Bible Study Guides – Human Nature

August 24, 2008 – August 30, 2008

Key Text

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. … So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:26, 27.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 52–62.


“Man was to bear God’s image, both in outward resemblance and in character. … Man was formed in the likeness of God. His nature was in harmony with the will of God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 45.

1 What was the condition of man at creation? Genesis 1:27.

Note: “All heaven took a deep and joyful interest in the creation of the world and of man. Human beings were a new and distinct order. They were made ‘in the image of God,’ and it was the Creator’s design that they should populate the earth.” Review and Herald, February 11, 1902.

“When Adam came from the Creator’s hand, he bore, in his physical, mental, and spiritual nature, a likeness to his Maker. ‘God created man in His own image’ (Genesis 1:27), and it was His purpose that the longer man lived the more fully he should reveal this image—the more fully reflect the glory of the Creator.” Education, 15.

2 What kind of garment did Adam and Eve wear? Genesis 2:25.

Note: “The white robe of innocence was worn by our first parents when they were placed by God in holy Eden. They lived in perfect conformity to the will of God. All the strength of their affections was given to their heavenly Father. A beautiful soft light, the light of God, enshrouded the holy pair.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 310, 311.

3 What did God say about man on the sixth day? Genesis 1:26–28, 31.

Note: “Man came from the hand of God perfect in every faculty of mind and body; in perfect soundness, therefore in perfect health.” My Life Today, 126.

4 What kind of food was provided for our first parents? Genesis 1:29.

Note: “In order to know what are the best foods, we must study God’s original plan for man’s diet. He who created man and who understands his needs appointed Adam his food. ‘Behold,’ He said, ‘I have given you every herb yielding seed, … and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food.’ Genesis 1:29, A.R.V. Upon leaving Eden to gain his livelihood by tilling the earth under the curse of sin, man received permission to eat also ‘the herb of the field.’ Genesis 3:18.

“Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator. These foods, prepared in as simple and natural a manner as possible, are the most healthful and nourishing. They impart a strength, a power of endurance, and a vigor of intellect that are not afforded by a more complex and stimulating diet.” The Ministry of Healing, 295, 296.

5 How can we best describe the Eden lifestyle? Genesis 2:8–10, 15.

Note: “In this garden [the garden of Eden] were trees of every variety, many of them laden with fragrant and delicious fruit. There were lovely vines, growing upright, yet presenting a most graceful appearance, with their branches drooping under their load of tempting fruit of the richest and most varied hues. It was the work of Adam and Eve to train the branches of the vine to form bowers, thus making for themselves a dwelling from living trees covered with foliage and fruit.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 47.

6 What else was provided for man’s happiness on the sixth day? Genesis 1:27; 2:18, 21–24.

Note: “He [Jesus] referred them [the Pharisees] to the blessed days of Eden, when God pronounced all things ‘very good.’ Then marriage and the Sabbath had their origin, twin institutions for the glory of God in the benefit of humanity. Then, … the Creator joined the hands of the holy pair in wedlock, saying, A man shall ‘leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one’ (Genesis 2:24).’ ” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 63.

7 What is God’s purpose in the marriage institution? Genesis 1:28; 2:18.

Note: “He [the Creator] enunciated the law of marriage for all the children of Adam to the close of time. That which the Eternal Father Himself had pronounced good was the law of highest blessing and development for man.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 63, 64.

“God made from the man a woman, to be a companion and helpmeet for him, to be one with him, to cheer, encourage, and bless him, he in his turn to be her strong helper. All who enter into matrimonial relations with a holy purpose—the husband to obtain the pure affections of a woman’s heart, the wife to soften and improve her husband’s character and give it completeness—fulfill God’s purpose for them.

“Christ came not to destroy this institution, but to restore it to its original sanctity and elevation. He came to restore the moral image of God in man, and He began His work by sanctioning the marriage relation.

“He who gave Eve to Adam as a helpmeet performed His first miracle at a marriage festival. In the festal hall where friends and kindred rejoiced together, Christ began His public ministry. Thus He sanctioned marriage, recognizing it as an institution that He Himself had established. He ordained that men and women should be united in holy wedlock, to rear families whose members, crowned with honor, should be recognized as members of the family above.

“The divine love emanating from Christ never destroys human love, but includes it. By it human love is refined and purified, elevated and ennobled. Human love can never bear its precious fruit until it is united with the divine nature and trained to grow heavenward. Jesus wants to see happy marriages, happy firesides.” The Adventist Home, 99.

8 As a result of Adam’s and Eve’s disobedience, what happened to human nature? Romans 5:12, 17, 19.

Note: “After their sin Adam and Eve were no longer to dwell in Eden. They earnestly entreated that they might remain in the home of their innocence and joy. They confessed that they had forfeited all right to that happy abode, but pledged themselves for the future to yield strict obedience to God. But they were told that their nature had become depraved by sin; they had lessened their strength to resist evil and had opened the way for Satan to gain more ready access to them. In their innocence they had yielded to temptation; and now, in a state of conscious guilt, they would have less power to maintain their integrity.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 61.

9 What is the condition of humanity today? Psalm 51:5; Romans 7:14–20.

Note: “A perception of right, a desire for goodness, exists in every heart. But against these principles there is struggling an antagonistic power. The result of the eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is manifest in every man’s experience. There is in his nature a bent to evil, a force which, unaided, he cannot resist. To withstand this force, to attain that ideal which in his inmost soul he accepts as alone worthy, he can find help in but one power. That power is Christ. Co-operation with that power is man’s greatest need.” Education, 29.

“The strongest evidence of man’s fall from a higher state is the fact that it costs so much to return. The way of return can be gained only by hard fighting, inch by inch, hour by hour. In one moment, by a hasty, unguarded act, we may place ourselves in the power of evil; but it requires more than a moment to break the fetters and attain to a holier life. The purpose may be formed, the work begun; but its accomplishment will require toil, time, perseverance, patience, and sacrifice. …

“The life of the apostle Paul was a constant conflict with self. He said, ‘I die daily.’ II Corinthians 15:31. His will and his desires every day conflicted with duty and the will of God. Instead of following inclination, he did God’s will, however crucifying to his nature.” The Ministry of Healing, 452, 453.

10 What is the final consequence of sin? Romans 6:21, 23.

Note: “Adam, in transgressing the law of Jehovah, had opened the door for Satan, who had planted his banner in the midst of the first family. He was made to feel, indeed, that the wages of sin was death.” Confrontation, 23.

“He who chooses a course of disobedience to God’s law is deciding his future destiny; he is sowing to the flesh, earning the wages of sin, even eternal destruction, the opposite of life eternal. Submission to God and obedience to His holy law bring the sure result. ‘This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.’ John 17:3.” The Faith I Live By, 71.

11 Since man is free to choose either eternal life or eternal death, what advice does the Lord give us? Deuteronomy 30:15–19.

Note: “We need to be active, working Christians, unselfish in heart and life, having an eye single to the glory of God. Oh, what wrecks we meet everywhere! what silent lips and fruitless lives! ‘This,’ said the angel, ‘is because of falling under temptation. Nothing mars the peace of the soul like sinful unbelief.’

“You should not give up in despair, thinking you must live and die in the bondage of doubt and unbelief. In the Lord we have righteousness and strength. Lean upon Him; and through His power you may quench all the fiery darts of the adversary and come off more than conqueror. You may yet become sanctified through the truth; or you may, if you choose, walk in the darkness of unbelief, lose heaven, and lose all. By walking in the light and working out the will of God, you may overcome your selfish nature.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 213, 214.

Additional Reading

“God Himself gave Adam a companion. He provided ‘an help meet for him’—a helper corresponding to him—one who was fitted to be his companion, and who could be one with him in love and sympathy. Eve was created from a rib taken from the side of Adam, signifying that she was not to control him as the head, nor to be trampled under his feet as an inferior, but to stand by his side as an equal, to be loved and protected by him. A part of man, bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, she was his second self; showing the close union and the affectionate attachment that should exist in this relation. ‘For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it.’ [Ephesians 5:29.]

