Bible Study Guides – God’s People Delivered, Part 111 – The Fall of Babylon (The Sixth Plague)

August 21, 2005 – August 27, 2005

Memory Verse

“And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.” Revelation 16:12.

Suggested Reading: Revelation 18:5–24; Daniel 5:1–31; The Great Controversy, 654–656.


In the last lesson, we learned that the sixth plague begins on the date that has been set to slay the saints, the same day that the fifth and seventh plagues begin. Some may ask, “Just what is the sixth plague?” In this lesson, we will study the symbolism and meaning of Revelation 16:12, the sixth plague.

1 What happened when the angel poured out his bowl on the Euphrates River? Revelation 16:12. For Old Testament type, see Jeremiah 51:28–39; Isaiah 11:15.

2 What event in history is used to symbolize this plague? Daniel 5:25–31; Isaiah 13:17–19; Jeremiah 51:1–14, 24–26.

note: “The guardsmen were indulging in merriment and revelry, and the city [Babylon] was left without defense. Before the officers were aware, the enemy had entered the city, and escape was impossible. Those in one part of the city were slain or captured before those in another part knew that the city was invaded. No alarm was sounded, no cry could be raised to warn the people that the forces of Cyrus were upon them.

“The monarch, his princes, and guardsmen, were given up to feasting, and, intoxicated with strong drink, they knew nothing of the peril of the kingdom. There was a noise at the palace gates, the doors were forced open, the troops of Cyrus rushed in, and in a short time the king and his guests were lying mangled in the heaps of the slain, and the drunken slept a perpetual sleep. Thus was the prophecy of Isaiah and Jeremiah fulfilled to the letter.” The Signs of the Times, December 29, 1890.

3 What ingenious thing did Cyrus do to effect the fall of Babylon in one night? Jeremiah 50:38; Isaiah 44:28–45:1.

note: “The destruction of Babylon pictures to some degree the final destruction of the world, of which the prophet writes, ‘Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.’ Destruction came upon Babylon while the king and his lords were engaged in feasting and revelry. Cyrus and his army marched up the bed of the river Euphrates; for trenches had been dug, and the river turned from its course, so that there was no obstruction to their entering the city, provided the gates were opened.” The Signs of the Times, December 29, 1890.

comment: Cyrus lowered the water level of the Euphrates River by digging a channel to divert the flow of the river. This procedure lowered the river level sufficiently to allow his army to reach the city gates by the bridge that crossed the river, which he thought would be open on this night of revelry. The gates were open, and in a few hours Belshazzar, the king, and his army were slain, and the city fell into the hands of the Medes and the Persians. The Median and Persian nations were located toward the east from Babylon; thus when the river was “dried up,” “the way of the kings of the east” was prepared. Revelation 16:12.

4 What does water represent in Bible prophecy? Revelation 17:15.

note: “The great kingdoms that have ruled the world were presented to the prophet Daniel as beasts of prey, rising when ‘the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.’ Daniel 7:2. In Revelation 17 an angel explained that waters represent ‘peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.’ Revelation 17:15. Winds are a symbol of strife. The four winds of heaven striving upon the great sea represent the terrible scenes of conquest and revolution by which kingdoms have attained to power.” The Great Controversy, 439, 440.

5 Who is represented by spiritual Babylon in the end times? Revelation 17:1–5.

note: “The woman (Babylon) of Revelation 17 is described as ‘arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness: . . . and upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots.’ Says the prophet: ‘I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.’ Babylon is further declared to be ‘that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.’ Revelation 17:4–6, 18. The power that for so many centuries maintained despotic sway over the monarchs of Christendom is Rome. [Emphasis supplied.] The purple and scarlet color, the gold and precious stones and pearls, vividly picture the magnificence and more than kingly pomp affected by the haughty see of Rome.” The Great Controversy, 382.

“Babylon is a symbol of the world at large. When its doom was made certain, its kings and officers seemed to be as men insane, and their own course hastened its destiny. When the doom of a nation is fixed, it seems that all the energy, wisdom, and discretion of its former time of prosperity, deserts its men of position, and they hasten the evil they would avert.” The Signs of the Times, December 29, 1890. [Emphasis supplied.]

6 Who else is represented as part of Babylon in the last days? Revelation 17:5; 14:8. See reference below for an explanation of these verses.

note: “Babylon is said to be ‘the mother of harlots.’ By her daughters must be symbolized churches that cling to her doctrines and traditions, and follow her example of sacrificing the truth and the approval of God, in order to form an unlawful alliance with the world. The message of Revelation 14, announcing the fall of Babylon must apply to religious bodies that were once pure and have become corrupt. Since this message follows the warning of the judgment, it must be given in the last days; therefore it cannot refer to the Roman Church alone, for that church has been in a fallen condition for many centuries.” The Great Controversy, 382, 383.

“Not yet, however, can it be said that ‘Babylon is fallen, . . . because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.’ She has not yet made all nations do this. The spirit of world conforming and indifference to the testing truths for our time exists and has been gaining ground in churches of the Protestant faith in all the countries of Christendom; and these churches are included in the solemn and terrible denunciation of the second angel.” Ibid., 389.

7 What does the term “Babylon” mean in the spiritual realm? For literal type, see Genesis 11:7–9.

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.

8 What happens to Babylon when God turns the captivity of His people on the day that has been set to slay the saints? Revelation 18:6–24. (See The Great Controversy, 653–656.)

note: “The enemies of God’s law, from the ministers down to the least among them, have a new conception of truth and duty. Too late they see that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is the seal of the living God. Too late they see the true nature of their spurious sabbath and the sandy foundation upon which they have been building. They find that they have been fighting against God.” The Great Controversy, 640.

“Now they are stripped of all that made them great and are left destitute and defenseless. They look with terror upon the destruction of the idols which they preferred before their Maker. They have sold their souls for earthly riches and enjoyments, and have not sought to become rich toward God. The result is, their lives are a failure; their pleasures are now turned to gall, their treasures to corruption. The gain of a lifetime is swept away in a moment. The rich bemoan the destruction of their grand houses, the scattering of their gold and silver. But their lamentations are silenced by the fear that they themselves are to perish with their idols.” Ibid., 654.

9 What is the Lord’s assessment of the ministers at this time who have sacrificed truth for the favor of men? For Old Testament parallels, see Jeremiah 8:11; 23:1, 2; 25:34, 35; Ezekiel 13:22.

note: “The minister who has sacrificed truth to gain the favor of men now discerns the character and influence of his teachings. . . . Every emotion of the soul, every line written, every word uttered, every act that led men to rest in a refuge of falsehood, has been scattering seed; and now, in the wretched, lost souls around him, he beholds the harvest.

“Saith the Lord: ‘They have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.’ ‘With lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life.’ Jeremiah 8:11; Ezekiel 13:22.

“ ‘Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture! . . . Behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings.’ ‘Howl, ye shepherds, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye principal of the flock: for your days for slaughter and of your dispersions are accomplished; . . . and the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the flock to escape.’ Jeremiah 23:1, 2; 25:34, 35, margin.” The Great Controversy, 654, 655.

