Bible Study Guides – The Jewish Church Rejects Jesus

February 20, 2005 – February 26, 2005

Memory Verse

“The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make [it] honourable.” “He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.” Isaiah 42:21, 4.

Suggested Reading: John 5; The Desire of Ages, 201–213.


From the lesson on the first cleansing of the temple, we found that the priests, rulers, and most of the people rejected the work of Jesus to cleanse their hearts from sin. They decided to challenge His work and mission. In this lesson, we are going to study the effect that this attitude had on the relationship between the mission of Jesus and the organized church, its leaders, and people.

1 What is the subject of John chapter five? John 5:1–9.

note: “Jesus was again at Jerusalem. Walking alone, in apparent meditation and prayer, He came to the pool. He saw the wretched sufferers watching for that which they supposed to be their only chance of cure. He longed to exercise His healing power, and make every sufferer whole. But it was the Sabbath day. Multitudes were going to the temple for worship, and He knew that such an act of healing would so excite the prejudice of the Jews as to cut short His work.

“But the Saviour saw one case of supreme wretchedness. It was that of a man who had been a helpless cripple for thirty-eight years. His disease was in a great degree the result of his own sin, and was looked upon as a judgment from God.” The Desire of Ages, 201, 202.

2 What two things did Jesus tell the man to do? John 5:8.

note: “Jesus does not ask this sufferer to exercise faith in Him. He simply says, ‘Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.’ But the man’s faith takes hold upon that word. Every nerve and muscle thrills with new life, and healthful action comes to his crippled limbs. Without question he sets his will to obey the command of Christ, and all his muscles respond to his will. Springing to his feet, he finds himself an active man.” The Desire of Ages, 202, 203.

“At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.” John 5:9, NIV.

3 How did the Jews respond to the miraculous healing of this invalid of 38 years? John 5:16, 18.

note: “These rulers knew well that only One had shown Himself able to perform this miracle; but they wished for direct proof that it was Jesus, that they might condemn Him as a Sabbath-breaker. In their judgment He had not only broken the law in healing the sick man on the Sabbath, but had committed sacrilege in bidding him bear away his bed. . . .

“Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin to answer the charge of Sabbathbreaking. Had the Jews at this time been an independent nation, such a charge would have served their purpose for putting Him to death.” The Desire of Ages, 204.

4 What instruction did Jesus give to the man He had healed when He met him later in the temple? John 5:14.

note: “In the temple Jesus met the man who had been healed. He had come to bring a sin offering and also a thank offering for the great mercy he had received. Finding him among the worshipers, Jesus made Himself known, with the warning words, ‘Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.’ [John 5:14.]” The Desire of Ages, 204.

comment: All through His ministry we find Jesus doing the work the Father had sent Him to this earth to do, to remove sin from the hearts of the people. But Jesus had another work to do also.

5 What other work did Jesus come to this earth to do? Isaiah 42:21, 4.

note: “Jesus had come to ‘magnify the law, and make it honorable.’ He was not to lessen its dignity, but to exalt it. The scripture says, ‘He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till He have set judgment in the earth.’ Isaiah 42:21, 4. He had come to free the Sabbath from those burdensome requirements that had made it a curse instead of a blessing.

“For this reason He had chosen the Sabbath upon which to perform the act of healing at Bethesda. He could have healed the sick man as well on any other day of the week; or He might simply have cured him, without bidding him bear away his bed. But this would not have given Him the opportunity He desired.” The Desire of Ages, 206.

6 What was the opportunity Jesus desired to bring about by healing the man on the Sabbath day and instructing him to carry his bed through the streets?

note: “Among the afflicted ones at the pool He selected the worst case upon whom to exercise His healing power, and bade the man carry his bed through the city in order to publish the great work that had been wrought upon him. This would raise the question of what it was lawful to do on the Sabbath, and would open the way for Him to denounce the restrictions of the Jews in regard to the Lord’s day, and to declare their traditions void.” The Desire of Ages, 206.

comment: Jesus came, not only to remove sin from the hearts of men, but also to remove the rubbish of men’s writings and traditions that hid the truth from the eyes of the people.

7 Jesus acknowledged that the Jews were diligent students of the Scripture, but what did He say about their relationship to Him? John 5:39, 40.

note: “And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

“I do not accept praise from men, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?” John 5:37–44, NIV.

8 If the Jews had not interposed in the ministry of Jesus, what would have resulted from His work?

note: “If the priests and rabbis had not interposed, His teaching would have wrought such a reformation as this world has never witnessed.” The Desire of Ages, 305.

9 How did the priests and rabbis try to misrepresent Jesus and His mission?

note: “But in order to maintain their own power, these leaders determined to break down the influence of Jesus. His arraignment before the Sanhedrin, and an open condemnation of His teachings, would aid in effecting this; for the people still had great reverence for their religious leaders. Whoever dared to condemn the rabbinical requirements, or attempt to lighten the burdens they had brought upon the people, was regarded as guilty, not only of blasphemy, but of treason. On this ground the rabbis hoped to excite suspicion of Christ. They represented Him as trying to overthrow the established customs, thus causing division among the people, and preparing the way for complete subjugation by the Romans.” The Desire of Ages, 205.

10 How bitter and agitated did the Sanhedrin become over the issue of Jesus’ healing the man on the Sabbath, thus breaking their traditions?

note: “These adversaries of Christ had no arguments with which to meet the truths He brought home to their consciences. They could only cite their customs and traditions, and these seemed weak and vapid when compared with the arguments Jesus had drawn from the word of God and the unceasing round of nature. Had the rabbis felt any desire to receive light, they would have been convinced that Jesus spoke the truth. But they evaded the points He made concerning the Sabbath, and sought to stir up anger against Him because He claimed to be equal with God. The fury of the rulers knew no bounds. Had they not feared the people, the priests and rabbis would have slain Jesus on the spot.” The Desire of Ages, 208.

“He [Satan] planned to work through his human agencies in the religious world, by imbuing them with his own enmity against the champion of truth. He would lead them to reject Christ and to make His life as bitter as possible, hoping to discourage Him in His mission. And the leaders in Israel became instruments of Satan in warring against the Saviour.” Ibid., 206.

11 What happened to the relationship between the Jewish church and God when they took the Son of God to task?

note: “The priests and rabbis were taking the Son of God to task for the very work He had been sent into the world to do. By their sins they had separated themselves from God, and in their pride were moving independently of Him. They felt sufficient in themselves for all things, and realized no need of a higher wisdom to direct their acts.” The Desire of Ages, 208.

12 When the Jewish church rejected Christ in His Word, what else did they reject?

note: “The Jews had the Scriptures in their possession, and supposed that in their mere outward knowledge of the word they had eternal life. But Jesus said, ‘Ye have not His word abiding in you.’ Having rejected Christ in His word, they rejected Him in person. ‘Ye will not come to Me,’ He said, ‘that ye might have life.’ ” The Desire of Ages, 212.

“They were not acquainted with God, and to them His voice through Christ was the voice of a stranger.” Ibid., 213.

13 What do the words of Christ teach about our relationship to God the Father?

note: “The words of Christ teach that we should regard ourselves as inseparably bound to our Father in heaven. Whatever our position, we are dependent upon God, who holds all destinies in His hands. He has appointed us our work, and has endowed us with faculties and means for that work. So long as we surrender the will to God, and trust in His strength and wisdom, we shall be guided in safe paths, to fulfill our appointed part in His great plan. But the one who depends upon his own wisdom and power is separating himself from God. Instead of working in unison with Christ, he is fulfilling the purpose of the enemy of God and man.” The Desire of Ages, 209.

