Bible Study Guides – Signs of the Nearness of Christ’s Coming

August 19, 2007 – August 25, 2007

Key Text

“So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” Luke 21:31.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 1, 268-270.


“The signs in the sun, moon, and stars have been fulfilled. Since that time earthquakes, tempests, tidal waves, pestilence, and famine have multiplied. The most awful destructions, by fire and flood, are following one another in quick succession. The terrible disasters that are taking place from week to week speak to us in earnest tones of warning, declaring that the end is near, that something great and decisive will soon of necessity take place.” Review and Herald, November 22, 1906.

1 What sign was to appear in the stars? Matthew 24:29.

note: “This prophecy received a striking and impressive fulfillment in the great meteoric shower of November 13, 1833. That was the most extensive and wonderful display of falling stars which has ever been recorded; ‘the whole firmament, over all the United States, being then, for hours, in fiery commotion! No celestial phenomenon has ever occurred in this country, since its first settlement, which was viewed with such intense admiration by one class in the community, or with so much dread and alarm by another.’ ‘Its sublimity and awful beauty still linger in many minds. . . . Never did rain fall much thicker than the meteors fell toward the earth; east, west, north, and south, it was the same. In a word, the whole heavens seemed in motion. . . . The display, as described in Professor Silliman’s Journal, was seen all over North America. . . . From two o’clock until broad daylight, the sky being perfectly serene and cloudless, an incessant play of dazzlingly brilliant luminosities was kept up in the whole heavens.’ R. M. Devens, American Progress; or, The Great Events of the Greatest Century, ch. 28, pars. 1-5.

“ ‘No language, indeed, can come up to the splendor of that magnificent display; . . . no one who did not witness it can form an adequate conception of its glory. It seemed as if the whole starry heavens had congregated at one point near the zenith, and were simultaneously shooting forth, with the velocity of lightning, to every part of the horizon; and yet they were not exhausted thousands swiftly followed in the tracks of thousands, as if created for the occasion.’ F. Reed, in the Christian Advocate and Journal, Dec. 13, 1833. ‘A more correct picture of a fig tree casting its figs when blown by a mighty wind, it was not possible to behold.’ _The Old Countryman,’ in Portland Evening Advertiser, November 26, 1833.” The Great Controversy, 333, 334.

2 What is said of the manner of their fall? Revelation 6:13. Was it the real planetary stars that fell?

note: “In 1833, two years after [William] Miller began to present in public the evidences of Christ’s soon coming, the last of the signs appeared which were promised by the Saviour as tokens of His second advent. Said Jesus: ‘The stars shall fall from heaven.’ Matthew 24:29. And John in the Revelation declared, as he beheld in vision the scenes that should herald the day of God: ‘The stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.’ Revelation 6:13.” The Great Controversy, 333.

“This language of the prophet (Revelation 6:13) has always been received as metaphorical. Yesterday it was literally fulfilled. The ancients understood by aster in Greek and stella in Latin the smaller lights of heaven. The refinement of modern astronomy has made the distinction between stars of heaven and meteors of heaven. Therefore, the idea of the prophet as it is expressed in the original Greek, was literally fulfilled in the phenomena of yesterday.” Henry Dana Ward, in Journal of Commerce, November 15, 1833.

3 In what marked way was this prophecy fulfilled?

note: There is a record of not less than 16 star showers between a.d. 902 and 1868. None of those previous to 1780 could be the one referred to by the Saviour. . . . The skeptic may ask, “How can you know which of these [star showers] is the fulfillment of the prophecy?” This is easily determined by reading Revelation 6:13. It is the one in which the stars fall as untimely figs. This was true only of the one in 1833. The astronomers speak of the shower of 1833 as the most important one that has yet been seen.

“November 13, 1833, there was the most wonderful display of falling stars ever beheld by men. Again thousands believed that the day of judgment had come.” The Story of Jesus, 176.

4 What signs were to follow the falling of the stars? Luke 21:25, 26.

note: “Since that time earthquakes, tempests, tidal waves, pestilence, famine, and destructions by fire and flood, have multiplied. All these, and ‘distress of nations, with perplexity,’ [Luke 21:25] declare that the Lord’s coming is near.” The Story of Jesus, 176.

“The Saviour declared that before his second coming, there would be wars and rumors of wars, and earthquakes in divers places. The reports that reached us of the terrible earthquakes in Italy and Sicily tell of another fulfilment of the signs of the end. These calamities are becoming more and more frequent, and each report of calamity by land or sea is a testimony to the fact that the end of all things is near. The world is filled with iniquity, and the Lord is punishing it for its wickedness. As crimes and iniquities increase, these judgments will become more frequent, until the time shall come when the earth shall no more cover her slain.” Review and Herald, November 17, 1910.

“In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow. He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence. These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous. Destruction will be upon both man and beast. ‘The earth mourneth and fadeth away’; ‘The haughty people . . . do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.’ Isaiah 24:4, 5.” Counsels on Health, 461.

“Strange and eventful history is being recorded in the books of heaven events which it was declared should shortly precede the great day of God. Everything in the world is in an unsettled state.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 3, 313.

5 Have the nations of the earth been particularly distressed since 1833?

note: “We are living in the very last days of this earth’s history. The terrible calamities that have recently visited our country show that the judgments of the Lord are falling on the world. The destruction of these cities is a warning to us to prepare for what is coming upon the earth. In the future there will be broken thrones and great distress of nations, with perplexity. Satan will work with intense activity. The earth will be filled with the shrieks of suffering, expiring nations. There will be war, war. The places of the earth will be in confusion, as from its bowels pours forth its burning contents, to destroy the inhabitants of the world who, in their wickedness, resemble the inhabitants of the antediluvian world.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 18, 92.

6 What effect do all these things have upon the people? Luke 21:26.

note: “The present is a time of overwhelming interest to all living. Rulers and statesmen, men who occupy positions of trust and authority, thinking men and women of all classes, have their attention fixed upon the events taking place about us. They are watching the relations that exist among the nations. They observe the intensity that is taking possession of every earthly element, and they recognize that something great and decisive is about to take place that the world is on the verge of a stupendous crisis.

“The Bible, and the Bible only, gives a correct view of these things. Here are revealed the great final scenes in the history of our world, events that already are casting their shadows before, the sound of their approach causing the earth to tremble and men’s hearts to fail them for fear.” Prophets and Kings, 537.

7 At this same time, what can be said of the mental improvement of the people? Daniel 12:4.

note: “There are many inventions and improvements, and labor-saving machines now that the ancients did not have.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4A, 155.

“All right inventions and improvements have their source in him who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in working. The skilful touch of the physician’s hand, his power over nerve and muscle, his knowledge of the delicate mechanism of the body, is the wisdom of divine power to be used in behalf of the suffering. The skill with which the carpenter uses his tools, the strength with which the blacksmith makes the anvil ring, come from God. Whatever we do, wherever we are placed, he desires to control our minds, that we may do perfect work.” Review and Herald, October 3, 1912.

