Bible Study Guides – Stages of “Present Truth”

February 18, 2007 – February 24, 2007

Key Text

“Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know [them], and be established in the present truth.” 11 Peter 1:12.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 632–636; The Great Controversy, 355–374.


“There was a present truth—a truth at that time of special importance—in the days of Christ, of Paul, of Luther; there is a present truth for the church today.” The Signs of the Times, June 21, 1883.

1 How do Christ’s teachings perfectly harmonize with Old Testament scripture (Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18)? Matthew 22:36–40; 5:17–19. What explanation did Christ give concerning His doctrine? John 7:16.

note: “ ‘Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.’ My words are in perfect harmony with the Old Testament Scriptures, and with the law spoken from Sinai. I am not preaching a new doctrine. I am presenting old truths rescued from the framework of error, and placed in a new setting.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1136.

2 What was the “present truth” taught after Christ’s ascension? 1 John 1:1–3; 11 Peter 1:12, 15, 16. How does that truth also affect us today? John 17:17–20.

note: “When, after His [Christ’s] ascension, the Holy Spirit brought His teachings to the remembrance of the disciples, their slumbering senses awoke. The meaning of these truths flashed upon their minds as a new revelation, and truth, pure and unadulterated, made a place for itself. Then the wonderful experience of His life became theirs.” The Acts of the Apostles, 520.

“The disciples boldly testified to the things which they had seen and heard. . . .

“The Holy Spirit especially rested upon the apostles, who were witnesses of our Lord’s crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension—important truths which were to be the hope of Israel. All were to look to the Saviour of the world as their only hope.” Early Writings, 196, 197.

3 What did Paul say about the plan of redemption which was more fully revealed in the gospel of Christ? Ephesians 3:3–6, 9; 1 Timothy 3:16; Romans 16:25, 26.

note: “Mysteries which had been hidden for ages were revealed to him [Paul], and as much as he could bear of the workings of God, and of his dealings with human minds, was made known. The Lord told Paul that he must preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. Light was to be given to the Gentiles. This is a mystery which had been hidden for ages.” The Signs of the Times, March 25, 1897.

4 What will happen when this mystery of God (light given to the Gentiles) is completed? Matthew 24:14. What final verdict will then be declared? Revelation 22:10, 11.

note: “The gospel dispensation is the last period of probation that will ever be granted to men. Those who live under this dispensation of test and trial and yet are not led to repent and obey will perish with the disloyal. There is no second trial. The gospel that is to be preached to all nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples presents the truth in clear lines, showing that obedience is the condition of gaining eternal life. Christ imparts His righteousness to those who consent to let Him take away their sins.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 971, 972.

5 How do we know that the Lord’s return is very near? Matthew 24:32–39.

note: “Christ has given signs of His coming. He declares that we may know when He is near, even at the doors. He says of those who see these signs, ‘This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.’ [Matthew 24:34.] These signs have appeared. Now we know of a surety that the Lord’s coming is at hand.” The Desire of Ages, 632.

“[Matthew 24:37–39 quoted.] Christ does not here bring to view a temporal millennium, a thousand years in which all are to prepare for eternity. He tells us that as it was in Noah’s day, so will it be when the Son of man comes again.” Ibid., 633.

6 What should we realize about Noah’s day? Genesis 6:5.

note: “[Genesis 6:5 quoted.] The inhabitants of the antediluvian world turned from Jehovah, refusing to do His holy will. They followed their own unholy imagination and perverted ideas. It was because of their wickedness that they were destroyed; and today the world is following the same way. It presents no flattering signs of millennial glory. The transgressors of God’s law are filling the earth with wickedness. Their betting, their horse racing, their gambling, their dissipation, their lustful practices, their untamable passions, are fast filling the world with violence.” The Desire of Ages, 633.

7 What great religious revival marks the beginning of the “present truth” especially applicable in our day, and how is it described? Revelation 14:6.

note: “A great religious awakening under the proclamation of Christ’s soon coming is foretold in the prophecy of the first angel’s message of Revelation 14. . . .

“The fact that an angel is said to be the herald of this warning is significant. By the purity, the glory, and the power of the heavenly messenger, divine wisdom has been pleased to represent the exalted character of the work to be accomplished by the message and the power and glory that were to attend it. And the angel’s flight ‘in the midst of heaven,’ the ‘loud voice’ with which the warning is uttered, and its promulgation to all ‘that dwell on the earth,’—‘to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,’—give evidence of the rapidity and world-wide extent of the movement.” The Great Controversy, 355.

8 How does the message of the first angel exalt the Law of God, to prepare a people to see Christ? 1 John 3:2, 3; Psalm 19:7.

note: “The message proclaimed by the angel flying in the midst of heaven is the everlasting gospel, the same gospel that was declared in Eden when God said to the serpent, ‘I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel’ (Genesis 3:15). Here was the first promise of a Saviour who would stand on the field of battle to contest the power of Satan and prevail against him. Christ came to our world to represent the character of God as it is represented in His holy law; for His law is a transcript of His character. Christ was both the law and the gospel. The angel that proclaims the everlasting gospel proclaims the law of God; for the gospel of salvation brings men to obedience of the law, whereby their characters are formed after the divine similitude.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 106.

9 Who is to teach the first angel’s message? Matthew 28:19, 20.

note: “As His representatives among men, God does not choose angels who have never fallen, but human beings, men of like passions with those they seek to save. Christ took humanity that He might reach humanity. A divine-human Saviour was needed to bring salvation to the world. And to men and women has been committed the sacred trust of making known ‘the unsearchable riches of Christ.’ Ephesians 3:8.

“In His wisdom the Lord brings those who are seeking for truth into touch with fellow beings who know the truth. It is the plan of Heaven that those who have received light shall impart it to those in darkness.” The Acts of the Apostles, 134.

10 What does the last remnant experience, and how is it distinguished from the rest of the world? Matthew 24:9; Revelation 12:17.

note: “Whoever sees the repulsive character of sin, and in strength from above resists temptation, will assuredly arouse the wrath of Satan and his subjects. Hatred of the pure principles of truth, and reproach and persecution of its advocates, will exist as long as sin and sinners remain. The followers of Christ and the servants of Satan cannot harmonize. The offense of the cross has not ceased.” The Great Controversy, 507.

“The remnant church will be brought into great trial and distress. Those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus will feel the ire of the dragon and his hosts. Satan numbers the world as his subjects, he has gained control of the apostate churches; but here is a little company that are resisting his supremacy.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 472, 473.

Present Truth

“Luther came in possession of the truth that waked up the Reformation. It is men of humility and prayer that become mighty men in the Scriptures. They search the word of truth as for hidden treasures. And as they read and pray, and pray and read, they become living channels of light and truth. Here is a lesson of vital importance to those who feel that God has called them to present to others the solemn truths for this time. These truths will stir the enmity of Satan and of men who love the fables that he has devised. In the conflict with the powers of hell, there is need of something more than intellect and human wisdom. . . .

“As Luther, with noble firmness, stood in defense of the gospel, his doctrines spread, and priests and people rallied about him as their standard-bearer. Hard as it was for them to change their opinions, the light of truth was dispelling the darkness of error. Some who secretly rejoiced in the work, took at first no active part in it; but the determined opposition against Luther and the truths he preached, brought these persons to the front, and changed their doubts to the certainty of faith. In the hearts of those who would obey his word, the Lord placed a firmness and decision that nothing could move. . . .

“Luther . . . had given himself to the service of truth, and the Spirit of truth gave him wisdom, strength, and understanding. . . .

“It should be remembered that Luther was attacking with determined blows the institutions of ages. This could not be done without exciting hatred and opposition. No arguments against him could be drawn from the word of God; for his feet were firmly planted upon the foundation of the prophets and apostles, Christ himself being the chief corner-stone. When his enemies appealed to custom and tradition, or to the assertions and authority of the Roman pontiff, Luther met them with the Bible and the Bible alone. Here were arguments which they could not answer. Therefore the slaves of formalism and superstition clamored for his blood, as the Jews had clamored for the blood of Christ. . . .