“God celebrated the first marriage. Thus the institution has for its originator the Creator of the universe. ‘Marriage is honourable’ [Hebrews 13:4, first part]; it was one of the first gifts of God to man, and it is one of the two institutions that, after the fall, Adam brought with him beyond the gates of Paradise. When the divine principles are recognized and obeyed in this relation, marriage is a blessing; it guards the purity and happiness of the race, it provides for man’s social needs, it elevates the physical, the intellectual, and the moral nature.” The Adventist Home, 25, 26.

“The strongest evidence of man’s fall from a higher state is the fact that it costs so much to return. The way of return can be gained only by hard fighting, inch by inch, hour by hour. In one moment, by a hasty, unguarded act, we may place ourselves in the power of evil; but it requires more than a moment to break the fetters and attain to a holier life. The purpose may be formed, the work begun; but its accomplishment will require toil, time, perseverance, patience, and sacrifice.” The Ministry of Healing, 452.

“ ‘The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ Romans 6:23. While life is the inheritance of the righteous, death is the portion of the wicked. Moses declared to Israel: ‘I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil.’ Deuteronomy 30:15.” The Great Controversy, 544.

“Obedience and submission to God’s requirements are the conditions given by the inspired apostle by which we become children of God, members of the royal family. Every child and youth, every man and woman, has Jesus rescued by His own blood from the abyss of ruin to which Satan was compelling them to go. Because sinners will not accept of the salvation freely offered them, are they released from their obligations? Their choosing to remain in sin and bold transgression does not lessen their guilt. Jesus paid a price for them, and they belong to Him. They are His property; and if they will not yield obedience to Him who has given His life for them, but devote their time and strength and talents to the service of Satan, they are earning their wages, which is death. Immortal glory and eternal life is the reward that our Redeemer offers to those who will be obedient to Him. He has made it possible for them to perfect Christian character through His name and to overcome on their own account as He overcame in their behalf. He has given them an example in His own life, showing them how they may overcome. ‘The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ [Romans 6:23.]” Testimonies, vol. 3, 365.

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Precious Promises

August 17, 2008 – August 23, 2008

Key Text

“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” II Peter 1:4.

Study Help: Christ’s Object Lessons, 307–319.


“The promises spoken by the great Teacher will captivate the senses and animate the soul of the child with a spiritual power that is divine. There will grow in the receptive mind a familiarity with divine things which will be as a barricade against the temptations of the enemy.” Child Guidance, 496.

1 After the fall, in what words was the work of redemption promised? Genesis 3:15.

Note: “Ever since the first promise of redemption was spoken in Eden, the life, the character, and the mediatorial work of Christ have been the study of human minds. Yet every mind through whom the Holy Spirit has worked has presented these themes in a light that is fresh and new. The truths of redemption are capable of constant development and expansion. Though old, they are ever new, constantly revealing to the seeker for truth a greater glory and a mightier power.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 127.

2 How sure can we be about God’s promises? I Corinthians 1:9; 10:13.

Note: “The apostle adjured the Corinthians, ‘Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.’ [I Corinthians 10:12.] Should they become boastful and self-confident, neglecting to watch and pray, they would fall into grievous sin, calling down upon themselves the wrath of God. Yet Paul would not have them yield to despondency or discouragement.” The Acts of the Apostles, 316.

3 What is promised to us if we fulfill some basic conditions? I John 1:9.

Note: “Thank God that He who spilled His blood for us, lives to plead it, lives to make intercession for every soul who receives Him. ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ I John 1:9. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. It speaketh better things than the blood of Abel, for Christ ever liveth to make intercession for us. We need to keep ever before us the efficacy of the blood of Jesus. That life-cleansing, life-sustaining blood, appropriated by living faith, is our hope. We need to grow in appreciation of its inestimable value, for it speaks for us only as we by faith claim its virtue, keeping the conscience clean and at peace with God.

“This is represented as the pardoning blood, inseparably connected with the resurrection and life of our Redeemer, illustrated by the ever-flowing stream that proceeds from the throne of God, the water of the river of life.” Our High Calling, 47.

4 What are the conditions upon which we are forgiven and cleansed by the blood of Christ? Psalm 32:5; Proverbs 28:13.

Note: “The conditions of obtaining mercy from God are simple and reasonable. The Lord does not require us to do some grievous thing in order to gain forgiveness. We need not make long and wearisome pilgrimages, or perform painful penances, to commend our souls to the God of heaven or to expiate our transgression. He that ‘confesseth and forsaketh’ his sin ‘shall have mercy.’ Proverbs 28:13.

“In the courts above, Christ is pleading for His church—pleading for those for whom He has paid the redemption price of His blood. Centuries, ages, can never lessen the efficacy of His atoning sacrifice. Neither life nor death, height nor depth, can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus; not because we hold Him so firmly, but because He holds us so fast. If our salvation depended on our own efforts, we could not be saved; but it depends on the One who is behind all the promises. Our grasp on Him may seem feeble, but His love is that of an elder brother; so long as we maintain our union with Him, no one can pluck us out of His hand.” The Acts of the Apostles, 552, 553.

5 How can we be free from sinning? Matthew 1:21.

Note: “God’s ideal for His children is higher than the highest human thought can reach. ‘Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ [Matthew 5:48]. This command is a promise. The plan of redemption contemplates our complete recovery from the power of Satan. Christ always separates the contrite soul from sin. He came to destroy the works of the devil, and He has made provision that the Holy Spirit shall be imparted to every repentant soul, to keep him from sinning.

“The tempter’s agency is not to be accounted an excuse for one wrong act. Satan is jubilant when he hears the professed followers of Christ making excuses for their deformity of character. It is these excuses that lead to sin. There is no excuse for sinning. A holy temper, a Christlike life, is accessible to every repenting, believing child of God.” The Desire of Ages, 311.

6 What is promised to those who accept the gospel? Romans 1:16, 17.

Note: “United with Christ, all the power you require will be given you. Abiding in Him, you can fight manfully. The more you believe and trust as a child in the Lord Jesus, the greater will be your capacity for believing. By faith you stand. Only by exercising faith can you conquer self. … Self is the ground where Satan always meets and manages those whom he wishes to deceive and conquer. But if the righteousness of Christ is revealed in you, you become strong. Looking beyond yourself to a crucified Saviour, a risen and ascended Lord, who is, as your Advocate, making intercession for you, taking hold of Christ’s power and efficiency, you can conquer.” Our High Calling, 126.

7 How long did it take for Christ to cleanse the leper? Matthew 8:2, 3. How long will it take for Christ to forgive and cleanse us?

Note: “In some instances of healing, Jesus did not at once grant the blessing sought. But in the case of leprosy, no sooner was the appeal made than it was granted. When we pray for earthly blessings, the answer to our prayer may be delayed, or God may give us something other than we ask, but not so when we ask for deliverance from sin. It is His will to cleanse us from sin, to make us His children, and to enable us to live a holy life.” The Desire of Ages, 266.

8 What is promised to overcomers in the Laodicean period? Revelation 3:21.

Note: “If Jesus resisted Satan’s temptations, He will help us to resist. He came to bring divine power to combine with human effort.

“Jesus was free from all sin and error; there was not a trace of imperfection in His life or character. He maintained spotless purity under circumstances the most trying. …

“Christ’s overcoming and obedience is that of a true human being. In our conclusions, we make many mistakes because of our erroneous views of the human nature of our Lord. When we give to His human nature a power that it is not possible for man to have in his conflicts with Satan, we destroy the completeness of His humanity. His imputed grace and power He gives to all who receive Him by faith.

