if they will. None need be left in uncertainty and doubt. There is always sufficient evidence upon which to base an intelligent faith. But God will never remove from any man all occasion for doubts. Those who love to dwell in the atmosphere of doubt and questioning unbelief can have the unenviable privilege. He who turns from the weight of evidence because there are a few things that he cannot make plain to his finite understanding, will be left to the cold, chilling atmosphere of unbelief and skepticism, and will make shipwreck of faith. It should not be considered a virtue to be on the side of the doubting rather than on the side of the believing. Jesus never praised unbelief, never commended a doubting, questioning spirit. He gave to His nation evidence of His Messiahship in the miracles He wrought; but there were some who reasoned these evidences away, and in every good work found something to question and censure.” Signs of the Times, December 30, 1886.

“Many are changed by every current. They wait to hear what someone else thinks, and his opinion is accepted as altogether true. If they would lean wholly upon God, they would grow strong in His strength; but they do not say to the Lord, I can not make any decision until I know Thy will. Their natural inclination is to allow another to be conscience for them; and they speak after he has spoken, saying what he says, and acting as he acts. When these persons are placed in circumstances where they must think and act for themselves, they dare not express any decided opinion. Yet often, like Aaron, they have much ability. God pity such weaklings.” Review and Herald, May 9, 1899.


  • What are some of the fruits of a true prophet’s ministry? 1 Corinthians 14: 3


NOTE: “Early in my youth I was asked several times, ‘Are you a prophet?’ I have ever responded, I am the Lord’s messenger. I know that many have called me a prophet, but I have made no claim to this title. My Savior declared me to be His messenger. ‘Your work,’ He instructed me, ‘is to bear My Word. Strange things will arise, and in your youth I set you apart to bear the message to the erring ones, to carry the Word before unbelievers, and with pen and voice to reprove from the Word actions that are not right. Exhort from the Word. I will make My Word open to you. It shall not be as a strange language. In the true eloquence of simplicity, with voice and pen, the messages that I give shall be heard from one who has never learned in the schools. My Spirit and My power shall be with you. Be not afraid of man, for My shield shall protect you. It is not you that speaketh; it is the Lord that giveth the messages of warning and reproof. Never deviate from the truth under any circumstances. Give the light I shall give you. The messages for these last days shall be written in books, and shall stand immortalized, to testify against those who have once rejoiced in the light, but who have been led to give it up because of the seductive influences of evil.’ Why have I not claimed to be a prophet? Because in these days many who boldly claim that they are prophets, are a reproach to the cause of Christ; and because my work includes much more than the word ‘prophet’ signifies. When this work was first given me, I begged the Lord to lay the burden on some one else. The work was so large and broad and deep that I feared I could not do it. But by His Holy Spirit the Lord has enabled me to perform the work which He gave me to do.” Spalding-Magan Collection, 481.



  • What function does prophecy fulfil for God’s people in the darkness of this world? 2 Peter 1: 19, Revelation 1: 3


NOTE: “Brethren, to whom the truths of God’s Word have been opened, what part will you act in the closing scenes of this world’s history? Are you awake to these solemn realities? Do you realize the grand work of preparation that is going on in heaven and on earth? Let all who have received the light, who have had the opportunity of reading and hearing the prophecy, take heed to those things that are written therein; ‘for the time is at hand.’ Let none now tamper with sin, the source of every misery in our world. No longer remain in lethargy and stupid indifference. Let not the destiny of your soul hang upon an uncertainty. Know that you are fully on the Lord’s side. Let the inquiry go forth from sincere hearts and trembling lips, ‘Who shall be able to stand?’ Have you, in these last precious hours of probation, been putting the very best material into your character building? Have you been purifying your souls from every stain? Have you followed the light? Have you works corresponding to your profession of faith? Is the softening, subduing influence of the grace of God working upon you? Have you hearts that can feel, eyes that can see, ears that can hear? Is it in vain that the declaration of eternal truth has been made concerning the nations of the earth? They are under condemnation, preparing for the judgments of God; and in this day which is big with eternal results, the people chosen to be the depositories of momentous truth ought to be abiding in Christ. Are you letting your light shine to illumine the nations that are perishing in their sins? Do you realize that you are to stand in defense of God’s commandments before those who are treading them underfoot?” Testimonies Volume 6, 404, 405.


  • 12.When will prophecy be no longer needed? 1 Corinthians 13: 8 – 10


NOTE: “This text does foretell the cessation of spiritual gifts, also of faith and hope. But when were they to cease? We still look forward to the time when ‘hope shall change to glad fruition, faith to sight, and prayer to praise.’ They are to cease when that which is perfect is come, when we shall no longer see through a glass darkly, but face to face. The perfect day, when the just are made perfect and see as they are seen, is yet in the future. It is true that the Man of Sin, when arrived at manhood, had put away such ‘childish things’ as prophecies, tongues, and knowledge, and also the faith, hope and charity of the primitive Christians. But there is nothing in the text to show that God designed to take away the gifts which He had set in the church, till the consummation of her faith and hope, till the surpassing glory of the immortal state should eclipse the most brilliant displays of spiritual power and knowledge ever manifested in this mortal state.” Early Writings, 136. (Spiritual Gifts Volume One, Introduction by Roswell F. Cottrell.)


Bible Study Guide — Thy Word Is A Lamp Unto My Feet

February 13 —19

Memory Verse: “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3: 15.

Study Help: Great Controversy, pages 518 – 523

Introduction: “When you search the Scriptures with an earnest desire to learn the truth, God will breathe His Spirit into your heart and impress your mind with the light of His Word. The Bible is its own interpreter, one passage explaining another. By comparing Scriptures referring to the same subjects, you will see beauty and harmony of which you have never dreamed. There is no other book whose perusal strengthens and enlarges, elevates and ennobles the mind, as does the perusal of this Book of books. Its study imparts new vigor to the mind, which is thus brought in contact with subjects requiring earnest thought, and is drawn out in prayer to God for power to comprehend the truths revealed.” Testimonies Volume 4, 499.



  • What are the Scriptures able to do for the one who places his faith in Jesus Christ? 2 Timothy 3: 15


NOTE: “What other book will teach men to love, fear, and obey God as does the Bible? What other book presents to students more ennobling science, more wonderful history? It clearly portrays righteousness, and foretells the consequence of disloyalty to the law of Jehovah. No one is left in darkness as to that which God approves or disapproves. In studying the Scriptures we become acquainted with God, and are led to understand our relation to Christ, who is the sin-bearer, the surety, the substitute, for our fallen race. These truths concern our present and eternal interests. The Bible stands the highest among books, and its study is valuable above the study of other literature in giving strength and expansion to the mind.” Special Testimonies on Education, 18.


  • What aspect of God’s Word should especially occupy our minds? With what result? Psalm 1: 1 – 3; Psalm 119: 9 – 16


NOTE: ” ‘The prince of this world cometh,’ said Jesus, ‘and hath nothing in Me.” John 14: 30. There was in Him nothing that responded to Satan’s sophistry. He did not consent to sin. Not even by a thought did He yield to temptation. So it may be with us. Christ’s humanity was united with divinity; He was fitted for the conflict by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And He came to make us partakers of the divine nature. So long as we are united to Him by faith, sin has no more dominion over us. God reaches for the hand of faith in us to direct it to lay fast hold upon the divinity of Christ, that we may attain to perfection of character. And how this is accomplished, Christ has shown us. By what means did He overcome in the conflict with Satan? By the Word of God. Only by the Word could He resist temptation. ‘It is written,’ He said. . . . Every promise in God’s Word is ours. ‘By every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God’ are we to live. When assailed by temptation, look not to circumstances or to the weakness of self, but to the power of the Word. All its strength is yours. ‘Thy word,’ says the psalmist, ‘have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.’ ‘By the word of Thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.’ Ps. 119: 11; 17: 4.” Desire of Ages, 123.



  • What precious promises may we claim as we study the Scriptures? John 14: 26, 16: 13


NOTE: See Testimonies Volume 5, 703.


  • What prayer of David’s should be ours whenever we study the Scriptures? Psalm 119: 18


NOTE: “Never should the Bible be studied without prayer. Before opening its pages, we should ask for the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, and it will be given. When Nathanael came to Jesus, the Savior exclaimed, ‘Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile.’ [John 1: 47.] Nathanael said, ‘Whence knowest Thou me?’ Jesus answered, ‘Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee.’ And Jesus will see us also in the secret places of prayer, if we will seek Him for light, that we may know what is truth. Angels from the world of light will be with those who in humility of heart seek for divine guidance.” Christian Education, 59.



  • Which people will understand the Scriptures and which will not? Daniel 12: 9 – 10. How does the Bible define wisdom? Psalm 111: 10


NOTE: See Great Controversy, 132.


  • Against what misuse of the Scriptures did Peter warn? 2 Peter 3: 16


NOTE: “In order to sustain erroneous doctrines or unchristian practices, some will seize upon passages of Scripture separated from the context, perhaps quoting half of a single verse as proving their point, when the remaining portion would show the meaning to be quite the opposite. With the cunning of the serpent, they entrench themselves behind disconnected utterances construed to suit their carnal desires. Thus do many willfully pervert the Word of God. Others, who have an active imagination, seize upon the figures and symbols of Holy Writ, interpret them to suit their fancy, with little regard to the testimony of Scripture as its own interpreter, and then they present their vagaries as the teachings of the Bible. Whenever the study of the Scriptures is entered upon without a prayerful, humble, teachable spirit, the plainest and simplest as well as the most difficult passages will be wrested from their true meaning.” Great Controversy, 521.