“God had a work for him [Luther] to do, and angels of Heaven were sent to protect him. Many, however, who had received from Luther the precious light, were made the objects of Satan’s wrath, and for the truth’s sake fearlessly suffered torture and death.

“Opposition is the portion of all whom God employs to make an advance move in his work by presenting truth specially applicable to their time. The controversy between Christ and Satan is to increase in intensity to the close of this earth’s history. Those who dare to present truths that are not in harmony with the popular churches and with the world, will thereby become the objects of slander, reproach, and falsehood. Many who at first but partially unite with scoffers, finally lend themselves fully to Satan, to oppose and overthrow what God would build up.

“There is today the same disposition to substitute the theories and traditions of men for the word of God as in the days of Christ, of Paul or of Luther. Ministers advance doctrines which have no foundation in the Scriptures of truth, and in place of Bible proof, they present their own assertions as authority. The people accept the minister’s interpretation of the word, without earnest prayer that they may know what is truth. There is no safety in depending upon human wisdom and judgment. . . .

“All who possess reasoning powers can know for themselves what is truth. Those who pray and search for light, will receive light. The reason why so many are groping their way in the fog of error is, that they take the assertions of men, instead of searching the word of God for themselves. [Isaiah 8:20 quoted.] Worldlings and superficial Christians will accept nothing which interferes with their selfish love of pleasure; hence they are willingly ignorant of the truth which would save their souls. Satan works with all his deceptive art to present pleasing fables before the people, and he takes thousands in his snare.

“The advocates of truth in our day should not expect their message to be received with greater favor than was that of the early Reformers. Nay, rather, they should expect greater difficulties and more determined opposition than were experienced by Luther and his fellow-laborers. Satan’s hatred for the truth is the same in all ages; but as he sees that his time is short, he makes one last mighty effort, by signs and lying wonders, to deceive and destroy, not merely the unbelieving world, but the great mass of professed Christians who have not received the love of the truth that they might be saved. . . . [11 Thessalonians 2:9–12 quoted.]

“There was a present truth—a truth at that time of special importance—in the days of Christ, of Paul, of Luther; there is a present truth for the church today. But truth is no more desired by the men of today than it was by the Jews in the time of Christ, or by papists in the days of Luther. Therefore Satan, working now with tenfold greater power, succeeds as of old in blinding the eyes of men and darkening their understanding.

“As those who now labor in the cause of reform, experience conflicts and trials, as they find their path hedged in by difficulties, and obstructed by the rubbish of error, let them remember that they are traveling the same road that prophets, apostles, and reformers of every age have traveled before them. Christ himself trod a more thorny path than any of his followers. They may comfort themselves with the thought that they are in good company. One mightier than Satan is their leader, and he will give them strength to be steadfast in the faith, and will bring them off victorious.” The Signs of the Times, June 21, 1883.

Reprinted with permission, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke Virginia, 2003.

Bible Study Guides – Exercising Faith

February 11, 2007 – February 17, 2007

Key Text

“Now the just shall live by faith: but if [any man] draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” Hebrews 10:38.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 315–320; Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 141–144.


“For six thousand years, faith has builded upon Christ. For six thousand years the floods and tempests of satanic wrath have beaten upon the Rock of our salvation; but it stands unmoved.” The Desire of Ages, 413.

1 What is the definition of faith? Hebrews 11:1, 2; 11 Corinthians 4:18. How is faith born? Roman 10:17.

note: “Faith is not the ground of our salvation, but it is the great blessing—the eye that sees, the ear that hears, the feet that run, the hand that grasps. It is the means, not the end. If Christ gave His life to save sinners, why shall I not take that blessing? My faith grasps it, and thus my faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. Thus resting and believing, I have peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1073.

2 How are we to develop the “measure of faith” (Romans 12:3) that God has granted each one of us? John 6:53, 63; Luke 17:5; 1 Peter 2:2.

note: “Courage, fortitude, faith, and implicit trust in God’s power to save do not come in a moment. These heavenly graces are acquired by the experience of years.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 213.

“You have to talk faith, you have to live faith, you have to act faith, that you may have an increase of faith; and thus exercising that living faith you will grow to strong men and women in Christ Jesus.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1121, 1122.

3 How does true faith assimilate the Word of God? 11 Timothy 3:15–17; 1 Peter 1:22, 23.

note: “The word of God must be interwoven with the living character of those who believe it. The only vital faith is that faith which receives and assimilates the truth till it is a part of the being and the motive power of the life and action.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 576.

“Temptations often appear irresistible because, through neglect of prayer and the study of the Bible, the tempted one cannot readily remember God’s promises and meet Satan with the Scripture weapons. But angels are round about those who are willing to be taught in divine things; and in the time of great necessity they will bring to their remembrance the very truths which are needed.” The Great Controversy, 600.

4 What agencies work together in the process of sanctification? 11 Thessalonians 2:13; 11 Timothy 2:15; John 17:17.

note: “The Scriptures are the great agency in the transformation of character. Christ prayed, ‘Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth.’ John 17:17. If studied and obeyed, the word of God works in the heart, subduing every unholy attribute. The Holy Spirit comes to convict of sin, and the faith that springs up in the heart works by love to Christ, conforming us in body, soul, and spirit to His own image. Then God can use us to do His will. The power given us works from within outwardly, leading us to communicate to others the truth that has been communicated to us.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 100.

“By looking constantly to Jesus with the eye of faith, we shall be strengthened. God will make the most precious revelations to His hungering, thirsting people. They will find that Christ is a personal Saviour. As they feed upon His word, they find that it is spirit and life. The word destroys the natural, earthly nature, and imparts a new life in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit comes to the soul as a Comforter. By the transforming agency of His grace, the image of God is reproduced in the disciple; he becomes a new creature.” The Desire of Ages, 391.

5 What is the difference between genuine faith and a mere profession of faith? James 1:6, 7; Titus 1:16; Hebrews 11:6.

note: “There are thousands who claim to have the light of truth who take no steps in advance. They have no living experience, notwithstanding they have had every advantage. They do not know what consecration means. Their devotions are formal and hollow, and there is no depth to their piety. The Word of God offers spiritual liberty and enlightenment to those who study it earnestly. Those who accept the promises of God, and act on them with living faith, will have the light of heaven in their lives. They will drink of the fountain of life, and lead others to the waters that have refreshed their own souls. We must have that faith in God that takes him at his word.” Review and Herald, September 22, 1910.

6 What will be the result of true faith? Galatians 5:6 (compare Romans 13:9, 10); James 2:14–17.

note: “There is a belief that is not a saving faith. The word declares that the devils believe and tremble. The so-called faith that does not work by love and purify the soul will not justify any man. . . .

“We need the faith of Abraham in our day, to lighten the darkness that gathers around us, shutting out the sweet sunlight of God’s love, and dwarfing spiritual growth. Our faith should be prolific of good works; for faith without works is dead. Every duty performed, every sacrifice made in the name of Jesus, brings an exceeding great reward. In the very act of duty, God speaks and gives His blessing.” The Signs of the Times, May 19, 1898.

7 How did a Roman centurion exercise faith when his servant was sick to the point of death? Luke 7:2, 3.

note: “The centurion was tenderly attached to his servant, and greatly desired his recovery. He believed that Jesus could heal him. He had not seen the Saviour, but the reports he heard had inspired him with faith. Notwithstanding the formalism of the Jews, this Roman was convinced that their religion was superior to his own. Already he had broken through the barriers of national prejudice and hatred that separated the conquerors from the conquered people. He had manifested respect for the service of God, and had shown kindness to the Jews as His worshipers. In the teaching of Christ, as it had been reported to him, he found that which met the need of the soul. All that was spiritual within him responded to the Saviour’s words. But he felt unworthy to come into the presence of Jesus, and he appealed to the Jewish elders to make request for the healing of his servant. They were acquainted with the Great Teacher, and would, he thought, know how to approach Him so as to win His favor.” The Desire of Ages, 315, 316.