14 What did the priests and rabbis understand? What did they sense when Jesus pressed their guilt upon them?

note: “Jesus knew that the priests and rabbis were determined to take His life; yet He clearly explained to them His unity with the Father, and His relation to the world. They saw that their opposition to Him was without excuse, yet their murderous hatred was not quenched. Fear seized them as they witnessed the convincing power that attended His ministry; but they resisted His appeals, and locked themselves in darkness.

“They had signally failed to subvert the authority of Jesus or to alienate the respect and attention of the people, many of whom were convicted by His words. The rulers themselves had felt deep condemnation as He had pressed their guilt home upon their consciences; yet this only made them the more bitter against Him. They were determined to take His life.” The Desire of Ages, 213.

comment: The healing of the man at Bethesda and the ensuing confrontation with the Sanhedrin occurred at the second Passover during the ministry of Jesus. It was just one year before this that Jesus cleansed the temple and announced His mission to cleanse the heart from sin.

15 What did Jesus do after the Sanhedrin rejected His message?

note: “The Sanhedrin had rejected Christ’s message and was bent upon His death; therefore Jesus departed from Jerusalem, from the priests, the temple, the religious leaders, the people who had been instructed in the law, and turned to another class to proclaim His message, and to gather out those who should carry the gospel to all nations.” The Desire of Ages, 232.

“If the leaders in Israel had received Christ, He would have honored them as His messengers to carry the gospel to the world. To them first was given the opportunity to become heralds of the kingdom and grace of God. But Israel knew not the time of her visitation. The jealousy and distrust of the Jewish leaders had ripened into open hatred, and the hearts of the people were turned away from Jesus.” Ibid., 231, 232.

comment: Let us keep in mind that although Jesus left these priests and leaders just one year after He began His ministry to work with another group of people, they still remained in charge of the church until Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 a.d.

Answer key available upon request.

Bible Study Guides – The First Cleansing of the Churches in the Second Advent Movement

February 13, 2005 – February 19, 2005

Memory Verse

“Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.” 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17, NASB.

Suggested Reading: Daniel 7:9–13; 8:14; Revelation 14:6–8; The Great Controversy, 433, 434, 375–390.


In the Sabbath School lesson for February 5, we were introduced to two quotations from the Spirit of Prophecy that revealed that as Christ cleansed the temple at the beginning and again at the end of His ministry, so there are to be two cleansings of the second advent movement. These two paragraphs are repeated below as a review. Last week’s lesson was a study of the trials and attitudes of the people at the first cleansing of the temple. In the lesson this week, we will study the similarities between the trials and attitudes of the people at the beginning of the second advent movement and those exhibited by the people in the first advent.

“[1] When Jesus began His public ministry, He cleansed the temple from its sacrilegious profanation. [2] Almost the last act of His ministry was to cleanse the temple again. So in the last work for the warning of the world, two distinct calls are made to the churches; [1] the second angel’s message [Revelation 14:8], and [2] the voice heard in heaven, ‘Come out of her, my people, . . . for her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.’ (Revelation 18:4, 5.)” The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, vol. 2, 725, 726. [Emphasis supplied.]

“[1] When Jesus began His public ministry, He cleansed the temple from its sacrilegious profanation. [2] Among the last acts of His ministry was the second cleansing of the temple. So in the last work for the warning of the world, two distinct calls are made to the churches. [1] The second angel’s message is, ‘Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.’ [Revelation 14:8.] [2] And in the loud cry of the third angel’s message, a voice is heard from heaven, ‘Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.’ [Revelation 18:4, 5.]” Review and Herald, December 6, 1892. [Emphasis supplied.]

1 When was the second angel’s message of Revelation 14:8 first proclaimed?

note: “The second angel’s message of Revelation 14 was first preached in the summer of 1844. . . . But the message of the second angel did not reach its complete fulfillment in 1844.” The Great Controversy, 389.

2 To whom did the second angel’s message apply?

note: “It then had a more direct application to the churches of the United States, where the warning of the judgment had been most widely proclaimed and most generally rejected, and where the declension in the churches had been most rapid. . . . The churches then experienced a moral fall, in consequence of their refusal of the light of the advent message; but that fall was not complete. As they have continued to reject the special truths for this time they have fallen lower and lower.” The Great Controversy, 389.

3 Whose example were the Protestant churches following?

note: “Many of the Protestant churches are following Rome’s example of iniquitous connection with ‘the kings of the earth’—the state churches, by their relation to secular governments; and other denominations, by seeking the favor of the world. And the term ‘Babylon’—confusion—may be appropriately applied to these bodies, all professing to derive their doctrines from the Bible, yet divided into almost innumerable sects, with widely conflicting creeds and theories.” The Great Controversy, 383.

4 The proclamation of the second angel’s message announced the rejection of what message?

note: “The first angel’s message of Revelation 14, announcing the hour of God’s judgment and calling upon men to fear and worship Him, was designed to separate the professed people of God from the corrupting influences of the world and to arouse them to see their true condition of worldliness and backsliding. In this message, God has sent to the church a warning, which, had it been accepted, would have corrected the evils that were shutting them away from Him. Had they received the message from heaven, humbling their hearts before the Lord and seeking in sincerity a preparation to stand in His presence, the Spirit and power of God would have been manifested among them.” The Great Controversy, 379.

5 Describe the attitude of the churches toward the first angel’s message.

note: “But the churches generally did not accept the warning. Their ministers, who, as watchmen ‘unto the house of Israel,’ should have been the first to discern the tokens of Jesus’ coming, had failed to learn the truth either from the testimony of the prophets or from the signs of the times. As worldly hopes and ambitions filled the heart, love for God and faith in His word had grown cold; and when the advent doctrine was presented, it only aroused their prejudice and unbelief. . . .

“In refusing the warning of the first angel, they rejected the means which Heaven had provided for their restoration. They spurned the gracious messenger that would have corrected the evils which separated them from God, and with greater eagerness they turned to seek the friendship of the world. Here was the cause of that fearful condition of worldliness, backsliding, and spiritual death which existed in the churches in 1844.” The Great Controversy, 380.

6 What special work were the people to do during the proclamation of the first angel’s message?

note: “The first angel’s message, ‘Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come,’ pointed to Christ’s ministration in the most holy place, to the investigative judgment.” The Great Controversy, 424.

“While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people upon earth.” Ibid., 425.

comment: As Jesus announced His mission to cleanse the heart by cleansing the temple in the first advent, so during the investigative judgment announced by the first angel, “there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people.”

7 What verses from the Old Testament that were applied to the first cleansing of the temple are also applied to the opening of the second advent movement? See The Desire of Ages, 161; The Great Controversy, 424, 425.

note: “Those who are living upon the earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the sanctuary above are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a mediator. Their robes must be spotless, their characters must be purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling. Through the grace of God and their own diligent effort they must be conquerors in the battle with evil.” The Great Controversy, 425.

comment: The weight of evidence is that the first cleansing of the temple and the first angel’s message had the same purpose in the plan of Jesus. They were both provided so that the people would have the opportunity to remove sin from their hearts.