8 Name some of the principal inventions since 1833.

note: Reaper and mower, 1833; telegraph, electrotype, and phonography, 1837; photography, 1839; electric light and sewing machine, 1846; submarine cable, 1851; washing machine, 1858; bicycle, 1861; typewriter, 1867; telephone, 1876; phonograph, 1877; cash register, 1884; dishwasher, 1886; escalator, 1891; safety razor and vacuum cleaner, 1901; airplane, 1903; tractor, 1904; Model T automobile, 1908; talking motion picture, 1910; photocopier, 1937; color television, 1940; computer, 1942; handheld calculator, 1967; videocassette recorder, 1971; cellular phones, 1979; World Wide Web, 1990.

“Christ never flattered men; he never spoke that which would exalt their fancies and imaginations, or praised them for their clever inventions. But those who were deep, unprejudiced thinkers received his words, and found that it put their wisdom to the stretch to comprehend the spiritual truths which he revealed in the simplest language.” Sabbath School Worker, January 1, 1895.

9 What are we to know when we see all these things? Luke 21:31; Matthew 24:33.

note: “The Bible declares that in the last days men will be absorbed in worldly pursuits, in pleasure and money-getting. They will be blind to eternal realities. . . .

“So it is today. Men are rushing on in the chase for gain and selfish indulgence as if there were no God, no heaven, and no hereafter. In Noah’s day the warning of the flood was sent to startle men in their wickedness and call them to repentance. So the message of Christ’s soon coming is designed to arouse men from their absorption in worldly things. It is intended to awaken them to a sense of eternal realities, that they may give heed to the invitation to the Lord’s table.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 228.

10 What expression is used that shows the coming of the Lord very near? Luke 21:32.

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. ‘Heaven and earth shall pass away,’ He says, ‘but My words shall not pass away.’ [Verse 35.]” The Desire of Ages, 632.

11 Then what may we expect within the present generation? Revelation 6:14; Matthew 24:30.

note: “The end of all things is at hand. The Lord is soon coming. Already His judgments are abroad in our land. We are not only to talk of Christ’s coming, but in every action we are to reveal the fact that He is soon to be manifested in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Have we the wedding garment on? Have we personal piety? Have we cooperated with divine agencies in a wholehearted, unreserved manner, in weaving into our life’s practices the divine principles of God’s holy law? It is one thing to talk the law, and it is another thing entirely to practice it. It is the doers of the law that shall be justified before God; for those who do the law represent the character of God, and lie not against the truth.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 187.

12 What will Christ do when He appears? Matthew 24:31.

note: “The Lion of Judah, so terrible to the rejectors of His grace, will be the Lamb of God to the obedient and faithful. The pillar of fire that speaks terror and wrath to the transgressor of God’s law, is a token of light and mercy and deliverance to those who have kept His commandments. The arm strong to smite the rebellious will be strong to deliver the loyal. Everyone who is faithful will be saved. ‘He shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.’ [Matthew 24:31.]” Sons and Daughters of God, 358.

Bible Study Guides – Signs of Christ’s Coming Near

August 12, 2007 – August 18, 2007

Key Text

“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” Luke 21:28.

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 299-316.


“Let men beware lest they neglect the lesson conveyed to them in the words of Christ. As He [Jesus] warned His disciples of Jerusalem’s destruction, giving them a sign of the approaching ruin, that they might make their escape; so He has warned the world of the day of final destruction and has given them tokens of its approach, that all who will may flee from the wrath to come.” The Great Controversy, 37.

“In Matthew 24, in answer to the question of His disciples concerning the sign of His coming and of the end of the world, Christ had pointed out some of the most important events in the history of the world and of the church from His first to His second advent; namely, the destruction of Jerusalem, the great tribulation of the church under the pagan and papal persecutions, the darkening of the sun and moon, and the falling of the stars. After this He spoke of His coming in His kingdom, and related the parable describing the two classes of servants who look for His appearing.” Ibid., 393.

1 Where did Jesus say there would be signs? Luke 21:25.

note: “We see and hear of confusion and perplexity, want and famine, earthquakes and floods; terrible outrages will be committed by men; passion, not reason, bears sway. The wrath of God is upon the inhabitants of the world, who are fast becoming as corrupt as were the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. Already fire and flood are destroying thousands of lives and the property that has been selfishly accumulated by the oppression of the poor. The Lord is soon to cut short His work and put an end to sin. Oh, that the scenes which have come before me [Ellen White] of the iniquities practiced in these last days, might make a deep impression on the minds of God’s professing people.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 49, 50.

2 What signs did Jesus say would be seen in the sun, moon, and stars? Matthew 24:29.

note: “December 16, 1848, the Lord gave me [Ellen White] a view of the shaking of the powers of the heavens. I saw that when the Lord said ‘heaven,’ in giving the signs recorded by Matthew, Mark, and Luke, He meant heaven, and when He said ‘earth’ He meant earth. The powers of heaven are the sun, moon, and stars. They rule in the heavens. The powers of earth are those that rule on the earth. The powers of heaven will be shaken at the voice of God. Then the sun, moon, and stars will be moved out of their places. They will not pass away, but be shaken by the voice of God.” Early Writings, 41.

3 When did Jesus say the sun would be darkened? Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24.

note: “The Saviour gives signs of His coming, and more than this, He fixes the time when the first of these signs shall appear: [Matthew 24:29-31 quoted].

“At the close of the great papal persecution, Christ declared, the sun should be darkened, and the moon should not give her light.” The Desire of Ages, 631, 632.

4 What is said of the character of this tribulation? Matthew 24:21.

note: “Christ gave His disciples a sign of the ruin to come on Jerusalem, and He told them how to escape: . . .

“From the destruction of Jerusalem, Christ passed on rapidly to the greater event, the last link in the chain of this earth’s history,–the coming of the Son of God in majesty and glory. Between these two events, there lay open to Christ’s view long centuries of darkness, centuries for His church marked with blood and tears and agony. Upon these scenes His disciples could not then endure to look, and Jesus passed them by with a brief mention.” The Desire of Ages, 630, 631.

5 What other great event did Jesus say would precede the darkening of the sun? Revelation 6:12.

note: “In fulfillment of this prophecy there occurred, in the year 1755, the most terrible earthquake that has ever been recorded. Though commonly known as the earthquake of Lisbon, it extended to the greater part of Europe, Africa, and America. It was felt in Greenland, in the West Indies, in the island of Madeira, in Norway and Sweden, Great Britain and Ireland. It pervaded an extent of not less than four million square miles. In Africa the shock was almost as severe as in Europe. A great part of Algiers was destroyed; and a short distance from Morocco, a village containing eight or ten thousand inhabitants was swallowed up. A vast wave swept over the coast of Spain and Africa engulfing cities and causing great destruction.

“It was in Spain and Portugal that the shock manifested its extreme violence. At Cadiz the inflowing wave was said to be sixty feet high. Mountains, ‘some of the largest in Portugal, were impetuously shaken, as it were, from their very foundations, and some of them opened at their summits, which were split and rent in a wonderful manner, huge masses of them being thrown down into the adjacent valleys. Flames are related to have issued from these mountains.’ ”Sir Charles Lyell, Principles of Geology, page 495.” The Great Controversy, 304.