10 When Babylon falls, what do the ministers and people understand about their attitude toward God and His law? For Old Testament examples, see Lamentations 1:18; 3:42. See also Ezekiel 34; Isaiah 56:8–12.

note: “Ministers and people see that they have not sustained the right relation to God. They see that they have rebelled against the Author of all just and righteous law. . . . This is the view that now appears to those who rejected truth and chose to cherish error. No language can express the longing which the disobedient and disloyal feel for that which they have lost forever—eternal life. Men whom the world has worshiped for their talents and eloquence now see these things in their true light. They realize what they have forfeited by transgression, and they fall at the feet of those whose fidelity they have despised and derided, and confess that God has loved them.” The Great Controversy, 655.

11 What attitude and action do the people take toward the ministers and pastors that result in the collapse of all church organization? Revelation 18:9, 10, 14–20.

note: “The people see that they have been deluded. They accuse one another of having led them to destruction; but all unite in heaping their bitterest condemnation upon the ministers. Unfaithful pastors have prophesied smooth things; they have led their hearers to make void the law of God and to persecute those who would keep it holy. Now, in their despair, these teachers confess before the world their work of deception. The multitudes are filled with fury. ‘We are lost!’ they cry, ‘and you are the cause of our ruin;’ and they turn upon the false shepherds. The very ones that once admired them most will pronounce the most dreadful curses upon them. The very hands that once crowned them with laurels will be raised for their destruction.” The Great Controversy, 655, 656.

12 How are the swords now used that were once employed for the destruction of God’s people? Jeremiah 25:31; Isaiah 13:13–15; Haggai 2:22.

note: “The swords which were to slay God’s people are now employed to destroy their enemies. Everywhere there is strife and bloodshed.” The Great Controversy, 656.

13 Where does the work of destruction begin? Ezekiel 9:1–6.

note: “The mark of deliverance has been set upon those ‘that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done.’ Now the angel of death goes forth, represented in Ezekiel’s vision by the men with the slaughtering weapons, to whom the command is given: ‘Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.’ Says the prophet: ‘They began at the ancient men which were before the house.’ Ezekiel 9:1–6. The work of destruction begins among those who have professed to be the spiritual guardians of the people. The false watchmen are the first to fall. There are none to pity or to spare. Men, women, maidens, and little children perish together.” The Great Controversy, 656.

Bible Study Guides – God’s People Delivered, Part 11 – Events Related to the Second Coming of Jesus

August 14, 2005 – August 20, 2005

Memory Verse

“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame [and] everlasting contempt.” Daniel 12:2.

Suggested Reading: Early Writings, 285–288; The Great Controversy, 653, 654.

1 What event occurs soon after the deliverance of God’s people? Daniel 12:2.

note: “Graves are opened, and ‘many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth . . . awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.’ Daniel 12:2. All who have died in the faith of the third angel’s message come forth from the tomb glorified, to hear God’s covenant of peace with those who have kept His law. ‘They also which pierced Him’ (Revelation 1:7), those that mocked and derided Christ’s dying agonies, and the most violent opposers of His truth and His people, are raised to behold Him in His glory and to see the honor placed upon the loyal and obedient.” The Great Controversy, 637.

2 From the Bible, list the groups of people who are raised in this resurrection. Daniel 12:2, first part; John 19:33–35; Matthew 24:30; 26:63, 64; Mark 14:62; Revelation 1:7.

3 How extensive are the lightning and thunder during the seventh plague (Revelation 16:18, first part)? For a similar situation, see Matthew 24:27; Luke 17:24.

note: “Thick clouds still cover the sky; yet the sun now and then breaks through, appearing like the avenging eye of Jehovah. Fierce lightnings leap from the heavens, enveloping the earth in a sheet of flame. Above the terrific roar of thunder, voices, mysterious and awful, declare the doom of the wicked.” The Great Controversy, 637, 638.

4 Above the roar of the lightning and thunder, what is heard and who distinctly understand what is said? For Old Testament illustration, see Psalm 29:3–5, 7–9.

note: “Above the terrific roar of thunder, voices, mysterious and awful, declare the doom of the wicked. The words spoken are not comprehended by all; but they are distinctly understood by the false teachers. Those who a little before were so reckless, so boastful and defiant, so exultant in their cruelty to God’s commandment-keeping people, are now overwhelmed with consternation and shuddering in fear. Their wails are heard above the sound of the elements. Demons acknowledge the deity of Christ and tremble before His power, while men are supplicating for mercy and groveling in abject terror.” The Great Controversy, 638.

5 Where do men desire to hide during this time of destruction, during the seventh plague? Revelation 6:15–17; Isaiah 2:10–12, 20, 21.

note: “Said the prophets of old, as they beheld in holy vision the day of God: ‘Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.’ Isaiah 13:6. ‘Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His majesty. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon everyone that is proud and lofty, and upon everyone that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low.’ ‘In that day a man shall cast the idols of his silver, and the idols of his gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth.’ Isaiah 2:10–12, 20, 21, margin.” The Great Controversy, 638.

6 What is the next event that is described? What does it do for the people on the earth? For Scripture types, see Joshua 8:33–35; Matthew 25:31–46.

note: “Through a rift in the clouds there beams a star whose brilliancy is increased fourfold in contrast with the darkness. It speaks hope and joy to the faithful, but severity and wrath to the transgressors of God’s law. Those who have sacrificed all for Christ are now secure, hidden as in the secret of the Lord’s pavilion. They have been tested, and before the world and the despisers of truth they have evinced their fidelity to Him who died for them.” The Great Controversy, 638, 639.

7 Describe the change that has come over the people of God since their deliverance. For Old Testament type, see Esther 8:16, 17.

note: “A marvelous change has come over those who have held fast their integrity in the very face of death. They have been suddenly delivered from the dark and terrible tyranny of men transformed to demons. Their faces, so lately pale, anxious, and haggard, are now aglow with wonder, faith, and love. Their voices rise in triumphant song: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.’ Psalm 46:1–3.” The Great Controversy, 639.

8 What is the next scene that appears through the black, angry firmament? Revelation 21:10–12.

note: “While these words of holy trust ascend to God, the clouds sweep back, and the starry heavens are seen, unspeakably glorious in contrast with the black and angry firmament on either side. The glory of the celestial city streams from the gates ajar.” The Great Controversy, 639.

9 Describe the next amazing scene to appear in the heavens. Exodus 20:1–19; Psalm 50:6.

note: “Then there appears against the sky a hand holding two tables of stone folded together. Says the prophet: ‘The heavens shall declare His righteousness: for God is judge Himself.’ Psalm 50:6. That holy law, God’s righteousness, that amid thunder and flame was proclaimed from Sinai as the guide of life, is now revealed to men as the rule of judgment. The hand opens the tables, and there are seen the precepts of the Decalogue, traced as with a pen of fire. The words are so plain that all can read them. Memory is aroused, the darkness of superstition and heresy is swept from every mind, and God’s ten words, brief, comprehensive, and authoritative, are presented to the view of all the inhabitants of the earth.” The Great Controversy, 639.

“The law of God in the sanctuary in heaven is the great original, of which the precepts inscribed upon the tables of stone and recorded by Moses in the Pentateuch were an unerring transcript. Those who arrived at an understanding of this important point were thus led to see the sacred, unchanging character of the divine law. They saw, as never before, the force of the Saviour’s words: ‘Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law.’ Matthew 5:18. . . . Says the psalmist: ‘Forever, O Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven.’ ‘All His commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever.’ Psalms 119:89; 111:7, 8.” Ibid., 434.

10 How do the transgressors of God’s Law react to its revelation in the heavens? Revelation 6:15–17.

note: “It is impossible to describe the horror and despair of those who have trampled upon God’s holy requirements. The Lord gave them His law; they might have compared their characters with it and learned their defects while there was yet opportunity for repentance and reform; but in order to secure the favor of the world, they set aside its precepts and taught others to transgress. They have endeavored to compel God’s people to profane His Sabbath. Now they are condemned by that law which they have despised. With awful distinctness they see that they are without excuse. They chose whom they would serve and worship. ‘Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not.’ Malachi 3:18.” The Great Controversy, 639, 640.

11 What do the enemies of God’s Law see too late? Exodus 31:12–17; Malachi 3:18.

note: “The enemies of God’s law, from the ministers down to the least among them, have a new conception of truth and duty. Too late they see that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is the seal of the living God. Too late they see the true nature of their spurious sabbath and the sandy foundation upon which they have been building. They find that they have been fighting against God. Religious teachers have led souls to perdition while professing to guide them to the gates of Paradise. Not until the day of final accounts will it be known how great is the responsibility of men in holy office and how terrible are the results of their unfaithfulness. Only in eternity can we rightly estimate the loss of a single soul. Fearful will be the doom of him to whom God shall say: Depart, thou wicked servant.” The Great Controversy, 640.

12 What is the main subject of Revelation 18?

note: “ ‘Her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. . . . In the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, . . . saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.’ Revelation 18:5–10.” The Great Controversy, 653.

13 What Old Testament prophecies predict the fall of Babylon at the end of time, just the same as Revelation 18? See Jeremiah 25; Zephaniah 1; Isaiah 24 and 34; Zechariah 14.

note: “Such are the judgments that fall upon Babylon in the day of the visitation of God’s wrath. She has filled up the measure of her iniquity; her time has come; she is ripe for destruction.” The Great Controversy, 653.

14 When the sixth plague is poured out, what happens? Revelation 16:12.

note: “When the voice of God turns the captivity of His people, there is a terrible awakening of those who have lost all in the great conflict of life.” The Great Controversy, 654.

15 What does God promise regarding the delivering of His people? Psalm 37:12–15, 40.

note: “When the protection of human laws shall be withdrawn from those who honor the law of God, there will be, in different lands, a simultaneous movement for their destruction. As the time appointed in the decree draws near, the people will conspire to root out the hated sect. It will be determined to strike in one night a decisive blow, which shall utterly silence the voice of dissent and reproof. . . .

“It is now, in the hour of utmost extremity, that the God of Israel will interpose for the deliverance of His chosen.” The Great Controversy, 635.

Bible Study Guides – God’s People Delivered, Part 1 – Certain Time Set to Slay the Saints

August 7, 2005 – August 13, 2005

Memory Verse

“God [is] our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; [Though] the waters thereof roar [and] be troubled, [though] the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.” Psalm 46:1–3.

Suggested Reading: Revelation 16:10–21; The Great Controversy, 635–637; Early Writings, 282–285.

1 When the “time appointed in the decree” to slay God’s people arrives, what do the people of the world plan to do to the faithful Sabbath keepers? For Old Testament type, see Esther 3:12–14.

note: “As the saints left the cities and villages, they were pursued by the wicked, who sought to slay them. But the swords that were raised to kill God’s people broke and fell as powerless as a straw. Angels of God shielded the saints. As they cried day and night for deliverance, their cry came up before the Lord.” Early Writings, 284, 285.

“When the protection of human laws shall be withdrawn from those who honor the law of God, there will be, in different lands, a simultaneous movement for their destruction. As the time appointed in the decree draws near, the people will conspire to root out the hated sect. It will be determined to strike in one night a decisive blow, which shall utterly silence the voice of dissent and reproof.” The Great Controversy, 635.

2 What does the God of heaven do at the same time these evil men are on their way to carry out their plans to destroy God’s people? Isaiah 30:29, 30; Joel 3:16.

note: “The people of God—some in prison cells, some hidden in solitary retreats in the forests and the mountains—still plead for divine protection, while in every quarter companies of armed men, urged on by hosts of evil angels, are preparing for the work of death. It is now, in the hour of utmost extremity, that the God of Israel will interpose for the deliverance of His chosen. Saith the Lord: ‘Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth . . . to come into the mountain of the Lord, to the Mighty One of Israel. And the Lord shall cause His glorious voice to be heard, and shall show the lighting down of His arm, with the indignation of His anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones.’ Isaiah 30:29, 30.” The Great Controversy, 635.

“It was at midnight that God chose to deliver His people. As the wicked were mocking around them, suddenly the sun appeared, shining in his strength, and the moon stood still. The wicked looked upon the scene with amazement, while the saints beheld with solemn joy the tokens of their deliverance.” Early Writings, 285.

3 What two events take place as these evil men are about to rush upon their prey? For one of these events, see Revelation 16:10, 11; for Old Testament type of the other event, see Genesis 9:13.

note: “With shouts of triumph, jeering, and imprecation, throngs of evil men are about to rush upon their prey, when, lo, a dense blackness, deeper than the darkness of the night, falls upon the earth. Then a rainbow, shining with the glory from the throne of God, spans the heavens and seems to encircle each praying company. The angry multitudes are suddenly arrested.” The Great Controversy, 635, 636.

4 How do the wicked react to the intervention of the God of heaven in their plans to kill God’s people? For Old Testament type, see Isaiah 13:6–8.

note: “Their mocking cries die away. The objects of their murderous rage are forgotten. With fearful forebodings they gaze upon the symbol of God’s covenant and long to be shielded from its overpowering brightness.” The Great Controversy, 636.

“Now they are stripped of all that made them great and are left destitute and defenseless. They look with terror upon the destruction of the idols which they preferred before their Maker. They have sold their souls for earthly riches and enjoyments, and have not sought to become rich toward God. The result is, their lives are a failure; their pleasures are now turned to gall, their treasures to corruption. The gain of a lifetime is swept away in a moment. The rich bemoan the destruction of their grand houses, the scattering of their gold and silver. But their lamentations are silenced by the fear that they themselves are to perish with their idols.” Ibid., 654.

“Those who a little before were so reckless, so boastful and defiant, so exultant in their cruelty to God’s commandment-keeping people, are now overwhelmed with consternation and shuddering in fear. Their wails are heard above the sound of the elements. Demons acknowledge the deity of Christ and tremble before His power, while men are supplicating for mercy and groveling in abject terror.” Ibid., 638.