“The obedience of Christ to His Father was the same obedience that is required of man. Man cannot overcome Satan’s temptations without divine power to combine with his instrumentality. So with Jesus Christ; He could lay hold of divine power. He came not to our world to give the obedience of a lesser God to a greater, but as a man to obey God’s holy law, and in this way He is our example. The Lord Jesus came to our world, not to reveal what a God could do, but what a man could do, through faith in God’s power to help in every emergency. Man is, through faith, to be a partaker in the divine nature, and to overcome every temptation wherewith he is beset.

“The Lord now demands that every son and daughter of Adam, through faith in Jesus Christ, serve Him in human nature which we now have. … Jesus, the world’s Redeemer, could only keep the commandments of God in the same way that humanity can keep them.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 929.

9 What is the only way we can be overcomers? I Corinthians 15:57.

Note: “The followers of Christ are to become like Him—by the grace of God to form characters in harmony with the principles of His holy law. This is Bible sanctification.

“This work can be accomplished only through faith in Christ, by the power of the indwelling Spirit of God.” The Great Controversy, 469.

10 In accepting God’s written promises, what happens to our life? II Peter 1:4.

Note: “Through belief in him [Christ] it is our privilege to be partakers of the divine nature, and so escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. Then we are cleansed from all sin, all defects of character. We need not retain one sinful propensity. …

“As we partake of the divine nature, hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong are cut away from the character, and we are made a living power for good. Ever learning of the divine Teacher, daily partaking of his nature, we co-operate with God in overcoming Satan’s temptations. God works, and man works, that man may be one with Christ as Christ is one with God. Then we sit together with Christ in heavenly places. The mind rests with peace and assurance in Jesus.” Review and Herald, April 24, 1900.

“It is God who gives us power to overcome. Those who hear His voice and obey His commandments are enabled to form righteous characters.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 943.

11 What does Revelation 12:11 say of the faithful believers?

Note: “All who will can be overcomers. Let us strive earnestly to reach the standard set before us. Christ knows our weakness, and to Him we can go daily for help. It is not necessary for us to gain strength a month ahead. We are to conquer from day to day.

“We become overcomers by helping others to overcome, by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. The keeping of the commandments of God will yield in us an obedient spirit, and the service that is the offspring of such a spirit, God can accept.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 974.

Additional Reading

“ ‘He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.’ Proverbs 28:13.

“The conditions of obtaining mercy of God are simple and just and reasonable. The Lord does not require us to do some grievous thing in order that we may have the forgiveness of sin. We need not make long and wearisome pilgrimages, or perform painful penances, to commend our souls to the God of heaven or to expiate our transgression; but he that confesseth and forsaketh his sin shall have mercy.

“The apostle says, ‘Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.’ James 5:16. Confess your sins to God, who only can forgive them, and your faults to one another. If you have given offense to your friend or neighbor, you are to acknowledge your wrong, and it is his duty freely to forgive you. Then you are to seek the forgiveness of God, because the brother you have wounded is the property of God, and in injuring him you sinned against his Creator and Redeemer. The case is brought before the only true Mediator, our great High Priest, who ‘was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin,’ and who is ‘touched with the feeling of our infirmities,’ and is able to cleanse from every stain of iniquity. Hebrews 4:15.” Steps to Christ, 37, 38.

“The gospel is the power of God and the wisdom of God. The character of Christ on earth revealed divinity, and the gospel which He has given is to be the study of His human heritage in all their educational departments, until teachers, children, and youth shall discern in the only true and living God the object of their faith and love and adoration. The Word is to be respected and obeyed. That Book which contains the record of Christ’s life, His work, His doctrines, His sufferings, and final triumphs, is to be the source of our strength. We are granted the privileges of school life in this world that we may obtain a fitness for the higher life—the highest grade in the highest school, where, under God, our studies will continue through the ceaseless ages of eternity.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 245.

“Those who would overcome must put to the tax every power of their being. They must agonize on their knees before God for divine power. Christ came to be our example, and to make known to us that we may be partakers of the divine nature. How?—By having escaped the corruptions that are in the world through lust. Satan did not gain the victory over Christ. He did not put his foot upon the soul of the Redeemer. He did not touch the head though he bruised the heel. Christ, by His own example, made it evident that man may stand in integrity. Men may have a power to resist evil—a power that neither earth, nor death, nor hell can master; a power that will place them where they may overcome as Christ overcame. Divinity and humanity may be combined in them.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 409.

“Satan will work his miracles to deceive; he will set up his power as supreme. The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out—the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place. None but those who have been overcoming by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony will be found with the loyal and true, without spot or stain of sin, without guile in their mouths. … The remnant that purify their souls by obeying the truth gather strength from the trying process, exhibiting the beauty of holiness amid the surrounding apostasy (Letter 55, 1886).” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 911.

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Glory

August 10, 2008 – August 16, 2008

Key Text

“I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18.

Study Help: The Acts of the Apostles, 202–210.


“Through trial and persecution the glory—the character—of God is revealed in His chosen ones. The believers in Christ, hated and persecuted by the world, are educated and disciplined in the school of Christ. On earth they walk in narrow paths; they are purified in the furnace of affliction.” The Acts of the Apostles, 576

1. What should we realize about the futility of human glory? Jeremiah 9:23.

Note: “God is the source of all wisdom. He is infinitely wise and just and good. Apart from Christ, the wisest men that ever lived cannot comprehend Him. They may profess to be wise; they may glory in their attainments; but mere intellectual knowledge, aside from the great truths that center in Christ, is as nothingness.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 66.

“It was a very intellectual being, one who occupied a high position among the angelic throng, that finally became a rebel; and many a mind of superior intellectual attainments is now being led captive by his power.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 422.

2. What is written about loving worldly riches? I Timothy 6:9, 10. Give one example. Matthew 26:14–16.

Note: “Worldly policy plans were constantly cherished by Judas. There was no outbreaking sin on his part, but his sharp scheming, the selfish, parsimonious spirit that took possession of him, finally led him to sell his Lord for a small sum of money.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1101.

3. What is worldly wisdom in the sight of God? I Corinthians 1:19–21. What miracle will yet be seen even in some who have been blinded by worldly wisdom?

Note: “Many of the greatest scholars and statesmen, the world’s most eminent men, will in these last days turn from the light because the world by wisdom knows not God. Yet God’s servants are to improve every opportunity to communicate the truth to these men. Some will acknowledge their ignorance of the things of God and will take their place as humble learners at the feet of Jesus, the Master Teacher.” The Acts of the Apostles, 241, 242.

4. Rather than becoming spiritually dwarfed by the temporal scope of worldly knowledge, how are we to make the most of our intellectual endowments? II Timothy 2:15.

Note: “Ignorance will not increase the humility or spirituality of any professed follower of Christ. The truths of the divine word can be best appreciated by an intellectual Christian. Christ can be best glorified by those who serve Him intelligently. The great object of education is to enable us to use the powers which God has given us in such a manner as will best represent the religion of the Bible and promote the glory of God.

“We are indebted to Him who gave us existence, for all the talents which have been entrusted to us; and it is a duty we owe to our Creator to cultivate and improve upon the talents He has committed to our trust. Education will discipline the mind, develop its powers, and understandingly direct them, that we may be useful in advancing the glory of God.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 160.

“Whatever may be your calling, it is essential that you improve your abilities by diligent study. Young men and women should be urged to appreciate the heaven-sent blessings of opportunities to become well disciplined and intelligent. They should take advantage of the schools that have been established for the purpose of imparting the best of knowledge. It is sinful to be indolent and negligent in regard to obtaining an education. Time is short, and therefore because the Lord is soon to come to close the scenes of earth’s history, there is all the greater necessity of improving present opportunities and privileges.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 216.

5. Where is true wisdom to be found? I Corinthians 1:23, 24, 30.

6. In what kind of knowledge should God’s children glory? I Corinthians 1:31; Jeremiah 9:24.

Note: “If sinners can be led to give one earnest look at the cross, if they can obtain a full view of the crucified Saviour, they will realize the depth of God’s compassion and the sinfulness of sin.