8 As far as faith was concerned, what was the difference between the Roman centurion and the Jewish elders who recommended him to Christ? Luke 7:4–10.

note: “The Jewish elders who recommended the centurion to Christ had shown how far they were from possessing the spirit of the gospel. They did not recognize that our great need is our only claim on God’s mercy. In their self-righteousness they commended the centurion because of the favor he had shown to ‘our nation.’ But the centurion said of himself, ‘I am not worthy.’ [Luke 7:5, 7.] His heart had been touched by the grace of Christ. He saw his own unworthiness; yet he feared not to ask help. He trusted not to his own goodness; his argument was his great need. His faith took hold upon Christ in His true character. He did not believe in Him merely as a worker of miracles, but as the friend and Saviour of mankind.

“It is thus that every sinner may come to Christ. ‘Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.’ Titus 3:5. When Satan tells you that you are a sinner, and cannot hope to receive blessing from God, tell him that Christ came into the world to save sinners. We have nothing to recommend us to God; but the plea that we may urge now and ever is our utterly helpless condition that makes His redeeming power a necessity. Renouncing all self-dependence, we may look to the cross of Calvary and say,—‘In my hand no price I bring; Simply to Thy cross I cling.’ ” The Desire of Ages, 316, 317.

9 What assurance is given us in seeking to live by faith? 1 Peter 1:7–9; Philippians 4:6, 7.

note: “Let us keep our eyes fixed upon Christ, and He will preserve us. Looking unto Jesus, we are safe. Nothing can pluck us out of His hand.” Steps to Christ, 72.

10 What are some of the things that faith accomplished in the past, and what will it accomplish today? Hebrews 11:29–35; 1 John 5:4.

note: “Faith is simple in its operation and powerful in its results.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 322.

“It is faith that connects us with the power of heaven, and that brings us the strength for coping with the powers of darkness.” Review and Herald, September 22, 1910.

Victory of Faith

“The Christian life is a battle and a march. But the victory to be gained is not won by human power. The field of conflict is the domain of the heart. The battle which we have to fight—the greatest battle that was ever fought by man—is the surrender of self to the will of God, the yielding of the heart to the sovereignty of love. The old nature, born of blood and of the will of the flesh, cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The hereditary tendencies, the former habits, must be given up.

“He who determines to enter the spiritual kingdom will find that all the powers and passions of an unregenerate nature, backed by the forces of the kingdom of darkness, are arrayed against him. Selfishness and pride will make a stand against anything that would show them to be sinful. We cannot, of ourselves, conquer the evil desires and habits that strive for the mastery. We cannot overcome the mighty foe who holds us in his thrall. God alone can give us the victory. He desires us to have the mastery over ourselves, our own will and ways. But He cannot work in us without our consent and co-operation. The divine Spirit works through the faculties and powers given to man. Our energies are required to co-operate with God.

“The victory is not won without much earnest prayer, without the humbling of self at every step. Our will is not to be forced into co-operation with divine agencies, but it must be voluntarily submitted. Were it possible to force upon you with a hundredfold greater intensity the influence of the Spirit of God, it would not make you a Christian, a fit subject for heaven. The stronghold of Satan would not be broken. The will must be placed on the side of God’s will. You are not able, of yourself, to bring your purposes and desires and inclinations into submission to the will of God; but if you are ‘willing to be made willing,’ God will accomplish the work for you, even ‘casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.’ 11 Corinthians 10:5. Then you will ‘work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.’ Philippians 2:12, 13.

“But many are attracted by the beauty of Christ and the glory of heaven, who yet shrink from the conditions by which alone these can become their own. There are many in the broad way who are not fully satisfied with the path in which they walk. They long to break from the slavery of sin, and in their own strength they seek to make a stand against their sinful practices. They look toward the narrow way and the strait gate; but selfish pleasure, love of the world, pride, unsanctified ambition, place a barrier between them and the Saviour. To renounce their own will, their chosen objects of affection or pursuit, requires a sacrifice at which they hesitate and falter and turn back. Many ‘will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.’ Luke 13:24. They desire the good, they make some effort to obtain it; but they do not choose it; they have not a settled purpose to secure it at the cost of all things.

“The only hope for us if we would overcome is to unite our will to God’s will and work in co-operation with Him, hour by hour and day by day. We cannot retain self and yet enter the kingdom of God. If we ever attain unto holiness, it will be through the renunciation of self and the reception of the mind of Christ. Pride and self-sufficiency must be crucified. Are we willing to pay the price required of us? Are we willing to have our will brought into perfect conformity to the will of God? Until we are willing, the transforming grace of God cannot be manifest upon us.

“The warfare which we are to wage is the ‘good fight of faith.’ ‘I also labor,’ said the apostle Paul, ‘striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily.’ Colossians 1:29

“Jacob, in the great crisis of his life, turned aside to pray. He was filled with one overmastering purpose—to seek for transformation of character. But while he was pleading with God, an enemy, as he supposed, placed his hand upon him, and all night he wrestled for his life. But the purpose of his soul was not changed by peril of life itself. When his strength was nearly spent, the Angel put forth His divine power, and at His touch Jacob knew Him with whom he had been contending. Wounded and helpless, he fell upon the Saviour’s breast, pleading for a blessing. He would not be turned aside nor cease his intercession, and Christ granted the petition of this helpless, penitent soul, according to His promise, ‘Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.’ Isaiah 27:5. Jacob pleaded with determined spirit, ‘I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me.’ Genesis 32:26. This spirit of persistence was inspired by Him who wrestled with the patriarch. It was He who gave him the victory, and He changed his name from Jacob to Israel, saying, ‘As a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.’ Genesis 32:28. That for which Jacob had vainly wrestled in his own strength was won through self-surrender and steadfast faith. ‘This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.’ 1 John 5:4.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 141–144.

Reprinted with permission, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke Virginia, 2003.

Bible Study Guides – Power From Above

February 4, 2007 – February 10, 2007

Key Text

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16.

Study Help: Fundamentals of Christian Education, 196–200; The Acts of the Apostles, 557–567.


“The gospel is the power of God unto salvation when it is interwoven with the practical life, when it is lived and practiced.” My Life Today, 224.

1 How does the Bible define sin? 1 John 3:4; James 4:17. Why do we struggle with sin, and how can we gain the victory over it? Romans 7:14–24; John 8:34, 36; 15:5.

note: “Enslaved by sin, the moral powers are under the tyranny of Satan. The soul is made the sport of his temptations; and unless some mighty arm is stretched out to rescue him, man goes where the arch-rebel leads the way.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 42.

“The nearer we come to Jesus, and the more clearly we discern the purity of His character, the more clearly shall we see the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and the less shall we feel like exalting ourselves. There will be a continual reaching out of the soul after God, a continual, earnest, heartbreaking confession of sin and humbling of the heart before Him. At every advance step in our Christian experience our repentance will deepen. We shall know that our sufficiency is in Christ alone and shall make the apostle’s confession our own: ‘I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing.’ ‘God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.’ Romans 7:18; Galatians 6:14.” The Acts of the Apostles, 561.

2 What should we realize in seeking Christ’s strength? Hebrews 4:15, 16; 7:25; 12:2.

note: “Many have a feeble religious experience because, instead of seeking the Lord for the efficiency of the Holy Spirit, they make flesh their arm.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 381.

“Our faith must pierce beyond the veil, seeing things that are invisible. No one else can look for you.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 930.

3 What happens when we come to Christ? Ephesians 2:8; Romans 2:4; 5:1, 2.

note: “The very first step to Christ is taken through the drawing of the Spirit of God; as man responds to this drawing, he advances toward Christ in order that he may repent. . . .