8 Describe the reaction of the ministers and religious leaders toward the first angel’s message.

note: “As his [William Miller’s] work tended to build up the churches, it was for a time regarded with favor. But as ministers and religious leaders decided against the advent doctrine and desired to suppress all agitation of the subject, they not only opposed it from the pulpit, but denied their members the privilege of attending preaching upon the second advent, or even of speaking of their hope in the social meetings of the church.” The Great Controversy, 376.

“It suits the policy of Satan that men should retain the forms of religion if but the spirit of vital godliness is lacking. After their rejection of the gospel, the Jews continued zealously to maintain their ancient rites, they rigorously preserved their national exclusiveness, while they themselves could not but admit that the presence of God was no longer manifest among them. The prophecy of Daniel pointed so unmistakably to the time of Messiah’s coming, and so directly foretold His death, that they discouraged its study, and finally the rabbis pronounced a curse on all who should attempt a computation of the time.” Ibid., 377, 378.

comment: These references reveal that the attitude of the ministers and leaders at the beginning of the second advent movement was identical to the attitude of the priests and rulers in the first advent movement.

note: “The spiritual darkness which falls upon nations, upon churches and individuals, is due, not to an arbitrary withdrawal of the succors of divine grace on the part of God, but to neglect or rejection of divine light on the part of men. A striking illustration of this truth is presented in the history of the Jewish people in the time of Christ. By their devotion to the world and forgetfulness of God and His word, their understanding had become darkened, their hearts earthly and sensual. Thus they were in ignorance concerning Messiah’s advent, and in their pride and unbelief they rejected the Redeemer.” Ibid.

9 How did the multitudes of people react to the first angel’s message, which called for them to put sin out of their lives?

note: “Multitudes, trusting implicitly to their pastors, refused to listen to the warning; and others, though convinced of the truth, dared not confess it, lest they should be ‘put out of the synagogue.’ The message which God had sent for the testing and purification of the church revealed all too surely how great was the number who had set their affections on this world rather than upon Christ.” The Great Controversy, 380.

comment: The weight of evidence is that the attitude of the large majority of the people was the same as the multitudes in the first advent.

10 How did the faithful believers react to this departure from the truth by the large group of ministers and people?

note: “Thus the believers found themselves in a position of great trial and perplexity. They loved their churches and were loath to separate from them; but as they saw the testimony of God’s word suppressed and their right to investigate the prophecies denied they felt that loyalty to God forbade them to submit. Those who sought to shut out the testimony of God’s word they could not regard as constituting the church of Christ, ‘the pillar and ground of the truth.’ ” The Great Controversy, 376.

comment: As in the first cleansing of the temple there was a small group of faithful who followed Jesus, so also, at the time of the proclamation of the first angel’s message, a small group of believers held to the truths that were being revealed to them.

11 What would happen today if God’s professed people would receive the light as it shines upon them?

note: “If God’s professed people would receive the light as it shines upon them from His word, they would reach that unity for which Christ prayed, that which the apostle describes, ‘the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’ ‘There is,’ he says, ‘one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism.’ Ephesians 4:3–5.

“Such were the blessed results experienced by those who accepted the advent message. They came from different denominations, and their denominational barriers were hurled to the ground; conflicting creeds were shivered to atoms; the unscriptural hope of a temporal millennium was abandoned, false views of the second advent were corrected, pride and conformity to the world were swept away; wrongs were made right; hearts were united in the sweetest fellowship, and love and joy reigned supreme. If this doctrine did this for the few who did receive it, it would have done the same for all if all had received it.” The Great Controversy, 379, 380.

12 Summary question: Identify the four organizations and/or groups of people that had the same attitudes at the beginning of both the first and second advent movements.

note: “It suits the policy of Satan that men should retain the forms of religion if but the spirit of vital godliness is lacking. After their rejection of the gospel, the Jews continued zealously to maintain their ancient rites, they rigorously preserved their national exclusiveness, while they themselves could not but admit that the presence of God was no longer manifest among them. The prophecy of Daniel pointed so unmistakably to the time of Messiah’s coming, and so directly foretold His death, that they discouraged its study, and finally the rabbis pronounced a curse on all who should attempt a computation of the time. In blindness and impenitence the people of Israel during succeeding centuries have stood, indifferent to the gracious offers of salvation, unmindful of the blessings of the gospel, a solemn and fearful warning of the danger of rejecting light from heaven.” The Great Controversy, 378.


Bible Study Guides – The First Cleansing of the Temple

February 6, 2005 – February 12, 2005

Memory Verse

“ ‘Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,’ Says the Lord of hosts. ‘But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He [is] like a refiner’s fire And like launderers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, And purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the Lord An offering in righteousness.’ ” Malachi 3:1–3, NKJV.

Suggested Reading: John 2:13–24; The Desire of Ages, 154–166.


There were two references in last week’s lesson in which we learned that the first cleansing of the temple in the first advent has its counterpart in the proclamation of the second angel’s message in the summer of 1844. In this lesson, we will study the work and purpose of Jesus in cleansing the temple the first time.

1 What changes took place in the Jewish worship and temple services during the inter-testament period that prepared them to reject the Savior?

note: “As they departed from God, the Jews in a great degree lost sight of the teaching of the ritual service. That service had been instituted by Christ Himself. In every part it was a symbol of Him; and it had been full of vitality and spiritual beauty. But the Jews lost the spiritual life from their ceremonies, and clung to the dead forms. They trusted to the sacrifices and ordinances themselves, instead of resting upon Him to whom they pointed. In order to supply the place of that which they had lost, the priests and rabbis multiplied requirements of their own; and the more rigid they grew, the less of the love of God was manifested. They measured their holiness by the multitude of their ceremonies, while their hearts were filled with pride and hypocrisy. . . .

“While the Jews desired the advent of the Messiah, they had no true conception of His mission. They did not seek redemption from sin, but deliverance from the Romans. They looked for the Messiah to come as a conqueror, to break the oppressor’s power, and exalt Israel to universal dominion. Thus the way was prepared for them to reject the Saviour.” The Desire of Ages, 29, 30.

2 What two things did Jesus try to do as He traveled with the people going to Jerusalem for the Passover?

note: “In this journey, Jesus joined one of the large companies that were making their way to the capital. He had not yet publicly announced His mission, and He mingled unnoticed with the throng. Upon these occasions, the coming of the Messiah, to which such prominence had been given by the ministry of John, was often the theme of conversation. The hope of national greatness was dwelt upon with kindling enthusiasm. Jesus knew that this hope was to be disappointed, for it was founded on a misinterpretation of the Scriptures. With deep earnestness He explained the prophecies, and tried to arouse the people to a closer study of God’s word.” The Desire of Ages, 154.

3 What problem did Jesus find in the temple at the first Passover of His ministry? John 2:14–16.

note: “As Jesus came into the temple, He took in the whole scene. He saw the unfair transactions. He saw the distress of the poor, who thought that without shedding of blood there would be no forgiveness for their sins. He saw the outer court of His temple converted into a place of unholy traffic. The sacred enclosure had become one vast exchange.” The Desire of Ages, 157.

“The money changing gave opportunity for fraud and extortion, and it had grown into a disgraceful traffic, which was a source of revenue to the priests. . . .