6 What is connected with the great tribulation that helps us to locate it?

note: There have been a great many tribulations through which God’s people have had to pass. If the Saviour had only spoken of a tribulation, we should have been at a loss to know which one He meant. But He connects with it three specifications that locate it beyond a doubt; first, it is a great tribulation; second, there never was one like it before, nor ever will be another like it again; third, there is a certain time called “days” allotted to it.

7 What persecution of the past will fulfill these specifications? Revelation 11:2-11.

note: There is one persecution, and only one, that meets the demands of the Saviour’s words, and that is found in the papal persecution, from a.d. 538 to 1798. It was great in extent and severity. There never was a time when so many of God’s people sealed their testimony with their blood. About 50 million people suffered martyrdom at the hands of this power. According to other prophecies, it was to have authority over the saints for “time, times, and dividing of times” (Daniel 7:25; Revelation 12:14); 1260 days (Revelation 12:6); or 42 months (Revelation 13:5), which literally signifies 1260 years.

“[Revelation 11:2-11 quoted.] The periods here mentioned–‘forty and two months,’ and ‘a thousand two hundred and threescore days’–are the same, alike representing the time in which the church of Christ was to suffer oppression from Rome. The 1260 years of papal supremacy began in a.d. 538, and would therefore terminate in 1798.” The Great Controversy, 266.

8 When would “the days” of the great persecution close?

note: The days began with the subjection of the Ostrogoths in a.d. 538, and, continuing 1260 years, would close a.d. 1798, when the Papacy as a persecutor was overthrown.

“The apostle Paul warned the church not to look for the coming of Christ in his day. ‘That day shall not come,’ he says, ‘except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed.’ 11 Thessalonians 2:3. Not till after the great apostasy, and the long period of the reign of the ‘man of sin,’ can we look for the advent of our Lord. The ‘man of sin,’ which is also styled ‘the mystery of iniquity,’ ‘the son of perdition,’ and ‘that wicked,’ [11 Thessalonians 2:7, 3, 8] represents the papacy, which, as foretold in prophecy, was to maintain its supremacy for 1260 years. This period ended in 1798. The coming of Christ could not take place before that time.” The Great Controversy, 356.

9 How does Mark speak of the tribulation and the days? Mark 13:24.

note: “These signs were witnessed before the opening of the nineteenth century.” The Great Controversy, 304.

10 Which closes first, the “tribulation” or “days”? What time did the tribulation cease?

note: The empress of Austria was the first European ruler to issue an edict of tolerance to Christianity, which took place in a.d. 1776. Owing to the work of the reformers, persecution ceased in the other states about the same time.

11 Then between what two dates would the darkening have to come to be a sign? Answer: Between 1776 and 1798. Was the sun darkened at this time? Give a description of the dark day in 1780.

note: “ ‘Almost, if not altogether alone, as the most mysterious and as yet unexplained phenomenon of its kind, . . . stands the dark day of May 19, 1780,–a most unaccountable darkening of the whole visible heavens and atmosphere in New England.’–R. M. Devens, Our First Century, page 89.” The Great Controversy, 306.

“May 19, 1780, stands in history as ‘The Dark Day.’ Since the time of Moses no period of darkness of equal density, extent, and duration, has ever been recorded. The description of this event, as given by eyewitnesses, is but an echo of the words of the Lord, recorded by the prophet Joel, twenty-five hundred years previous to their fulfillment: ‘The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.’ Joel 2:31.” Ibid., 308.

12 When was the sign in the moon fulfilled?

note: “The intense darkness of the day was succeeded, an hour or two before evening, by a partially clear sky, and the sun appeared, though it was still obscured by the black, heavy mist. ‘After sundown, the clouds came again overhead, and it grew dark very fast.’ ‘Nor was the darkness of the night less uncommon and terrifying than that of the day; notwithstanding there was almost a full moon, no object was discernible but by the help of some artificial light, which, when seen from the neighboring houses and other places at a distance, appeared through a kind of Egyptian darkness which seemed almost impervious to the rays.’–Isaiah Thomas, Massachusetts Spy; or, American Oracle of Liberty, vol. 10, No. 472 (May 25, 1780). Said an eyewitness of the scene: ‘I could not help conceiving at the time, that if every luminous body in the universe had been shrouded in impenetrable shades, or struck out of existence, the darkness could not have been more complete.’–Letter by Dr. Samuel Tenney, of Exeter, New Hampshire, December, 1785 (in Massachusetts Historical Society Collections, 1792, 1st series, vol. 1, p. 97). Though at nine o’clock that night the moon rose to the full, ‘it had not the least effect to dispel the deathlike shadows.’ After midnight the darkness disappeared, and the moon, when first visible, had the appearance of blood.” The Great Controversy, 307, 308.

13 What did Jesus exhort His people to do when they saw these things begin to come to pass? Luke 21:28.

note: “The words of Jesus Christ are spoken to us living down here in the close of this earth’s history. ‘When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.’ [Luke 21:28.] The nations are in unrest. Times of perplexity are upon us. The waves of the sea are roaring; men’s hearts are failing them for fear and for expectation of those things that are coming upon the earth; but those who believe on the Son of God will hear His voice amid the storm, saying, ‘It is I; be not afraid.’ [John 6:20.] . . . We see the world lying in wickedness and apostasy. Rebellion to the commandments of God seems almost universal. Amid the tumult of excitement with confusion in every place, there is a work to be done in the world.” Evangelism, 18.

Bible Study Guides – Can We Know of the Time?

August 5, 2007 – August 11, 2007

Key Text

“But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” Matthew 24:36.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 632-636.


“The times and the seasons God has put in His own power. And why has not God given us this knowledge?¾Because we would not make a right use of it if He did. A condition of things would result from this knowledge among our people that would greatly retard the work of God in preparing a people to stand in the great day that is to come. We are not to live upon time excitement. We are not to be engrossed with speculations in regard to the times and the seasons which God has not revealed. Jesus has told His disciples to ‘watch,’ but not for a definite time. His followers are to be in the position of those who are listening for the orders of their Captain; they are to watch, wait, pray, and work, as they approach the time for the coming of the Lord; but no one will be able to predict just when that time will come; for ‘of that day and hour knoweth no man.’ [Matthew 24:36.] You will not be able to say that He will come in one, two, or five years, neither are you to put off His coming by stating that it may not be for ten or twenty years.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 189.

1 To whom is Christ to appear with salvation? Hebrews 9:28.

note: “It is only to those who are waiting in hope and faith that Christ will appear, without sin unto salvation. Many have the theory of the truth who know not the power of godliness. If the word of God dwelt in the heart, it would control the life. Faith, purity, and conformity to the will of God would testify to its sanctifying power.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 15.