  • How did Jesus describe the importance of His words? John 6: 63, last part


NOTE: “Though inestimable treasures are in the Bible, and it is like a mine full of precious ore, it is not valued, it is not searched, and its riches are not discovered. Mercy and truth and love are valuable beyond our power to calculate; we cannot have too great a supply of these treasures, and it is in the Word of God we find out how we may become possessors of these heavenly riches, and yet why is it that the word of God is uninteresting to many professed Christians? Is it because the Word of God is not spirit and is not life? Has Jesus put upon us an uninteresting task, when He commands us to ‘search the Scriptures’? John 5: 39. Jesus says, ‘The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.’ John 6: 63. But spiritual things are spiritually discerned, and the reason of your lack of interest is that you lack the Spirit of God. When the heart is brought into harmony with the Word, a new life will spring up within you, a new light will shine upon every line of the Word, and it will become the voice of God to your soul. In this way you will take celestial observations, and know whither you are going, and be able to make the most of your privileges today.” Christian Education, 80.


  • How did Jesus teach us to value the treasures of His Word? Matthew 13: 44


NOTE: “It is proper and right to read the Bible; but your duty does not end there; for you are to search its pages for yourselves. The knowledge of God is not to be gained without mental effort, without prayer for wisdom in order that you may separate from the pure grain of truth the chaff with which men and Satan have misrepresented the doctrines of truth. Satan and his confederacy of human agents have endeavored to mix the chaff of error with the wheat of truth. We should diligently search for the hidden treasure, and seek wisdom from heaven in order to separate human inventions from the divine commands. The Holy Spirit will aid the seeker for great and precious truths which relate to the plan of redemption. I would impress upon all the fact that a casual reading of the Scriptures is not enough. We must search, and this means the doing of all the word implies. As the miner eagerly explores the earth to discover its veins of gold, so you are to explore the word of God for the hidden treasure that Satan has so long sought to hide from man.” Review and Herald, September 11, 1894.



  • What principle of discovering the meaning of the Scriptures is given us in the Word? Isaiah 28: 9 – 10


NOTE: “Perilous times are before us. Everyone who has a knowledge of the truth should awake and place himself, body, soul, and spirit, under the discipline of God. The enemy is on our track. We must be wide-awake, on our guard against him. We must put on the whole armor of God. We must follow the directions given through the spirit of prophecy. We must love and obey the truth for this time. This will save us from accepting strong delusions. God has spoken to us through His word. He has spoken to us through the testimonies to the church and through the books that have helped to make plain our present duty and the position that we should now occupy. The warnings that have been given, line upon line, precept upon precept, should be heeded. If we disregard them, what excuse can we offer?” Testimonies Volume 8, 298.


  • What important principle does Paul give for those seeking to understand spiritual things? 1 Corinthians 2: 13 – 14


NOTE: “We should not take the testimony of any man as to what the Scriptures teach, but should study the Word of God ourselves. If we allow others to do our thinking, we shall have crippled energies and contracted abilities. The noble powers of the mind may be so dwarfed by lack of exercise on themes worthy of their concentration as to lose their ability to grasp the deep meaning of the Word of God. The mind will enlarge if it is employed in tracing out the subjects of the Bible, comparing scripture with scripture, and spiritual things with spiritual. There is nothing more calculated to strengthen the intellect than the study of the Scriptures. No other book is so potent to elevate the thoughts, to give vigor to the faculties, as the broad, ennobling truths of the Bible. If God’s Word were studied as it should be, men would have a breadth of mind, a nobility of character, and a stability of purpose that is rarely seen in these times. But there is but little benefit derived from a hasty reading of the Scriptures. One may read the whole Bible through, and yet fail to see its beauty or comprehend its deep and hidden meaning. One passage studied until its significance is clear to the mind, and its relation to the plan of salvation is evident, is of more value than the perusal of many chapters with no definite purpose in view and no positive instruction gained. Keep your Bible with you. As you have opportunity, read it; fix the texts in your memory.” Christian Education, 58.



  • What promise is given to those who diligently search for truth? Matthew 7: 7, Proverbs 8: 17


NOTE: “Our heavenly Father has a pure and inexhaustible fountain of knowledge from which we may draw, and there is no limit to His gifts to those who earnestly seek for truth. The capacities of those who add to their faith virtue will be enlarged to receive still greater virtues. There are undeveloped faculties lying dormant that will spring into life and activity when the human is united with the divine. Those who make the most of that which God has given them in this life will find their powers developed to as much greater degree in the future life as they have by wise improvement increased them in this life.” Sabbath School Worker, July 1, 1889.


  • What condition is needed if we are to understand the Bible’s teachings? John 7: 17


NOTE: “Satan can present a counterfeit so closely resembling the truth that it deceives those who are willing to be deceived, who desire to shun the self-denial and sacrifice demanded by the truth; but it is impossible for him to hold under his power one soul who honestly desires, at whatever cost, to know the truth. Christ is the Truth and the “Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” John 1: 9. The Spirit of truth has been sent to guide men into all truth. And upon the authority of the Son of God it is declared: ‘Seek, and ye shall find.’ ‘If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine.’ Matthew 7: 7; John 7: 17.” Great Controversy, 528.


  • How will this obedience to God’s will be manifested? John 14: 15, 1 John 2: 3 – 5, 4: 20, 5: 2 –3


NOTE: See Acts of the Apostles, 562 –56 3.


Bible Study Guide — The Lord Our God Spake Unto Us

February 6 — 12

General Introduction

I dreamed that the Spirit of the Lord came upon me, and I arose amid cries and prayers, and said: The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me. I feel urged to say to you that you must commence to work individually for yourselves. You are looking to God and desiring Him to do the work for you which He has left for you to do. If you will do the work for yourselves which you know that you ought to do, then God will help you when you need help. You have left undone the very things which God has left for you to do. You have been calling upon God to do your work. Had you followed the light which He has given you, then He would cause more light to shine upon you; but while you neglect the counsels, warnings, and reproofs that have been given, how can you expect God to give you more light and blessings to neglect and despise? God is not as man; He will not be trifled with.

I took the precious Bible and surrounded it with the several Testimonies for the Church, given for the people of God. Here, said I, the cases of nearly all are met. The sins they are to shun are pointed out. The counsel that they desire can be found here, given for other cases situated similarly to themselves. God has been pleased to give you line upon line and precept upon precept. But there are not many of you that really know what is contained in the Testimonies. You are not familiar with the Scriptures. If you had made God’s word your study, with a desire to reach the Bible standard and attain to Christian perfection, you would not have needed the Testimonies. It is because you have neglected to acquaint yourselves with God’s inspired Book that He has sought to reach you by simple, direct testimonies, calling your attention to the words of inspiration which you had neglected to obey, and urging you to fashion your lives in accordance with its pure and elevated teachings.

The Lord designs to warn you, to reprove, to counsel, through the testimonies given, and to impress your minds with the importance of the truth of His word. The written testimonies are not to give new light, but to impress vividly upon the heart the truths of inspiration already revealed. Man’s duty to God and to his fellow man has been distinctly specified in God’s Word; yet but few of you are obedient to the light given. Additional truth is not brought out; but God has through the Testimonies simplified the great truths already given and in His own chosen way brought them before the people to awaken and impress the mind with them, that all may be left without excuse.

Pride, self-love, selfishness, hatred, envy, and jealousy have beclouded the perceptive powers, and the truth, which would make you wise unto salvation, has lost its power to charm and control the mind. The very essential principles of godliness are not understood because there is not a hungering and thirsting for Bible knowledge, purity of heart, and holiness of life. The Testimonies are not to belittle the Word of God, but to exalt it and attract minds to it, that the beautiful simplicity of truth may impress all.

I said further: As the Word of God is walled in with these books and pamphlets, so has God walled you in with reproofs, counsel, warnings, and encouragements. Here you are crying before God, in the anguish of your souls, for more light. I am authorized from God to tell you that not another ray of light through the Testimonies will shine upon your pathway until you make a practical use of the light already given. The Lord has walled you about with light; but you have not appreciated the light; you have trampled upon it. While some have despised the light, others have neglected it, or followed it but indifferently. A few have set their hearts to obey the light which God has been pleased to give them.

Some that have received special warnings through testimony have forgotten in a few weeks the reproof given. The Testimonies to some have been several times repeated, but they have not thought them of sufficient importance to be carefully heeded. They have been to them like idle tales. Had they regarded the light given they would have avoided losses and trials which they think are hard and severe. They have only themselves to censure. They have placed upon their own necks a yoke which they find grievous to be borne. It is not the yoke which Christ has bound upon them. God’s care and love were exercised in their behalf; but their selfish, evil, unbelieving souls could not discern His goodness and mercy. They rush on in their own wisdom until, overwhelmed with trials and confused with perplexity, they are ensnared by Satan. When you gather up the rays of light which God has given in the past, then will He give an increase of light. Testimonies, Volume 2, pages 604 – 606.

Memory Verse: “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Revelation 22: 18 –19.

Introduction: During the last several decades there has been a proliferation of new English translations and paraphrases of the Bible. In Ellen White’s day, this work was already beginning. The English Revised Version appeared in 1885 and the American Standard Version followed in 1901. Neither gained any great popularity among Christians. Ellen White’s son, William, wrote: “When the first version [the English Revised Version] was published, I purchased a good copy for Mother. She referred to it occasionally but never used it in preaching. Later on as manuscripts were being prepared for new books and for revised editions of books already in print, Sister White’s attention was called from time to time by myself and Sister Marion Davis to the fact that she was using texts which were much more clearly translated in the RV. Sister White studied each one carefully and in some cases instructed us to use the RV.” Problems in Translation, page 72.



  • In which languages was the Bible originally written?


The greater part of the Old Testament is written in Hebrew. A few passages were written in Aramaic, especially several passages in Ezra and Daniel. Though Aramaic appears to have been the language of Jesus and the people of Judea and Galilee, the New Testament books are written in the common colloquial [koine] Greek spoken throughout the Roman empire. This dialect was, until recently, only known in the New Testament writings. Since the 1880s, however, large numbers of letters and other ordinary documents from the time of Christ, written in this form of Greek, have been discovered.


  • Into which languages was the Bible first translated?