5 What plague is identified in the reference? Revelation 16:10, 11.

6 What are the people of God privileged to see and hear when the black, angry clouds are parted? For New Testament type, see Acts 7:55, 56.

note: “By the people of God a voice, clear and melodious, is heard, saying, ‘Look up,’ and lifting their eyes to the heavens, they behold the bow of promise. The black, angry clouds that covered the firmament are parted, and like Stephen they look up steadfastly into heaven and see the glory of God and the Son of man seated upon His throne. In His divine form they discern the marks of His humiliation; and from His lips they hear the request presented before His Father and the holy angels: ‘I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.’ John 17:24. Again a voice, musical and triumphant, is heard, saying: ‘They come! they come! holy, harmless, and undefiled.’ ” The Great Controversy, 636.

7 At what point in time does God deliver His people? For Old Testament type, see Exodus 11:1–10; 12:29–31.

note: “It is at midnight that God manifests His power for the deliverance of His people. The sun appears, shining in its strength. Signs and wonders follow in quick succession. The wicked look with terror and amazement upon the scene, while the righteous behold with solemn joy the tokens of their deliverance.” The Great Controversy, 636.

8 What statement is made from the throne of God on the day that has been set to slay His people? Revelation 16:17.

note: “Everything in nature seems turned out of its course. The streams cease to flow. Dark, heavy clouds come up and clash against each other. In the midst of the angry heavens is one clear space of indescribable glory, whence comes the voice of God like the sound of many waters, saying: ‘It is done.’ Revelation 16:17.” The Great Controversy, 636.

9 What plague is described in Revelation 16:17–21?

note: “The world see the very class whom they have mocked and derided, and desired to exterminate, pass unharmed through pestilence, tempest, and earthquake. He who is to the transgressors of His law a devouring fire, is to His people a safe pavilion.” The Great Controversy, 654.

10 On what other occasion did God make the pronouncement, “It is done”? Revelation 21:6.

note: “Then [when the third angel’s message closes] Jesus ceases His intercession in the sanctuary above. He lifts His hands and with a loud voice says, ‘It is done;’ and all the angelic host lay off their crowns as He makes the solemn announcement: ‘He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.’ Revelation 22:11. Every case has been decided for life or death.” The Great Controversy, 613.

11 In the following reference, list at least 15 events that are identified with the seventh plague that begin on the date that has been set to slay the saints. Compare these with similar terminology in Revelation 16:17–21.

note: “That voice shakes the heavens and the earth. There is a mighty earthquake, ‘such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.’ [Revelation 16] Verses 17, 18. The firmament appears to open and shut. The glory from the throne of God seems flashing through. The mountains shake like a reed in the wind, and ragged rocks are scattered on every side. There is a roar as of a coming tempest. The sea is lashed into fury. There is heard the shriek of a hurricane like the voice of demons upon a mission of destruction. The whole earth heaves and swells like the waves of the sea. Its surface is breaking up. Its very foundations seem to be giving way. Mountain chains are sinking. Inhabited islands disappear. The seaports that have become like Sodom for wickedness are swallowed up by the angry waters. Babylon the great has come in remembrance before God, ‘to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath.’ Great hailstones, every one ‘about the weight of a talent,’ are doing their work of destruction. Verses 19, 21. The proudest cities of the earth are laid low. The lordly palaces, upon which the world’s great men have lavished their wealth in order to glorify themselves, are crumbling to ruin before their eyes. Prison walls are rent asunder, and God’s people, who have been held in bondage for their faith, are set free.” The Great Controversy, 636, 637.

Bible Study Guides – The Time of Trouble, Part IV – The First Four Plagues and Jacob’s Trouble

July 31, 2005 – August 6, 2005

Memory Verse

“And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.” Revelation 16:1.

Suggested Reading: Revelation 15:5–16:9; Patriarchs and Prophets, 195–203; Prophets and Kings, 605, 606; Early Writings, 279–282.

1 Describe the destructive power that will be exercised when the plagues begin to fall. For Old Testament type, see Exodus 11:4–6; 12:29, 30; 11 Samuel 24:14–16. How many angels carried out this work of destruction?

note: “A single angel destroyed all the first-born of the Egyptians and filled the land with mourning. When David offended against God by numbering the people, one angel caused that terrible destruction by which his sin was punished. The same destructive power exercised by holy angels when God commands, will be exercised by evil angels when He permits. There are forces now ready, and only waiting the divine permission, to spread desolation everywhere.” The Great Controversy, 614.

2 What effect has the final warning had on the wicked who have risen up against it? Revelation 12:17; 13:14–17.

note: “I was pointed down to the time when the third angel’s message was closing. The power of God had rested upon His people; they had accomplished their work and were prepared for the trying hour before them. They had received the latter rain, or refreshing from the presence of the Lord, and the living testimony had been revived. The last great warning had sounded everywhere, and it had stirred up and enraged the inhabitants of the earth who would not receive the message.” Early Writings, 279.

3 With whom is the devil enraged? What accusations and persecution will result? Matthew 24:9; Revelation 12:17; 14:12. For biblical examples of the similar experience of God’s people in the past, see 1 Kings 18:17; Acts 21:28; 24:6.

note: “Those who honor the law of God have been accused of bringing judgments upon the world, and they will be regarded as the cause of the fearful convulsions of nature and the strife and bloodshed among men that are filling the earth with woe. The power attending the last warning has enraged the wicked; their anger is kindled against all who have received the message, and Satan will excite to still greater intensity the spirit of hatred and persecution.” The Great Controversy, 614, 615.

4 What specific judgments are being referred to in this setting? Revelation 16:1–9.

note: “Says the revelator, in describing those terrific scourges: ‘There fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshiped his image.’ The sea ‘became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.’ And ‘the rivers and fountains of waters . . . became blood.’ [Revelation 16:2–4.] . . .

“In the plague that follows, power is given to the sun ‘to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat.’ Verses 8, 9. The prophets thus describe the condition of the earth at this fearful time: ‘The land mourneth; . . . because the harvest of the field is perished. . . . All the trees of the field are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.’ [Joel 1:10–12.]” The Great Controversy, 628.

5 What time frame is specified as to when these four plagues will begin to fall? Revelation 19:1, 2; 15:1.

note: “When Christ ceases His intercession in the sanctuary, the unmingled wrath threatened against those who worship the beast and his image and receive his mark (Revelation 14:9, 10), will be poured out.” The Great Controversy, 627.

“An angel returning from the earth announces that his work is done; the final test has been brought upon the world, and all who have proved themselves loyal to the divine precepts have received ‘the seal of the living God.’ Then Jesus ceases His intercession in the sanctuary above. He lifts His hands and with a loud voice says, ‘It is done;’ and all the angelic host lay off their crowns as He makes the solemn announcement: ‘He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.’ Revelation 22:11.” Ibid., 613.

6 What specific point in time will these four plagues precede? For Old Testament prophecy, see Isaiah 26:20, 21; 51:21–23.

note: “The plagues upon Egypt when God was about to deliver Israel were similar in character to those more terrible and extensive judgments which are to fall upon the world just before the final deliverance of God’s people.” The Great Controversy, 627, 628.

7 What would happen to this world if these four plagues were universal? For Old Testament prophecy, see Joel 1:10–12, 17–20; Amos 8:3.

note: “These plagues are not universal, or the inhabitants of the earth would be wholly cut off. Yet they will be the most awful scourges that have ever been known to mortals.” The Great Controversy, 628, 629.

8 What element is now absent from these four judgments that was present in the judgments that fell before the close of probation? James 2:12, 13.

note: “The pleading blood of Christ has shielded the sinner from receiving the full measure of his guilt; but in the final judgment, wrath is poured out unmixed with mercy.” The Great Controversy, 629.

9 What is God going to do for His people at this time? See Old Testament prophecy, in Isaiah 33:15, 16; 41:17.

note: “The people of God will not be free from suffering; but while persecuted and distressed, while they endure privation and suffer for want of food they will not be left to perish. That God who cared for Elijah will not pass by one of His self-sacrificing children. He who numbers the hairs of their head will care for them, and in time of famine they shall be satisfied.” The Great Controversy, 629.

10 What will the world and the churches not know, and what will they continue when Christ ceases His ministration in the heavenly sanctuary? Revelation 22:11. See also Luke 13:34, 35; Mark 13:32–36.

note: “When God’s presence was finally withdrawn from the Jewish nation, priests and people knew it not. Though under the control of Satan, and swayed by the most horrible and malignant passions, they still regarded themselves as the chosen of God. The ministration in the temple continued; sacrifices were offered upon its polluted altars, and daily the divine blessing was invoked upon a people guilty of the blood of God’s dear Son and seeking to slay His ministers and apostles. So when the irrevocable decision of the sanctuary has been pronounced and the destiny of the world has been forever fixed, the inhabitants of the earth will know it not. The forms of religion will be continued by a people from whom the Spirit of God has been finally withdrawn; and the satanic zeal with which the prince of evil will inspire them for the accomplishment of his malignant designs, will bear the semblance of zeal for God.” The Great Controversy, 615.

11 Because of these fearful judgments and the continuing Sabbath/Sunday controversy, what do the religious and secular authorities decide needs to be done with those who refuse to comply with the Sunday law? For New Testament type, see John 11:47–50; Revelation 13:15–17.

note: “As the Sabbath has become the special point of controversy throughout Christendom, and religious and secular authorities have combined to enforce the observance of the Sunday, the persistent refusal of a small minority to yield to the popular demand will make them objects of universal execration. It will be urged that the few who stand in opposition to an institution of the church and a law of the state ought not to be tolerated; that it is better for them to suffer than for whole nations to be thrown into confusion and lawlessness. The same argument eighteen hundred years ago was brought against Christ by the ‘rulers of the people.’ ‘It is expedient for us,’ said the wily Caiaphas, ‘that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.’ John 11:50. This argument will appear conclusive; and a decree will finally be issued against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, denouncing them as deserving of the severest punishment and giving the people liberty, after a certain time, to put them to death. Romanism in the Old World and apostate Protestantism in the New will pursue a similar course toward those who honor all the divine precepts.” The Great Controversy, 615, 616.

12 What condition does the death decree bring on God’s people? Jeremiah 30:5–7; Genesis 32:24–30.

note: “The people of God will then be plunged into those scenes of affliction and distress described by the prophet as the time of Jacob’s trouble. ‘Thus saith the Lord: We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. . . . All faces are turned into paleness. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble . . . .’ Jeremiah 30:5–7.” The Great Controversy, 616.

13 What should the people of God do to prepare for the “time of Jacob’s trouble”? Romans 13:1–14.

note: “Yet he [Jacob] leaves nothing undone on his own part to atone for the wrong to his brother and to avert the threatened danger. So should the followers of Christ, as they approach the time of trouble, make every exertion to place themselves in a proper light before the people, to disarm prejudice, and to avert the danger which threatens liberty of conscience.” The Great Controversy, 616.

14 During the “time of Jacob’s trouble,” who will try the people of God to the uttermost? What will be severely tested? For Old Testament type, see Zechariah 3:1. See also 1 Peter 1:7; 5:8; Revelation 12:12.

note: “As Satan accuses the people of God on account of their sins, the Lord permits him to try them to the uttermost. Their confidence in God, their faith and firmness, will be severely tested. As they review the past, their hopes sink; for in their whole lives they can see little good. They are fully conscious of their weakness and unworthiness. Satan endeavors to terrify them with the thought that their cases are hopeless, that the stain of their defilement will never be washed away. He hopes so to destroy their faith that they will yield to his temptations and turn from their allegiance to God.” The Great Controversy, 618, 619.

15 What will happen to anyone who has an unconfessed sin on his or her record in the “time of Jacob’s trouble”? For biblical type, see Hebrews 12:16, 17. See also Revelation 22:11, 12; 1 Timothy 5:24, 25.

note: “Had not Jacob previously repented of his sin in obtaining the birthright by fraud, God would not have heard his prayer and mercifully preserved his life. So, in the time of trouble, if the people of God had unconfessed sins to appear before them while tortured with fear and anguish, they would be overwhelmed; despair would cut off their faith, and they could not have confidence to plead with God for deliverance.” The Great Controversy, 620.

16 What will be required of God’s people in the “time of Jacob’s trouble”? When is the preparation for this to be done? Revelation 2:10; 11 Corinthians 6:2.

note: “The season of distress and anguish before us will require a faith that can endure weariness, delay, and hunger—a faith that will not faint though severely tried. The period of probation is granted to all to prepare for that time. Jacob prevailed because he was persevering and determined.” The Great Controversy, 621.

17 Who will succeed as did Jacob? Ephesians 6:10–13, 18.

note: “His victory is an evidence of the power of importunate prayer. All who will lay hold of God’s promises, as he did, and be as earnest and persevering as he was, will succeed as he succeeded. Those who are unwilling to deny self, to agonize before God, to pray long and earnestly for His blessing, will not obtain it. Wrestling with God—how few know what it is! How few have ever had their souls drawn out after God with intensity of desire until every power is on the stretch.” The Great Controversy, 621.

Food for Life – Donna’s Peppermint Slice

“We don’t make the health reform an iron bedstead, cutting people off or stretching them out to fit it. One person cannot be a standard for everybody else. What we want is a little sprinkling of good common sense. Don’t be extremists. If you err, it would be better to err on the side of the people than on the side where you cannot reach them. Do not be peculiar for the sake of being peculiar.” Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, 12.

“We have always used . . . some sugar. This we have never denounced, either in our writings or in our preaching. . . . The time has not yet come for sugar . . . to be wholly abolished from our tables.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 330.

“Do just as Jenny would have you, my own dear boy. Here is a peppermint, Willie.—Letter 9, 1859. (To ‘Dear Little Willie,’ September 26, 1859.)” Manuscript Releases, vol. 3, 121.

“In the last box we sent to Battle Creek were some little trinkets for you and a little box of candy. You must eat it only when Jenny thinks it is best. Eat a very little at a time. . . . Letter 10, 1859. (To ‘Dear Little Willie,’ 1859.)” Ibid.