2 What are those called who look for Christ? 1 Thessalonians 5:4, 5. Compare John 12:35, 36.

note: “It is by carrying out in our lives the pure principles of the gospel of Christ that we honor and glorify our Father, who is in heaven. When we are doing this, we are reflecting Heaven-given light upon the dark world around us. Sinners will be constrained to confess that we are not the children of darkness, but the children of light. How shall they know this? By the fruits we bear. Men may have their names upon the church book; but that does not make them children of light. They may hold honorable positions and receive the praise of men; but that does not make them children of light. . . . There must be a deep work of grace¾the love of God in the heart, and this love is expressed by obedience.” Lift Him Up, 266.

3 What is the light of this people? Psalm 119:105; John 8:12.

note: “Life is associated with light, and if we have no light from the Sun of Righteousness, we can have no life in Him. But this light has been provided for every soul, and it is only as we withdraw from the light that darkness comes upon us. . . . In the world about us there can be no life without light. Were the sun to withdraw his shining, all vegetation, all animal life, would have an end. This illustrates the fact that we cannot have spiritual life unless we place ourselves under the beams of the Sun of Righteousness.” Sons and Daughters of God, 281.

“The life of God, which gives life to the world, is in His word. It was by His word that Jesus healed disease and cast out demons. By His word He stilled the sea and raised the dead; and the people bore witness that His word was with power. He spoke the word of God as He had spoken it to all the Old Testament writers. The whole Bible is a manifestation of Christ. It is our only source of power.” Gospel Workers (1915), 250.

4 What particular portions of the Scripture give light on the coming of the Lord? 11 Peter 1:19. What is prophecy? How was prophecy written? Verse 21.

note: “We must cherish and cultivate the faith of which prophets and apostles have testified¾the faith that lays hold on the promises of God and waits for deliverance in His appointed time and way. The sure word of prophecy will meet its final fulfillment in the glorious Advent of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as King of kings and Lord of lords.” My Life Today, 55.

“God committed the preparation of His divinely inspired Word to finite man. This Word arranged into books, the Old and New Testaments, is the guidebook to the inhabitants of a fallen world; bequeathed to them, that by studying and obeying the directions, not one soul would lose its way to heaven.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 944.

“The writers of the Bible had to express their ideas in human language. It was written by human men. These men were inspired of the Holy Spirit.” Ibid., 945.

5 What is said of the interpretation of prophecy? 11 Peter 1:20.

note: “Spiritual darkness has covered the earth and gross darkness the people. There are in many churches skepticism and infidelity in the interpretation of the Scriptures. Many, very many, are questioning the verity and truth of the Scriptures. Human reasoning and the imaginings of the human heart are undermining the inspiration of the Word of God, and that which should be received as granted, is surrounded with a cloud of mysticism. Nothing stands out in clear and distinct lines, upon rock bottom. This is one of the marked signs of the last days. . . .

“There are men who strive to be original . . . . In seeking to make plain or to unravel mysteries hid from ages from mortal man, they are like a man floundering about in the mud, unable to extricate himself and yet telling others how to get out of the muddy sea they themselves are in. This is a fit representation of the men who set themselves to correct the errors of the Bible. No man can improve the Bible by suggesting what the Lord meant to say or ought to have said.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 15, 16.

6 If the prophet did not speak according to his own mind, who is responsible for what he says? 1 Peter 1:10, 11. Then who instructed all the prophets what to write?

note: “All the communion between heaven and the fallen race has been through Christ. It was the Son of God that gave to our first parents the promise of redemption. It was He who revealed Himself to the patriarchs. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses understood the gospel. They looked for salvation through man’s Substitute and Surety. These holy men of old held communion with the Saviour who was to come to our world in human flesh; and some of them talked with Christ and heavenly angels face to face.

“Christ was not only the leader of the Hebrews in the wilderness¾the Angel in whom was the name of Jehovah, and who, veiled in the cloudy pillar, went before the host¾but it was He who gave the law to Israel. Amid the awful glory of Sinai, Christ declared in the hearing of all the people the ten precepts of His Father’s law. It was He who gave to Moses the law engraved upon the tables of stone.

“It was Christ that spoke to His people through the prophets. . . . It is the voice of Christ that speaks to us through the Old Testament. ‘The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.’ Revelation 19:10.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 366, 367.

7 Does Jesus make known the definite time of His second advent? Matthew 24:36.

note: “Many who have called themselves Adventists have been time setters. Time after time has been set for Christ to come, but repeated failures have been the result. The definite time of our Lord’s coming is declared to be beyond the ken of mortals. Even the angels who minister unto those who shall be heirs of salvation know not the day nor the hour. [Matthew 24:36 quoted.] Because the times repeatedly set have passed, the world is in a more decided state of unbelief than before in regard to the near advent of Christ. They look upon the failures of the time setters with disgust; and because men have been so deceived, they turn from the truth substantiated by the word of God that the end of all things is at hand.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 307. [Author’s emphasis.]

8 How near does Jesus come to giving us a definite time for His return? Matthew 24:34. What expression does the Saviour use which shows that the term “generation” means but a short period in this connection? Matthew 24:33.

note: “God’s people who profess to believe present truth, are not in a waiting, watching position. They are increasing in riches, and laying up their treasures upon the earth. They are becoming rich in worldly things, but not rich toward God. They do not believe in the shortness of time. They do not believe that the end of all things is at hand. They do not believe that Christ is at the door. They will act out all the faith that they really possess. They may profess much faith but deceive their own souls. Their works show the character of their faith. Many testify to those around them, by their works that the coming of Christ is not to be in this generation. According to their faith will be their works. Their preparations are being made to remain in this world. They are adding house to house, and land to land, and are citizens of this world.” Pamphlet 098, 20, 21.

9 What does Jesus expect His people to be doing when He is at the door? Matthew 24:42.

note: “Because we know not the exact time of His coming, we are commanded to watch. [Luke 12:37 quoted.] Those who watch for the Lord’s coming are not waiting in idle expectancy. . . . Those who are watching for the Lord are purifying their souls by obedience to the truth. With vigilant watching they combine earnest working. Because they know that the Lord is at the door, their zeal is quickened to co-operate with the divine intelligences in working for the salvation of souls. . . . As Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and Moses each declared the truth for his time, so will Christ’s servants now give the special warning for their generation.” The Desire of Ages, 634.

10 What will the unbelievers be doing in this generation? What do they say? What is said of their ignorance? 11 Peter 3:3-5. How could they have known differently?

note: “Many who professed to love the Saviour . . . did not wish to hear of Christ’s coming to judge the world in righteousness. They had been unfaithful servants, their works would not bear the inspection of the heart-searching God, and they feared to meet their Lord. Like the Jews at the time of Christ’s first advent they were not prepared to welcome Jesus. They not only refused to listen to the plain arguments from the Bible, but ridiculed those who were looking for the Lord.” The Great Controversy, 370.

“As the time of Christ’s second appearing draws near, the Lord sends His servants with a warning to the world to prepare for that great event. Multitudes have been living in transgression of God’s law, and now He in mercy calls them to obey its sacred precepts. All who will put away their sins by repentance toward God and faith in Christ are offered pardon. But many feel that it requires too great a sacrifice to put away sin. Because their life does not harmonize with the pure principles of God’s moral government, they reject His warnings and deny the authority of His law.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 102.