After the captivity in Babylon, Aramaic became increasingly the language of the general population. In Nehemiah 8: 1 – 8, when Ezra read the book of the law aloud, it would appear from verse 8, that the book had to be translated so that the people unable to speak Hebrew could understand. In the third and second centuries BC, the Alexandrian Jews made a translation of the Old Testament into Greek. This translation became known as the Septuagint, from the tradition that it was produced by seventy-two elders. This was the Bible in popular use in New Testament times and the Old Testament quotations by the New Testament writers are often taken from this version.


  • What evidence do we have that the Old Testament Scriptures have been accurately preserved?


Until the last fifty years, the oldest Hebrew manuscripts available were no more than 1000 years old. (This was because of the custom of making new copies of old manuscripts that were dilapidated through use and then destroying the old manuscripts by burning.) Sceptical scholars argued that it was unlikely that the surviving manuscripts represented a reliable version of the Old Testament Scriptures, since they dated 1400 years after the final old Testament books were written. The discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls in 1947, a number of which were Bible books or commentaries on Old Testament passages, written no later than the second century A.D.(see SDA Bible Commentary, Volume 8, 786), revealed that most differences were of such a minor nature as not even to show up in translation. (e.g. spelling variations) It is clear that the scribes who copied the Old Testament Scriptures were meticulous in their work, even counting the number of individual letters to ensure accuracy. Imperfect copies were destroyed as a matter of course.



  • When was the Bible first translated into English?


Parts of the Bible, including the gospels and psalms, were translated into Old English over 1000 years ago. But, as Roman Christianity became dominant and knowledge of the Bible was discouraged, no complete translation of the Bible into English was made until the time of Wycliffe in the 14th century. “Wycliffe’s Bible had been translated from the Latin text [the Vulgate of Jerome], which contained many errors. It had never been printed, and the cost of manuscript copies was so great that few but wealthy men or nobles could procure it; and, furthermore, being strictly proscribed by the church, it had had a comparatively narrow circulation.” Great Controversy, 245. “The Waldenses were among the first of the peoples of Europe to obtain a translation of the Holy Scriptures. Hundreds of years before the Reformation they possessed the Bible in manuscript in their native tongue. They had the truth unadulterated, and this rendered them the special objects of hatred and persecution.” Great Controversy, 65. But this Waldensian Bible had never been translated into English.

  • When did the English people first receive an accurate translation of the Scriptures?

See Great Controversy, 245.



  • How was the King James Bible produced?


Several English Bible translations or revisions were made after Tyndale’s translation. Examples of these are the “Great Bible,” the “Bishop’s Bible,” and the “Geneva Bible.” Notes in the margins of these Bibles explain who the antichrist was, etc. During this time countries were ruled by kings who believed in the “divine right” of the kings. King James wanted to eliminate Bibles containing explanatory notes. To do this he had a new translation made which he called the The Authorized Version. It was his purpose to prohibit all other versions from being read in church. Just as Constantine did in the fourth century so King James in the seventeenth century attempted to bring a forced uniformity into religion. But in spite of these motives the Lord overruled it for ood—at this time the English language had reached a high point of development. The King James Bible has exercised a profound effect on the English language and culture ever since. Much of the language of the King James Bible is actually a revision of Tyndale’s translation. The King James Version of the Bible, published in 1611, was translated by 47 of the most learned men in the land. They were divided into six companies and a portion was assigned to each group. Everyone in each company translated the whole portion before they met to compare their results and agree upon the final form. They then transmitted their draft to each of the other companies for their comment and consent. A select committee then went carefully through the whole work again, and at last, two of the members were responsible for the final checking. Advocates of modern versions often assume that they are the product of scholarship far superior to that of the translators of the King James Version of 1611, but this assumption is not supported by the facts. The learned men who laboured on the King James Version of the Bible were men of exceptional ability and they approached the task with a reverent regard for the Divine inspiration, authority and inerrancy of the Holy Scriptures. To them it was “God’s sacred Truth” and demanded the exercise of their utmost care and fidelity in its translation.


  • Is the translation of the King James Bible inspired?


“Some…have been so bold as to assert that the King James Version of the Scripture is a divinely inspired translation. Such a claim must be doubtful. Every evidence we have indicates that, though the King James Version is an excellent translation, it is not a perfect translation, which presumably is what an inspired translation would be. Yet we do not doubt the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the work of these translators.” Modern Bible Translations Unmasked, Standish and Standish, 24.



  • Why was it felt necessary to revise the King James Version?


The King James Version was periodically revised during the 17th and 18th centuries to modernize the spelling, and correct misprints. This work of periodic updating appears to have ceased in 1769. In 1870 a committee was appointed to again consider the passages of the King James Bible that required amendment.


  • What men were involved in this revision?


The leading influences in the work of revision were two Cambridge professors, Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Hort. These two men had produced a radically different Greek version of the New Testament, based on two recently published manuscripts which showed marked variations from the vast majority of existing Greek manuscripts and differed even more widely from each other. One, Codex Vaticanus, had been known at the time of the translation of the King James Bible but had been rejected as worthless. The other, Codex Sinaiaticus, had been retrieved from the rubbish bin at St Catherine’s Monastery in Egypt by a visiting German scholar. This second manuscript had also long been recognized as worthless, since the incomplete manuscript, now in the British Museum, contains 14,800 corrections by nine separate early correctors in its 389.5 pages or approximately 38 corrections per page! These two manuscripts resemble the discredited Latin Vulgate version, which was the standard text of the Catholic Church. Westcott and Hort were concerned to promote their new version of the New Testament. While the Revisers made few significant changes to the Old Testament, the New Testament was extensively altered. Westcott and Hort’s new version of the Greek New Testament forms the basis of nearly every modern version.


  • Were Westcott and Hort Protestant Reformers?


Both were followers of the “Higher Criticism” and were skeptical about much Christian doctrine, including the atonement and the authority of the Bible. Westcott denied the historicity of the opening chapters of Genesis. Hort was a believer in Darwinism and both men were devotees of Mary. They were Anglo-Catholics, believing that Protestantism was ‘only parenthetical and temporary.’ They both were deeply involved in the occult from nearly thirty years before the Revision was published. In 1851 they founded the “Ghostly Guild” [now known as the Society for Psychical Research], the year Westcott was ordained as an Anglican priest. In the following year, Westcott spoke of being ‘most anxious to replace’ the traditional Greek text of the New Testament. Both expressed a deep hatred for the Received Text of the New Testament.



  • 11.What kinds of problems arise from the use of Bible versions based on the work of Westcott and Hort?


In setting aside the testimony of more than 5000 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament and accepting as authoritative the Vaticanus and Sinaiaticus manuscripts, the modern versions present a significantly different New Testament. It has been estimated that 36,000 changes were made in the Revised Version. The most common and noticeable of the changes in versions based on these two corrupt manuscripts are passages, verses, phrases and words omitted or questioned. These may be omitted entirely or attract footnotes seriously questioning their authenticity. Examples of passages thus treated include: Mark 16: 9 – 20 and John 7: 53 – 8: 11. Examples of verses omitted or questioned include: Matthew 17: 21, 18: 11, 21: 44, 23: 14, Mark 7: 16, 9: 44 and 46, 11: 26, 15: 28, Luke 17: 36, 22: 43 – 44, 23; 17, 23: 34, 24; 12 and 40, John 5: 4, Acts 8: 37, 15: 34, 24: 6 –8, 28: 29, Romans 16: 24.


  • What further problem has arisen since the appearance of the Revised Version?


“The King James translators were committed to producing an English Bible that would be a precise translation and by no means a paraphrase or a broadly approximate rendering. On the one hand, the scholars were almost as familiar with the original languages of the Bible as with their native English. On the other hand, their reverence for the divine Author and His Word assured a translation of the Scriptures in which only a principle of utmost accuracy could be accepted.” New King James Bible, Preface. Perhaps the greatest problem with modern versions is their extreme laxity in rendering faithfully the sense of even their own Greek original. The King James translators, when supplying words required by the sense, placed such words in italics. Such scruples are notably absent from most more recent versions. Their translation principle, called “Dynamic Equivalence,” does not require a faithful rendering of the original words but an attempt to convey what the translator thinks the writer meant.



  • Do these changes make any difference to the teaching of the Bible?


Those who have attempted to use modern versions to teach the 70 weeks of Daniel 9 have found it impossible. Versions like the NIV, the Living Bible, the New English Bible, the Revised Standard Version and the Good News have the Messiah appearing only 7 prophetic weeks into the prophecy and then being killed 62 prophetic weeks later. Several of these versions, which were written by those believing in the appearance of the antichrist after the secret rapture, transfer the work of Christ in Daniel 9: 27 to the antichrist! They fail to distinguish between the work of the Messiah and the destruction wrought by the Romans, “the people of the prince that shall come.” It has not proved possible for these people to provide a sound historical fulfillment of these alternative versions of the prophecy and they tend instead to cast doubt on the accuracy of the prophecy itself! It is not without significance that the RSV, NIV, Good News et al. omit the reference to Daniel the prophet in Mark 13: 14, where Christ applies this prophecy to the destruction of Jerusalem. The diligent reader will discover similar tampering with the longer time prophecy of Daniel 8: 14, of which the 70 weeks is a part.


  • How are Bible teachings affected by the readings of modern Bible versions?


The inferior Egyptian manustripts (Sinaiaticus and Vaticanus) as explained already contain significant omissions and varient readings from the vast majority of extant Greek manuscripts of the New Testement. It was argued that these Egyptian manuscripts were older but as Professor Hodges (one of the leading New Testament scholars today) has pointed out, “The text which results from dependence on such manuscripts as these may fairly be described as Egyptian . . . . In contrast to this kind of text stands the form of text found in the vast majority of remaining documents. This text is recognizably different from the Egyptian Text and has been appropriately designated the Majority Text. It is true that the documents that contain it are on the whole substantially later than the earliest Egyptian witnesses. But this is hardly surpising. Egypt almost alone, offers climactic conditions highly favorable to the preservation of very ancient manuscripts. On the other hand, the witnesses to the majority text come from all over the ancient world. Their very number suggests that they represent a long and wide-spread chain of manuscript tradition. It is necessary therefore to postulate that the surviving documents are decended from non-extant ancestral documents of the highest antiquity. These must have been in their own time as old or older than the surviving witnesses from Egypt.