“Christ’s death proves God’s great love for man. It is our pledge of salvation. To remove the cross from the Christian would be like blotting the sun from the sky. The cross brings us near to God, reconciling us to Him. With the relenting compassion of a father’s love, Jehovah looks upon the suffering that His Son endured in order to save the race from eternal death, and accepts us in the Beloved.

“Without the cross, man could have no union with the Father. On it depends our every hope. From it shines the light of the Saviour’s love, and when at the foot of the cross the sinner looks up to the One who died to save him, he may rejoice with fullness of joy, for his sins are pardoned. Kneeling in faith at the cross, he has reached the highest place to which man can attain.” The Acts of the Apostles, 209, 210.

7. What will be the result in our life if we partake of that in which the apostle Paul gloried? Galatians 6:14.

Note: “Through the cross we learn that the heavenly Father loves us with a love that is infinite. Can we wonder that Paul exclaimed, ‘God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ’? Galatians 6:14. It is our privilege also to glory in the cross, our privilege to give ourselves wholly to Him who gave Himself for us. Then, with the light that streams from Calvary shining in our faces, we may go forth to reveal this light to those in darkness.” The Acts of the Apostles, 210.

8. What is the value of human power in God’s plan? Psalm 20: 7, 8.

Note: “It is impossible for us in our own strength to maintain the conflict; and whatever diverts the mind from God, whatever leads to self-exaltation or to self-dependence, is surely preparing the way for our overthrow. The tenor of the Bible is to inculcate distrust of human power and to encourage trust in divine power.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 717.

9. What warnings should we heed when considering, for example, the tragic episode in David’s life at a moment when he was trusting in his own strength? II Samuel 11:1–4; II Corinthians 10:12.

Note: “David was surrounded by the fruits of victory and the honors of his wise and able rule. It was now, while he was at ease and unguarded, that the tempter seized the opportunity to occupy his mind. … When in ease and self-security he let go his hold upon God, David yielded to Satan and brought upon his soul the stain of guilt.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 718.

“It was the spirit of self-confidence and self-exaltation that prepared the way for David’s fall. Flattery and the subtle allurements of power and luxury were not without effect upon him. … Instead of relying in humility upon the power of Jehovah, he began to trust to his own wisdom and might. As soon as Satan can separate the soul from God, the only Source of strength, he will seek to arouse the unholy desires of man’s carnal nature. The work of the enemy is not abrupt; it is not, at the outset, sudden and startling; it is a secret undermining of the strongholds of principle. It begins in apparently small things—the neglect to be true to God and to rely upon Him wholly, the disposition to follow the customs and practices of the world.” Ibid., 717, 718.

10. Describe an example of how divine power can readily outstrip human strength. Isaiah 36:18–20; 37:33–38.

Note: “The God of the Hebrews had prevailed over the proud Assyrian [king]. … Their earnest entreaties for deliverance had been mingled with confession of sin and with many tears. In their great need they had trusted wholly in the power of God to save, and He had not failed them.” Prophets and Kings, 361, 362.

11. What is the only way by which God’s people should defend the truth? Zechariah 4:6, 7, 10.

Note: “The very same difficulties which were created to hinder the restoration and upbuilding of the work of God, the great mountains of difficulty which loomed in Zerubbabel’s way, will be met by all who today are loyal to God and to his work. Many human inventions are used to carry out plans after the mind and will of men with whom God is not working. But it is not boastful words nor a multitude of ceremonies that show that the Lord is working with his people. The assumed power of the human agent does not decide this question. Those who place themselves in opposition to the Lord’s work may hinder for a time, but the same Spirit that has guided the Lord’s work all the way through will guide it today. [Zechariah 4:6 quoted.] …

“The Lord would have every soul strong in his strength. He would have us look to him, receiving our directions from him.” Review and Herald, May 16, 1899.

12. What promise should encourage us in these last days? Joel 2:28, 29.

Note: “If this prophecy of Joel met a partial fulfillment in the days of the apostles, we are living in a time when it is to be even more evidently manifest to the people of God. He will so bestow His Spirit upon His people that they will become a light amid the moral darkness; and great light will be reflected in all parts of the world. O that our faith might be increased, that the Lord might work mightily with His people.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1175.

Additional Reading

“The blessings of redeeming love our Savior compared to a precious pearl. He illustrated His lesson by the parable of the merchantman seeking goodly pearls ‘who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.’ Christ Himself is the pearl of great price. In Him is gathered all the glory of the Father, the fullness of the Godhead. He is the brightness of the Father’s glory and the express image of His person. The glory of the attributes of God is expressed in His character. Every page of the Holy Scriptures shines with His light. The righteousness of Christ, as a pure, white pearl, has no defect, no stain. No work of man can improve the great and precious gift of God. It is without a flaw. In Christ are ‘hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.’ Colossians 2:3. He is ‘made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.’ I Corinthians 1:30. All that can satisfy the needs and longings of the human soul, for this world and for the world to come, is found in Christ. Our Redeemer is the pearl so precious that in comparison all things else may be accounted loss.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 115.

“As the chosen people of God we cannot copy the habits, aims, practices, or fashions of the world. We are not left in darkness to pattern after worldly models and to depend on outward appearance for success. The Lord has told us whence comes our strength. ‘This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’ Zechariah 4:6. As the Lord sees fit, He imparts to those who keep His way, power that enables them to exert a strong influence for good. On God they are dependent, and to Him they must give an account of the way in which they use the talents He has entrusted to them. They are to realize that they are God’s stewards and are to seek to magnify His name.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 90.

“The Lord did not lock the reservoir of heaven after pouring his Spirit upon the early disciples. We also may receive of the fullness of his blessing. Heaven is full of the treasures of his grace, and those who come to God in faith may claim all that he has promised. If we do not have his power it is because of our spiritual lethargy, our indifference, our indolence. Let us come out of this formality and deadness.” Review and Herald, June 4, 1889.

“It is with an earnest longing that I look forward to the time when the events of the day of Pentecost shall be repeated with even greater power than on that occasion. John says, ‘I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.’ [Revelation 18:1.] Then, as at the Pentecostal season, the people will hear the truth spoken to them, every man in his own tongue. God can breathe new life into every soul that sincerely desires to serve him, and can touch the lips with a live coal from off the altar, and cause them to become eloquent with his praise. Thousands of voices will be imbued with the power to speak forth the wonderful truths of God’s Word. The stammering tongue will be unloosed, and the timid will be made strong to bear courageous testimony to the truth. May the Lord help his people to cleanse the soul temple from every defilement, and to maintain such a close connection with him that they may be partakers of the latter rain when it shall be poured out.” Review and Herald, July 20, 1886.

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Godliness

August 3, 2008 – August 9, 2008

Key Text

“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness.” II Peter 1:5, 6.

Study Help: Christ’s Object Lessons, 272–283.


“Faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity are the rounds of the ladder. We are saved by climbing round after round, mounting step after step, to the height of Christ’s ideal for us.” The Acts of the Apostles, 530.

1 Against what class of professed believers are we warned? II Timothy 3:1–5.

Note: “Since the second angel proclaimed the fall of the churches, they have been growing more and more corrupt. They bear the name of being Christ’s followers; yet it is impossible to distinguish them from the world. Ministers take their texts from the Word of God, but preach smooth things. To this the natural heart feels no objection. It is only the spirit and power of the truth and the salvation of Christ that are hateful to the carnal heart. There is nothing in the popular ministry that stirs the wrath of Satan, makes the sinner tremble, or applies to the heart and conscience the fearful realities of a judgment soon to come. Wicked men are generally pleased with a form of piety without true godliness, and they will aid and support such a religion.” Early Writings, 273.

2 Why are false believers worse than unbelievers? Revelation 3:15, 16.

Note: “Halfhearted Christians are worse than infidels; for their deceptive words and noncommittal position lead many astray. The infidel shows his colors. The lukewarm Christian deceives both parties. He is neither a good worldling nor a good Christian.” Our High Calling, 348.