“A great number of sacrifices were offered at the time of the Passover, and the sales at the temple were very large. The consequent confusion indicated a noisy cattle market rather than the sacred temple of God. There could be heard sharp bargaining . . . and angry disputation. So great was the confusion that the worshipers were disturbed, and the words addressed to the Most High were drowned in the uproar that invaded the temple.” Ibid., 155.

4 Because the temple services were now perverted and misunderstood, and no link remained to bind the priests and rulers to God, what work was it necessary for Jesus to do?

note: “Christ saw that something must be done. Numerous ceremonies were enjoined upon the people without the proper instruction as to their import. The worshipers offered their sacrifices without understanding that they were typical of the only perfect Sacrifice. And among them, unrecognized and unhonored, stood the One symbolized by all their service. He had given directions in regard to the offerings. He understood their symbolic value, and He saw that they were now perverted and misunderstood. Spiritual worship was fast disappearing. No link bound the priests and rulers to their God. Christ’s work was to establish an altogether different worship.” The Desire of Ages, 157.

5 Of what were the church leaders unaware and with what results?

note: “The Jews were exceedingly proud of their piety. They rejoiced over their temple, and regarded a word spoken in its disfavor as blasphemy; they were very rigorous in the performance of ceremonies connected with it; but the love of money had overruled their scruples. They were scarcely aware how far they had wandered from the original purpose of the service instituted by God Himself.” The Desire of Ages, 155.

6 In cleansing the temple, what was Jesus announcing?

note: “In the cleansing of the temple, Jesus was announcing His mission as the Messiah, and entering upon His work. That temple, erected for the abode of the divine Presence, was designed to be an object lesson for Israel and for the world. From eternal ages it was God’s purpose that every created being, from the bright and holy seraph to man, should be a temple for the indwelling of the Creator. Because of sin, humanity ceased to be a temple for God. Darkened and defiled by evil, the heart of man no longer revealed the glory of the Divine One. But by the incarnation of the Son of God, the purpose of Heaven is fulfilled. God dwells in humanity, and through saving grace the heart of man becomes again His temple. God designed that the temple at Jerusalem should be a continual witness to the high destiny open to every soul.” The Desire of Ages, 161.

7 What additional announcement did Jesus make at this time?

note: “In cleansing the temple from the world’s buyers and sellers, Jesus announced His mission to cleanse the heart from the defilement of sin,—from the earthly desires, the selfish lusts, the evil habits, that corrupt the soul.” The Desire of Ages, 161.

8 What work does Malachi say Jesus would do when He would come to the temple at the first Passover? Malachi 3:1–3.

note: “ ‘Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.’ 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17. No man can of himself cast out the evil throng that have taken possession of the heart. Only Christ can cleanse the soul temple. . . . ‘He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.’ 11 Corinthians 6:16; Micah 7:19. His presence will cleanse and sanctify the soul, so that it may be a holy temple unto the Lord, and ‘an habitation of God through the Spirit.’ Ephesians 2:21, 22.” The Desire of Ages, 161, 162.

9 How did the Jewish leaders (priests and rulers) respond to this work of Jesus? John 2:18.

note: “For a time they were convinced that Christ was a prophet; and many believed Him to be the Messiah. The Holy Spirit flashed into their minds the utterances of the prophets concerning Christ. Would they yield to this conviction?

“Repent they would not. They knew that Christ’s sympathy for the poor had been aroused. They knew that they had been guilty of extortion in their dealings with the people. Because Christ discerned their thoughts they hated Him. His public rebuke was humiliating to their pride, and they were jealous of His growing influence with the people. They determined to challenge Him as to the power by which He had driven them forth, and who gave Him this power.” The Desire of Ages, 162.

10 What two-fold meaning did Jesus have when He said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up”? John 2:19, 20.

note: “In these words His meaning was twofold. He referred not only to the destruction of the Jewish temple and worship, but to His own death,—the destruction of the temple of His body. This the Jews were already plotting. As the priests and rulers returned to the temple, they had proposed to kill Jesus, and thus rid themselves of the troubler. Yet when He set before them their purpose, they did not understand Him. They took His words as applying only to the temple at Jerusalem, and with indignation exclaimed, ‘Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt Thou rear it up in three days?’ [John 2:20.] Now they felt that Jesus had justified their unbelief, and they were confirmed in their rejection of Him.” The Desire of Ages, 164.

11 How did the large majority of the people react to the work of Jesus in cleansing the temple?

note: “The crowd that had fled from the temple court after a time slowly drifted back. They had partially recovered from the panic that had seized them, but their faces expressed irresolution and timidity. They looked with amazement on the works of Jesus, and were convicted that in Him the prophecies concerning the Messiah were fulfilled. The sin of the desecration of the temple rested, in a great degree, upon the priests. It was by their arrangement that the court had been turned into a market place. The people were comparatively innocent. They were impressed by the divine authority of Jesus; but with them the influence of the priests and rulers was paramount. They regarded Christ’s mission as an innovation, and questioned His right to interfere with what was permitted by the authorities of the temple. They were offended because the traffic had been interrupted, and they stifled the convictions of the Holy Spirit.” The Desire of Ages, 163, 164.

12 What was the attitude of the small group of poor people who remained behind when Jesus cleansed the temple?

note: “The poor remained behind; and these were now looking to Jesus, whose countenance expressed His love and sympathy. With tears in His eyes, He said to the trembling ones around Him: Fear not; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me. For this cause came I into the world.

“The people pressed into Christ’s presence with urgent, pitiful appeals: Master, bless me. His ear heard every cry. With pity exceeding that of a tender mother He bent over the suffering little ones. All received attention. Everyone was healed of whatever disease he had. The dumb opened their lips in praise; the blind beheld the face of their Restorer. The hearts of the sufferers were made glad.” The Desire of Ages, 163.

13 How did these people react to the crucifixion of Jesus three years later?

note: “At the crucifixion of Christ, those who had thus been healed did not join with the rabble throng in crying, ‘Crucify Him, crucify Him.’ Their sympathies were with Jesus; for they had felt His great sympathy and wonderful power. They knew Him to be their Saviour; for He had given them health of body and soul. They listened to the preaching of the apostles, and the entrance of God’s word into their hearts gave them understanding. They became agents of God’s mercy, and instruments of His salvation.” The Desire of Ages, 163.

14 Why were a few priests and rulers not opposed to Christ when He cleansed the temple? John 3:1, 2.

note: “Christ’s exercise of authority in the cleansing of the temple had roused the determined hatred of the priests and rulers. They feared the power of this stranger. Such boldness on the part of an obscure Galilean was not to be tolerated. They were bent on putting an end to His work. But not all were agreed in this purpose. There were some that feared to oppose One who was so evidently moved upon by the Spirit of God. They remembered how prophets had been slain for rebuking the sins of the leaders in Israel. They knew that the bondage of the Jews to a heathen nation was the result of their stubbornness in rejecting reproofs from God. They feared that in plotting against Jesus the priests and rulers were following in the steps of their fathers, and would bring fresh calamities upon the nation. Nicodemus shared these feelings.” The Desire of Ages, 167.


Bible Study Guides – The Trials and Attitudes of the First and Second Advent Movements

January 30, 2005 – February 5, 2005

Memory Verse

“Now these things happened to them as a warning, but they were written down for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let any one who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:11, 12, RSV.

Suggested Reading: Testimonies, vol. 6, 14–22; Selected Messages, Book 1, 401–405.