“It follows from this that the majority text deserves the attention of the Christian world. When all the issues are properly weighed it has a higher claim to represent the original text than does the Egyptian type. The latter is probably a local text which never had any significant currency except in that part of the ancient world. By contrast the majority of manuscripts were widely diffused and their ancestral roots must reach back to the autographs themselves.” Introduction to the Greek New Testement According to the Majority Text, Second Edition.

Versions which are translated from the Egyptian text can actually cast doubt on the divinity of Christ—one of the most central doctrines of the Christian faith. For example, in the Egyptian Text the word “God” is left out in 1Timothy 3:16, which is one of the plainest texts In the New Testement testifying to the divinity of Christ. In addition, obedience to the Commandments being a requirement to enter the Holy City is changed to simply being “forgiven” in the Egyptian Text. See Revelation 22:14. So the faulty Egyptian manuscripts are the cause of faulty teachings appearing in translations coming from them. But there is a second type of problem that is much more serious than this. This is the manipulation of the translation so that the Bible can be used to teach doctrines contrary to what the writer wrote. An example of this is when some modern translations change the phrase in Daniel 7:25 which indicates that the antichrist will think to change times and laws and make it read that the antichrist power will simply change the time of the feast days. This is a total prevarication and prostitution of the Hebrew Text.


  • What is Satan’s unceasing attitude to God’s Word?


See Early Writings, page 214.


Endnote: “Now that Satan can no longer keep the world under his control by withholding the Scriptures, he resorts to other means to accomplish the same object. To destroy faith in the Bible serves his purpose as well as to destroy the Bible itself.” Great Controversy, 586. Satan’s hatred of the Bible is no less than it ever was. The fact that he has changed his tactics to destroy God’s Word should not blind God’s people. Since man is to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, Christians should be careful to ensure that those words are not being tampered with or corrupted by those who, “having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof,” “received not the love of the truth that they might be saved.” Not all Bibles are equal in value and the diligent lover of truth will seek to ensure that his Bible is the uncorrupted Word of God. The New Testament portion of the King James Version, we know today, was translated from a superior Greek text (a Byzantine text). And most modern translations are translated from the inferior Egyptian manuscripts. Versions available today in which the New Testament is translated from the Received Text include: the King James Version, the King James II Version, and the New King James Version.


Children’s Story — Can & Could

“It’ll be moonlight tonight,” said a schoolboy; “won’t you join our skating party?”

“No,” replied Can; “you know there wasn’t a boy in my class that had his arithmetic lesson today, and the teacher gave it to us again. I can master it, and I will. That lesson must not beat me twice. I mean to make sure of it, so you’ll have to excuse me from joining your party.”

“Shall I not help you?” asked his elder sister.

“Let me try it first,” replied Can; “I feel like going at it with a will; for I’ve heard that ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way.’ ” He did not stop until every example was worked out.

“If I only could learn this horrid lesson!” exclaimed his classmate, Could, made a few random figures on his slate, and then began to draw dog’s heads.

“Is that the way you study your lesson? ” asked his mother reprovingly.

“If I only could get it,” replied the boy, fretfully, “I should be glad to work at it with all my might, but it’s too hard and dry for anybody.”

“Surely you could learn some of it, if you would only try,” said his mother, and as this could not be gainsaid, Could looked at his book again. But the next moment he jumped from his chair, and ran to the window.

“Oh, this splendid moonlight!” he exclaimed. “It’s really too bad to lose that skating. I think I’ll go.”

“But your lessons are not prepared,” said his mother.

“I know that.” Answered Could; “but when I come back, there will be time enough for them.”

Off he went, and the next day, in the class, he drawled: “I would have learned the lesson if I could.

Can and Could both had to drive cows to pasture and to hoe in the garden. Can’s cows were regularly cropping grass on the hillside long before Could was out of bed. Can easily kept ahead of the weeds by hoeing before they got much start. Could waited until there was “some real need of hoeing, to keep the weeds down,” but the weeds had such a start then that they soon got ahead of him, and ahead of the crops, too, which were hardly worth gathering, although Can’s garden yielded bountifully.

“If I could have had such a garden as that,” said Could, “I should have been glad to hoe up every weed; but my garden was so poor that it didn’t make much difference whether I hoed or not.”

“If I could only be a great man, how much I would do to reform men!” exclaimed Could. Sometime I mean to do something on a large scale in this world.”

Can was never heard to express such noble sentiments; but he attended diligently to business, and, as he prospered, employed many men at fair wages, thus enabling them to support their families in comfort.

Can, by diligence and economy, became prosperous and happy; Could, by indolence and procrastination, became discontented and unhappy. Will you be Can or Could?

Taken from The Youth’s Instructor, April 27, 1899


Seventh Day Adventist Roots — The Parting of the Ways

Following the Great Disappointment on October 22, 1844, opposition arose against the preaching of the advent message and against those proclaiming it. Most of the churches refused to admit the ministers that were preaching the coming of Christ. “Thus the impressive Millerite movement came to its tragic close, so far as its original form is concerned. The great stream ceased its onward flow and was dissipated, to use the figure aptly employed by Nichol (F. D.), like a river absorbed in the torrid sands of the desert. Here is his graphic portrayal.

” ‘The erstwhile fast-moving stream poured out over an arid, uncharted waste. The scorching sun of disappointment beat down, and the burning winds of ridicule swept in from every side. The river suddenly lost its velocity. There was no momentum to cut a clearly marked channel in this new, parched land. Sun and wind quickly began to play havoc with this directionless body of water, now spread thinly over a wide area. While a central stream of what had once been an impressive river, was more or less well defined, there were many lesser streams, which often ended in miniature dead seas, where stagnation and evaporation soon did their work. Indeed, no small part of the once large river, when evaporated under the scorching sun of disappointment, was finally returned to the sources from whence it came, the other rivers in the religious world.’ ” The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, 827.

Following the Disappointment, the leaders were concerned over the confusion of opinions that became prevalent. I. E. Jones describes the confusion at that time: “Our brethren this way are catching at every conceivable hypothesis to reconcile the movement of the tenth [day of the seventh month, or October 22] . . .But supremely ridiculous, painful and dangerous, as is this state of things among ourselves, it is not as much so as the ranks of our opponents present. Who can think of the endless diversity of opinion among them on the prophecies and atonement, free will, baptism, conversion, and every Bible truth; and not say in view of his temptations to leave this [Advent] cause, ‘To whom shall we go?’ . . . Oh, I sigh, for home. Home; sweet home. But, patience my soul.” Ibid., 828.

William Miller was very perturbed by the discord that existed among the various factions that grew out of the Millerite Movement. He said, “I must confess I am pained at heart, to see the battle we are now in . . . after having silenced our common enemy . . . Every [Adventist] paper which has come into my hands recently is full of fight, and that too against our friends.” Ibid.

He was openly opposed to all the various “new theories” that had arisen in an attempt to explain the Disappointment. He denied the application of the parable of the “Midnight Cry” to the seventh month movement and stated that that was not a fulfillment of the prophecy.

“The controversy as to whether the seventh-month movement was the logical and legitimate climax of the Millerite message, or whether it was a tragic mistake, hinged on what came to be known as the ‘shut door’ doctrine. The seventh-month movement, it will be remembered, was based on two premises: (1) The typical cleansing of the ancient sanctuary on the Day of Atonement, on the tenth day of the seventh Jewish month; and (2) the parable of the wise and foolish virgins, who, after passing the expected time of the wedding, fell asleep and were roused at midnight by the cry, ‘Behold, the bridegroom cometh!’ The wise virgins, who are ready to meet the coming bridegroom, enter with him into the wedding, where the door is shut after them. But the foolish ones, who failed to use their opportunity to be ready, then find themselves outside.” Ibid., 829.

In midsummer, of 1844, the cry went forth at “midnight” that the Bridegroom was to come, not in 1843, but in the seventh month of 1844. The cleansing of the sanctuary at the end of the 2300 years was to occur on the tenth day of the seventh month—the day when the sanctuary was cleansed in ancient Israel’s time. At the close of the 2300 years and the passing of the tenth day of the seventh month there were two courses open to those who refused to be discouraged by the passing of the time. Either the message containing the “midnight cry” was a delusion and the time a mistake or, the period had ended but the anticipated event was wrong.

After 1844, those that rejected the “Midnight Cry” message decided that the time was a mistake, the seventh-month a blunder and concluded that the “Midnight Cry” and the “Shut door” were still future. They said that “if the parable of the Bridegroom was yet to be fulfilled in the second advent, at a future ending of the 2300 days, they would be right in saying that the Bridegroom had not come and the door of the parable had not yet been shut. But if the time calculation had been correct —if the 2300 days had really ended in October, 1844—and the ‘Midnight Cry’ of the seventh month had been the true climax of the God-given message of a great prophetic movement, then those who held this view must necessarily believe that the parable of the virgins and the prophetic Day of Atonement had been fulfilled and that the ‘door’ of the parable—whatever it might be—had been ‘shut.’ ” Ibid., 830.

The Millerites taught that the door of the parable meant that the door of salvation would be closed at the Second Coming of Christ, when everyone would either be ready or lost. After the Disappointment, Miller and others thought that their work for the world was ended and that they were now in the tarrying time—a few days or months—until Christ should come.