3 What is the ideal Christian life? Romans 12:9–14.

Note: “We are to compare our characters with the infallible standard of God’s law. In order to do this, we must search the Scriptures, measuring our attainments by the word of God. Through the grace of Christ, the highest attainments in character are possible; for every soul who comes under the molding influence of the Spirit of God, may be transformed in mind and heart. In order to understand your condition, it is necessary to study the Bible, and to watch unto prayer. The apostle says, ‘Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates.’ II Corinthians 13:5. Let not those who are ignorant remain in ignorance. They cannot remain in ignorance, and meet the mind of God. They are to look to the cross of Calvary, and estimate the soul by the value of the offering there made. Jesus says to all believers, ‘Ye are my witnesses.’ [Isaiah 43:10.] ‘Ye are laborers together with God.’ This being true, how earnestly should each one strive to make use of every power to improve every opportunity for becoming efficient that he may be ‘not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.’ ” [Romans 12:11.] Fundamentals of Christian Education, 214.

4 What example do we have from the early Christians? Acts 2:42–47.

Note: “After the descent of the Holy Spirit the disciples went forth to proclaim a risen Saviour, their one desire the salvation of souls. They rejoiced in the sweetness of the communion with saints. They were tender, thoughtful, self-denying, willing to make any sacrifice for the truth’s sake. In their daily association with one another they revealed the love that Christ had commanded them to reveal. By unselfish words and deeds they strove to kindle this love in other hearts.

“The believers were ever to cherish the love that filled the hearts of the apostles after the descent of the Holy Spirit. They were to go forward in willing obedience to the new commandment: ‘As I have loved you, that ye also love one another’ [John 13:34.] So closely were they to be united to Christ that they would be enabled to fulfill His requirements. The power of a Saviour who could justify them by His righteousness was to be magnified.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 241.

5 Since we are living in the Laodicean era, in what situation may we find ourselves—and what hope does Christ offer? Revelation 3:18–20.

Note: “Love of self excludes the love of Christ. Those who live for self are ranged under the head of the Laodicean church who are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot. The ardor of the first love has lapsed into a selfish egotism. …

“Let us thank the Lord that while this class is so numerous, there is still time for repentance.” Our High Calling, 348.

6 What is God’s ideal for each one of us? Ephesians 6:10.

Note: “God’s ideal for His children is higher than the highest human thought can reach. The living God has given in His holy law a transcript of His character. The greatest Teacher the world has ever known is Jesus Christ; and what is the standard He has given for all who believe in Him? ‘Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ Matthew 5:48. As God is perfect in His high sphere of action, so man may be perfect in his human sphere.

“The ideal of Christian character is Christlikeness.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 365.

7 How can this ideal be accomplished? Matthew 7:13, 14; John 15:4, 5.

Note: “Without the divine working, man can do no good thing. God calls every man to repentance, yet man cannot even repent unless the Holy Spirit works upon his heart. But the Lord wants no man to wait until he thinks he has repented before he takes steps toward Jesus. The Saviour is continually drawing men to repentance; they need only to submit to be drawn, and their hearts will be melted in penitence.

“To man is allotted a part in this great struggle for everlasting life—he must respond to the working of the Holy Spirit. It will require a struggle to break through the powers of darkness, and the Spirit works in him to accomplish this. But man is no passive being, to be saved in indolence. He is called upon to strain every muscle and exercise every faculty in the struggle for immortality, yet it is God that supplies the efficiency. No human being can be saved in indolence.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 365, 366.

8 How can we be overcomers in our spiritual struggle? Ephesians 6:11–13.

Note: “In the Word of God are represented two contending parties that influence and control human agencies in our world. Constantly these parties are working with every human being. Those who are under God’s control and who are influenced by the heavenly angels, will be able to discern the crafty workings of the unseen powers of darkness. Those who desire to be in harmony with the heavenly agencies should be intensely in earnest to do God’s will. They must give no place whatever to Satan and his angels.

“But unless we are constantly on guard, we shall be overcome by the enemy. Although a solemn revelation of God’s will concerning us has been revealed to all, yet a knowledge of His will does not set aside the necessity of offering earnest supplications to Him for help, and of diligently seeking to cooperate with Him in answering the prayers offered. He accomplishes His purposes through human instrumentalities.

“God wants every one to stand with the whole armor on, ready for the great review.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1119.

9 What is the meaning of the “breastplate of righteousness”? Ephesians 6:14.

Note: “We must put on every piece of the armor, and then stand firm. The Lord has honored us by choosing us as his soldiers. Let us fight bravely for him, maintaining the right in every transaction. Rectitude in all things is essential to the welfare of the soul. As you strive for the victory over your own inclinations, he will help you by his Holy Spirit to be circumspect in every action, that you may give no occasion for the enemy to speak evil of the truth. Put on as your breastplate that divinely protected righteousness which it is the privilege of all to wear. This will protect your spiritual life.” Youth’s Instructor, September 12, 1901.

10 What are the other parts of our armor? Ephesians 6:15, 16.

Note: “ ‘Your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace’ [Ephesians 6:15], you will be prepared to walk from house to house, carrying the truth to the people. Sometimes you will find it very trying to do work of this kind; but if you go forth in faith, the Lord will go before you, and his light will shine upon your pathway. As you enter the homes of your neighbors to sell or to give away our literature, and in humility to teach them the truth, you will be accompanied by the light of heaven. Learn to sing the simplest of songs. These will help you in house-to-house labor, and hearts will be touched by the influence of the Holy Spirit.” Review and Herald, November 11, 1902.

11 Mention two essential weapons with which Christians should continually be armed. Ephesians 6:18.

Note: “Men and women may reach a high standard, if they will but acknowledge Christ as their personal Saviour. Watch and pray, making a surrender of all to God. The knowledge that you are striving for eternal life will strengthen and comfort you both. In thought, in word, in action, you are to be lights in the world. Discipline yourselves in the Lord; for He has committed to you sacred trusts, which you cannot properly fulfill without this discipline. By believing in Jesus, you are not only to save your own souls, but by precept and example you are to seek to save other souls.” The Adventist Home, 96.

Additional Reading

“The simplicity of true godliness must be brought into the education of our young people, if they are to have divine knowledge to escape the corruptions that are in the world through lust. Those who are truly the followers of Christ, will not serve God only when it is in accordance with their inclination, but, as well, when it involves self-denial and cross-bearing. The earnest counsel given by the apostle Paul to Timothy, that he might not fail in doing his duty, should be set before the youth of today: ‘Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.’ [I Timothy 4:12.] Besetting sins must be battled with, and overcome. Objectionable traits of character, whether hereditary or cultivated, should be taken up separately, and compared with the great rule of righteousness; and in the light reflected from the word of God, they should be firmly resisted and overcome, through the strength of Christ. ‘Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.’ [Hebrews 12:14.]” Christian Education, 113.

“The righteousness which Christ taught is conformity of heart and life to the revealed will of God. Sinful men can become righteous only as they have faith in God and maintain a vital connection with Him. Then true godliness will elevate the thoughts and ennoble the life. Then the external forms of religion accord with the Christian’s internal purity. Then the ceremonies required in the service of God are not meaningless rites, like those of the hypocritical Pharisees.” The Desire of Ages, 310.

“The time is not far distant when the test will come to every soul. The mark of the beast will be urged upon us. Those who have step by step yielded to worldly demands and conformed to worldly customs will not find it a hard matter to yield to the powers that be, rather than subject themselves to derision, insult, threatened imprisonment, and death. The contest is between the commandments of God and the commandments of men. In this time the gold will be separated from the dross in the church. True godliness will be clearly distinguished from the appearance and tinsel of it. Many a star that we have admired for its brilliancy will then go out in darkness. Chaff like a cloud will be borne away on the wind, even from places where we see only floors of rich wheat. All who assume the ornaments of the sanctuary, but are not clothed with Christ’s righteousness, will appear in the shame of their own nakedness.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 81.