“The work of God in the earth presents, from age to age, a striking similarity in every great reformation or religious movement. The principles of God’s dealing with men are ever the same. The important movements of the present have their parallel in those of the past, and the experience of the church in former ages has lessons of great value for our own time.

“No truth is more clearly taught in the Bible than that God by His Holy Spirit especially directs His servants on earth in the great movements for the carrying forward of the work of salvation.” The Great Controversy, 343.

comment: We are nearing the time of the latter rain, the final warning, and the close of probation. These important movements of the present time and immediate future have their parallel in those of the past. In this next series of studies, we want to study the trials and attitudes of the first advent movement as they have a counterpart in the second advent movement. It is the objective of these studies to help God’s people to be prepared for the coming of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain and to stand faithful during the time of trouble.

1 What did Jesus say to the disciples in the upper room concerning their understanding of His life and ministry? John 16:12. See also Mark 4:33.

note: “Before His crucifixion the Saviour explained to His disciples that He was to be put to death and to rise again from the tomb [on the third day], and angels were present to impress His words on minds and hearts. But the disciples were looking for temporal deliverance from the Roman yoke, and they could not tolerate the thought that He in whom all their hopes centered should suffer an ignominious death. The words which they needed to remember were banished from their minds; and when the time of trial came, it found them unprepared. The death of Jesus as fully destroyed their hopes as if He had not forewarned them.” The Great Controversy, 594.

“Were Jesus with us today, He would say to us as He did to His disciples, ‘I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now’ (John 16:12). Jesus longed to open before the minds of His disciples deep and living truths, but their earthliness, their clouded, deficient comprehension made it impossible.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 403.

2 Following His crucifixion, what did Jesus say about the disciples’ understanding of the events that had taken place? Luke 24:25–27, 44, 45.

note: “After the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ, His disciples listened with wonder and amazement to His lessons of truth; for they seemed as new ideas to them; but He told them, ‘These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you. . . . Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures’ (Luke 24:44, 45). The truth is constantly unfolding and presenting new features to different minds. All who dig in the mines of truth, will constantly discover rich and precious gems. We are anxious that all who claim to believe the truth now open before us, and especially those who take the responsibility of teaching the truth to others, should have a clearer conception themselves of the all-important significance of the themes of the Bible.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 404.

3 What does God say about the understanding of the people in the second advent movement concerning the closing events of the great controversy between Christ and Satan? (See reference below.)

note: “So in the prophecies the future is opened before us as plainly as it was opened to the disciples by the words of Christ. The events connected with the close of probation and the work of preparation for the time of trouble, are clearly presented. But multitudes have no more understanding of these important truths than if they had never been revealed. Satan watches to catch away every impression that would make them wise unto salvation, and the time of trouble will find them unready.

“When God sends to men warnings so important that they are represented as proclaimed by holy angels flying in the midst of heaven, He requires every person endowed with reasoning powers to heed the message.” The Great Controversy, 594.

4 What does the Spirit of Prophecy say regarding the attitudes of the people at the time of Christ and those of the people just before His Second Coming?

note: “We want to understand the time in which we live. We do not half understand it. We do not half take it in. My heart trembles in me when I think of what a foe we have to meet, and how poorly we are prepared to meet him. The trials of the children of Israel, and their attitude just before the first coming of Christ have been presented before me again and again to illustrate the position of the people of God in their experience before the second coming of Christ—how the enemy sought every occasion to take control of the minds of the Jews, and today he is seeking to blind the minds of God’s servants, that they may not be able to discern the precious truth.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 406.

5 What does Paul say about the experiences of the past and their purpose? 1 Corinthians 10:11–13? See also Romans 15:4, 5.

note: “To a people in whose hearts His law is written, the favor of God is assured. They are one with Him. But the Jews had separated themselves from God. Because of their sins they were suffering under His judgments. This was the cause of their bondage to a heathen nation. Their minds were darkened by transgression, and because in times past the Lord had shown them so great favor, they excused their sins. They flattered themselves that they were better than other men, and entitled to His blessings.

“These things ‘are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.’ 1 Corinthians 10:11. How often we misinterpret God’s blessings, and flatter ourselves that we are favored on account of some goodness in us! God cannot do for us that which He longs to do. His gifts are used to increase our self-satisfaction, and to harden our hearts in unbelief and sin.” The Desire of Ages, 106.

6 What is an important standard that Jesus has set for His people? John 17:20–23. See also Acts 2:1.

note: “If we draw nigh to God, individually, then don’t you see what the result will be? Can’t you see that we will draw nigh to one another? We cannot draw nigh to God, and come to the same cross, without our hearts being blended together in perfect unity, answering the prayer of Christ ‘that they may be one’ as He is one with the Father. And therefore we should seek in spirit, in understanding, in faith, that we may be one, that God may be glorified in us as He is glorified in the Son; and that God shall love us as He loves the Son.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 937.

7 For what purpose is this unity required? John 17:21, last part, 23.

note: “The disciples prayed with intense earnestness for a fitness to meet men and in their daily intercourse to speak words that would lead sinners to Christ. Putting away all differences, all desire for the supremacy, they came close together in Christian fellowship. They drew nearer and nearer to God, and as they did this they realized what a privilege had been theirs in being permitted to associate so closely with Christ. . . .

“These days of preparation were days of deep heart searching. The disciples felt their spiritual need and cried to the Lord for the holy unction that was to fit them for the work of soul saving. They did not ask for a blessing for themselves merely. They were weighted with the burden of the salvation of souls. They realized that the gospel was to be carried to the world, and they claimed the power that Christ had promised.” The Acts of the Apostles, 37.

8 What did Jesus do to announce the beginning of His ministry in the first advent? John 2:13–16.

note: “In the cleansing of the temple, Jesus was announcing His mission as the Messiah, and entering upon His work. . . . In cleansing the temple from the world’s buyers and sellers, Jesus announced His mission to cleanse the heart from the defilement of sin,—from the earthly desires, the selfish lusts, the evil habits, that corrupt the soul.” The Desire of Ages, 161.

9 What is the counterpart in the second advent movement to the first cleansing of the temple? (See reference below.)

note: “[1] When Jesus began His public ministry, He cleansed the temple from its sacrilegious profanation. [2] Almost the last act of His ministry was to cleanse the temple again. So in the last work for the warning of the world, two distinct calls are made to the churches; [1] the second angel’s message [Revelation 14:8], and [2] the voice heard in heaven, ‘Come out of her, my people, . . . for her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.’ (Revelation 18:4, 5).” The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, vol. 2, 725, 726. [Emphasis supplied.]

comment: In this reference, the Spirit of Prophecy states that the second angel’s message is a counterpart to the first cleansing of the temple by Jesus at the beginning of His ministry. The second angel’s message was proclaimed in the summer of 1844. Thus we see that there was a cleansing of the second advent movement at its very beginning.

10 What did Jesus do at the close of His ministry? Matthew 21:12–16. See also Mark 11:15–18; Luke 19:45, 46.

note: “At the beginning of His ministry, Christ had driven from the temple those who defiled it by their unholy traffic; and His stern and godlike demeanor had struck terror to the hearts of the scheming traders. At the close of His mission He came again to the temple, and found it still desecrated as before. The condition of things was even worse than before. . . . The dignitaries of the temple were themselves engaged in buying and selling and the exchange of money. So completely were they controlled by their greed of gain that in the sight God they were no better than thieves.” The Desire of Ages, 589.