11 What should those who know of this time be doing? Romans 13:11-14.

note: “In a time like this, shall those who know the truth be inactive, and allow the powers of darkness to prevail? Shall not those who believe the truth for this time be wide awake, and work with an energy consistent with the profession of faith they make? Shall not those who understand the truth of God make every sacrifice to win souls to Christ, to yield allegiance to the law of God? The day is far spent, the night is at hand, and it is essential to work while it is day; for the night cometh, in which no man can work. In a time like this, we should have but this object in view,¾the employing of every means that God has provided by which the truth may be planted in the hearts of men. It is for this very purpose that the word of God was sent to the world, that it might control the life, and transform the character. It is the duty of every Christian to strive to the utmost of his ability to spread abroad the knowledge of the truth. Christ has commissioned His disciples to go forth into all the world and preach the gospel to all nations.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 201.

Bible Study Guides – A Personal and Literal Coming

July 29, 2007 – August 4, 2007

Key Text

“Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 829-835.


“Christ had ascended to heaven in the form of humanity. The disciples had beheld the cloud receive Him. The same Jesus who had walked and talked and prayed with them; who had broken bread with them; who had been with them in their boats on the lake; and who had that very day toiled with them up the ascent of Olivet,–the same Jesus had now gone to share His Father’s throne. And the angels had assured them that the very One whom they had seen go up into heaven, would come again even as He had ascended. He will come ‘with clouds; and every eye shall see Him.’ ‘The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise.’ ‘The Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory.’ Revelation 1:7; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Matthew 25:31. Thus will be fulfilled the Lord’s own promise to His disciples: ‘If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ John 14:3. Well might the disciples rejoice in the hope of their Lord’s return.” The Desire of Ages, 832.

1 What does Paul say of the manner of Christ’s Second Coming? 1 Thessalonians 5:2. To whom will He come as a thief? Verse 3. But what is said of the brethren? Verse 4.

note: “Come when it may, the advent of Christ will surprise the false teachers who are saying, ‘Peace and safety;’ ‘all things continue as they were from the beginning.’ Thus saith the word of Inspiration, ‘Sudden destruction cometh upon them.’ [1 Thessalonians 5:3; 11 Peter 3:4.] The day of God shall come as a snare upon all who dwell upon the face of the whole earth. It comes to them as a prowling thief. . . . Habitual watching is our only safety. We must be ever ready, that that day may not overtake us as a thief.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 233.

“To all, the testing time will come. By the sifting of temptation, the genuine Christian will be revealed. Are the people of God now so firmly established upon his word that they would not yield to the evidence of their senses? Would they, in such a crisis, cling to the Bible, and the Bible only? Satan will, if possible, prevent them from obtaining a preparation to stand in that day. He will so arrange affairs as to hedge up their way, entangle them with earthly treasures, cause them to carry a heavy, wearisome burden, that their hearts may be overcharged with the cares of this life, and the day of trial may come upon them as a thief.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 443, 444.

2 How many will see Christ when He comes? Revelation 1:7.

note: “Christ is soon to come the second time. Of this we should often talk. It should be the uppermost thought in our minds. He is coming, with power and great glory, and every eye shall see Him. All the holy angels will accompany Him.” The Upward Look, 311.

“Whether we be saved or lost, we shall sometime see the Saviour as he is, in all His glory, and shall understand His character. At His second coming, conviction will be brought to every heart.” The Signs of the Times, January 28, 1903.

3 What is said of the ascension of Jesus? Acts 1:9.

note: “When the time came for Christ to ascend to His Father, He led the disciples out as far as Bethany. Here He paused, and they gathered about Him. With hands outstretched in blessing, as if in assurance of His protecting care, He slowly ascended from among them. . . .

“While the disciples were gazing upward to catch the last glimpse of their ascending Lord, He was received into the rejoicing ranks of heavenly angels.” The Acts of the Apostles, 32.

4 Who appeared to the disciples as they were looking after Jesus as He ascended? Acts 1:10. What did they say of the manner of His return? Verse 11.

note: “As the men of Galilee stood looking steadfastly toward heaven, to catch, if possible, a glimpse of their ascending Saviour, two men in white apparel, heavenly angels commissioned to comfort them for the loss of the presence of their Saviour, stood by them and inquired: ‘Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.’ [Acts 1:11.]

“God designs that His people shall fix their eyes heavenward, looking for the glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. While the attention of worldlings is turned to various enterprises, ours should be to the heavens; our faith should reach further and further into the glorious mysteries of the heavenly treasure, drawing the precious, divine rays of light from the heavenly sanctuary to shine in our hearts, as they shine upon the face of Jesus.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 194, 195.

5 What was the last thing seen when Jesus ascended? Acts 1:9. What will be the first thing that will be seen when He returns? Matthew 24:30.

note: “As Christ ascends while in the act of blessing His disciples, an army of angels encircle Him as a cloud.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 306.

“Jesus is coming, coming with clouds and great glory. A multitude of shining angels will attend Him. He will come to honor those who have loved Him and kept His commandments, and to take them to Himself. He has not forgotten them or His promise.

“There appears in the East a small black cloud. . . . The people of God know this to be the sign of the Son of man. In solemn silence they gaze upon it as it draws nearer the earth, . . . until it is a great white cloud, its base a glory like consuming fire, and above it the rainbow of the covenant. Jesus rides forth as a mighty conqueror.” My Life Today, 345.

6 Will the righteous know Jesus when He appears? Isaiah 25:9.

note: “The waiting saints will be looking for Him, and gazing into heaven, as were the ‘men of Galilee’ [Acts 1:11] when He ascended from the Mount of Olivet. Then, those only who are holy, those who have followed fully the meek Pattern will, with rapturous joy, exclaim as they behold Him, ‘Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us.’ [Isaiah 25:9.]” Sons and Daughters of God, 360.

7 Will the wicked know Christ at this time? Revelation 6:14-16.

note: “When sinners are compelled to look upon Him who clothed His divinity with humanity, and who still wears this garb, their confusion is indescribable. The scales fall from their eyes, and they see that which before they would not see. They realize what they might have been had they received Christ, and improved the opportunities granted them. They see the law which they have spurned, exalted even as God’s throne is exalted. They see God Himself giving reverence to His law.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1069.

8 What will be heard at that time? 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

note: “The great apostasy, which is developing and increasing and waxing stronger, . . . will continue to do so until the Lord shall descend from heaven with a shout. We are to hold fast the first principles of our denominated faith, and go forward from strength to increased faith. Ever we are to keep the faith that has been substantiated by the Holy Spirit of God from the earlier events of our experience until the present time. We need now larger breadth, and deeper, more earnest, unwavering faith in the leadings of the Holy Spirit. If we needed the manifest proof of the Holy Spirit’s power to confirm truth in the beginning, after the passing of the time, we need today all the evidence in the confirmation of the truth, when souls are departing from the faith and giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. There must not be any languishing of soul now.” The Upward Look, 352.