In 1840, Himes and Litch had taught that after the sixth vial and trumpet ended, when the seventh trumpet sounded, the mystery of God was to be finished, the time of grace would end and probation’s door would be shut. Miller agreed with this interpretation, but added that there would be a little time to separate the good from the bad. Miller stated: “We have done our work in warning sinners, and in trying to awake a formal church. God, in His providence has shut the door; we can only stir one another up to be patient; and be diligent to make our calling and election sure.” Ibid., 831.

As time passed, this view was abandoned by the Millerites. Himes had never, since the Disappointment, believed that their work for the world had come to an end. Miller, along with some other leaders, soon came to be of the same opinion. The controversy over the “shut door” increased so dramatically that the leaders of the Millerite movement decided to convene a conference in Albany, New York, to attempt to resolve the conflicting views. The conference unanimously passed a report listing ten principles similar to the “Fundamental Principles” published in the Millerite papers, upon which they could unite. They opposed: “(1) The postmillennialists’ dream of world conversion before the advent. (2) The ‘Judaizing doctrine’ of the restoration of the literal Jews as a fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant. (3) Any of the new tests advocated by various minority groups.” Ibid., 834.

But their attempt for unity was not altogether successful, and the Millerite movement was split into three groups.

The first group included J. V. Himes and others that repudiated the “shut door” and denied the validity of the seventh-month movement and that Christ’s coming was imminent. Having rejected all the views, which had made them a part of the Advent movement, they had no reason to exist and so soon, the group faded out of the picture. Litch also refused to accept the “shut door” idea and eventually broke with the Adventist groups and became a Futurist. The second group was concentrated in Maine and New York and they took extreme views stating that all probation had closed and the doom of the world was fixed. That the 2300 days were fulfilled in 1844 and the door was shut on Christ’s mediatorial work and no one else could be saved. Only those who had entered with Christ on October 22 would be saved.

The third group was smaller than the first group but soon far surpassed them in numbers. They believed and taught the validity of the seventhmonth movement and adopted Edson’s view of the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary as an explanation of the Disappointment. They rejected the idea of the “shut door” (meaning the close of probation) and continued to preach the soon coming of Christ to all that would listen.

“This group, holding to the validity of the 1844 movement as a fulfillment of prophecy, saw in the Disappointment a test of those who were willing to make every sacrifice to be ready to meet their Lord, and then to hold their faith in the face of bitter disappointment. They insisted that the working of the Holy Spirit on the hearts of the participants in that movement had been proof that the Lord was in it; and consequently they felt that those who declared it all a mistake were repudiating the leading of God, and murmuring against the path in which He had led them.” Ibid., 841.

It was out of this third group that the Seventh-day Adventist Church developed. Joseph Bates, who had played a prominent role in the Millerite Movement, James White, a Millerite evangelist, Hiram Edson and others were prominent leaders. They rejected both formalism and fanaticism and became the nucleus of the Sabbatarian Adventists.

“Three key teachings, each developing independently, began to characterize the group which erelong became the Sabbatarian Adventists. And these features came to be regarded by them as interrelated in what they believed to be the prophetic charter of their mission. These three were: (1) The sanctuary, as embracing the special, or final ministry of Christ in the holy of holies of the heavenly sanctuary, thus giving new meaning to the message, ‘the hour of God’s judgment is come’ (2) the Sabbath, that is, observance of the seventh day, as involved in the keeping of the ‘commandments of God,’ and (3) the Spirit of Prophecy, or the ‘testimony of Jesus,’ to be manifest in the ‘remnant’ church, or last segment of God’s church of the centuries.” Ibid., 844, 845.

These three beliefs developed in various places. Hiram Edson and his group, after study in western New York, began to preach the sanctuary phase. Joseph Bates and others began to proclaim the Sabbath in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. In Maine, Ellen Harmon’s experience and influence established confidence in God’s past leadership and in His future guidance in the Advent Movement. These three groups eventually united.

“These three primary teachings—the Sabbath, the sanctuary, and the Spirit of Prophecy, along with the old basic, established, and fundamentally evangelical positions, as well as immortality only in Christ and the foundational Adventist teachings on the second advent and the Bible prophecies —formed the basis for the emergence of a new theological system, balanced in form and Scriptural in emphasis. Slowly the doctrinal framework of the Sabbatarian Adventists took definite shape. Their convictions were crystallizing as the thinking of different leaders began to be published in 1846 and 1847—the writings of Hiram Edson, O. R. L. Crosier, and F. B. Hahn, Joseph Bates, James White, and Ellen Harmon.

“As this merging of views began to take place, and the adherents of the Edson view of the sanctuary and the Bates view of the seventh-day Sabbath first began to coalesce, there was as yet no semblance of an organization, much less of an emerging denomination. But in this way, in three separate places in three different States, and all by the close of 1844, these three distinctive teachings that were to become major doctrinal features, in a distinctive Sabbatarian Adventist setting and movement, now reached out and touched each other.” Ibid., 848–850.

“A series of six Sabbath conferences, held in 1848, with an aggregate of several hundred in attendance, was the next step. Here these three distinctive features, with their already established positions, began to be forged into a single unified body of belief. And before long the essentials of an integrated system of evangelical, doctrinal, and prophetic truth were developed as held by Seventh-day Adventists around the world.” Ibid., 850, 851.

God was leading His remnant people.


The Executive Judgment

The Saviour closes His priesthood with the acquittal of His people at His Father’s bar. For the act of God, the Father, in sitting as judge, enables the Son to appear as the advocate of His people, and to obtain decision in their favor. That acquittal involves the virtual condemnation of all others. The last act of the Father in the work of the judgment in Daniel 7 is to crown His Son king, that He may execute its decision. It is at the close of this session, therefore, that our Lord terminates His office of priest-king upon His Father’s throne, and takes His own throne to execute the decision of the Father. For it is the part of the Son to show from the record of the books who have overcome, and to confess the names of such before His Father (Revelation 3:5). It pertains to the Father to give decision that such persons shall have immortality. And the execution of the judgment will consist in making these persons immortal, and in destroying all the rest. The decision of the judgment does therefore rest wholly with the Father. But the execution of the judgment pertains alone to the Son, who is crowned king at His Father’s tribunal for this very purpose.

The distinction between these two relations sustained by the Father and the Son to the work of the judgment is made very plain by our Lord’s words in John 5:22–30. This chapter takes up the judgment work just where the prophecy of Daniel leaves it. The Father having rendered decision, and having anointed His Son king, it pertains to the Son to execute the judgment—a work which He distinctly acknowledges in John 5. In this chapter our Lord uses these remarkable words: “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son; that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father.” (Verses 22, 23.)

Now it is certain that God the Father must sit in judgment to fulfill Daniel 7:9, 10. But if we read forward in these words of our Lord to verses 26, 27, we shall see what He means in verse 22.

“For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself; and hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man.” Verses 26, 27.

It is therefore not the decision of the judgment, but its execution, that the Father had by promise even then given to His Son. And this execution will be effected, by the accomplishment of the words which follow: “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.” Verses 28, 29.

That our Lord is simply carrying out the judgment of His Father in the work which He thus performs, is distinctly taught in the next verse: “I can of Mine own self do nothing; as I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just; because I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me.” Verse 30.

Christ’s part of the judgment work is its execution. His work is just, because He first hears the Father’s decision, and then carries it out, doing only the Father’s will in all this work. We conclude this chapter with the following direct proof that the decision of the judgment, which is the Father’s part of the work, is past when our Lord comes again in the clouds of heaven. The execution of the judgment must be preceded by the investigation and decision of the cases which are judged. Now it is distinctly stated that the coming of Christ is to execute the judgment; whence it follows that the decision of the judgment is made by the Father before He sends His Son in the clouds of heaven. Thus we read of His Second Advent: “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of His saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” Jude 14, 15.

The term saints, or holy ones, is applied to angels as well as to men (Daniel 8:13). These ten thousands of His saints are the host of heavenly angels that will escort our Lord on His return to our earth (Matthew 25:31). Enoch does, therefore, distinctly state the object of the Second Advent. It is to execute the judgment. And this fact constitutes a convincing proof that the decision of the judgment precedes our Lord’s return. That event is therefore “the revelation of the righteous judgment of God.” Romans 2:5. And the very act of giving immortality is one part of the work of rendering to every man according to his deeds (Romans 2:6, 7). The judgment of God does, therefore, precede the advent of His Son from heaven.

When the events of Christ’s advent are mentioned in the Scriptures, it is not merely those which happen at the very point when He descends from heaven, but also those which happen in consequence of that event. The execution of the judgment covers more than one thousand years (Revelation 20). But the advent of Christ lies at the foundation of this whole work. And when men find just retribution meted out to them for all their sins, they will surely be convinced of their ungodly deeds and of their hard speeches.


The Gathering of the Nations


The coming of the Son of man in His glory, attended by all His holy angels (Matthew 25:31), and the riding forth of the King of kings upon the white horse, followed by the armies of heaven, when heaven itself is opened (Revelation 19:11–16), must be one and the same event. When Jude describes the Second Advent, or rather when he quotes Enoch’s description of that event, He says, “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of His saints, to execute judgment upon all.” Verses 14, 15. Our Lord’s description of this grand event in Matthew 25:31–46, and of the things consequent upon it, relates wholly to the execution of the judgment, and the convincing of the ungodly of all their evil deeds and hard speeches. And it is certain that the revelation of the King of kings, followed by the armies of heaven, is for this very purpose; for it is said (Revelation 19:11), “In righteousness He doth judge and make war.”

It being true that these representations of Christ’s advent are each statements of one and the same event, it is worthy of notice that the chain of events in Matthew 25:31–46, and the chain of events in Revelation 19:11–21, has each, as its second link, the gathering of the nations before Christ. In Matthew 25:32, we have simply the statement of the fact, “And before Him shall be gathered all nations.” But in Revelation 19:19, we have the occasion of this gathering stated: “I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army.”

The gathering of the nations mentioned in these two texts must be identical, as each gathering is at the same time as the other, and both are connected with the same event, viz., the advent of Christ. The nature of this gathering is presented in the following passages: “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” Revelation 16:13, 14.