11 What counterpart to the second cleansing of the temple do we see in the following reference?

note: “[1] When Jesus began His public ministry, He cleansed the temple from its sacrilegious profanation. [2] Among the last acts of His ministry was the second cleansing of the temple. So in the last work for the warning of the world, two distinct calls are made to the churches. [1] The second angel’s message is, ‘Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.’ [Revelation 14:8.] [2] And in the loud cry of the third angel’s message, a voice is heard from heaven, ‘Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.’ [Revelation 18:4, 5.]” Review and Herald, December 6, 1892. [Emphasis supplied.]

comment: In the above two references, we are told that the second cleansing of the temple has its counterpart in the second advent movement in connection with the loud cry of the third angel. We know that the loud cry of the third angel’s message [Revelation 18:1–5] is the last message given to the world just before the close of probation. In future lessons, we will study the trials and attitudes of the people involved in the first and second advent movements that will help us to know and understand the times in which we live and to make the proper preparation for the latter rain.

12 Who only will stand in the last great conflict? Revelation 14:12.

note: “The last great delusion is soon to open before us. Antichrist is to perform his marvelous works in our sight. So closely will the counterfeit resemble the true that it will be impossible to distinguish between them except by the Holy Scriptures. By their testimony every statement and every miracle must be tested.

“Those who endeavor to obey all the commandments of God will be opposed and derided. They can stand only in God. In order to endure the trial before them, they must understand the will of God as revealed in His word; they can honor Him only as they have a right conception of His character, government, and purposes, and act in accordance with them. None but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict.” The Great Controversy, 593, 594.


Food for Life – Sweet Potato Salad

“God is trying to lead us back, step by step, to his original design,—that man should subsist upon the natural products of the earth. Among those who are waiting for the coming of the Lord, meat-eating will eventually be done away; flesh will cease to form a part of their diet. We should ever keep this end in view, and endeavor to work steadily toward it. I cannot think that in the practice of flesh-eating we are in harmony with the light which God has been pleased to give us. All who are connected with our health institutions especially should be educating themselves to subsist on fruits, grains, and vegetables. If we move from principle in these things, if we as Christian reformers educate our own taste, and bring our diet to God’s plan, then we may exert an influence upon others in this matter, which will be pleasing to God.

“One reason why many have become discouraged in practicing health reform is that they have not learned how to cook so that proper food, simply prepared, would supply the place of the diet to which they have been accustomed. They become disgusted with the poorly prepared dishes, and next we hear them say that they have tried the health reform, and cannot live in that way. Many attempt to follow out meager instructions in health reform, and make such sad work that it results in injury to digestion, and in discouragement to all concerned in the attempt. You profess to be health reformers, and for this very reason you should become good cooks. Those who can avail themselves of the advantages of properly conducted hygienic cooking-schools, will find it a great benefit, both in their own practice and in teaching others.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 119.

Sweet Potato Salad

1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes

2 stalks celery, diced

1 medium green bell pepper,

diced 1 small onion, minced

1 teaspoon oil

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

parsley, minced

Cook potatoes in salted water for 30 minutes until they are soft, but firm. Drain and peel. Cut in cubes. Add celery, pepper, and onion. Garnish with oil mixed with lemon juice, salt, and parsley.

Marian Oluyinka Atolagbe has been a Behavioral Science teacher for 18 years. With a deep interest in healthful lifestyle and sharing, she took training in medical missionary work at Life Abundant Missionary School (Eatonville, Washington), Steps to Life Bible School (Wichita, Kansas), and spent several months observing the work at Uchee Pines Institute (Seale, Alabama). She has conducted several health seminars/vegetarian cooking classes and started a bakery and healthful store in Nigeria, West Africa. Currently, she lives in Frederick, Maryland, while taking college classes toward an Allied Health Associate degree.

Nature Nugget – Branchiopod Time Capsule

fairy shrimpFound around the world, except in Antarctica, Branchiopods are a group of crustaceans that live in temporary pools and saline lakes. Branchiopod means “gill foot,” because they obtain oxygen from the water through their feet. There are numerous varieties of Branchiopods. Most are microscopic in size. Only three orders of them are considered large enough to see easily with the naked eye. These large Branchiopod orders are the fairy shrimps, clam shrimps, and tadpole shrimps.

The fairy shrimps, which also include the brine shrimps, unlike other large Branchiopods, have stalked compound eyes and lack having a shield covering the body. Reaching a size of .5 to 1.5 inches, fairy shrimps swim on their backs with their legs up toward the light. They feed on algae, bacteria, microorganisms, and detritus, which they filter from the water with their legs while swimming. Adult females carry their mature eggs, before laying them, in an ovisac where they can be supplied with oxygen.

The clam shrimps are less than half an inch long and have internal compound eyes and a large bivalve shield, resembling a clam’s shell, which covers the entire body. They spend most of their time on the bottom of rain pools filter feeding, sometimes dug into the mud like mussels. They can also swim with the use of their legs and second antennae. Clam shrimps develop very quickly, reaching maturity within a few days of hatching. Thus they are excellently adapted to the extreme conditions of temporary bodies of water.

Tadpole shrimps resemble miniature horseshoe crabs, having a flattened shield that covers most of the body and the internal compound eyes. They are also called Triops, because they have three eyes. Varying from 1 to 3 inches at maturity, Triops are hermaphrodites, meaning that they are self-fertile and do not require another Triop for reproduction. Triops inhabit temporary, freshwater pools, often in deserts, where they live on the bottom of the pools and dig in the mud looking for plankton, worms, insect larvae, and tadpoles on which they feed. Since these pools are short-lived, the Triops consequently have short life spans with a maximum of up to 90 days. They are capable of completing their life cycles in 20 to 40 days.

The most amazing thing about Branchiopods is how their eggs are perfectly adapted to the temporary bodies of water in which they live. Some eggs hatch right away after being laid, but some require the pool going completely dry, then reflooding again, before they will hatch. Called “resting eggs,” these eggs contain embryos that are in diapause (suspended animation) and are capable of surviving in completely dried up pools. When the female senses the pool is drying up, she sends a chemical message to the eggs before she lays them. This message stops the development of the eggs when they are either 13 or 27 days old. This same message lets the eggs know that when they are exposed to water again it will be time to hatch. Thus the embryo manages to survive without any metabolism, remaining viable for decades. The eggs are often carried by wind to other pools and are resistant to extremes in temperature.

It is so amazing how God has given His creation the ability to survive, even under extreme circumstances, as we have seen with the Branchiopods! “Our Father in heaven is the source of life, of wisdom, and of joy. Look at the wonderful and beautiful things of nature. Think of their marvelous adaptation to the needs and happiness, not only of man, but of all living creatures. . . . It is God who supplies the daily needs of all His creatures.” Steps to Christ, 9.

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

The Pen of Inspiration – Open Doors for Service

In the service of God there is work of many kinds to be performed. In the service of the temple there were hewers of wood, as well as priests of various orders bearing the various degrees of responsibility. Our church-members are to arise and shine because their light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon them. Let those who know the truth arouse out of sleep, and make every effort to reach the people where they are. The work of the Lord must no longer be neglected by us, and made secondary to worldly interests. We have no time to be idle or discouraged. The Gospel is to be proclaimed to all the world. The publications containing the light of present truth are to go forth to all places. Canvassing campaigns are to be organized for the sale of our literature, that the world may be enlightened as to what is just before us.