“If we are drawn to Christ, it is through His power and virtue. The grace of contrition comes through Him, and from Him comes justification.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 390, 391.

4 When we accept Christ as our personal Saviour, how are we benefited by the work that Christ has done for us? Romans 5:18, 19; 11 Corinthians 5:21.

note: “Justification is a full, complete pardon of sin. The moment a sinner accepts Christ by faith, that moment he is pardoned. The righteousness of Christ is imputed [credited] to him.” The Signs of the Times, May 19, 1898.

“By faith he [the repentant sinner] can bring to God the merits of Christ, and the Lord places the obedience of His Son to the sinner’s account. Christ’s righteousness is accepted in place of man’s failure, and God receives, pardons, justifies, the repentant, believing soul, treats him as though he were righteous, and loves him as He loves His Son. This is how faith is accounted righteousness.” Review and Herald, November 4, 1890.

5 What work does Christ do in us through the Holy Spirit, with our consent and cooperation? John 3:7, 8; 11 Corinthians 5:17; 7:1.

note: “It is the grace that Christ implants in the soul which creates in man enmity against Satan. Without this converting grace and renewing power, man would continue the captive of Satan, a servant ever ready to do his bidding. But the new principle in the soul creates conflict where hitherto had been peace. The power which Christ imparts enables man to resist the tyrant and usurper. Whoever is seen to abhor sin instead of loving it, whoever resists and conquers those passions that have held sway within, displays the operation of a principle wholly from above.” The Great Controversy, 506.

6 In what way does the process of sanctification involve daily choices on our part? Romans 8:1, 5, 13; Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 5:8–11.

note: “To walk in the light means to resolve, to exercise thought, to exert will power, in an earnest endeavor to represent Christ in sweetness of character. It means to put away all gloom. You are not to rest satisfied simply in saying, ‘I am a child of God.’ Are you beholding Jesus, and, by beholding, becoming changed into His likeness? To walk in the light means advancement and progress in spiritual attainments.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 4, 273.

7 How do justification and sanctification operate together in our salvation? 1 John 1:9; Romans 6:1, 2, 7, 22. Give examples. 1 Corinthians 6:9–11; Colossians 3:8–10.

note: “Justification means the saving of a soul from perdition, that he may obtain sanctification, and through sanctification, the life of heaven. Justification means that the conscience, purged from dead works, is placed where it can receive the blessings of sanctification.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 908.

“The Christian will feel the promptings of sin, but he will maintain a constant warfare against it. Here is where Christ’s help is needed. Human weakness becomes united to divine strength, and faith exclaims: ‘Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 1 Corinthians 15:57.” The Great Controversy, 469, 470.

8 In what sense do we have to cooperate with Christ to become holy? Colossians 1:21–23, 29. For what purpose do we receive power through the gospel? Romans 1:16; Ephesians 3:16–20.

note: “The work of gaining salvation is one of copartnership, a joint operation. There is to be co-operation between God and the repentant sinner. This is necessary for the formation of right principles in the character. Man is to make earnest efforts to overcome that which hinders him from attaining to perfection. But he is wholly dependent upon God for success. Human effort of itself is not sufficient. Without the aid of divine power it avails nothing. God works and man works. Resistance of temptation must come from man, who must draw his power from God.” The Acts of the Apostles, 482.

9 What changes does God bring forth in giving us His grace? Titus 2:11–14; 3:5. How does the leaven in the parable illustrate the radical change? Matthew 13:33.

note: “As the leaven, when mingled with the meal, works from within outward, so it is by the renewing of the heart that the grace of God works to transform the life.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 97.

“The grace of Christ is to control the temper and the voice. Its working will be seen in politeness and tender regard shown by brother for brother, in kind, encouraging words. An angel presence is in the home. The life breathes a sweet perfume, which ascends to God as holy incense. Love is manifested in kindness, gentleness, forbearance, and long-suffering.

“The countenance is changed. Christ abiding in the heart shines out in the faces of those who love Him and keep His commandments. Truth is written there. The sweet peace of heaven is revealed. There is expressed a habitual gentleness, a more than human love.

“The leaven of truth works a change in the whole man, making the coarse refined, the rough gentle, the selfish generous. By it the impure are cleansed, washed in the blood of the Lamb. Through its life-giving power it brings all there is of mind and soul and strength into harmony with the divine life. Man with his human nature becomes a partaker of divinity.” Ibid., 102.

10 On what condition can we receive the power of God’s grace? What kind of faith do we need? Matthew 17:20; Jude 20.

note: “The heavenly intelligences will work with the human agent who seeks with determined faith that perfection of character which will reach out to perfection in action. To everyone engaged in this work Christ says, I am at your right hand to help you.

“As the will of man co-operates with the will of God, it becomes omnipotent. Whatever is to be done at His command may be accomplished in His strength. All His biddings are enablings.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 332, 333.

The World by Wisdom Knew Not God

“The truth of God is infinite, capable of measureless expansion, and the more we contemplate it, the more will its glory appear. The truth has been opened before us, and yet the words of Paul to the Galatians are applicable to us. . . . [Galatians 3:1–4 quoted.]

“ ‘Without Me,’ Christ says, ‘ye can do nothing.’ [John 15:5.] Those who undertake to carry forward the work in their own strength will certainly fail. Education alone will not fit a man for a place in the work, will not enable him to obtain a knowledge of God. Hear what Paul has to say on this matter: [1 Corinthians 1:17–21 quoted].

“Through successive ages of darkness, in the midnight of heathenism, God permitted men to try the experiment of finding out God by their own wisdom, not to demonstrate their inability to His satisfaction, but that men themselves might see that they could not obtain a knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ His Son, save through the revelation of His word by the Holy Spirit. When Christ came to the world, the experiment had been fully tried, and the result made it evident that the world by wisdom knew not God. Even in the church God has allowed men to test their own wisdom in this matter, but when a crisis has been brought about through human fallibility, God has risen mightily to defend His people. When the church has been brought low, when trial and oppression have come upon His people, He more abundantly exalted them by signal deliverance. When unfaithful teachers came among the people, weakness followed, and the faith of God’s people seemed to wane; but God arose and purged His floor, and the tried and true were lifted up.

“There are times when apostasy comes into the ranks, when piety is left out of the heart by those who should have kept step with their divine Leader. The people of God separate from the source of their strength, and pride, vanity, extravagance, and display follow. There are idols within and idols without; but God sends the Comforter as a reprover of sin, that His people may be warned of their apostasy and rebuked for their backsliding. When the more precious manifestations of His love shall be gratefully acknowledged and appreciated, the Lord will pour in the balm of comfort and the oil of joy.

“When men are led to realize that their human calculations come far short, and are convinced that their wisdom is but foolishness, then it is that they turn to the Lord to seek Him with all the heart, that they may find Him. . . .

“Every church among us needs the deep movings of the Spirit of God. O we would point men to the cross of Calvary. We would bid them look upon Him whom their sins have pierced. We would bid them to behold the Redeemer of the world suffering the penalty of their transgression of the law of God. The verdict is that ‘the soul that sinneth it shall die.’ [Ezekiel 18:20.] But on the cross the sinner sees the only-begotten of the Father, dying in his stead, and giving the transgressor life. All the intelligences in earth and heaven are called upon to behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. Every sinner may look and live. Do not survey that scene of Calvary with careless, thoughtless mind. Can it be that angels shall look down upon us, the recipients of God’s love, and see us cold, indifferent, unimpressible, when heaven in amazement beholds the stupendous work of redemption to save a fallen world, and desires to look into the mystery of Calvary’s love and woe? Angels in wonder and amazement look upon those for whom so great salvation has been provided, and marvel that the love of God does not awaken them, and lead them to pour forth melodious strains of gratitude and adoration. But the result which all heaven looks to behold is not seen among those who profess to be followers of Christ. How readily do we speak in endearing words of our friends and relatives, and yet how slow we are to speak of Him whose love has no parallel, set forth in Christ crucified among you.