9 What will that voice say to the righteous? Isaiah 26:20, 21.

note: “The great crisis is just before us. To meet its trials and temptations, and to perform its duties, will require persevering faith. But we may triumph gloriously; not one watching, praying, believing soul will be ensnared by the enemy.

“In the time of trial before us God’s pledge of security will be placed upon those who have kept the word of His patience. Christ will say to His faithful ones: ‘Come, My people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.’ Isaiah 26:20. The Lion of Judah, so terrible to the rejectors of His grace, will be the Lamb of God to the obedient and faithful. The pillar of cloud which speaks wrath and terror to the transgressor of God’s law is light and mercy and deliverance to those who have kept His commandments. The arm strong to smite the rebellious will be strong to deliver the loyal. Every faithful one will surely be gathered.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 404.

10 How will the wicked feel, and what will they do at that time? Isaiah 2:10, 17-20.

note: “It will be seen that Satan’s rebellion against God has resulted in ruin to himself and to all that chose to become his subjects. He has represented that great good would result from transgression; but it will be seen that ‘the wages of sin is death.’ [Romans 6:23.] ‘For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.’ Malachi 4:1. Satan, the root of every sin, and all evil workers, who are his branches, shall be utterly cut off. An end will be made of sin, with all the woe and ruin that have resulted from it.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 341.

11 What is Jesus to bring with Him when He returns? Revelation 22:12.

note: “Satan had possessed such power to blind minds through a love of the world, that even professed Christians forgot, or lost all sense of the fact that God lives and that His angels are making a record of all the doings of the children of men; that every mean act, every small deal, is placed upon the life record. Every day bears its burden of record of unfulfilled duties, of neglect, of selfishness, of deception, of fraud, of overreaching. What an amount of evil works is accumulating for the final judgment! When Christ shall come, ‘His reward is with Him, and His work before Him,’ [Isaiah 62:11] to render to every man according as his works have been. What a revelation will then be made! What confusion of face to some as the acts of their lives are revealed upon the pages of history!” Testimonies, vol. 2, 160.

12 What will be the appearance of the Lord when He comes? Luke 21:27.

note: “Christ is coming with clouds and with great glory. A multitude of shining angels will attend Him. He will come to raise the dead, and to change the living saints from glory to glory. He will come to honor those who have loved Him, and kept His commandments, and to take them to Himself. He has not forgotten them nor His promise. There will be a relinking of the family chain. When we look upon our dead, we may think of the morning when the trump of God shall sound, when ‘the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.’ 1 Corinthians 15:52. A little longer, and we shall see the King in His beauty. A little longer, and He will wipe all tears from our eyes. A little longer, and He will present us ‘faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.’ Jude 24. Wherefore, when He gave the signs of His coming He said, ‘When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.’ [Luke 21:28.]” The Desire of Ages, 632.

Recipe – Spiced Potato and Lentil Curry

1 Tablespoon oil

1 Spanish onion, diced

1 red chili, deseeded and diced

1 Tablespoon ground coriander

1 Tablespoon ground turmeric

2 cloves garlic, crushed

6 medium potatoes, sliced thickly

3 to 4 cups cooked lentils

2 cups vegetable stock

Place a medium-sized, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat and add oil. When oil is hot, add onion, chili (optional), garlic, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Add ground spices and potatoes and fry for 5 minutes. Add the cooked lentils and vegetable stock, then simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are cooked and stock has evaporated. Serve with a green salad.

Food for Life – The Art of Cooking

We can have a variety of good, wholesome food, cooked in a healthful manner, so that it will be palatable to all. It is of vital importance to know how to cook. Poor cooking produces disease and bad tempers; the system becomes deranged, and heavenly things cannot be discerned. There is more religion in good cooking than you have any idea of.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 157, 158.

“It is a religious duty for those who cook to learn how to prepare healthful food in different ways, so that it may be eaten with enjoyment. Mothers should teach their children how to cook. What branch of the education of a young lady can be so important as this? The eating has to do with the life. Scanty, impoverished, ill-cooked food is constantly depraving the blood, by weakening the blood-making organs. It is highly essential that the art of cookery be considered one of the most important branches of education. There are but few good cooks. Young ladies consider that it is stooping to a menial office to become a cook. This is not the case. They do not view the subject from a right stand-point.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 260.

“Food should be thoroughly cooked, nicely prepared, and appetizing. . . . It is much easier to create an unnatural appetite than to correct and reform the taste after it has become second nature.” Spalding and Magan Collection, 46.

“Cooking is no mean science and it is one of the most essential in practical life. It is a science that all women should learn, and it should be taught in a way to benefit the poorer classes. To make food appetizing and at the same time simple and nourishing, requires skill; but it can be done. Cooks should know how to prepare simple food in a simple and healthful manner, and so that it will be found more palatable, as well as more wholesome, because of its simplicity.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 257.

“We need a genuine education in the art of cooking. . . . Form classes where you may teach the people how to make good bread and how to put together ingredients to make healthful food combinations from the grains and the vegetables. Such an education will assist in creating a desire among our people to move out of the cities, to secure land in the country, where they can raise their own fruit and vegetables.” Medical Ministry, 267.

The Pen of Inspiration – Laborers For God

Fellow laborers in the great harvest field, we have but little time left in which to labor. Now is the most favorable opportunity we shall ever have, and how carefully ought every moment to be employed. So devoted was our Redeemer to the work of saving souls that He even longed for His baptism of blood. The apostles caught the zeal of their Master and firmly, steadily, zealously went forward to the accomplishment of their great work, fighting against principalities and powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places.

Lowliness and Meekness

We are living in a time when even greater earnestness is needed than in the apostles’ day. But among many of the ministers of Christ there is a feeling of unrest, a desire to imitate the romantic style of modern revivalists, a desire to do something great, to create a sensation, to be accounted able speakers, and to gain for themselves honor and distinction. If such could encounter perils and receive the honor given to heroes, they would engage in the work with unflagging energy. But to live and labor almost unknown, to toil and sacrifice for Jesus in obscurity, receiving no special praise from men this requires a soundness of principle and a steadfastness of purpose that but few possess. Were there a greater effort to walk humbly with God, looking away from men and laboring only for Christ’s sake, far more would be accomplished.

My ministering brethren, seek Jesus with all lowliness and meekness. Do not try to draw the attention of the people to yourselves. Let them lose sight of the instrument, while you exalt Jesus. Talk of Jesus; lose self in Jesus. There is too much bustle and stir about our religion, while Calvary and the cross are forgotten.

We are in the greatest peril when we receive praise of one another, when we enter into a confederacy to exalt one another. The great burden of the Pharisees was to secure the praise of men; and Christ told them that that was all the reward they would ever receive. Let us take up our appointed work and do it for Christ; if we suffer privation, let it be for His sake. Our divine Lord was made perfect through suffering. Oh, when shall we see men laboring as He labored!

The word of God is our standard. Every act of love, every word of kindness, every prayer in behalf of the suffering and oppressed, is reported before the eternal throne and placed on heaven’s imperishable record. The divine word pours light into the most darkened understanding, and that light makes the most cultivated feel their inefficiency and sinfulness.