In many states there are settlements of industrious, well-to-do farmers, who have never heard of the truth for this time. Such places should be worked. Let our lay-members take up this line of service. By lending or selling books, by distributing papers, and by holding Bible readings, our lay-members could do much in their own neighborhoods. Filled with love for souls, they could proclaim the message of present truth with such power that many would be converted. Let us remember that it is as important to carry the message to those in the home field who have not heard the truth, as it is to go as missionaries to foreign countries.

There is abundant work for all who know the truth. Approach the people in a persuasive, kindly manner, with hearts filled with cheerfulness and Christlike love. The Saviour is ever near, with grace and power to enable you to present the gospel of salvation, which will bring souls out of the darkness of unbelief into His marvelous light. Reach out after those who are ready to perish. Call their attention to the “Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29.]

I wish that all our people could see the many doors that are open before them. Beside all waters we are to sow the seeds of truth. O, how my soul is drawn out for sinners, that they may be won to Christ! If those who have received the truth would exercise a living faith in Christ, if they would realize that they are to be His workers, wholly consecrated to His service, what a work might be done! When God’s people surrender themselves unreservedly to Christ, they will use every power of mind and body to His name’s glory; and His work will make rapid advancement.

A thousand times more work for God might be accomplished if all His children would fully consecrate themselves to Him, using their talents aright. If they would improve every opportunity for doing good, doors for service would be opened before them. They would be called to bear greater responsibilities. Let all ask of God, and they will receive wisdom to carry on His work under the ministration of the Holy Spirit. As they receive God’s blessing, they will rejoice in the work.—Unpublished MS.

Every one of us can do something, if we will only take the position that God would have us take. My brethren, every move that you make to enlighten others, brings you nearer into harmony with the God of heaven. If you sit down and fold your hands, saying, “I can barely support my family,” you will never do anything; but if you say, “I will do something for the truth, I will see it advance, I will do what I can,” God will open ways so that you can do something. You should invest in the cause of truth, so that you will feel that you are a part of it.—Missionary Magazine, April 1901.

I appeal to our church-members to use for God the powers that He has given them. Wherever there is true conversion, there is a reformation, a consecration to God. Everyone who, with genuine faith, believes in Christ enters into His service. Our faith must now be a faith that is constantly increasing. God’s people are no longer to sit at their ease, waiting for an opening, when it is their duty to make an opening, and then go to work.—Review and Herald, November 12, 1903.

God calls upon His people to act like living men, and not be indolent, sluggish, and indifferent. We must carry the publications to the people, and urge them to accept . . . .

My soul was agonized as I saw the indifference of our people who make so high a profession. The blood of souls will be on the garments of very many who now feel at ease and irresponsible for souls that are perishing around them for want of light and knowledge. They have come in contact with them, but never warned them, never prayed with or for them, and never made earnest efforts to present the truth to them. There has been a wonderful negligence on this point.—Canvassers’ Manual.

Whatever your work, dear brethren and sisters, do it for the Master, and do your best. Do not overlook present, golden opportunities and let your life prove a failure, while you sit idly dreaming of ease and success in a work for which God has not fitted you. Do the work that is nearest.

God requires personal service at the hands of every one to whom He entrusts His truth. Not one is excused. Some may feel that if they give of their substance they are excused from personal efforts. But God forbid that they should deceive themselves in this. Gifts of means do not fully meet the requirement of God, for the duty is but half done. He will accept nothing short of yourselves. You must work to save souls. You may not be called to go to foreign missions, but you may be missionaries at home in your own families and in your neighborhoods.—True Missionary, February 1874.

Pamphlet 164—Words of Encouragement to Workers in the Home Missionary Field (1904), 15–18.

Ellen G. White (1827–1915) wrote more than 5,000 periodical articles and 40 books during her lifetime. Today, including compilations from her 50,000 pages of manuscript, more than 100 titles are available in English. She is the most translated woman writer in the entire history of literature, and the most translated American author of either gender. Seventh-day Adventists believe that Mrs. White was appointed by God as a special messenger to draw the world’s attention to the Holy Scriptures and help prepare people for Christ’s second advent.

Children’s Corner – One Minute More

clockOn a bright sunny day while Ned sat at the breakfast table, he tried to get his mother or sister to tell him where they were all going.

“I’m as much in the dark as you are,” said Carolyn. “I think that mother was afraid I would let out the secret, for she sometimes calls me her little chatterbox. We’re to be ready at ten o’clock sharp.”

“Well, I suppose we’ll know in a few hours. Look, here comes Charley Wood. I promised to show him something in my workshop.” Away ran Ned.

The boys played together until after nine o’clock; and then, instead of going directly to the house, to be on hand promptly at ten o’clock, Ned thought: “Oh, there’s time enough for me to finish my kite.”

Two or three times his eyes were upon his watch; but there were a few minutes to spare, he thought. When he looked again, he was startled to find that it was three minutes past ten. By the time he rushed to the front room, he was five minutes late, and no one was there.

He could not believe that his mother would disappoint him for such a little delay, so he called for Carolyn. Then he ran to his mother’s room to see if she was there, then out the front door, but no one was to be seen.

“Why did mother not tell me where she was going? Then I might have overtaken her. Now I don’t know in which direction to go,” mumbled Ned.

It was because of this that his mother had not told Ned where she was going. He was in the habit of trying to make up lost time by hurrying at the last minute.

Mrs. Gray had planned a visit to her sister, who lived on a farm. Ned and Carolyn had once visited there, and they often begged mother to take them again; but she had many home cares and could not get away.

Poor Ned! When he found his mother and sister gone, he was a disappointed boy. Half ashamed to have Jane, the maid, see his tears or know how miserable he was, he went back to his play. He knew that if his mother returned, Carolyn would be sure to run out to the play house in search of him, so he stayed out there by himself until dinner-time.

Jane called Ned to dinner. She had lived in the Gray home a long time and knew Ned’s one failing. She had promised Mrs. Gray not to tell him where his mother and sister had gone, until dinnertime. Seeing the table set for only one person, Ned was surprised, for his mother rarely stayed away all day.

The boy sat down to his lonely meal, and when Jane came in with a piece of pie, he asked why his mother was not home to dinner.

“Oh, Ned,” she replied, “your mother won’t be back today, or tomorrow either—no, not until Monday morning. She and Carolyn have gone to visit your Aunt Mary.” This was too much for Ned. Dropping knife and fork, he rushed upstairs to his room, where he flung himself on the bed and cried bitterly.

When he had recovered from the first burst of tears, he remembered his mother’s request “not to forget,” that she should expect him “in the front room at ten o’clock precisely.” Now he understood that she must have started with Carolyn to the station at the very moment the clock hands pointed to the hour. It was a good lesson. He knew his mother had not meant to be cruel to him, and he resolved to improve in promptness.

Restoring the Temple – Health Reform and the Third Angel’s Message

“The health reform is one branch of the great work which is to fit a people for the coming of the Lord. It is as closely connected with the third angel’s message as the hand is with the body.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 69.

“To make plain natural law, and urge the obedience of it, is the work that accompanies the third angel’s message, to prepare a people for the coming of the Lord.” Ibid.