“The knowledge of God is obtained from His word. The experimental knowledge of true godliness, found in daily consecration and service, ensures the highest culture of body, mind, and soul. This consecration of all our powers to God prevents self-exaltation. The impartation of divine power honors our sincere striving after wisdom that will enable us to use our highest faculties in a way that will honor God and bless our fellow men. As these faculties are derived from God, and not self-created, they should be appreciated as talents from God to be employed in His service.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 63.

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Life Pt.2

July 27, 2008 – August 2, 2008

Key Text

“Strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Matthew 7:14.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 652–661.


“The cross stands where two roads diverge. One is the path of obedience leading to heaven. The other leads into the broad road, where man can easily go with his burden of sin and corruption, but it leads to perdition.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1095, 1096.

1 What basic principle for spiritual life was taught by Christ? John 6:54, 56, 57.

Note: “It is by receiving the life for us poured out on Calvary’s cross, that we can live the life of holiness. And this life we receive by receiving His word, by doing those things which He has commanded.” The Desire of Ages, 660.

2 What is the meaning of the expression “[whoever] eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life”? John 6:63.

Note: “To eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ is to receive Him as a personal Saviour, believing that He forgives our sins, and that we are complete in Him. It is by beholding His love, by dwelling upon it, by drinking it in, that we are to become partakers of His nature. What food is to the body, Christ must be to the soul. Food cannot benefit us unless we eat it, unless it becomes a part of our being. So Christ is of no value to us if we do not know Him as a personal Saviour. A theoretical knowledge will do us no good. We must feed upon Him, receive Him into the heart, so that His life becomes our life. His love, His grace, must be assimilated.” The Desire of Ages, 389.

3 How does Paul describe God’s word? Hebrews 4:12.

Note: “The truth is the truth. It is not to be wrapped up in beautiful adornings, that the outside appearance may be admired. The teacher is to make the truth clear and forcible to the understanding and to the conscience. The word is a two-edged sword, that cuts both ways. It does not tread as with soft, slippered feet.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1147.

4 How does Christ identify Himself to the church of Pergamos? Revelation 2:12.

Note: “When Christ preached, His message was like a sharp, two-edged sword, piercing the consciences of men and revealing their inmost thoughts. The work that Christ did His faithful messengers will have to do. In simplicity, purity, and the strictest integrity they are to preach the Word.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 159.

5 How is this powerful sword to operate in our own life? II Corinthians 13:5.

Note: “You should humbly and carefully examine your own hearts, your own individual characters. You need to open your hearts that light may shine upon your darkness, that you may see and understand your motives. … What is the character of your thoughts, your spirit, your purposes, your words and actions? Compare them with the Scripture, and see whether you represent the character of Christ. Go to Jesus humbly, and break your hearts hardened by feelings of bitterness and hatred. Let the grace of Christ soften and melt you that you may put away everything that is destructive of your peace. If you do not see your hearts in the light of Jesus Christ, self love will prompt you to have a much better opinion of yourselves than you deserve; for the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 13, 87.

6 How does Jeremiah describe his relish for God’s word? Jeremiah 15:16.

7 What must we likewise cultivate in order to obtain real spiritual strength from the Word? Matthew 5:6.

Note: “All pampering of self must be at an end. There must be an earnest longing, a soul-hunger, for the presence of the Lord. [Matthew 5:6 quoted.]

“It is a case of life or death with us. We have been stricken with spiritual paralysis, and everyone needs the help of the Great Physician. He alone can reach our case. He is only waiting to be invited by us with earnest heart, with sincere desire. Nothing is wanting but a preparation of heart, and earnest, believing prayer, to bring Jesus to our side as a mighty helper. He longs to come. If we will but listen to His voice and open the door, He will come in.” Gospel Workers (1892), 225, 226.

8 What factors are important to consider when spiritually feeding our young? Proverbs 22:6.

Note: “Do not encourage a superficial manner of investigating the truth. Make every point of truth clear and distinct to the minds of the children. Do not crowd upon their minds an accumulated amount of matter at one time. The precious word of God is to be a lamp to their path, and a light to their feet. Impress upon their minds that it is their privilege to walk in the light. It is the path of peace, of purity, of holiness, cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in. Christ has led the way in this path; He is the true Shepherd; in following Him, they avoid the bypaths and dangerous pitfalls.

“In the word of God they are to learn that all who enter heaven must have a perfect character; for then they will meet their Lord in peace. Many children and youth have their characters imprinted on their countenances. Their life’s history they carry in the features of the face. The true workers should impress upon the minds of the children a beautiful, pure, Christlike character, which will transfigure the countenance.” Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 112, 113.

9 What are we to realize about the inspiration of Scripture, and how the Bible came into being? Habakkuk 2:2; II Peter 1:19–21.

Note: “The Bible was designed to be a guide to all who wish to become acquainted with the will of their Maker. God gave to men the sure word of prophecy; angels and even Christ Himself came to make known to Daniel and John the things that must shortly come to pass. Those important matters that concern our salvation were not left involved in mystery. They were not revealed in such a way as to perplex and mislead the honest seeker after truth. … [Habakkuk 2:2 quoted.] The word of God is plain to all who study it with a prayerful heart.” The Great Controversy, 521, 522.

10 What admonition did Paul send to Timothy? II Timothy 3:15–17; 2:15.

Note: “The law is a wall of protection to those who are obedient to God’s precepts. From what other source can we gather such strength, or learn such noble science? What other book will teach men to love, fear, and obey God as does the Bible? What other book presents to students more ennobling science, more wonderful history? It clearly portrays righteousness, and foretells the consequence of disloyalty to the law of Jehovah. No one is left in darkness as to that which God approves or disapproves. In studying the Scriptures we become acquainted with God, and are led to understand our relation to Christ, who is the sin-bearer, the surety, the substitute, for our fallen race. These truths concern our present and eternal interests. The Bible stands the highest among books, and its study is valuable above the study of other literature in giving strength and expansion to the mind. …

“The word of God is the most perfect educational book in our world. Yet in our colleges and schools, books produced by human intellect have been presented for the study of our students, and the Book of books, which God has given to men to be an infallible guide, has been made a secondary matter. Human productions have been used as most essential and the word of God has been studied simply to give flavor to other studies. Isaiah describes the scenes of heaven’s glory that were presented to him, in most vivid language. All through this book he pictures glorious things that are to be revealed to others.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 394, 395.

11 Since the Bible is a divine book, how should we approach it? Isaiah 28:10.

Note: “Never should the Bible be studied without prayer. Before opening its pages we should ask for the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, and it will be given.” Steps to Christ, 91.

“Observe system in the study of the Scriptures in your families. Neglect anything of a temporal nature, … but be sure that the soul is fed with the bread of life. It is impossible to estimate the good results of one hour or even half an hour each day devoted in a cheerful, social manner to the Word of God. Make the Bible its own expositor, bringing together all that is said concerning a given subject at different times and under varied circumstances.” Child Guidance, 511.

12 How could we be really benefited by studying God’s word? Matthew 4:4.

Note: “We should carefully study the Bible, asking God for the aid of the Holy Spirit, that we may understand His word. We should take one verse, and concentrate the mind on the task of ascertaining the thought which God has put in that verse for us. We should dwell upon the thought until it becomes our own, and we know ‘what saith the Lord.’

“In His promises and warnings, Jesus means me. … The experiences related in God’s word are to be my experiences. Prayer and promise, precept and warning, are mine. [Galatians 2:20 quoted.] As faith thus receives and assimilates the principles of truth, they become a part of the being and the motive power of the life. The word of God, received into the soul, molds the thoughts, and enters into the development of character.” The Desire of Ages, 390, 391.

Additional Reading

“Whenever men choose their own way, they place themselves in controversy with God. They will have no place in the kingdom of heaven, for they are at war with the very principles of heaven. In disregarding the will of God, they are placing themselves on the side of Satan, the enemy of God and man. Not by one word, not by many words, but by every word that God has spoken, shall man live. We cannot disregard one word, however trifling it may seem to us, and be safe. There is not a commandment of the law that is not for the good and happiness of man, both in this life and in the life to come. In obedience to God’s law, man is surrounded as with a hedge and kept from the evil. He who breaks down this divinely erected barrier at one point has destroyed its power to protect him; for he has opened a way by which the enemy can enter to waste and ruin.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 52.

“The essence and flavor of all obedience is the outworking of a principle within—the love of righteousness, the love of the law of God. The essence of all righteousness is loyalty to our Redeemer, doing right because it is right. When the Word of God is a burden because it cuts directly across human inclinations, then the religious life is not a Christian life, but a tug and a strain, an enforced obedience. All the purity and godliness of religion are set aside.

“But adoption into the family of God makes us children, not slaves. When the love of Christ enters the heart we strive to imitate the character of Christ. … The more we study the life of Christ with a heart to learn, the more Christlike we become. Into the heart of every true doer of the Word the Holy Spirit infuses clear understanding. The more we crucify selfish practices by imparting our blessings to others and by exercising our God-given ability, the more the heavenly graces will be strengthened and increased in us. We will grow in spirituality, in patience, in fortitude, in meekness, in gentleness. … A train of cars is not merely attached to the engine; they follow on the same track as the engine. Whom are we following?” That I May Know Him, 118.

“Many who are sincerely seeking for holiness of heart and purity of life seem perplexed and discouraged. They are constantly looking to themselves, and lamenting their lack of faith; and because they have no faith, they feel that they cannot claim the blessing of God. These persons mistake feeling for faith. They look above the simplicity of true faith, and thus bring great darkness upon their souls. They should turn the mind from self, to dwell upon the mercy and goodness of God and to recount His promises, and then simply believe that He will fulfill His word. We are not to trust in our faith, but in the promises of God. When we repent of our past transgressions of His law, and resolve to render obedience in the future, we should believe that God for Christ’s sake accepts us, and forgives our sins.” The Sanctified Life, 89.

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Recipe – Parsley Potatoes

1 Tablespoon oil

1 ½ lb small new red potatoes, scrubbed well

1 chopped onion

1 garlic clove

1 teaspoon salt or to taste

1 cup vegetable broth

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; add oil. Saute onion and minced garlic for 5 minutes or until tender. Add broth and ¾ cup of parsley. Remove a strip of skin from around the middle of each potato. Slice the potatoes and put them in a single layer in the skillet. Return to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender. Pour potatoes and sauce in a serving dish. Sprinkle remaining parsley over the potatoes and serve.


NEW START™ is an acronym for eight laws of health.

These laws are:

Nutrition—one of the single most important factors in our overall health.

Exercise—a very important addition to our diet and benefits every body system.

Water—one of our greatest blessings and necessary for every cellular function.

Sunshine—required by all for the maintenance of life.

Temperance—moderation in things good and avoidance of all things hurtful.

Air—one of our vital necessities of life; we can live only minutes without it.

Rest—essential to the mental, physical, and social well-being of man.

Trust—trust in God brings health-imparting peace to every part of our body.

True health reformers need to know the eight laws of health and have an understanding of anatomy and physiology. Note the following groups of people that Ellen White says should know anatomy and physiology:

“It is well that physiology is introduced into the common schools as a branch of education. All children should study it.” Health Reformer, November 1, 1871.

“The plan upon which our brethren propose to work is to select some of the best and most substantial young men and women from Berrien Springs. … Thorough instruction will be given in Bible study, physiology, the history of our message; and special instruction will be given regarding the cultivation of the land. Letter 215, 1904.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 14, 43, 44.

“The managers and teachers of schools should have been those who understood physiology, and who had an interest, not only to educate the youth in the sciences, but teach them how to preserve health, so that they might use their knowledge to the best account after they had obtained it.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 83.

“Our ministers should become intelligent on health reform. They need to become acquainted with physiology and hygiene; they should understand the laws that govern physical life, and their bearing upon the health of mind and soul.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 452.

“The science of education includes as full a knowledge of physiology as can be obtained. No one can properly understand his obligations to God unless he understands clearly his obligations to himself as God’s property. He who remains in sinful ignorance of the laws of life and health, or who willfully violates these laws, sins against God.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 295.

It is clear from the above statements that children, college age people, pastors, and everyone needs to learn anatomy and physiology. Next month we will look at the anatomy and physiology of digestion.

Acronym, NEW START, COPYRIGHTED BY Weimar Institute of Health & Education Used by permission

Children’s Story – The Lost Bag

Many years ago, when I was a little girl, the Lord taught me a very important lesson. I have not forgotten it because it made a very big impression on me. You might find the story very funny, but for me it was very serious at that time.

When I was young, my parents did not have much money. We always had enough to eat and clothes to wear, but there was not enough money to buy new clothes very often. Actually, it was very seldom when we would get any new clothes. We usually wore whatever we inherited from cousins or friends.

One day I was happy, though. It was New Year’s Eve, and that has always been a family evening at my home. We would have a special dinner and then we would worship together. After that we would give each other presents. That night I got a new pair of tights made of a special kind of wool, for winter time. I was so excited that I had gotten something new to wear, something that no one else had used first. It was special for me.

But before long a tragedy happened. That winter was terribly cold, with lots of snow. We lived on a farm in the country, and one day there was so much snow that we couldn’t drive away from our farm with the car. My mother, who worked in the laundry at the Seventh-day Adventist college, had to go to work, so my father took her the six kilometers on the tractor.

Since Mommy worked in the laundry, we did not have a washing machine at home; she just always took our clothes with her to work and washed them there. That day our clothes were in the laundry and we needed to get them home. Daddy put them in a big bag and took them home on the tractor. When he reached the farm there was no bag on the tractor any longer. What had happened to it? It must have fallen off somewhere in the snow. Daddy went back to search for it but he didn’t find anything. What a tragedy! It was especially sad for me because my new tights were missing. Oh, I could have cried. After all this time I had received something new, and now it was lost.

Later that day, after the road was ploughed, my brothers and sister and I started out for school on our bicycles. We had to ride on the same road that father had driven on with the tractor that morning. All the way to school I looked carefully beside the road for the bag, but I did not see it anywhere. One day, two days, three days passed by, but I still could not find the bag, and I decided that someone must have stolen it. A whole week passed by, and I was very sad. Finally, I knelt down and prayed to God. We had already been praying to God that He would help us find the bag, but this was different. I told God how much I wanted my tights back, but I also told Him that if it was not His will, then I would accept it. After that prayer I was much happier. I had accepted whatever would happen and had laid it in the Lord’s hands. The same day, on the way home from school, I had a big surprise. There beside the road, I saw the bag under some small bushes. I was overwhelmed with joy. Quickly, I went home and told Daddy to go and get the bag.

Why hadn’t I seen the bag earlier? For one week we had all been passing by the bag two times a day, but had not seen it. I believe the Lord wanted to teach me a very important lesson, one which I would never forget. When we pray, we should say, “Thy will be done.” Before the Lord answered my prayer, my will had to be surrendered to His will. May the Lord help you always to surrender your will to His.

Nature – The Amazing Orchids

The Orchid family contains some of the most beautiful flowers known. For this reason they are very popular among horticulturists. Close to ten percent of all seed plants are orchids. There are around 22,000 currently accepted species, and there may be as many as 25,000 species in the world, as 800 new species are described every year. In addition, horticulturists have developed more than 100,000 hybrids and cultivars of orchids. Orchids occur in almost every habitat except for deserts and glaciers. They even occur above the Arctic Circle and on Macquarie Island close to Antarctica. But the majority of species occur in the tropics of Asia, and Central and South America.

Most orchids are perennial epiphytes growing upon or attached to the trunks and limbs of trees. A few are lithophytes which grow on rocks. Others are terrestrial, growing in soil, and include nearly all temperate species. Some orchids lack chlorophyll and are myco-heterotrophs, meaning that they have a symbiotic relationship with a soil fungus from which they acquire their nutrients instead of through photosynthesis. A few epiphytic species, like the Ghost Orchid, lack leaves and depend on their green roots for photosynthesis. Epiphytic orchids have modified aerial roots up to several meters long which contain a spongy epidermis for absorbing humidity. Some store water and nutrients in specialized thickened stems for dry periods. Some terrestrial orchids have two subterranean tuberous roots, the extra one being used as a food reserve.

Well known for the many structural variations in their flowers, many orchids have only a single flower, but most have their flowers in groups or clusters. Orchids have highly specialized pollination systems which greatly decrease their chances of being pollinated. Therefore, to increase their odds of being pollinated, they remain receptive to pollination for very long periods. The Eurasian genus Ophrys is an extremely specialized group of orchids in which the labellum (petal) mimics, by color, shape, and odor, a receptive female insect. Pollination happens as the attracted male insects attempt to mate with the flowers. Many orchids are pollinated by bees. Some bees gather from certain orchids volatile chemicals they require to synthesize pheromonal attractants. The Eastern Underground Orchid in Australia never sees the light of day and depends on ants and other terrestrial insects to pollinate it.

The seeds of orchids are almost microscopic and are very numerous, with some species producing over a million per capsule. Seeds are dispersed by wind like spores. All orchid seeds lack endosperm and must enter a symbiotic relationship with various fungi which provide them the necessary nutrients to germinate. The chances of an individual seed meeting the proper kind of fungi is small, so only a small fraction of all the seeds released will germinate.

Just as the orchid seed must enter into a relationship with a fungus to germinate, so we must enter into a relationship with Christ for the germination of our spiritual life. “The seed has in itself a germinating principle, a principle that God Himself has implanted; yet if left to itself the seed would have no power to spring up. … There is life in the seed, there is power in the soil; but unless infinite power is exercised day and night, the seed will yield no return. … The life which the Creator has implanted, He alone can call forth. Every seed grows, every plant develops, by the power of God. … The germination of the seed represents the beginning of spiritual life, and the development of the plant is a figure of the development of character. There can be no life without growth.” God’s Amazing Grace, 197.

Health – Genetic Engineering

In the beginning God created each plant and each animal to reproduce according to its kind. (Genesis 1.) But sin entered the world from a desire to become like God—to be as gods. (Genesis 3.) This was also the motivation that led to Lucifer’s fall. (Isaiah 14; Ezekiel 28.) This desire to become like God has never ceased to agitate the sinful mind of man since the fall and will exist in those who have not been born again until the end of all things. This desire to be like God has manifested itself in the greatest crimes that have ever been perpetrated upon the human race.

In attempting to take the place of God the devil has been a genetic experimenter and manipulator for thousands of years: “All tares are sown by the evil one. Every noxious herb is of his sowing, and by his ingenious methods of amalgamation he has corrupted the earth with tares.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 288.

The devil inspired his subjects (the unconverted descendants of Cain) to also experiment with what God had made. “But if there was one sin above another which called for the destruction of the race by the flood, it was the base crime of amalgamation of man and beast which defaced the image of God, and caused confusion everywhere. God purposed to destroy by a flood that powerful, long-lived race that had corrupted their ways before him.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 69.

We see in the above statement that before the flood men were performing genetic experiments in which they were producing creatures that were partly animal and partly human. This was one of the main crimes which resulted in God’s destruction of the earth by a flood. These amalgamations were destroyed by the flood.

“Every species of animals which God had created was preserved in the ark. The confused species which God did not create, which were the result of amalgamation, were destroyed by the flood. Since the flood, there has been amalgamation of man and beast, as may be seen in the almost endless varieties of species of animals, and in certain races of men.” Ibid., 78.

Since Jesus said that the last days would be like the days of Noah, we would expect that in the last days mankind would again be involved in genetic experimentation. That is exactly what has happened since 1798 A.D.

Man is not content with the plants and animals that God has created but is ever attempting to design plants and animals to his own liking for supposedly superior benefit. God has given plain warning in His word against doing this but it is hard for man to learn that God means exactly what He says and that a penalty is attached to every transgression of God’s commandments.

Before getting more deeply into this subject it is necessary to clearly define the law of God—the Ten Commandments. Because of the frailty of man’s mind, God instructed Moses to specify in minute terms the breadth and meaning of the Ten Commandments in the Torah—the first five books of the Bible. “If man had kept the law of God, as given to Adam after his fall, preserved by Noah, and observed by Abraham, there would have been no necessity for the ordinance of circumcision. And if the descendants of Abraham had kept the covenant, of which circumcision was a sign, they would never have been seduced into idolatry, nor would it have been necessary for them to suffer a life of bondage in Egypt; they would have kept God’s law in mind, and there would have been no necessity for it to be proclaimed from Sinai or engraved upon the tables of stone. And had the people practiced the principles of the Ten Commandments, there would have been no need of the additional directions given to Moses.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 364.

The above statement shows that the entire ceremonial system would have been unnecessary if man had kept the law of God. The bondage of the Israelites in Egypt would have been unnecessary. The giving of the Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai would have been unnecessary, and additional directions explaining the principles of the Ten Commandments would have been unnecessary.

In addition to the explanations of the principles of the Ten Commandments in the Torah, the Lord gave to Moses a ceremonial system made up of symbols pointing to Christ, His sacrifice and priesthood. This ritual law with its ceremonies, sacrifices and ordinances was to continue until “the Seed should come” (Galatians 3:19), and then this ceremonial law was taken out of the way and nailed to the cross. (Colossians 2:14-17.)

Much of what Moses wrote was simply an explanation of the Ten Commandments and therefore is actually part of the moral law by which we will be judged. For example, in Leviticus 18 and 20, we have extended descriptions in regard to nakedness and modesty for which God even held the heathen nations responsible. These are explanations of the seventh commandment by which all the purveyors of pornography in any context will have to answer in the day of judgment.

In the same way, in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, God gave dietary restrictions to His people. These dietary restrictions had nothing to do with the ceremonial law but were given as explanations of the Ten Commandments, especially the sixth commandment.

The only laws in the writings of Moses that were temporary until the death of Christ on the cross were the instructions in regard to the ceremonies. These were types of the future incarnation, work and ministry of Christ. This typical or ceremonial law was taken away by Christ and nailed to the cross.

But the explanations of the moral principles of the Ten Commandments, being part of the moral law, defining right and wrong, are eternal. These are as unchangeable as the throne of God and these moral principles will maintain their claims upon all created intelligence’s through eternal ages. This is what the great controversy is about—is every precept and principle of the law of God as contained in the Torah binding upon all generations and in all ages?

When a person chooses to keep the Sabbath, he is telling the whole world that he believes that all the law is binding and that he is going to keep all of it. This law has very specific things to say about biological tinkering or genetic experimentation upon God’s creation, whether plant or animal.

Notice, “You shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle, you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed.” Leviticus 19:19. This was not part of the ceremonial law; it was part of the moral law—an explanation of the principles of the Ten Commandments. It is repeated in Deuteronomy 22:9: “You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, or all the produce of the seed which you have sown and the increase of the vineyard will become defiled [or polluted or unclean].” Some people have wondered why God placed this strict prohibition of genetic engineering or biological tinkering with either plants or animals. In a later article we will explain what happened in the twentieth century when human beings decided, as they had formerly decided before the flood, to re-engineer what God had made.

The flood brought a stop to most (but not all) of this biological tinkering with what God had created. Although in a lesser degree, genetic experimentation still continued. The reduction of the human race to eight individuals almost brought to an end the genetic experimentation that was widespread before the flood. But Jesus said that the last days of earth’s history would be like it was in the days of Noah. These genetic experiments or biological tinkering are promoted as being for the betterment of the human race, both individually and collectively. They are supposed to bring health and increased well-being. They were probably promoted in the same way before the flood. In a later article we will see what actually happens.