Donna’s Peppermint Slice


2 1/2 cups crushed Weetbix, Weetabix or other whole grain flake cereal

1 1/2 cups flour

3/4-1 cup oil

2 Tablespoons honey

1 1/2 cups coconut

3 Tablespoons carob powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup raisins or sultanas

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Warm honey and oil together. Add to rest of ingredients. Press into tray. Bake at 350 degrees for 10–15 minutes. Put in refrigerator to cool.

Peppermint Layer

3 cups cashews

8 drops peppermint oil

1/2 can coconut cream

1 cup honey

Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Pour onto base and chill.

Carob Topping

1 1/2 cups carob chips

1/2 can coconut cream

Warm in a double boiler until carob is melted. Spread on top of other layers. Refrigerate to set carob.

When set, cut into slices and freeze. A real treat to eat straight from the freezer!

Judith Higgs and her retired husband live on a small property near Tamworth, N.S.W., Australia, where they enjoy the benefits of country living. They are involved in a Bible Correspondence School, sending lessons all over the South Pacific. Judith also volunteers many hours of time transcribing tapes for Steps to Life.

Do you have a favorite vegan recipe you are willing to share with LandMarks’ readers? Send it to us with a photo of you, if available, and a two or three line bio. We will consider all submissions. Send to the address below or by e-mail at:

LandMarks Recipes

Steps to Life Ministry

P.O. Box 782828

Wichita, KS 67278

Ask the Pastor – Eye to Eye


What is the meaning of the expression, in Isaiah 52:8, “They shall see eye to eye”?


This is an interesting passage. The complete text says, “Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.” Isaiah 52:8.

This Scripture is commonly understood to mean that “when the Lord shall bring again Zion,” the “watchmen” will be in complete agreement upon all the various doctrines, which have divided them throughout the centuries. Believing further that the time for the Lord to bring again Zion has come, many brethren are at a loss to understand why the predicted harmony of viewpoint fails to manifest itself.

Today, it is still true that to him who reads the Book of Isaiah, the paramount question is that propounded by Philip to the Ethiopian eunuch: “Understandest thou what thou readest?” Acts 8:30. Let us see if we can understand what Isaiah 52:8 is saying in relation to its context.

The entire theme of Isaiah is that the present time of corruption and evil is to be purged by divine judgment from which only a remnant will escape. Afterwards, a “golden age” will be ushered in.

The earlier chapters of Isaiah are concerned with the corruption and evil and the prediction of judgments on both Israel and the nations. Then comes the magnificent prophecy concerning Zion redeemed. This is how it opens: “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.” Isaiah 40:1.

The prophet, however, predicts that when this message is first delivered, it will go unheeded. Jerusalem had been in captivity so long, that her watchmen found it almost impossible to wake up the people spiritually. Again and again the call is given: “Hearken to me”; “Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation”; “Hearken unto me”; “I, even I, am he that comforteth you”; “Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem”; “Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion.” Isaiah 51:1, 4, 7, 12, 17; 52:1. But to all these entreaties of the Lord, Jerusalem fails to respond.

At last, the weary watchmen do awake, and they begin to give the message. This has its counterpart for us living in the last days as well. We know that the loud cry is to go out to the entire world in the last days, calling the people to awake out of their Laodicean conditions.

It is interesting that this phrase in Isaiah 52:8, which is translated “eye to eye,” is, in Numbers 14:14, translated “face to face.” Evidently the thought is that of clearness of vision. The watchmen do not just see dimly, but clearly—there is nothing to obstruct their view. And when that happens, a great change comes upon the people of God, and they begin to prepare to receive Jesus when He comes in the clouds of heaven.

This prediction was partially fulfilled in the experience of Israel when, by the hand of Cyrus, God delivered them from Babylon. And it is to have a much grander fulfillment in the experience of spiritual Israel just before the close of probation.

God has great things in store for His people, and we want to make sure that we all are ready to have a part with Him when that great event arrives.

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.

The Pen of Inspiration – Called to the Wedding Feast

The words which I have selected as a foundation for a few remarks you will find in the 22nd chapter of Matthew, beginning at the first verse. [Verses 1–10, quoted.]

The portion of Scripture presented before us, which I have referred to and have presented before your minds, is of intense meaning—much more than I am able to explain. It is of great interest to us, and we should consider it, and let it have due weight upon our minds. We find by perusing God’s sacred Word of inspiration that when the promised Messiah, the Son of God, came into the world His own people, even His own nation—the Jews—would not and did not receive Him. As we are told in the first chapter of St. John, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not” (John 1:11).

The provision was made, but they would not receive it. The Father Himself provided a ransom, even a sacrifice. His own dear Son submitted Himself to His Father’s requirements, came into this sinful world, became a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief. He went about doing good, speaking in tones of tenderness, saying in the deepest and most fervent and sweetest accents ever uttered, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart” [Matthew 11:28, 29]; and He assures us we shall find rest to our souls.

[Matthew 22:4, 5 quoted.] The great King Himself hath made a marriage for His Son. He hath sent forth His servants for many hundreds of years, saying, “Come, for all things are ready.” But how little do the [people of the] world heed the invitation! They make light of it and go their ways to their worldly pursuits and worldly pleasures, the same as they have done for centuries. But the King sendeth forth His armies and destroys those murders and burns up their city, and we are told in the ninth chapter of Daniel, the 26th verse, that “the people of the Prince that shall come shall destroy the city . . .; and the end thereof shall be with a flood.” [Matthew 22:8, 9 quoted.]

In the 14th chapter of Luke, verse 16, we find that there was made a great supper and many were bidden. Servants were sent forth to say to those that were bidden, “Come; for all things are now ready” [verse 17]. But they made excuses.

The King of the kingdom hath made a marriage supper for His Son. He hath sent forth His servants to say to those which are bidden, “Come to the marriage.” The Lord is sending His servants, saying unto all who will hear, “Come, make ready for the great marriage supper of the Lamb; He is soon coming to receive all the faithful to the mansions prepared by Him, to partake of the feast which He hath prepared.” He is sending, and hath been sending His servants . . . .

All must be clothed with the wedding garment in order to be accepted, lest we be found speechless.

Is it not of the greatest importance that we be found having on the robe of righteousness, that we be ready when the Bridegroom cometh to enter in to the marriage supper? May we heed the invitation given and make ourselves ready that we may have admittance into the Master’s house, that He say not unto us that none which were bidden shall taste of His supper. In the parable, those who were bidden heeded not its invitation, but continued excusing themselves, feasting upon the pleasures of this world as the masses do at the present time.

The servants of God are inviting and entreating them to come away from the alluring scenes of this vain and fleeting world, to make ready for the marriage supper, but they will not come. We hear them saying, There’s no danger; tomorrow shall be as this day and much more abundant; no need of being disturbed. We must needs attend to farms and merchandise and the things of this life, lest we lose worldly interests, and become poor and suffer want. They forget that He who careth for the little sparrows and clotheth the lilies of the field, careth for the humble, trusting soul, and will guide and direct all those who are ready to do His will, and bestow upon His dear children such things as they need. To all who through patience and perseverance overcome, He hath promised to give a crown of never fading glory, a robe of righteousness, and an entrance into the beautiful city of our God.

This same King is sending forth His servants today. He is inviting His guests, saying, “Come, for all things are now ready.” The Lord of the marriage is soon coming: behold, He is at the door. Delay not to open the door, lest He turn away from receiving you and you enter not into the marriage feast. Open the door and receive the Master, that you may enter into the mansions of everlasting rest and never fading glory prepared for all those that love Him. Who will make ready for the coming of Him who hath said, “Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give to every man according as his work shall be.” [Revelation 22:12.]

If we neglect our spiritual interests, neglect to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable duty, we become entangled with the trifling cares of this life. If we even once omit our daily duty of calling upon God for His divine aid, His care and protection, we lose one day’s enjoyment. We have not the sweet, melting influence of God’s Holy Spirit attending us through the day, but we feel cast down and easily discouraged. The enemy of souls is ready to take advantage [of us] and often does, bringing us into captivity and sin. . . .

How many times the things of this vain, deceitful world come between us and our eternal interests! Temporal things spring up within our hearts and choke those things which are spiritual. We permit the enemy of righteousness to persuade us that we should attend to the things of this life. We now and then neglect greater duties lest we suffer want. If we faithfully entreat God to give us strength and to perform temporal duties, and at the same time to give us grace and wisdom to overcome evil; if we have our hopes centered above and our conversation in heaven, whence we look for the Son of man who has bidden to the marriage all who will come: who has gone up on high to prepare mansions for all those who love and keep His sayings, and has told us He is coming to receive us, we may enter in to the wedding feast with Him, that where He is there we may be also. If we turn away from those calls and invitations, what will be the consequence?

In the 13th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, 46th verse, we find that if we put God’s work from us, and judge ourselves unworthy of everlasting life, we have no reason to expect an entrance into the kingdom. The 24th verse of the 14th chapter of Luke informs us that “none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.”

The great eternal Father has prepared a marriage feast for His Son. Will we give heed to His servants who have been and are being sent forth to proclaim unto us the solemn invitation? Or shall we make light of it? Oh, why refuse to make ready for the marriage of the Son of God? There is room for all who will accept the invitation. None can say [that] those things were not duly represented. Remember, when the good man returns, those who are ready will go in to the feast and the door will be shut, and there will be no further entrance, for we read that when “the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door” (Luke 13:25), then those who would find admittance will hear the answer, “I know you not . . . ; depart from Me.”

May we heed well the solemn warning and make ready to enter into the wedding, that His house may be filled. God’s Word informs us, “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:14). May we be found faithful, and give diligence to our calling, and possess the promised reward of the faithful, is my prayer.—Ms 8, 1874. Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, 4–8.

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.

Nature Nugget – Bird Migration

For survival, birds require food, water, protective cover, and a sheltered place to nest. Unfortunately, many bird habitats are suitable for them for only part of the year. Changing seasons can transform a comfortable, food-rich environment into an unlivable one where temperatures are freezing, food is scarce, and vegetative cover has vanished. In order to survive, birds have to either adapt to these changes or leave for fairer parts.

Most birds, in temperate areas of the world, adapt by taking up migrations to areas with less harsh winters or to areas with tropical climates. Some even migrate to temperate areas on the opposite side of the globe to enjoy their second spring and summer seasons for the year. When spring rolls around again, they return to their original home to nest and to take advantage of the abundance of food and cover that the warm season brings to these areas.

People living in the Northern Hemisphere are used to the birds flying south for the winter every fall and back north again in the spring to nest. In the Southern Hemisphere, it is just the opposite; birds fly north in the fall and south in the spring. When it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere, it is summer in the Southern Hemisphere and vice versa.

One of the more famous examples of bird migration involves the return of the swallows of Capistrano. Every year, around March 19, Cliff Swallows return to nest at the Mission San Juan Capistrano in Capistrano, California. So regular and reliable is their arrival around that date that the people of this town have been holding a festival to honor the return of these birds since the late 1700s. After spending the summer in Capistrano, the swallows leave around October 23 to fly south for their wintering grounds in and around Goya, Argentina. Around February 18, they leave Goya, and 7,500 miles and 30 days later they arrive back at Capistrano.

The longest migration of any bird is undertaken by the Arctic Tern, which flies from its breeding grounds in the Arctic to winter in the Antarctic, a round trip of 20,000 miles. The highest-flying migrating birds ever recorded were Bar-headed Geese at an altitude of 29,000 feet over the Himalayan Mountains.

“The swallow and the crane observe the changes of the seasons. They migrate from one country to another to find a climate suitable to their convenience and happiness, as the Lord designed they should. They are obedient to the laws which govern their life. But the beings formed in the image of God fail to honor him by obeying the laws of nature. By disregarding the laws that govern the human organism, they disqualify themselves for serving God.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 189, 190.

“God’s laws for nature are obeyed by nature. . . . So the birds fulfill God’s purpose as they make their long migrations from land to land, guided through trackless space by the hand of infinite power.

“Can it be that man, made in the image of God, endowed with reason and speech, shall alone be unappreciative of His gifts and disobedient to His laws? . . .

“God desires us to learn from nature the lesson of obedience. ‘Ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; And the birds of the heavens, and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee; And the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these, That the hand of Jehovah hath wrought?’ ‘With God is wisdom and might; He hath counsel and understanding.’ Job 12:7–9, 13, A.R.V.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 327, 328.

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

Restoring the Temple – Diet in Childhood

Habits once formed are hard to overcome. The reform should begin with the mother before the birth of her children; and if God’s instructions were faithfully obeyed, intemperance would not exist.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 225, 226.

“Let mothers place themselves without delay in right relations to their Creator, that they may by His assisting grace build around their children a bulwark against dissipation and intemperance. . . .

The Infant

“The best food for the infant is the food that nature provides. Of this it should not be needlessly deprived. It is a heartless thing for a mother, for the sake of convenience or social enjoyment, to seek to free herself from the tender office of nursing her little one.” Ibid., 226.

“The character also of the child is more or less affected by the nature of the nourishment received from the mother. How important then that the mother, while nursing her infant, should preserve a happy state of mind, having the perfect control of her own spirit. By thus doing, the food of the child is not injured, and the calm, self-possessed course the mother pursues in the treatment of her child has very much to do in molding the mind of the infant.” Ibid., 228.

Regularity in Eating

“The first education children should receive from the mother in infancy should be in regard to their physical health. They should be allowed only plain food, of that quality that would preserve to them the best condition of health, and that should be partaken of only at regular periods, not oftener than three times a day, and two meals would be better than three. If children are disciplined aright, they will soon learn that they can receive nothing by crying or fretting. A judicious mother will act in training her children, not merely in regard to her own present comfort, but for their future good. And to this end she will teach her children the important lesson of controlling the appetite, and of self-denial, that they should eat, drink, and dress in reference to health.” Ibid., 228, 229.

Early Education of the Appetite

“The importance of training children to right dietetic habits can hardly be overestimated. The little ones need to learn that they eat to live, not live to eat. The training should begin with the infant in its mother’s arms. The child should be given food only at regular intervals, and less frequently as it grows older. It should not be given sweets, or the food of older persons, which it is unable to digest. Care and regularity in the feeding of infants will not only promote health, and thus tend to make them quiet and sweet-tempered, but will lay the foundation of habits and will be a blessing to them in after years.” Ibid., 229, 230.

“Parents should train the appetites of their children, and should not permit the use of unwholesome foods. But in the effort to regulate the diet, we should be careful not to err in requiring children to eat that which is distasteful, or to eat more than is needed. Children have rights, they have preferences, and when these preferences are reasonable, they should be respected.” Ibid., 230.

Abhorrence for Stimulants

“Teach your children to abhor stimulants. . . .

“The food is often such as to excite a desire for stimulating drinks. Luxurious dishes are placed before the children,—spiced foods, rich gravies, cakes, and pastries. This highly seasoned food irritates the stomach, and causes a craving for still stronger stimulants. Not only is the appetite tempted with unsuitable food, of which the children are allowed to eat freely at their meals, but they are permitted to eat between meals, and by the time they are twelve or fourteen years of age they are often confirmed dyspeptics. . . .

Especially Injurious Foods

“It is impossible for those who give the reins to appetite to attain to Christian perfection. The moral sensibilities of your children cannot be easily aroused, unless you are careful in the selection of their food. Many a mother sets a table that is a snare to her family. Flesh meats, butter, cheese, rich pastry, spiced foods, and condiments are freely partaken of by both old and young. These things do their work in deranging the stomach, exciting the nerves, and enfeebling the intellect. The blood-making organs cannot convert such things into good blood. The grease cooked in the food renders it difficult of digestion. The effect of cheese is deleterious. Fine-flour bread does not impart to the system the nourishment that is to be found in unbolted-wheat bread. Its common use will not keep the system in the best condition. Spices at first irritate the tender coating of the stomach, but finally destroy the natural sensitiveness of this delicate membrane. The blood becomes fevered, the animal propensities are aroused, while the moral and intellectual powers are weakened, and become servants to the baser passions. The mother should study to set a simple yet nutritious diet before her family.” Ibid., 235, 236.

Counteracting Evil Tendencies

“If children and youth were trained and educated to habits of self-denial and self-control, if they were taught that they eat to live instead of living to eat, there would be less disease and less moral corruption. There would be little necessity for temperance crusades, which amount to so little, if in the youth who form and fashion society, right principles in regard to temperance could be implanted. They would then have moral worth and moral integrity to resist, in the strength of Jesus, the pollutions of these last days.” Ibid., 237.

Irritability and Nervousness

“Regularity should be the rule in all the habits of children. Mothers make a great mistake in permitting them to eat between meals. The stomach becomes deranged by this practice, and the foundation is laid for future suffering. Their fretfulness may have been caused by unwholesome food, still undigested; but the mother feels that she cannot spend time to reason upon the matter, and correct her injurious management. Neither can she stop to soothe their impatient worrying. She gives the little sufferers a piece of cake or some other dainty to quiet them, but this only increases the evil.” Ibid., 242.

Diet and Moral Development

“The power of Satan over the youth of this age is fearful. Unless the minds of our children are firmly balanced by religious principle, their morals will become corrupted by the vicious examples with which they come in contact. The greatest danger of the young is from a lack of self-control. Indulgent parents do not teach their children self-denial. The very food they place before them is such as to irritate the stomach. The excitement thus produced is communicated to the brain, and as a result the passions are aroused. It cannot be too often repeated, that whatever is taken into the stomach affects not only the body, but ultimately the mind as well. Gross and stimulating food fevers the blood, excites the nervous system, and too often dulls the moral perceptions, so that reason and conscience are overborne by the sensual impulses. It is difficult, and often well-nigh impossible, for one who is intemperate in diet to exercise patience and self-control. Hence the special importance of allowing children, whose characters are yet unformed, to have only such food as is healthful and unstimulating. It was in love that our heavenly Father sent the light of health reform to guard against the evils that result from unrestrained indulgence of appetite.” Ibid., 243.

Children’s Corner: Three in a Row, Part II

The Story to Now: Hiram, Nettie, and Tony reluctantly left the bedside of their sick mother and, taking their small boxes of mineral “speciments,” made their way to the train station, hoping some of the incoming train’s passengers would pay them a few pennies for some of the rock samples. Then Nettie had an idea! Why could they not sing for the passengers?

Up through Clear Creek Canyon puffed the “Gulf” train, with two observation cars full of passengers. There was a mixed company, composed mostly of sightseers for the day, who would return with the train after two hours’ halt in Silver Plume. There was a gentleman from Boston and two lively girls from Texas, and a number of young couples, evidently belonging in Colorado, who were out for a little excursion. But different from the others, and most noticeable of them all, were two, a gentleman and a lady, who sat near each other and looked alike—he pale and sick, and she pale and sad. They were brother and sister—Mr. and Miss Lawrence, from somewhere in the East. He was looking for health in the mountains, and she, in spite of deadly homesickness, would not leave him alone among strangers.

The train ran up to the mine, passed the switch, and then moved back again to the station. Here the engine and some of the passengers abandoned the cars, leaving those who objected to the high altitude to wait in patience. Among the latter were the Lawrences. The invalid was tired, and tried to rest with his head on his sister’s shawl in spite of the shrill call of “Speciments!” which seemed to come from all sides of the train. After a while, the noisy little venders grew tired, or discouraged, and quieted down; then, suddenly, Miss Lawrence started and listened intently. The little song was wonderfully sweet and fresh and true, something about . . . “A robin one morning in May.”

And the voices might have been those of the birds themselves. Everybody turned to the windows and waited expectantly. This time it was a quaint old hymn for children:

“God made my life a little song
“That comforteth the sad.
“That helpeth others to be strong
“And makes the singer glad.”

Miss Lawrence looked out the window and saw Hiram, Nettie, and Tony standing “three in a row,” the blue eyes and the brown looking up wistfully, half-pleadingly, at the faces above them. A minute’s pause, and then pennies, nickels, and even dimes rained upon them. There was an ecstatic shout from Tony and a hasty scramble on the part of all three for the money. Their hearts beating fast with excitement and gratitude, the children drew into line again, and with a word from Hiram began their sweetest song, “Anywhere with Jesus.”

Something in the words and the surroundings went straight to the heart of the stranger lady just above them, and when there came the refrain, “Anywhere with Jesus will be home sweet home,” her eyes brimmed over, and she turned hastily away that her brother might not see.

“The lady wants to speak to you, Nettie; go on,” said Hiram, pushing his sister before him, like the coward he was.

“I was so pleased to hear you sing,” said Miss Lawrence, smiling down into the eyes under the pink sunbonnet. “Won’t you tell me where you live and what you are going to do with so much money?”

Nettie looked up shyly, but searchingly, into this “different” face from any of her acquaintances, then bent her eyes to the ground and told the whole story of their need and experiment. Miss Lawrence listened in surprise, and looked over to the tiny cabin on the side of the mountain.