Aids in Discerning Truth

“Ignorance is no excuse now for the transgression of law. The light shines clearly, and none need be ignorant, for the great God Himself is man’s instructor. All are bound by the most sacred obligations to God to heed the sound philosophy and genuine experience which He is now giving them in reference to health reform. He designs that the great subject of health reform shall be agitated, and the public mind deeply stirred to investigate; for it is impossible for men and women, with all their sinful, health-destroying, brain-enervating habits, to discern sacred truth, through which they are to be sanctified, refined, elevated, and made fit for the society of heavenly angels in the kingdom of glory. . . .

“If man will cherish the light that God in mercy gives him upon health reform, he may be sanctified through the truth, and fitted for immortality. But if he disregards that light, and lives in violation of natural law, he must pay the penalty.” Ibid., 70.

Entering Wedge

“When properly conducted, the health work is an entering wedge, making a way for other truths to reach the heart. When the third angel’s message is received in its fullness, health reform will be given its place in the councils of the conference, in the work of the church, in the home, at the table, and in all the household arrangements. Then the right arm will serve and protect the body.” Ibid., 73.

“Health reform is to be taught and practiced by our people. The Lord is calling for a revival of the principles of health reform. Seventh-day Adventists have a special work to do as messengers to labor for the souls and bodies of men.” Ibid., 76.

God’s Bountiful Provision

“Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator. These foods, prepared in as simple and natural a manner as possible, are the most healthful and nourishing. They impart a strength, a power of endurance, and a vigor of intellect, that are not afforded by a more complex and stimulating diet.” Ibid., 81.

“God is bringing His people back to His original design, that is, not to subsist upon the flesh of dead animals. . . .

“If meat is discarded, if the taste is not educated in that direction, if a liking for fruits and grains is encouraged, it will soon be as God in the beginning designed it should be. No meat will be used by His people.” Ibid., 82.

“In grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts are to be found all the food elements that we need. If we will come to the Lord in simplicity of mind, He will teach us how to prepare wholesome food free from the taint of flesh meat.” Ibid., 92.

“A plain diet, free from spices, and flesh meats, and grease of all kinds, would prove a blessing to you. . . .

“In order to render to God perfect service, you must have clear conceptions of His requirements. You should use the most simple food, prepared in the most simple manner, that the fine nerves of the brain be not weakened, benumbed, or paralyzed, making it impossible for you to discern sacred things, and to value the atonement, the cleansing blood of Christ, as of priceless worth.” Ibid., 83.

Fashionable Visiting

“Fashionable visiting is made an occasion of gluttony. Hurtful food and drinks are partaken of in such a measure as to greatly tax the organs of digestion. The vital forces are called into unnecessary action in the disposal of it, which produces exhaustion, and greatly disturbs the circulation of the blood, and, as a result, want of vital energy is felt throughout the system. The blessings which might result from social visiting, are often lost for the reason that your entertainer, instead of being profited by your conversation, is toiling over the cookstove, preparing a variety of dishes for you to feast upon. Christian men and women should never permit their influence to countenance such a course by eating of the dainties thus prepared. Let them understand that your object in visiting them is not to indulge the appetite, but that your associating together, and interchange of thoughts and feelings, might be a mutual blessing. The conversation should be of that elevated, ennobling character which could afterward be called to remembrance with feelings of the highest pleasure.

“Those who entertain visitors, should have wholesome, nutritious food, from fruits, grains, and vegetables, prepared in a simple, tasteful manner. Such cooking will require but little extra labor or expense, and, partaken of in moderate quantities, will not injure any one.” Ibid., 88, 89.

True Fasting

“The true fasting which should be recommended to all, is abstinence from every stimulating kind of food, and the proper use of wholesome, simple food, which God has provided in abundance. Men need to think less about what they shall eat and drink, of temporal food, and much more in regard to the food from heaven, that will give tone and vitality to the whole religious experience.” Ibid., 90.

Not a Matter of Indifference

“Because it is wrong to eat merely to gratify perverted taste, it does not follow that we should be indifferent in regard to our food. It is a matter of the highest importance. No one should adopt an impoverished diet. Many are debilitated from disease, and need nourishing, well-cooked food. Health reformers, above all others, should be careful to avoid extremes. The body must have sufficient nourishment. . . .

“In order to have good health, we must have good blood; for the blood is the current of life. It repairs waste, and nourishes the body. When supplied with the proper food elements and when cleansed and vitalized by contact with pure air, it carries life and vigor to every part of the system.” Ibid., 91.

Our Testimony

“Some of our people conscientiously abstain from eating improper food, and at the same time neglect to eat the food that would supply the elements necessary for the proper sustenance of the body. Let us never bear testimony against health reform by failing to use wholesome, palatable food in place of the harmful articles of diet that we have discarded. Much tact and discretion should be employed in preparing nourishing food to take the place of that which has constituted the diet of many families. This effort requires faith in God, earnestness of purpose, and a willingness to help one another. A diet lacking in the proper elements of nutrition brings reproach upon the cause of health reform. We are mortal, and must supply ourselves with food that will give proper sustenance to the body.” Ibid., 92.

Ask the Pastor – Receiving the Promise


In Hebrews 11:13, it is stated that those who are mentioned in this faith chapter died, and they never received the promises. But both Enoch, who was translated, and Moses, who was resurrected, are mentioned in this chapter. Can you explain how Enoch and Moses never received the promises, yet they went to heaven?


Hebrews 11 is called the faith chapter. It rehearses for us the experiences of many of the ancients who, in spite of the odds of their day, followed the leading of the God of heaven.

We must remember that, in order to understand what is being taught here, we must read the whole of the narrative. First of all, we must understand what promises are mentioned in this chapter.

In Genesis 12 and 13, we find what it was that God promised to Abraham, the father of the faithful. “And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.” “And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him.” Genesis 12:5, 7. In Genesis 13:15, the promise is repeated to Abraham. “For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.”

What God promised to Abraham was the land of Canaan. That was to be his home forever. All of his offspring were to have a part in that inheritance.

In connection with the plan of salvation was the promise according to Galatians 3:29, that, if we belong to Christ, we are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise. By adoption through the blood of Christ, we become members of Abraham’s family, and we will receive of the promises also.

Enoch, Moses, and even Elijah, who are now alive in heaven, will partake of this same promise of inheriting the earth. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, in Matthew 5:5, “Blessed [are] the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”

If, according to Hebrews 11, these all died not having received the promises, then why are they in heaven? Heaven was not what was promised. It was the earth that was promised. The heavenly part is the New Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven to settle on this earth. It will rest upon the Mount of Olives. The fact that they are involved in heavenly matters during the interval of time between their translation and the city coming down has nothing to do with the promises of inheritance of the earth.

The promises are still to be fulfilled to them. The fact that they have to wait like all the rest does not mean that they will miss anything. God’s plan is for all to enjoy the blessing of the inheritance at once.

Rest assured that God has a plan, and that plan is inclusive of all who, by faith, have accepted Jesus as Saviour. Then it will be that this earth becomes the eternal home of the redeemed, according to the promise.

Pastor Mike Baugher is Associate Speaker for Steps to Life. If you have a question you would like Pastor Mike to answer, e-mail it to: or mail it to: LandMarks, Steps to Life, P. O. Box 782828, Wichita, KS 67278.