Price of a Soul

The enemy is buying souls today very cheap. ‘Ye have sold yourselves for nought,’ is the language of Scripture. [Isaiah 52:3.] One is selling his soul for the world’s applause, another for money; one to gratify base passions, another for worldly amusement. Such bargains are made daily. Satan is bidding for the purchase of Christ’s blood and buying them cheap, notwithstanding the infinite price which has been paid to ransom them.

Great blessings and privileges are ours. We may secure the most valuable heavenly treasures. Let ministers and people remember that gospel truth ruins if it does not save. The soul that refuses to listen to the invitations of mercy from day to day can soon listen to the most urgent appeals without an emotion stirring his soul.

Fervent Piety

As laborers with God we need more fervent piety and less self-exaltation. The more self is exalted, the more will faith in the testimonies of the Spirit of God be lessened. Those who are the most closely connected with God are the ones who know His voice when He speaks to them. Those who are spiritual discern spiritual things. Such will feel grateful that the Lord has pointed out their errors, while those who trust wholly in themselves will see less and less of God in the testimonies of His Spirit.

Our work must be accompanied with deep humiliation, fasting, and prayer. We must not expect all peace and joy. There will be sadness; but if we sow in tears we shall reap in joy. Darkness and despondency may at times enter the heart of the self-sacrificing ones; but this is not against them. It may be God’s design to cause them to seek Him more earnestly.

Calebs Wanted

What we need now is Calebs, men who are faithful and true. Indolence marks the lives of too many at the present day. They turn their shoulders from the wheel just when they should persevere and bring all their powers into active exercise. Ministers of Christ, ‘awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.’ [Ephesians 5:14.] Your labors taste so strongly of self that Christ is forgotten. Some of you are pampered and flattered too much. As in the days Noah, there is too much eating and drinking, planting and building. The world has stolen the energies of the servants of Christ. Brethren, if you would have your religion honored by unbelievers, honor it yourselves by corresponding works. By a close connection with God and a strict adherence to Bible truth in the face of difficulty and worldly pressure, you may infuse the spirit of the truth into the hearts of your children so that they will work effectually with you as instruments in God’s hands for good.

Many are incapacitated for labor both mentally and physically by overeating and the gratification of the lustful passions. The animal propensities are strengthened, while the moral and spiritual nature is enfeebled. When we shall stand around the great white throne, what a record will the lives of many then present. Then will they see what they might have done had they not debased their God-given powers. Then will they realize what height of intellectual greatness they might have attained had they given to God all the physical and mental strength He had entrusted to them. In their agony of remorse they will long to have their lives to live over again.

Depart From Iniquity

I call upon those who profess to be light bearers ensamples to the flock to depart from all iniquity. Use well the little remnant of time now left you. Have you that strong hold of God, that consecration to His service, that your religion will not fail you in the face of direst persecution? The deep love of God alone will sustain the soul amid the trials which are just upon us.

Self-denial and the cross are our portion. Will we accept it? None of us need expect that when the last great trials come upon us a self-sacrificing, patriotic spirit will be developed in a moment because needed. No, indeed, this spirit must be blended with our daily experience, and infused into the minds and hearts of our children, both by precept and example. Mothers in Israel may not be warriors themselves, but they may raise up warriors who shall gird on the whole armor and fight manfully the battles of the Lord.

Ministers and people need the converting power of grace before they will be able to stand in the day of the Lord. The world is fast approaching that point in iniquity and human depravity when God’s interference will become necessary. And at that time His professed followers should be more marked for their fidelity to His holy law. Their prayer will be as that of David: “It is time for Thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void Thy law.” And by their conduct they will say: “Therefore I love Thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.” [Psalm 119:126, 127.] The very contempt that is shown to the law of God is sufficient reason why His commandment-keeping people should come to the front and show their esteem and reverence for His downtrodden law.

“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” [Matthew 24:12.] The very atmosphere is polluted with sin. Soon God’s people will be tested by fiery trials, and the great proportion of those who now appear to be genuine and true will prove to be base metal. Instead of being strengthened and confirmed by opposition, threats, and abuse, they will cowardly take the side of the opposers. The promise is: “Them that honor Me I will honor.” Shall we be less firmly attached to God’s law because the world at large have attempted to make it void?

Already the judgments of God are abroad in the land, as seen in storms, in floods, in tempests, in earthquakes, in peril by land and by sea. The great I AM is speaking to those who make void His law. When God’s wrath is poured out upon the earth, who will then be able to stand? Now is the time for God’s people to show themselves true to principle. When the religion of Christ is most held in contempt, when His law is most despised, then should our zeal be the warmest and our courage and firmness the most unflinching. To stand in defense of truth and righteousness when the majority forsake us, to fight the battles of the Lord when champions are few—this will be our test. At this time we must gather warmth from the coldness of others, courage from their cowardice, and loyalty from their treason. The nation will be on the side of the great rebel leader.

The test will surely come. Thirty-six years ago I was shown that what is now transpiring would take place, that the observance of an institution of the papacy would be enforced upon the people by a Sunday law, while the sanctified rest day of Jehovah would be trampled underfoot.

The Captain of our salvation will strengthen His people for the conflict in which they must engage. How often when Satan has brought all his forces to bear against the followers of Christ, and death stares them in the face, have earnest prayers put up in faith brought the Captain of the Lord’s host upon the field of action and turned the tide of battle and delivered the oppressed.

Now is the time when we should closely connect with God, that we may be hid when the fierceness of His wrath is poured upon the sons of men. We have wandered away from the old landmarks. Let us return. If the Lord be God, serve Him; if Baal, serve him. Which side will you be on?

Testimonies, vol. 5, 132-137.

Question – Is it necessary to believe in the Spirit of Prophecy…


Is it necessary to believe in the Spirit of Prophecy to be a Seventh-day Adventist?


Let us first consider several passages from the Bible: “Where [there is] no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy [is] he.” Proverbs 29:18. “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7. “Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.” 11 Chronicles 20:20, last part.

Paul speaks of spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12. Verse 10 specifically mentions the gift of prophecy. Romans 12:6 also refers to the gift of prophecy.

John the Revelator wrote: “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 12:17. Revelation 19:10 explains the “testimony of Jesus Christ.” It says, in the last part, “The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy.”

After reading these texts, we should have some idea of how the Lord communicates with His people. “And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, [I] the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, [and] will speak unto him in a dream.” Numbers 12:6.

The Lord did not expect human beings, with their finite mentality, to figure out their way by themselves here on this sin-cursed earth. He provided them communication with heaven by prayer, then, specifically, through prophets to guide His people.

We are living in the end time of this earth’s history. Knowledge is increasing, and men are running to and fro. (Daniel 12:4.) In such a situation, surely God would have something to say to His people to guide them through the maze of new information and new inventions. Human reasoning tells us that we need the advice of a prophet.

How do we know that the true gift of prophecy has been given? First, truth is always truth. One of the strongest evidences is that a true prophet’s writings will agree with the former prophets in the Bible, especially with the Law of God. It says, in Isaiah 8:20, “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them.” Therefore, the writings and the works of a prophet must be tested against the Bible.