“And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army.” Revelation 19:19.

“Therefore wait ye upon Me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey; for My determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them Mine indignation, even all My fierce anger; for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of My jealousy. For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one consent.” Zephaniah 3:8, 9.

These texts clearly indicate that the gathering of the nations is effected not by the good angels of God, but by the evil angels of Satan. The mighty working of the devil, even after men have passed the day of grace, is plainly his final desperate struggle before he is bound. This great gathering of the nations is, in the providence of God, for the purpose of pouring on them the fierceness of His wrath in their terrible destruction. The battle of the great day of God Almighty is the very scene of treading the winepress of the wrath of God (Revelation 19:11–15). The central point of this great slaughter is the valley of Jehoshaphat near Jerusalem (Joel 3:2, 9–12). The city (Revelation 14:19, 20) near which this winepress is trodden must, therefore, be old Jerusalem. But the slain of the Lord in the great battle shall be from one end of the earth to the other (Jeremiah 25:30–33).

The separation of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:32) must be at the same time as the separation of the wheat and tares (Matthew 13:30, 40, 41); and of the good and bad fishes (Matthew 13:48, 49); and of the wheat and the chaff (Matthew 3:12). This separation of the righteous and the wicked is effected in the manner stated in the following texts: “And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matthew 24:31. (See also Mark 13:27.)

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17.

But the angels who perform this work, do it under the express order of Christ. Thus we read: “Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence; a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people. Gather My saints together unto Me; those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.” Psalm 50:3–5.

And the Saviour, who gives this order, is simply executing the judgment already determined by the Father (John 5:22, 27; Daniel 7:9–14). Indeed, the saints are made immortal before the angels bear them away from our earth; for the sounding of the trumpet is the signal for the angels to descend from Christ to gather His saints (Matthew 24:31). But the saints are changed to immortality in an instant at the sounding of the last trump (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52).

The decision of the judgment has, therefore, been rendered before even the separation of the two classes described in (Matthew 25:32); for the gift of immortality is a part of the righteous judgment of God in rendering to every man according to His deeds. (Romans 1:5–8). And in particular, the resurrection which makes a part of mankind equal to the angels (Luke 20:35, 36), which makes them immortal (1 Corinthians 15:51–54), which shows them to be blessed and holy, and incapable of the second death (Revelation 20:6), and which shows that they were that part of the dead which belonged to Christ (1 Corinthians 15:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:16), this resurrection which our Lord terms the resurrection of the just (Luke 14:14), is, in the expressive language of Paul, declared to be the “justification of life.” Romans 5:18. This free gift of God, which is open to all men, like the gift of grace and righteousness in the previous verse, will be shared by those only who accept the grace and righteousness offered in the gospel, and will only be conferred on them after they have been pronounced just in the judgment; for the change to immortality, which precedes the act of the angels who are sent by Christ to separate the two classes, is demonstrative of the fact that those changed in this manner have already been pronounced just in the decision of the judgment. The resurrection to immortality is, therefore, the “justification of life.” Our Lord does not pronounce the decision of that judgment which He thus begins to execute, until He has conferred upon His saints the gift of immortality. And when He does it, it is in words which imply that the Father has already rendered decision in favor of the saints (Matthew 25:34).

The separation of the sheep and goats is effected by the angels (Matthew 13:49). It must, therefore, be accomplished when the saints are caught up to meet Christ in the air (2 Thessalonians 4:17). The placing of the righteous upon the right hand, and the wicked upon the left, cannot, therefore, have reference to the right and left sides of the Saviour. It must signify the exaltation of the one class in His presence, and the rejection of the other class to shame and final ruin. Even if we place the separation of the two classes at the end of the one thousand years, when all the righteous are within the city, and when all the wicked surround it on every hand, we shall still be compelled to interpret these words as above (Revelation 20:7–9).

Thus we find this term used in many places. At the right hand of the Lord “are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11. God saves by His right hand those that put their trust in Him (Psalm 17:7). The right hand of the Lord holds up His servants. (Psalm 18:35.) His right hand is used for His saving strength. (Psalm 20:6). The right hand of the Lord gave Canaan to Israel. (Psalm 44:3). Christ is the man of the Father’s right hand. (Psalm 80:17).

And as Christ, at the Father’s right hand, was a joint ruler with His Father upon His throne (Psalm 110:1, 4; Zechariah 6, 12, 13), so the saints, when they are placed at Christ’s right hand, sit down with Him upon His throne, as once He thus sat down upon the throne of His Father, that they may be joint rulers with Him, and may co-operate with Him in the judgment. To sit at the right hand is the highest place of honor in the presence of one greater. Gesenius says: “To sit on the right hand of a king, as the highest place of honor, e.g., spoken of the queen (1 Kings 2:19; Psalm 45:9); of one beloved of the king and vicegerent of the kingdom (Psalm 110:1).”

When the saints enter Christ’s presence they are immortal. They will be like Him, for they “shall see Him as He is.” 1 John 3:2. They will behold His face in righteousness when they awake with His likeness (Psalm 17:15). One of the first events that follows the entrance of the saints into Christ’s presence is thus stated: “For we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in His body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10.

Though our Lord comes to execute the judgment (John 5:22, 27; Jude 14:15; 2 Timothy 4:1; Matthew 25:31–46; Acts 10:42; 17:31; Psalm 50:3–5), and though He makes His people immortal before He gathers them into His presence (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; Matthew 24:31; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17), yet it is certain that everyone, even of the righteous, shall stand at the judgment-seat of Christ (Romans 14:10). It is not, however, that their cases may be decided for salvation or for perdition, but “that everyone may receive the things done in his body.” Even all the wicked shall stand thus in His presence, that they may receive for their deeds of evil, which have not been repented of, and so neither pardoned nor blotted out. But the wicked will not stand thus before Christ till the resurrection of the ungodly, at the end of the one thousand years. The righteous will appear at Christ’s judgment-seat, that they may receive the reward of well doing; and at a later time all the wicked shall stand in His presence, that they may hear their sentence and receive this just reward. In executing the judgment, our Lord is to reward every man according to his works (Revelation 22:12; Matthew 16:27). Then the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to Paul a crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8). To all His saints He will in like manner give crowns, but of very different brightness (1 Corinthians 15:41, 42), and assign to each a reward proportionate to his labors and responsibilities (Luke 19:15–19).

When the Saviour, in the work of executing the judgment, which has been already determined by the Father, pronounces the heavenly benediction upon His people; He does it in His Father’s name. Thus we read: “Then shall the king say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father, Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was an hungered, and ye gave Me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took Me in; naked, and ye clothed Me; I was sick, and ye visited Me; I was in prison and ye came unto Me.” Matthew 25:34–36.

This plainly indicates: (1) That the record of their good deeds has been already examined; (2) that this examination has been made in the Father’s presence, by Whom they have been pronounced innocent, and upon whom His blessing has been conferred. The saints will have boldness in the day of judgment (1 John 4:17), for their sins are all blotted out before the Saviour ceases to act as priest, and they are made immortal before they stand at Christ’s judgment-seat; and when they thus stand before Him, it is not to have decision rendered whether they shall be saved or lost, but it is to hear the Saviour enumerate their good deeds, and to receive from Him their great reward.

When invited to inherit the kingdom, it is said to be prepared for them from the foundation of the world. This cannot signify that they are at once to inherit the new earth, for the new earth cannot exist till the sentence has been passed upon the wicked, and executed upon them, as the lake of fire, where the wicked are punished, is our earth in its final conflagration (2 Peter 3:7–13;Malachi 4:1–3; Proverbs 11:31; Revelation 20:21). Indeed, the new earth can hardly be said to have been prepared from the foundation of the world. But Paradise, which contains the tree of life, and is now in the third heaven (2 Corinthians 12:2–4), was prepared for mankind in their innocency, when the earth itself was founded (Genesis 2:8–15; 3:1–24) and is to be given as a part of the overcomer’s reward, and will be reached by their entrance within the walls of the heavenly Jerusalem (Revelation 2:7; 22:2, 14). The giving of the kingdom to the saints begins with the capital of that kingdom, but will not be finished till they take the kingdom under the whole heaven, to possess it forever, even forever and ever (Daniel 7:18; Revelation 21). The Saviour’s act of giving the kingdom to His saints is a part of the work of executing the decision of the Father respecting His people; for it is the Father’s good pleasure to give them the kingdom (Luke 12:32).

When our Lord was about to leave His disciples to go to His Father, He told them that He would go to prepare a place for them, and would then return and receive them into himself; that where He was they might be also (John 14:2, 3). And on this very occasion He told Peter that he could not follow Him then, but should follow Him afterward; that is, when He should have completed the preparation of the place, He would return for Peter and for all the saints, and they should follow Him thither (John 13:36). Thus it is that our Lord is the forerunner, and His entrance is, therefore, the pledge that His people shall afterward follow Him (Hebrews 6:20). In this connection let us notice I Thessalonians 4:14. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.”

Many read this text as teaching that at the Second Advent Christ will bring the souls of His sleeping saints from heaven. But let it be observed: (1). That heaven is not a place of soul sleeping. (2). That the sleep of the saints is in the dust of the earth (Daniel 12:2. 3). (3). That the sleeping ones cannot be brought from heaven, for they are not there when Christ descends for His people. (4). That they cannot be brought to our earth at that time, for they are at that moment asleep in its dust. (5). The one who brings the saints is God the Father. (6). To bring them, He must do one of two things, either He must come with His Son at the second advent, and take along with Him, as He thus comes, His sleeping saints, or else He brings His saints to Himself by sending His Son to awaken them, and then to take them into His presence. (7). Two reasons forbid the idea that the Father brings the sleeping saints to the earth. One is, that the Father does not come to our earth, but sends His Son (Acts 3:20); and the other is, that the sleepers are not in heaven, but already within the bosom of the earth (Isaiah 26:19). (8). We cannot, therefore, avoid the conclusion that the act of bringing the saints is into His own presence. (9). The saints are to be brought according to a certain example, which is the resurrection of Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:14; Hebrews 13:20). (10). The very act of bringing the saints by God the Father is wrought by sending His Son after them, as described in this chapter, and by this means taking them into His presence. So that this chapter brings to view the great fact taught in our Lord’s promise that He would go into the Father’s presence to prepare a place for His people and then return after them,to take them to this prepared place. So Christ will present His saints unblamable in holiness before His Father as He bears them up with Him to the heavenly Jerusalem (Compare John 14:2, 3; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 4:14).

That the Saviour takes His people to the house of the Father, the New Jerusalem, immediately after He has made them immortal, and invited them in the Father’s name to share Paradise with him, is further proved by what is said respecting the marriage supper. This is eaten directly after the saints are received into Christ’s presence (Luke 12:36, 37). But the marriage supper must be eaten where the bride is. The saints are the invited guests. But the bride, the Lamb’s wife, is that holy city, the New Jerusalem (Revelation 19:9; 21:2, 9, 10; Galatians 4:26–28; Isaiah 54).

The saints are in the Father’s presence, near the throne of God, when they eat the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 191–9; Luke 12:36, 37; 22:16–18). Our Lord does, therefore, introduce His saints to the holy city, and to the presence of His Father, where they eat the marriage supper, in the kingdom of God. This is the grand celebration of our Lord’s assumption of His own throne and of His royal city, the metropolis of His everlasting kingdom. When this is past, the great work of the judgment upon the wicked remains to be entered upon by Christ and His saints.


To Be Like Jesus

Among Seventh-day Adventist Christians, it is popular to say, “I want to be like Jesus.” But what does this involve? Is it simply a nice sounding phrase? What really does it mean “to be like Jesus”? To answer this we must know the experience of the One we are trying to imitate. What was Jesus’ life like here on earth?


Jesus—The Man of Sorrows


Isaiah tells us in Isaiah 53: “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth . . . For He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was He stricken . . . Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief: when thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin . . . He shall see the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities . . . He hath poured out His soul unto death: and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:1–12.

To be like Jesus means to follow in His footsteps. To follow in the footsteps of the man of sorrows, to be despised and rejected of men as He was. Are we willing to face rejection, and misunderstanding by our closest friends and family? Jesus was. Not even His mother or His disciples understood His mission. Are we willing to be despised by those around us? Jesus was. The church leaders in His day hated Him so much that they sought to take His life. Are we willing to be mocked and scorned and lied about? Jesus was. He was called a winebibber and an illegitimate child. He was hated because He sought to help the publicans and sinners.

To be like Jesus is not always easy, but if you choose to follow Jesus, you can know that He will always be at your side, and, daily, you will be growing more and more like Him as you imitate His character.


Jesus—The Miracle Worker


Another aspect of Jesus’ life that God’s people are told that they will imitate is His miracle working power. Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall He do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father.” John 14:12. Think of Christ healing the blind man’s sight, making the leper whole, feeding the five thousand, restoring the lame man to perfect health, and raising a young girl from the dead. He was always working to relieve pain and suffering and to point people to God. This is the part of Christ’s life that many want to imitate, and Jesus has said that great signs, miracles and wonders will follow His people. But what are we doing now to help those who are in need? Are we feeding the hungry, using God’s methods to help the sick and helping the needy in any way that we can?


Jesus—A True Friend


The character of the One who we want to imitate was one of true love. He was a faithful friend, who would never forsake those that He loved. He loves us regardless of what we say, what we do or how we treat Him or anyone else. If we say we want to be like Jesus, then we must become loving friends. We must learn to be a constant friend, one who loves at all times, no matter the circumstances. We must learn to speak kindly and truthfully, not gossiping behind each other’s backs. And we must learn to have sympathy and compassion for those who have fallen, just as Christ is merciful to forgive us when we wander away from His loving care.


Jesus—A Rebuke to Hypocrisy


When Christ was here He had a two-fold ministry. In The Desire of Ages, 611, 612, we read, “It was His purpose both to warn the rulers and to instruct the people who were willing to be taught.” Not only did Christ preach and teach the people who where willing to be taught, He came to expose the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. Because of “their reverence for tradition, their blind faith in a corrupt priesthood, the people were enslaved. These chains Christ must break. The character of the priests, rulers, and Pharisees must be more fully exposed.” Ibid.

Jesus was in the business of saving souls, but before the people could fully receive His message they had to be loosed from the bonds with which their leaders had shackled them. They had to learn that it was the commandments of God that they must keep, not all the rules and traditions that the Pharisees had set up. “Christ declared that they made void the law of God by teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Ibid., 603.

Just think what it must have been like when Christ came, the humble carpenter, the Nazarene, and began preaching that the highest leaders of the church were making void God’s law. Are you willing to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and correct, with the holy Scriptures, those who are leading people astray?

Many people, today, think that we should never correct others. They say, “Oh, you are being critical.” But Jesus corrected those who were in error because He loved them and longed for their salvation. Jesus was willing to sacrifice Himself that others might be saved. Our work must be along this same line. Are you willing to warn those you know of their desperate condition, even if you will be despised and rejected as Jesus was?

Many in Christ’s day were not willing to make this sacrifice. Many believed on Christ, even some of the chief rulers, “but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogues. They loved the praise of men rather than the approval of God. To save themselves from reproach and shame, they denied Christ and they rejected the offer of eternal life.” The Desire of Ages, 626. You and I are challenged with that same philosophy. Are we willing to be disfellowshipped or even killed in order to stand for Jesus?


Jesus—Tempted and Tried


Jesus came as our example. “He was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15. He suffered the worst temptations that Satan could invent. And these “most fierce temptations assailed Him in the time of His greatest weakness.” The Desire of Ages, 120. No one else has ever been tempted as severely as Christ was, yet through the power given Him by His Father, He resisted each temptation. All the hosts of the devil “could not bring Christ to yield even by a thought.” The Great Controversy, 623. Isn’t it comforting to know that someone has already fought the battle and won?

How did Christ receive the power to overcome from His Father? He prayed. The Bible says He spent hours in prayer, at the close of the day. He lived the life of prayer, praying for grace, strength and victory. Do you want to be like Jesus? How long has it been since you spent all night in prayer, as Jesus did?

Why were these long prayer vigils necessary? It was because Jesus understood the enemy He was dealing with. Today we are dealing with the same enemy, and if we are not watchful and vigilant, constantly in prayer that God will give us wisdom and strength to resist the temptations the devil throws at us, we will fail.

Inspiration says that Jesus prayed with strong crying and tears. His heart was so heavy with the burden for the souls that would reject eternal life. He offered it to them freely. He said, “Here it is. Just take it, please, I am giving it to you.” But the people rejected Him! While they were driving the nails in His hands and feet, spitting on Him and heckling Him, He prayed for them. How long has it been since you have reacted like that? Do you want to be like Jesus? What a challenge that is for us.

If we want to be overcomers and have heaven as our home, we must have powerful prayer lives. That means we might have to get up a little bit earlier in the morning, or sacrifice some treasured activity to find the time to spend with Christ. We might have to deny self. Are you willing to do it? Jesus did it for you. And if you choose to spend time in communion with Christ, I promise that you will come from those times refreshed and strengthened for the day ahead.


Jesus—The Only Way


The Scriptures say we must be like Jesus to enter heaven. Therefore, we need to understand what His character is like. In Exodus 33, Moses asked the Lord to show him His glory. The Lord answered him and said, “I will make all My goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.” “And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” Exodus 33:19; 34:5–7.

Christ’s character is merciful, longsuffering, forgiving and abundant in goodness and truth. Do we have these character traits? If we are not merciful, gracious and longsuffering, then the Spirit of God is not living in us. It says in Mount of Blessing, 78: “If you are the children of God, you are partakers of His nature and you cannot but be like Him. Every child lives by the life of his father. If you are God’s children, begotten by His Spirit, you live the life of God. In Christ dwells ‘all the fullness of the Godhead bodily’ (Colossians 2:9); and the life of Jesus is made manifest ‘in our mortal flesh.’ (2 Corinthians 4:11) That life in you will produce the same character, and manifest the same works as it did in Him.”

Jesus is the perfect Pattern we are to copy. Some people say, “You will never equal the Pattern—He was perfect.” It is true that we are powerless to develop a perfect character on our own. But if we let Jesus come in and control our lives, His character will be revealed in and through us.

“Christ is the ladder that Jacob saw. The base of the ladder was resting on the earth, and the topmost round reaching to the gate of heaven . . . If that ladder had failed by a single step of reaching the earth, we should have been lost. But Christ reaches us where we are. He took our nature and overcame, that we through taking His nature might overcome. Made ‘in the likeness of sinful flesh’ (Romans 8:3), He lived a sinless life. Now by His divinity He lays hold upon the throne of heaven, while in His humanity He reaches us. He bids us by faith in Him attain to the glory of the character of God.” The Desire of Ages, 311, 312.

“By passing over the ground which man must travel, our Lord has prepared the way for us to overcome. It is not His will that we should be placed at a disadvantage in the conflict with Satan. He would not have us intimidated and discouraged by the assaults of the serpent.” The Desire of Ages, 122.

The way of escape has been made for us. No matter how low we think we are, He will reach us if we are willing. Will we spurn His great gift? Will we turn away thinking that He is unable to perform the promise He has made? Or will we draw nearer to Christ, and surrendering our all to Him, begin to walk in the way that He tread before us?

“The nearer we live to Jesus, the more will we partake of His pure and holy character; the more offensive sin appears to us, the more exalted and desirable will appear the purity and brightness of Christ.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 141. The reason sin does not appear offensive to us is because we are living so near to the world. The closer we get to Christ, the more offensive sin becomes, and the more we long to be freed from it.

And dear friend, we can! The apostle John had this wonderful experience. “He (John) was not only self-assertive and ambitious for honor, but impetuous, and resentful under injuries. But as the character of the divine one was manifested to him, he saw his own deficiency and was humbled by the knowledge. The strength and patience, the power and tenderness, the majesty and meekness that he beheld in the daily life of the Son of God, filled his soul with admiration and love. Day by day his heart was drawn out toward Christ, until he lost sight of self and in love for his Master . . . The power of the love of Christ brought a transformation of character.” Steps to Christ, 73.

Do you want to have this experience? Do you want to be daily drawn closer and closer to Christ Friends, we must have this experience! For, “when the character of Christ is perfectly reproduced in His people, He will come to claim them as His own.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 69. I want to be ready! I want to be like Jesus!

Kenny Shelton is the director of Behold the Lamb Ministries, P.O. Box 2030, Herrin, IL 62948.


God’s Word vs Man’s Word with Respect to the Sabbath

According to the Bible there are many kinds of religions in the world. One is the kind that Jesus had. Many, in Christian countries of the world, desire to have Jesus’ kind of religion. However, many do not really know what kind of religion He had. They believe that if you simply profess to be a Christian that you are practicing the kind of religion that Jesus had. Is that true? How do we know what Jesus’ religion was like? Jesus Himself told us in Matthew 4:4: ” ‘It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” ’ ” Therefore, the religion that Jesus had was based on the Word of God.

Jesus lived among the Jews, the chosen people of God. They professed to be the people of God and to have the oracles of God. They boasted, “We have the Word of God.” And they did, but they were not living by every word in His Book. They were too busy studying the traditions and counsels of the wise men of the land, which had been added to God’s Word. They actually paid more attention to these additions than to the Word of God. They did not have the religion of Jesus.

This caused a controversy. The religious leaders were constantly harassing Jesus because He did not keep all of their traditions. Matthew 15 tells of one such instance: “Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, ‘Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.’ [This was a mandatory ritual washing.] But He answered and said to them, ‘Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, “Honor your father and your mother;” and, “He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.” ‘But you say, “Whoever says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever profit you might have received from me has been dedicated to the temple’ is released from honoring his father or mother.” Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: “This people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” ’ ” Matthew 15:1–9.

This is something to think about! Remember, these were not the heathen, idol worshipers of the world, these were people that were religious and worshiped God. But Jesus said their religion was worthless. It was worthless because they honored God with their lips, but their hearts were far from Him. They said, “We believe the Word of God.” But they did not practice it because they had added to it the commandments of men, which were contrary to the Word of God.

The apostles had the same problem with setting up a man-made religion in the place of God’s religion. Paul had to deal with it over and over again. Notice what he says in Colossians: “Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations—‘Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,’ which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.” Colossians 2:20–23.

When you look at the many different religions of the world, there are really only two kinds. One religion is based on the Word of God and the other rests on the word of men. And it doesn’t matter who the men are. They may be the most intelligent and brilliant of all men, yet they are mere men. All the heathen religions of the world are based on the words of their founders or religious leaders. And regretfully, the great majority of Christians today have for their ultimate authority the words of religious leaders and not the Word of God. How did Jesus describe that type of religion? He said it was absolutely worthless!


How Are We to Worship?


If we want to have God’s true type of religion, we must ask, how are we to worship God. The Bible tells us exactly. The Psalmist wrote: “Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is the great God, And the great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth; The heights of the hills are His also. The sea is His, for He made it; And His hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture, And the sheep of His hand.” Psalm 95:1–7.

Notice, that the reason the Bible says we are to worship the God of heaven is because He is the Creator. He is the one who made the sea and the dry land, and we are the people of His pasture. Because He is our Creator, we owe Him our worship. This subject is so important that it is imbedded in the heart of God’s law. The very first commandment tells us how we are to relate to God because He is our Creator. It says, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:3. God tells us that we should have no other gods before Him, because only He can claim us as His creation.

The second commandment is more explicit about this problem of worshipping other gods. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, of those who love Me and keep My commandments.” Exodus 20:4–6. We are not to worship any man, saint, martyr, or angel of heaven. (For Bible examples see Acts 10, Revelation 22:8, 9.)

But the commandment that is the most explicit about who we are to worship and why we are to worship Him is the fourth commandment. It says: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:8–11.


Is There a New Covenant Sabbath?


I have often heard people say, after reading the fourth commandment: “Yes, I believe in the Sabbath commandment in the time of the Old Covenant, but now we are living in the time of the New Covenant and I believe that the Sabbath commandment has been changed from Saturday to Sunday.”

Is there any record in the Word of God that a change of this type has occurred? We read the following concerning the new covenant in the Word of God. “Where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force (confirmed) after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.” Hebrews 9:16, 17. Paul tells us here that the new covenant was confirmed by the death of Christ. Once Christ died, the covenant could not be changed. (The Ten Commandments are called God’s covenant in Deuteronomy 4:13.) Any change that was to occur in God’s law or His covenant had to be made prior to the death of Christ. Paul wrote in another place, “Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Though it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it.” Galatians 3:15.

There is no evidence that a change occurred before the death of Christ. In fact, the Bible says that Jesus, “as His custom was . . . went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day.” Luke 4:16. Jesus Himself said, “I have kept My Father’s commandments.” John 15:10.

A careful study shows that there is no record of a change of the Sabbath anywhere in the New Testament. Instead, there is a direct command, to keep the Sabbath, written many years after the death of Christ. This command is found in Hebrews 4. In this passage, Paul is writing about Israel, which received the judgments of God because she was breaking God’s Sabbath. (See Jeremiah 17, Ezekiel 20.) Paul says, “For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He said: ‘So I swore in my wrath, “they [the children of Israel] shall not enter My rest,”’ although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: ‘And God rested on the seventh day from all His works’; and again in this place: ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, again He designates a certain day, saying in David, ‘Today,’ after such a long time, as it has been said: ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.’ For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day.” Hebrews 4:2–8.

Paul is talking here about how the Israelites did not keep the Sabbath, and refused to enter into God’s rest. But he says that a rest remains for us. Notice that this is not a new rest that was just established at the cross of Christ. This was the rest that had existed since the foundation of the world—the seventh day Sabbath rest. Paul says, “There remains therefore a rest [in Greek the word is “sabbatismos” or the keeping of a Sabbath] to the people of God.” Hebrews 4:9.

Then he says in verse 10: “For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. [God ceased from His work of creation on the seventh day.] Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.” This is a direct command! We are to be diligent to enter that rest, the seventh day Sabbath rest that he is talking about. If we do not, we will fall after the same example of disobedience.

There are only two kinds of religion in the world. There is a religion that is based on the Word of God and a religion that is based on the traditions of men. Which one will you follow? If you follow the Word of God, then you must keep the seventh day Sabbath. If you follow the word of men, then you can keep Friday, or Sunday, or whatever day men choose for you to keep. The choice is yours.


Food for Life — Sanctified Meals

Happy New Year! I sincerely hope and pray, that in this coming year, God will protect you and answer all your prayers as He has mine in this last year. And I trust that He will inspire you to a closer walk with Him during the coming months. We do have so much for which to be thankful, and to praise His holy name for, don’t we?

Let us return to God’s word found in that beautiful book The Ministry of Healing. In the chapter “Diet and Health” it reads: “It is wrong to eat merely to gratify the appetite, but no indifference should be manifested regarding the quality of the food or the manner of its preparation. If the food eaten is not relished, the body will not be so well nourished. The food should be carefully chosen and prepared with intelligence and skill . . .

“Regularity in eating is of vital importance. There should be a specified time for each meal. At this time let everyone eat what the system requires and then take nothing more until the next meal. There are many who eat when the system needs no food, at irregular intervals, and between meals, because they have not sufficient strength of will to resist inclination. When traveling, some are constantly nibbling if anything eatable is within their reach. This is very injurious. If travelers would eat regularly of food that is simple and nutritious, they would not feel so great weariness nor suffer so much from sickness.

“Another pernicious habit is that of eating just before bedtime. The regular meals may have been taken; but because there is a sense of faintness, more food is eaten. By indulgence this wrong practice becomes a habit and often so firmly fixed that it is thought impossible to sleep without food. As a result of eating late suppers, the digestive process is continued through the sleeping hours. But though the stomach works constantly, its work is not properly accomplished. The sleep is often disturbed with unpleasant dreams, and in the morning the person awakes unrefreshed and with little relish for breakfast. When we lie down to rest, the stomach should have its work all done, that it, as well as the other organs of the body, may enjoy rest. For persons of sedentary habits, late suppers are particularly harmful. With them the disturbance created is often the beginning of disease that ends in death . . .

“After disposing of one meal, the digestive organs need rest. At least five or six hours should intervene between the meals, and most persons who give the plan a trial will find that two meals a day are better than three.

“Food should not be eaten very hot or very cold. If food is cold, the vital force of the stomach is drawn upon in order to warm it before digestion can take place. Cold drinks are injurious for the same reason; while the free use of hot drinks is debilitating. In fact, the more liquid there is taken with the meals, the more difficult it is for the food to digest; for the liquid must be absorbed before digestion can begin . . .

“Food should be eaten slowly and should be thoroughly masticated. This is necessary in order that the saliva may be properly mixed with the food and the digestive fluids be called into action.” The Ministry of Healing, 300–305.

Lentil Roast

2 cups cooked lentils

4 T. soy powder

1 large onion, chopped

1/2 t. sage

2-3 stalks celery, diced

1 1/2 cup oatmeal

2 T. Vegex

1 1/2 cup nut milk

1 4 oz. can mushroom

1/2 cup chopped walnuts pieces

1/2 cup bread crumbs or Grapenuts

1 t. garlic powder

Simmer chopped onion and diced celery in a little water till tender. Then mix all the ingredients and place in a baking dish. Bake at 350º for 45 minutes to one hour.