“The love of our heavenly Father in the gift of His only-begotten Son to the world, is enough to inspire every soul, to melt every hard, loveless heart into contrition and tenderness; and yet shall heavenly intelligences see in those for whom Christ died, insensibility to His love, hardness of heart, and no response of gratitude and affection to the Giver of all good things? Shall affairs of minor importance absorb the whole power of the being, and the love of God meet no return? Shall the Sun of R ighteousness shine in vain? In view of what God has done, could His claims be less upon you? Have we hearts that can be touched, that can be impressed with divine love? Are we willing to be chosen vessels? Has not God His eye upon us, and has He not bidden us to send forth His message of light? We need an increase of faith. We must wait, we must watch, we must pray, we must work, pleading that the Holy Ghost may be poured out upon us abundantly, that we may be lights in the world. . . .

“The converted soul lives in Christ. His darkness passes away, and a new and heavenly light shines into his soul. [Proverbs 11:30, last part; Daniel 12:3 quoted.] What is done through the co-operation of men with God is a work that shall never perish, but endure through the eternal ages. He that makes God his wisdom, that grows up into the full stature of a man in Christ Jesus, will stand before kings, before the so-called great men of the world, and show forth the praises of Him who hath called him out of darkness into His marvelous light.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 196–199.

Reprinted with permission, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke Virginia, 2003.

Bible Study Guides – A Plan With a Purpose

January 28, 2007 – February 3, 2007

Key Text

“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10.

Study Help: “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 926, 927; Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 149–152.


“Through the goodness and mercy of Christ the sinner is to be restored to the divine favor. God in Christ is daily beseeching men to be reconciled to God. With outstretched arms He is ready to receive and welcome not only the sinner but the prodigal. His dying love, manifested on Calvary, is the sinner’s assurance of acceptance, peace, and love.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 178, 179.

1 For what purpose does the gospel call come to us? Mark 2:17, last part.

note: “The Majesty of heaven, the only-begotten Son of the true and living God, opened the way for you to come to Him, by giving His life as a sacrifice on Calvary’s cross. But while He suffered all this for you, He is too pure, He is too just, to behold iniquity. But even this need not keep you away from Him; for He says, ‘I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’ [Mark 2:17.] Let perishing souls come to Him just as they are, without one plea, and plead the atoning blood of Christ, and they will find acceptance with God, who dwelleth in glory between the cherubim above the mercy seat. The blood of Jesus is a never-failing passport, by which all your petitions may find access to the throne of God.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 251, 252.

2 What does salvation through Christ mean for us, here and now? Matthew 1:21; Revelation 1:5, last part.

note: “God has spoken, and He means that man shall obey. He does not inquire if it is convenient for him to do so. The Lord of life and glory did not consult His convenience or pleasure when He left His station of high command to become a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, accepting ignominy and death in order to deliver man from the consequence of his disobedience. Jesus died, not to save man in his sins, but from his sins. Man is to leave the error of his ways, to follow the example of Christ, to take up his cross and follow Him, denying self, and obeying God at any cost.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 250, 251.

3 What does God offer us, and on what condition, as a first step in our restoration? Isaiah 55:7; Luke 24:47.

note: “Through faith, the believer passes from the position of a rebel, a child of sin and Satan, to the position of a loyal subject of Christ Jesus, not because of an inherent goodness, but because Christ receives him as His child by adoption. The sinner receives the forgiveness of his sins, because these sins are borne by his Substitute and Surety.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1070.

4 Besides forgiving us, what else does God do in behalf of our salvation? 1 John 1:9. What aim is put before us, and what is our responsibility? Philippians 3:12–14; John 5:14; 8:11.

note: “Abstain from all evil. Common sins, however insignificant they may be regarded, will impair your moral sense, and extinguish the inward impression of the Spirit of God. The character of the thoughts leaves its imprint upon the soul, and all low conversation pollutes the mind. All evil works ruin to those who commit it. God may and will forgive the repenting sinner, but though forgiven, the soul is marred; the power of the elevated thought possible to the unimpaired mind is destroyed. Through all time the soul bears the scars. Then let us seek for that faith which works by love and purifies the heart, that we may represent the character of Christ to the world.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 195.

“It is by following in the path of obedience in simple faith that the character obtains perfection.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1137.

5 What did Paul say about the deliverance that Christ operates in us when we accept Him? Hebrews 2:15; Colossians 1:13. Sadly, how do some people cooperate with Satan rather than with Christ?

note: “Satan will move upon minds that have been indulged, upon men who have always had their own way, and anything presented to them in counsel or reproof to change their objectionable traits of character, is considered fault-finding, binding them, restraining them, that they cannot have liberty to act themselves. The Lord in great mercy has sent messages of warning to them, but they would not listen to reproof. Like the enemy who rebelled in heaven, they did not like to hear; they do not correct the wrong they have done, but become accusers, declaring themselves misused and unappreciated.

“Now is the time of trial, of test, of proving. Those who like Saul, will persist in having their own way, will suffer as he did, loss of honor, and finally the loss of the soul.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1163, 1164.

6 How does Christ make us free from the penalty of the law, under which we are condemned? Romans 6:14–18; 1 Thessalonians 1:10. What should we learn from the experience of the apostle Paul?

note: “The apostle Paul, in relating his experience, presents an important truth concerning the work to be wrought in conversion. He says, ‘I was alive without the law once,’—he felt no condemnation; ‘but when the commandment came,’ when the law of God was urged upon his conscience, ‘sin revived, and I died.’ [Romans 7:9.] Then he saw himself a sinner, condemned by the divine law. Mark, it was Paul, and not the law, that died.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 297.

7 How does faith in the gospel relate to the law of God? Romans 3:31. What warning are we given against transgressing God’s law? Romans 2:23–27; 8:7; 1 Timothy 1:9, 10.

note: “The law of God is the mirror to show man the defects in his character. But it is not pleasant to those who take pleasure in unrighteousness to see their moral deformity. They do not prize this faithful mirror, because it reveals to them their sins. Therefore, instead of instituting a war against their carnal minds, they war against the true and faithful mirror, given them by Jehovah for the very purpose that they may not be deceived, but that they may have revealed to them the defects in their character.” Review and Herald, March 8, 1870.

8 What do we lose through sin? Romans 3:23. What is to be restored in us through the gospel? 11 Corinthians 3:18. How? 1 Thessalonians 5:23.

note: “God is clothed with power; He is able to take those who are dead in trespasses and sins, and by the operation of the Spirit which raised Jesus from the dead, transform the human character, bringing back to the soul the lost image of God. Those who believe in Jesus Christ are changed from being rebels against the law of God into obedient servants and subjects of His kingdom. They are born again, regenerated, sanctified through the truth.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 332.

9 On what condition and for what purpose has God given us “the spirit of adoption”? Romans 8:14–17. What must reveal that we are adopted as God’s children? 11 Corinthians 6:16–18; 11 Peter 1:4.

note: “Let every one who desires to be a partaker of the divine nature, appreciate the fact that he must escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. There must be a constant, earnest struggling of the soul against the evil imaginings of the mind. There must be a steadfast resistance of temptation to sin in thought or act. The soul must be kept from every stain, through faith in Him who is able to keep you from falling. We should meditate upon the Scriptures, thinking soberly and candidly upon the things that pertain to our eternal salvation.” Review and Herald, June 12, 1888.

10 How are we enabled to resist the clamoring of our own carnal nature? Colossians 1:10, 11; Ephesians 3:16, 20.

note: “Man cannot transform himself by the exercise of his will. He possesses no power by which this change can be effected. The leaven—something wholly from without—must be put into the meal before the desired change can be wrought in it. So the grace of God must be received by the sinner before he can be fitted for the kingdom of glory. All the culture and education which the world can give will fail of making a degraded child of sin a child of heaven. The renewing energy must come from God. The change can be made only by the Holy Spirit. All who would be saved, high or low, rich or poor, must submit to the working of this power.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 96, 97.

Building Character

“Christ, the Word, the revelation of God,—the manifestation of His character, His law, His love, His life,—is the only foundation upon which we can build a character that will endure.

“We build on Christ by obeying His word. It is not he who merely enjoys righteousness, that is righteous, but he who does righteousness. Holiness is not rapture; it is the result of surrendering all to God; it is doing the will of our heavenly Father. When the children of Israel were encamped on the borders of the Promised Land, it was not enough for them to have a knowledge of Canaan, or to sing the songs of Canaan. This alone would not bring them into possession of the vineyards and olive groves of the goodly land. They could make it theirs in truth only by occupation, by complying with the conditions, by exercising living faith in God, by appropriating His promises to themselves, while they obeyed His instruction.

“Religion consists in doing the words of Christ; not doing to earn God’s favor, but because, all undeserving, we have received the gift of His love. Christ places the salvation of man, not upon profession merely, but upon faith that is made manifest in works of righteousness. Doing, not saying merely, is expected of the followers of Christ. It is through action that character is built. ‘As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.’ Romans 8:14. Not those whose hearts are touched by the Spirit, not those who now and then yield to its power, but they that are led by the Spirit, are the sons of God.

“Do you desire to become a follower of Christ, yet know not how to begin? Are you in darkness and know not how to find the light? Follow the light you have. Set your heart to obey what you do know of the word of God. His power, His very life, dwells in His word. As you receive the word in faith, it will give you power to obey. As you give heed to the light you have, greater light will come. You are building on God’s word, and your character will be builded after the similitude of the character of Christ.

“Christ, the true foundation, is a living stone; His life is imparted to all that are built upon Him. ‘Ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house.’ ‘Each several building, fitly framed together, groweth into a holy temple in the Lord.’ 1 Peter 2:5, R.V.; Ephesians 2:21, R.V. The stones became one with the foundation; for a common life dwells in all. That building no tempest can overthrow; for—‘That which shares the life of God, With Him surviveth all.’

“But every building erected on other foundation than God’s word will fall. He who, like the Jews in Christ’s day, builds on the foundation of human ideas and opinions, of forms and ceremonies of man’s invention, or on any works that he can do independently of the grace of Christ, is erecting his structure of character upon the shifting sand. The fierce tempests of temptation will sweep away the sandy foundation and leave his house a wreck on the shores of time.

“ ‘Therefore thus saith the Lord God, . . . Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.’ Isaiah 28:16, 17.

“But today mercy pleads with the sinner. ‘As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?’ Ezekiel 33:11. The voice that speaks to the impenitent today is the voice of Him who in heart anguish exclaimed as He beheld the city of His love: ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killeth the prophets, and stoneth them that are sent unto her! how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her own brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.’ Luke 13:34, 35, R.V. In Jerusalem, Jesus beheld a symbol of the world that had rejected and despised His grace. He was weeping, O stubborn heart, for you! Even when Jesus’ tears were shed upon the mount, Jerusalem might yet have repented, and escaped her doom. For a little space the Gift of heaven still waited her acceptance. So, O heart, to you Christ is still speaking in accents of love: ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.’ ‘Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.’ Revelation 3:20; 11 Corinthians 6:2.

“You who are resting your hope on self are building on the sand. But it is not yet too late to escape the impending ruin. Before the tempest breaks, flee to the sure foundation. ‘Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, of sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.’ ‘Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.’ ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness.’ ‘Ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.’ Isaiah 28:16, R.V.; 45:22; 41:10; 45:17.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 149–152.

Reprinted with permission, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke Virginia, 2003.

Recipe – Oat Patties

4 cups water

1 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup Bragg Liquid Aminos

1/4 cup yeast flakes

1/3 cup oil

2 teaspoons Bakon Barbeque

2 teaspoons coriander seasoning (optional)

1 Tablespoon sweet basil

2 teaspoons sage

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 package onion soup mix

1/2 teaspoon thyme

4 cups rolled oats

Mix all ingredients except oats. Bring to a boil. Add oats, mix well, and remove from heat. When cool, form into patties. Bake 15 minutes on each side at 350 degrees F. Makes approximately 20 burgers.

Food for Life – The Mighty Oat

The oats we eat today draw their history from the wild red oat that originated in Asia. Oats have been grown for 2,000 years in various areas of the world. Scottish settlers first introduced oats into North America in the early seventeenth century. Oats are currently the third most important grain crop in the United States. Although harvested in the fall, oats are available throughout the year.

Oats contain both soluble and insoluble fiber—8 grams in one cup of uncooked oatmeal. The soluble fiber (fiber which dissolves in water) consists mostly of beta-glucan, which has numerous and varied beneficial functions. Beta-glucan’s two main benefits are cholesterol reduction and immune system enhancement. When it comes to cholesterol, beta-glucan acts like a mop. It binds to cholesterol and moves it out of the body through the intestines.

Beta-glucan also activates the white blood cells known as macrophages and neutrophils. These are the natural killer cells and the “clean-up brigade” that recognize and destroy cancerous tumor cells, accelerate the repair of damaged tissue by removing cellular debris, and trigger additional components of the immune system.

Studies have shown that beta-glucan has beneficial effects in diabetes as well. Type 2 diabetic patients, also called Maturity-Onset Diabetes because people develop this as adults, when given foods high in this type of oat fiber, experienced much lower rises in blood sugar compared to those given white rice or bread. So oats are beneficial in slowing the rise of sugar in the blood, which is helpful in the management of diabetes.

Cooked, whole grain oats are considered an excellent source of manganese, selenium, tryptophan, phosphorus, vitamin B1, dietary fiber, magnesium, and protein. Manganese helps strengthen tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissue. Selenium is essential for the repair of damaged DNA and the prevention of various cancers, particularly colon cancer. Tryptophan is one of the eight essential amino acids and is necessary to build protein molecules. Phosphorus has a wide range of functions in the body and is necessary in the structure of DNA and RNA; it is essential in the cell membrane; it is vital in the pH regulation of our bodies; it is essential for the storage and controlled release of energy; and it is critical in the absorption and uptake of glucose in the body. Vitamin B1 is necessary in carbohydrate metabolism and is vital in energy release and storage. Magnesium is essential for all living cells. It is essential in the transmission of nerve impulses, in our skeletal structure and in many metabolic reactions. They provide a source of tocotrienols, part of the vitamin E family. This may be helpful in preventing/treating artery disease, some forms of cancer, diabetes, and in fighting free radicals.

It is important to include oats in your diet. They are one of the few nutrient-rich foods that you can still easily find that have not been contaminated, overly processed, or denatured. The recipe this month was served at the 2006 Steps to Life Camp Meeting.

Question – How do you tell if a miracle is of the devil or of the Lord?


How do you tell if a miracle is of the devil or of the Lord?


What is a miracle? One dictionary definition of miracle is, “an unusual event that is ascribed to a supernatural power.”

We know that Jesus performed many miracles when He was here on earth. We also know that Revelation 15:13, 14 says, “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 . . . .” So, the devil works miracles, and he is out to deceive everyone he can.

Actually, by the miracle itself, it would be difficult to know the source, so we need to look at the situation a little further.

Christ works from love and seeks to establish His kingdom on that basis, without fraud or deceit. His kingdom is built on the foundation of the Ten Commandments.

Satan hates Christ and is trying to establish his own religion; therefore, his purpose of performing miracles is very different from Christ’s purpose. Satan seeks to deceive man and to exalt himself. “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” 11 Corinthians 11:14, 15.

Isaiah 8:20 says, “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them.” If a minister is preaching and performing miracles, and at the same time teaching people to worship on Sunday and tolerating smoking, drinking, or other sinful devices, then I would say that the results of his work are not from Christ. His miracles are for the purpose of establishing Satan’s kingdom here on earth. There is no light in his message.

It would be expected that a person praying for a miracle would be doing three things: keeping all ten of the commandments; seeking the Lord’s will, not just his or her own will; and asking for forgiveness of past sins and for power to be freed from sin in the future.

Ellen White gives light on this subject: “The way in which Christ worked was to preach the Word, and to relieve suffering by miraculous works of healing. But I am instructed that we cannot now work in this way, for Satan will exercise his power by working miracles. God’s servants today could not work by means of miracles, because spurious works of healing, claiming to be divine, will be wrought.

“For this reason the Lord has marked out a way in which His people are to carry forward a work of physical healing, combined with the teaching of the Word. Sanitariums are to be established, and with these institutions are to be connected workers who will carry forward genuine medical missionary work. . . .

“This is the provision the Lord has made whereby gospel medical missionary work is to be done for many souls.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 54.

“As we near the end of time, falsehood will be so mingled with truth, that only those who have the guidance of the Holy Spirit will be able to distinguish truth from error. We need to make every effort to keep the way of the Lord. We must in no case turn from His guidance to put our trust in man.” Maranatha, 192.

Restoring the Temple – Is Milk Necessary? Part I

In much of Westernized society, the concept that milk (cow’s milk) is necessary for strong bones is widespread. From early in life, children are encouraged to drink their milk by well-meaning parents who have been taught that milk is the ideal food from which to obtain calcium for growing and maintaining healthy bones and teeth. As a child grows into a teenager, he or she is further taught that milk is necessary if a young person wants to grow tall and excel in sports or any other activity of choice. Then, in adulthood, this person is encouraged to continue drinking milk to make sure of maintaining those strong bones, and, especially if that person is a female, she is told that she must drink milk in order to avoid getting osteoporosis later in life.

However, is all of this true? Is milk the miracle food for bones? In this article we will look at these issues, as well as take a much broader view of the subject of bone health.

“Got Milk?”

The National Milk Mustache “Got Milk?” campaign and website target young people, and the public in general, in an effort to convince them that milk is absolutely necessary for a healthy diet. Actors and sports stars are shown with milk mustaches along with their comments about how important milk is to them and their performance. Nutritional information is provided, particularly about calcium, and it is stated that three glasses of any kind of milk will give your body the calcium it needs. The website even states that milk is a better choice compared to soda pop, sports drinks, and many juices.(1)

However, since this campaign is “funded by America’s milk processors” and they believe that “America finds itself in a calcium crisis today because consumers aren’t drinking enough milk,”(1) it may be wise to look to some other potentially less biased sources of information that do not have something to gain through increased sales of milk.

Studies are mixed as to whether or not dairy supports bone health and will prevent osteoporosis. In one study which measured the BMD (bone mineral density) of 745 men and women more than 60 years old, higher dairy product consumption was associated with greater hip BMD in the men, but not in the women. However, calcium supplementation protected both men and women from bone loss in those whose dairy intake was low.(2) In a review of 57 studies of the effects of dairy foods on bone health, 53 percent were not significant, 42 percent were favorable, and 5 percent were unfavorable. Of 21 stronger-evidence studies, 57 percent were not significant, 29 percent were favorable, and 14 percent were unfavorable.(3)

The Big Picture

The status of bone health is not limited to how much dairy a person consumes. Generally, the underlying premise that increased milk consumption will strengthen bones is based upon the fact that bones contain a high percentage of calcium (the biggest reservoir of calcium in the body), and that the more calcium you consume the more likely your bones will be strong. And since milk contains fairly large amounts of calcium, all you need to do is to drink your milk, and your bones will be fine. However, this is a very narrow view of bone health.

There are a variety of other factors that influence bone health, and when these are taken into consideration, milk is no longer the miracle food for bones and, at best, is unessential and, at worse, a detriment to bone health. In addition to calcium, bone formation is also dependent upon vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin K, and phosphorus. Other factors include increasing calcium absorption, minimizing calcium loss from the bones, minimizing calcium loss from the body, and promoting bone strength through other healthy means.(4)

Milk and dairy products are the best known sources of calcium, but they are not the only foods that contain good amounts of calcium. Other sources of calcium are green and leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, mustard greens, and turnip greens, sesame seeds, almonds, soymilk, calcium-set tofu, and beans, such as pinto beans, black-eyed peas, and navy beans.

Many people think that just because they eat or drink a food with lots of calcium that all of the calcium ingested will contribute to strong bones. However, this is not the case. All sources of calcium have various calcium absorption percentage rates. For instance, the calcium absorption rate for milk is about 32 percent. That means that if you drink one cup of 2 percent milk with 297 mg. of calcium, only about 95 mg. of calcium is actually absorbed into your bloodstream for use in your bones. However, the absorption rate for many green vegetables is 50 percent or even more, as is the case with broccoli at almost 53 percent and mustard greens at almost 58 percent.(5) Along with these plant foods come cancer fighting phytochemicals and fiber; they are low in hypertensive sodium and artery clogging saturated fat, and have no heart disease promoting cholesterol. Milk does not have all of these benefits!

Another important consideration is that as calcium consumption increases, calcium absorption decreases. Thus, just throwing more calcium at your body does not automatically mean stronger bones. Reducing calcium loss from the bones and ultimately from the body is very important. Without minimizing calcium loss, merely consuming more calcium is like trying to fill a bucket with water that has a hole leaking out a similar amount of water to the amount being poured in.

A high intake of acid-forming foods, high intake of sodium, and low intake of potassium all contribute to calcium loss from the bones and the body. Acid-forming foods increase the acid load in the body, and the body responds by releasing calcium, which is alkaline and will neutralize the acid, from the bones. The foods that increase the acid load most significantly are all meats, fish, cheese, and eggs. These items are also low in calcium, so the resulting calcium balance is much lower, meaning that there is less calcium in the body than before these foods were eaten. Milk also increases the acid load, but since it also supplies calcium, the resulting negative calcium balance in the body is not so great. Some grains, particularly refined grains, are also acid-forming, but not as much as animal foods. However, fruits and vegetables positively affect the body’s calcium balance and minimize calcium losses. Thus, even though plant foods appear on nutritional charts to have less calcium per serving, the calcium that is consumed from them is much more effective in maintaining positive calcium levels in the body, and the net result is positive instead of negative. Again, milk is not able to out-perform plant foods for bone health.(6)


1. MilkPEP (Milk Processor Education Program). Internet: (accessed February 20, 2005).

2. L. D. McCabe, B. R. Martin, G. P. McCabe, C. C. Johnston, C. M. Weaver, M. Peacock. “Dairy intakes affect bone density in the elderly.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2004 October; 80(4):1066–1074.

3. R. L. Weinsier, C. L. Krumdieck. “Dairy foods and bone health: examination of the evidence.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2001 March; 73(3):660–661.

4. Stephen Walsh. “Diet and bone health.” A Vegan Society briefing paper. January 2002. Internet: (accessed February 20, 2005).

5. Brie Turner-McGrievy. “Sources of calcium and calcium balance.” Vegetarian Nutrition. Internet: (accessed February 20, 2005).

6. S. A. New. Nutrition New. Nutrition Society Medal lecture. “The role of the skeleton in acid-base homeostasis.” Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 2002 May; 61(2):151–164.

To be continued . . .

Diane Herbert is a naturopath and lifestyle consultant. She received training from the NAD Lifestyle Consultant program, Thomas Edison State College, Clayton College of Natural Healing, and Bastyr University. Diane teaches health classes at the Gilead Institute located in Norcross, Georgia, gives health presentations, and contributes to the Institute’s literature and health flyer series. She may be contacted by e-mail at:

Nature Nugget – Nature’s Cultivator

Earthworms are free-living terrestrial and aquatic worms. There are 2,700 known species of earthworms in the world varying in size from less than an inch to nearly ten feet in length. Although some live in arid areas, most prefer to live in environments such as humid forests and other moist vegetated habitats where they are found in soil and leaf litter and under stones and logs. Earthworms do not have lungs, but breathe through their thin skin, which must be kept moist for this exchange of gases. In order to stay moist, earthworms coat their skin and burrows with mucous. They are sensitive to light and heat, so they must stay underground during the day. The worms are blind, but have light sensitive tissues near their heads, which help them avoid daylight. Earthworms come out of the ground at night when it is moist and humid, especially after rains, to feed and mate and to travel to new areas in search of food. They retreat deep underground in hot, dry weather and stay below the freeze zone in winter.

Being scavengers, earthworms feed on dead organic matter that they locate with chemo receptors (taste receptors) which cover their entire body. They feed by passing soil through the gut or by eating organic debris, such as leaves, which accumulate on the soil surface. Earthworms have gizzards where they use tiny stones to grind up the organic matter so it can be digested more easily. After the organic matter and soil pass through the worm, the waste is deposited on the surface of the soil in the form of castings.

Earthworms do wonders for the physical and chemical structure of the soil. The soil is “cultivated” by being ground up in the worms’ gizzards. Organic matter and nutrients are introduced to the soil by the worms pulling leaves and other matter underground and by the addition of excretory waste from the worms. Their castings are rich in nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus which are important for soil fertility and, along with their burrows, aerate the soil, improve drainage, and increase the soil’s water-holding capacity. Other positive influences on the soil by the worms are the mixing of surface and subsurface soils by their burrowing and ingestion of the soils. Scientists estimate that there can be over a million earthworms per acre in healthy moist soils, which can cover the soil’s surface with up to 18 tons of rich castings in a year.

As the earthworms cultivate the soil, building and improving it, so we as Christians need to cultivate our powers toward the building and perfecting of our characters. “All heaven has been looking on with interest, and ready to do whatever God might appoint, to help fallen men and women to become what God would have them. God will work for His children, but not without their cooperation. They must have indomitable energy, and a constant desire to become all that it is possible for them to be. They should seek to cultivate their powers and develop characters that will be meet for a holy heaven. Then and then only will the servants of God be bright and shining lights in the world. Then they will bring energy into their Christian life, for they will put all their powers to the task, and respond to the efforts that have been made to uplift, refine, and purify them, that they may shine in the courts above. They will bring all their powers under the control of the Spirit of God; they will study His Word, and listen for His voice, to direct, encourage, strengthen, and advance them in their religious experience.” Reflecting Christ, 296.

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

The Pen of Inspiration – Admonitions and Instruction to Workers

There is great and increasing need that those who minister in word and doctrine should be learners in the school of Christ. The influence of the one who preaches the Word should be an influence that will lead souls to seek eternal life.

In these last days many influences will arise to draw the worker from standing firmly for a “Thus saith the Lord.” Men who themselves have departed from the faith, will seek to draw the workers into controversy, and by this method attempt to present heresies that will lead souls astray. My brethren, do not be enticed by such influences. Engage in no debate. Take no heed to the persuasions and challenges of those who would draw you from your legitimate work. You have no time to voice their sentiments or to repeat their words. Time is golden; truth is precious. We are to carry forward the work of God in the same spirit of simplicity that has marked our efforts for the past fifty years. But while our work is to be done in simplicity and meekness, we are to stand firmly for the principles of the faith.

The Saviour has given the promise of His presence to all who labor in the spirit of true service. “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth,” He says; “go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy, Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:18–20.] As you present the Word to your hearers, claim this promise of Christ’s presence. There is no day, no hour of the day, when He will not be near you by His Holy Spirit. He is in every meeting that is held in His name. His promise is given for as long as time shall last.

Be Careful

Be careful messengers. Do not be anxious to hear and accept new theories; for often they are such as should never be presented before any congregation. Speak no boastful, self-exalting words. Let the Word of God come forth from lips that are sanctified by the truth. Every minister is to preach the truth as it is in Jesus. He should be assured of that which he affirms, and should handle the Word of God under the direction of the Holy Spirit of God. Walk and work carefully before God, my brethren, that no soul may be led into deception by your example. It had been better for you never to have been born, than that you should lead one soul astray.

Those who profess to be servants of God need to make diligent work for the obtaining of that life where sin and sickness and sorrow can not enter. They are to be instant in season and out of season.

God is calling for reformers who will speak strong, uplifting words from our pulpits. It is when men speak their own words in their own strength, instead of preaching the Word of God in the power of the Spirit, that they are hurt and offended when their words are not received with enthusiasm. It is then that they are tempted to speak words that will arouse a spirit of bitterness and opposition in their hearts. My brethren, be advised. Such words are not to come from the lips of Christ’s ambassadors. Sanctified lips will speak words that reform, but do not exasperate. The truth is to be presented in the meekness and love of Christ. . . .

Possess Power

If you will learn of Jesus, you will possess a power that will take hold of hearts. You will speak words that will be a savor of life unto life. Shake off the worldly spirit that would take possession of our people. Pray, O pray; and believe that the fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

If the minister’s lips are touched with a live coal from off the altar, he will lift up Jesus as the sinner’s only hope. When the heart of the speaker is sanctified through the truth, his words will be living realities to himself and others. Those who hear him will know that he has been with God, and has drawn near to Him in effectual, fervent prayer. The Holy Spirit has fallen upon him, his soul has felt the vital, heavenly fire, and he will be able to compare spiritual things with spiritual. Power will be given him to tear down the strongholds of Satan. Hearts will be broken by his presentation of the love of God, and many will inquire, “What must I do to be saved?”

Lessons of Christ

Those who teach the Word need not feel that they must search up some new and intricate subject to present to the churches. The most profitable subjects that can be presented are those that Christ dwelt upon when teaching his disciples, and the multitudes that daily followed Him. His lessons seemed always new and interesting. The common people heard Him gladly.

When our ministers seek to present something that is new and strange to the common people, they are not following the custom of Christ. Sometimes the things they endeavor to present they do not themselves understand, and they lead minds away from the path of truth and righteousness. Self, self! When will self die! and when shall we learn what it means to follow in the footsteps of Jesus!

Let us as ministers and teachers study the sermons of Christ, and by prayerful effort learn to comprehend the very spirit of these discourses. They are to be presented so that the common people can understand them. Let us study over and over again the fourteenth to the seventeenth chapters of John. The last sermons of Christ, and His last prayer for His disciples, contain precious instruction, the treasures of which, study as we may, we can never exhaust.

Work Begins With Leaders

The work to be done in our churches should begin with our leaders. When they humble their souls before God, when they confess their sins and become truly converted, their lives will reveal the transformation within. Selfishness will be emptied from their hearts, self-confidence will die, the disposition to dominate and control will disappear.

Humble Heart

“Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh.” [Jeremiah 17:5, 6, first part.]

This is a representation of the man who does not humble his heart before the Lord, and give up his will to the will of God. This man has lost his discernment, and can not be trusted; and because he has rejected the warnings of God, he has greatly hindered the work of the Lord. He shall “inhabit the parched places of the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.” [Verse 6, last part.] . . . [Read verses 7–18.]

Understanding Needed

We need to understand these Old Testament figures and representations. Let us give them earnest consideration. We are slow to realize that these things foretold by the Lord’s servants have been fulfilled, and are being fulfilled in our present history.

God has provided divine assistance for all the emergencies to which our human resources are unequal. He gives the Holy Spirit to help in every strait, to strengthen our hope and assurance, to illuminate our minds and purify our hearts. He means that sufficient facilities shall be provided for the working out of His plans. My ministering brethren, I bid you seek counsel from God. Seek Him with the whole heart, and “whatsoever He saith unto you, do.” [John 2:5.]

Australasian Union Conference Record, December 30, 1907; January 6, 1908.