Ellen White, who authored what is known as the Spirit of Prophecy, wrote many books and articles—some 225,000 pages—and every one agrees with the Bible; never in one word did she contradict the Bible. Her writings always lead to the study of the Bible. Having only a third grade education, in order for her to write as much and as accurately and interestingly as she did, she had to have more than just her human intelligence. Her many visions and dreams all draw one closer to the Lord.

I could write a small book on physical proof and the proof of prophecies fulfilled, but to me that is not the greatest proof that she was a prophet of the Lord. The greatest proof comes from the reading of her writings and seeing what they will do for you. Lay all your preconceived ideas and prejudices aside and read.

Since we have all this wonderful instruction, it would surely be an insult to the Lord if we did not accept it. Therefore, I would suggest that a real Seventh-day Adventist will read and follow the instruction given in the Spirit of Prophecy.

Nature Nugget – Bumblebee Social Order

Social bees live in colonies and consist of three castes: the queen who produces the eggs, thousands of workers (sexually undeveloped females), and a few hundred drones (fertile males). There are three groups of social bees: the honeybees, stingless bees, and bumblebees. Found mainly in temperate climates, there are around 300 species of bumblebees worldwide.

Like all social bees, bumblebees are important as pollinators, because they visit flowers to feed on nectar and to gather pollen to feed their young. They make and store honey in a “honey pot” in their nests, which are constructed from wax, secreted from glands in the bees abdomens. The amount of honey bumblebees store in their nests is very small compared to honeybees; therefore, they were never domesticated by man.

Young fertilized queens are the only members of the bumblebee colony that survive the winter. In the spring, they emerge from hibernation and search for a location to start a colony. They usually choose an abandoned mouse or chipmunk nest or other underground cavity. The young queen then builds a small nest with brood cells from wax and stores nectar and pollen which she gathers from nearby flowers. She then lays a few eggs and feeds the hatched larvae from her stored food supply. Once the workers emerge, they take over the duties of the colony while the queen concentrates on egg laying.

The queen secretes a pheromone (chemical substance) that permeates the nest and represses sexual development in the workers by suppressing the glands that would otherwise lead to their ovaries developing. In late summer or early fall, the queen stops producing this pheromone in order that some of her eggs will develop into new queens. No longer restrained by the pheromone, some of the workers start egg-laying. The eggs are not fertile, but will develop into drones. The queen tries to destroy these eggs by eating them, because they are in competition with her own drone eggs. The egg-laying workers are angered by this act, and the social order of the colony collapses; anarchy reigns. The aging queen loses her social dominance and is killed by the workers. The young queens soon leave the nest and mate with the drones. Then they hibernate in seclusion and start the process over again the following spring.

Just as the queen bumblebee uses a pheromone to maintain the peace and social order in her colony, so we as Christians are to use prayer to maintain peace, order, and unity among ourselves. “The time has come for a thorough reformation to take place. When this reformation begins, the spirit of prayer will actuate every believer and will banish from the church the spirit of discord and strife. Those who have not been living in Christian fellowship will draw close to one another. One member working in right lines will lead other members to unite with him in making intercession for the revelation of the Holy Spirit. There will be no confusion, because all will be in harmony with the mind of the Spirit. The barriers separating believer from believer will be broken down, and God’s servants will speak the same things.” Ye Shall Receive Power, 285. “Prayer is a heaven-ordained means of success. Appeals, petitions, entreaties, between man and man, move men, and act as a part in controlling the affairs of nations. But prayer moves heaven. That power alone that comes in answer to prayer will make men wise in the wisdom of heaven, and enable them to work in the unity of the Spirit, joined together by the bonds of peace.” Sons and Daughters of God, 335.

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

Restoring the Temple – Prevention Or Prescription

Over the last decade, the subject of health has become more and more prominent. Health consciousness has tremendously increased everywhere. Also, many are concerned regarding new sicknesses and diseases that are baffling modern medicine. As a result, many important questions are being asked by individuals. Often the inquiry is made as to what must be done to stay healthy and avoid sickness. Others ask concerning what aspect of health needs to be stressed the most, since this is indeed a very broad subject that enters into many different areas. Surely these queries are quite valid for those in pursuit of healthy bodies and peace of mind.

Conventional medicine with its many different branches is well known by everyone. Preventative medicine and alternative means of healing have also been around for many years and consist of many different aspects which include such areas as natural remedies, holistic healing, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, reflexology, herbology, and much more.

Prevention Important

However, one of the most important aspects of health that many people often overlook is the necessity of prevention. What is very much needed by all is a knowledge of how to preserve their bodies from different diseases and ailments and exactly how to keep them functioning at their highest or optimum capability. Thus, while it is true that a prescription or remedy is essential when the need arises, it is more essential to recognize and concentrate on prevention. The logical conclusion is that prevention is better than prescription.

Although all the different departments of health are essential in themselves, most of them are unfortunately more concerned with treatment, cures, healing procedures or techniques, instead of preventing the development of health problems in the first place. The Creator never intended for any of His dear creatures to be sick. Thus God designed all nature in such a way that when His moral and natural laws are obeyed, our bodies, minds, and spirits will be able to continue functioning in a positive and healthy manner at all times. However, sin came in and interrupted the Lord’s original plan.

If the Creator’s natural laws of health were consistently incorporated into our lifestyle today, we would seldom experience sickness. Unfortunately, due to man’s disobedience to his Maker, sickness and death have become natural occurrences in life. Hence the use of various prescriptions, treatments, therapies, and vitamin and mineral supplements, as well as many different herbs, has only really become essential as a result of man’s disobedience. Their increased and ever increasing necessity can be seen in the negative effects of bad diets and other unhealthful practices on the minds and bodies of men and women today.

Healthy Lifestyle

Surely, a knowledge of such things as herbs and certain natural remedies is very essential to the healing of the mind and the body from various diseases and ailments. However, a knowledge of proper health practices and principles that aid in the natural maintenance of the human body will always prove to be more important and extremely essential to our happiness, health, and well-being.

Since the practice of a healthy lifestyle acts as a deterrent from sickness and disease, it is better to possess and promote a knowledge of the laws and principles of good health instead of only knowing about treatments and cures whose need arises as a result of failure to adopt preventative measures on a regular basis. However, again it must be stressed that the different treatments, remedies, and cures have their place, but always remember that prevention is better than prescription as much as caution is better than cure.

All should become aware of the laws of health and promote them as a lifestyle. We should see the need to learn more about the eight natural laws of health, which includes the proper understanding of the effects of nutrition, exercise, water, and sunshine. We believe that these laws should constitute the foundation of all our instruction to our children and others in the area of health. By so doing, we can prevent many health problems from arising in the first place.

It should be observed that when a person gets sick and goes to his or her doctor, the physician often prescribes at least one or more of the eight natural laws to help the person get well (such as the need for more rest, the necessity of drinking plenty of good, clean water, and the need to get out in the sunshine). Thus, it is evident that some medical practitioners also see the need for using some natural means.

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: