Bible Study Guides – God’s Judgments

August 23, 2009 – August 29, 2009

Key Text

“I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it [him].” Ezekiel 21:27.

Study Help: Prophets and Kings, 452–463; The Publishing Ministry, 167–178.


“The final overthrow of all earthly dominions is plainly foretold in the word of truth.” Education, 179.

1 Just as God had warned the Jews through Jeremiah, what crisis befell Jerusalem during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar? II Kings 25:1. How was this also revealed to Ezekiel? Ezekiel 21:1–7, 31.

Note: “Because Israel had been chosen to preserve the knowledge of God in the earth, they had been, from their first existence as a nation, the special objects of Satan’s enmity, and he had determined to cause their destruction. He could do them no harm while they were obedient to God; therefore he had bent all his power and cunning to enticing them into sin.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 468.

“The children of Israel were taken captive to Babylon because they separated from God, and no longer maintained the principles that had been given to keep them free from the methods and practices of the nations who dishonored God.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1040.

2 Because of Judah’s impenitence, how would they be chastised? Ezekiel 21:21–24.

Note: “This prophecy [Deuteronomy 4:26–28], fulfilled in part in the time of the judges, met a more complete and literal fulfillment in the captivity of Israel in Assyria and of Judah in Babylon.

“The apostasy of Israel had developed gradually. From generation to generation, Satan had made repeated attempts to cause the chosen nation to forget ‘the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments’ that they had promised to keep forever. Deuteronomy 6:1. He knew that if he could only lead Israel to forget God, and to ‘walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them,’ they would ‘surely perish.’ Deuteronomy 8:19.” Prophets and Kings, 296.

3 How and why did God proclaim the end of Judah as a monarchy? Ezekiel 21:25, 26. When and through whom should the throne be restored to the House of David?

Note: “To the ‘profane wicked prince’ had come the day of final reckoning. ‘Remove the diadem,’ the Lord decreed, ‘and take off the crown.’ [Ezekiel 21:25, 26.] Not until Christ Himself should set up His kingdom was Judah again to be permitted to have a king.” Prophets and Kings, 451.

“The final overthrow of all earthly dominions is plainly foretold in the word of truth.” Education, 179.

4 How did God proclaim the establishment of Christ’s kingdom? Ezekiel 21:27.

Note: “The crown removed from Israel passed successively to the kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. God says, ‘It shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him.’ [Ezekiel 21:27.]

“That time is at hand. Today the signs of the times declare that we are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Everything in our world is in agitation. Before our eyes is fulfilling the Saviour’s prophecy of the events to precede His coming.” Education, 179.

5 What reasons did God list for sending His wrath upon Judah? Ezekiel 22:6–12, 31; Ezekiel 23:37–39.

Note: “Why did the Lord permit Jerusalem to be destroyed by fire the first time? Why did He permit His people to be overcome by their enemies and carried into heathen lands?—It was because they had failed to be His missionaries, and had built walls of division between themselves and the people round them. The Lord scattered them, that the knowledge of His truth might be carried to the world. If they were loyal and true and submissive, God would bring them again into their own land.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1040.

“In calling the attention of Judah to the sins that finally brought upon them the Babylonian Captivity, the Lord declared: ‘Thou hast … profaned My Sabbaths.’ ‘Therefore have I poured out Mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads.’ Ezekiel 22:8, 31.” Prophets and Kings, 182.

6 Of what were the priests especially guilty in Ezekiel’s day? Ezekiel 22:26. What similar warnings echo down to us today?

Note: “Can we then be surprised to hear of ministers falling under temptation and sin, disgracing the cause they were professedly advocating? Can we wonder that there are apostasies when men who urge conversion upon others are not themselves converted?” Manuscript Releases, vol. 7, 184.

“Some have so long sacrificed principle that they cannot see the difference between the sacred and the common. Those who refuse to give heed to the Lord’s instruction will go steadily downward in the path of ruin. The day of test and trial is just before us. Let every man put on his true colors. Do you choose loyalty or rebellion? Show your colors to men and angels. We are safe only when we are committed to the right. Then the world knows where we shall be found in the day of trial and trouble.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 96.

7 What lesson did the Lord want to teach Judah, and especially Jerusalem, through the parable of the boiling pot? Ezekiel 24:3–14.

Note: “While Jeremiah continued to bear his testimony in the land of Judah, the prophet Ezekiel was raised up from among the captives in Babylon, to warn and to comfort the exiles, and also to confirm the word of the Lord that was being spoken through Jeremiah. During the years that remained of Zedekiah’s reign, Ezekiel made very plain the folly of trusting to the false predictions of those who were causing the captives to hope for an early return to Jerusalem. He was also instructed to foretell, by means of a variety of symbols and solemn messages, the siege and utter destruction of Jerusalem.” Prophets and Kings, 448.

8 What trying experience tested Ezekiel’s faith? Ezekiel 24:15–18. What prophecy did the death of Ezekiel’s wife contain for the rebellious nation? Ezekiel 24:19–24.

Note: “The Hebrew armies were beaten back in confusion. The nation was conquered. Zedekiah was taken prisoner, and his sons were slain before his eyes. The king was led away from Jerusalem a captive, his eyes were put out, and after arriving in Babylon he perished miserably. The beautiful temple that for more than four centuries had crowned the summit of Mount Zion was not spared by the Chaldeans. ‘They burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof.’ 11 Chronicles 36:19.

“At the time of the final overthrow of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, many had escaped the horrors of the long siege, only to perish by the sword. Of those who still remained, some, notably the chief of the priests and officers, and the princes of the realm, were taken to Babylon and there executed as traitors.” Prophets and Kings, 458–460.

9 What reasons did God give for punishing the Ammonites? Ezekiel 25:1–3, 7.

Note: “God keeps a reckoning with nations, as well as with individuals. He allows to nations a certain period of probation, and gives them evidences of his requirements, of his supremacy, and makes known to them his laws which are to be the rule of his kingdom in the government of nations. All this he does that heathen nations may not be given up to destruction unwarned and without light; but after he has given them evidence and light, and they still persist in insolence toward him, then, when iniquity is full … God takes the matter in hand, and his judgments are not longer withheld.” The Youth’s Instructor, February 1, 1894.

10 What punishment was God about to send upon Tyre? Why was this punishment necessary? Ezekiel 26:7, 8.

Note: “To every nation and to every individual God has assigned a place in His great plan. Today men and nations are being tested by the plummet in the hand of Him who makes no mistake. All are by their own choice deciding their destiny, and God is overruling all for the accomplishment of His purposes.

“The prophecies which the great I AM has given in His word, uniting link after link in the chain of events, from eternity in the past to eternity in the future, tell us where we are today in the procession of the ages and what may be expected in the time to come. All that prophecy has foretold as coming to pass, until the present time, has been traced on the pages of history, and we may be assured that all which is yet to come will be fulfilled in its order.” Prophets and Kings, 536.

“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.” Ibid., 537.

Additional Reading

“The crime that brought the judgments of God upon Israel was that of licentiousness. The forwardness of women to entrap souls did not end at Baal-peor. Notwithstanding the punishment that followed the sinners in Israel, the same crime was repeated many times. Satan was most active in seeking to make Israel’s overthrow complete. Balak by the advice of Balaam laid the snare. Israel would have bravely met their enemies in battle, and resisted them, and come off conquerors; but when women invited their attention and sought their company and beguiled them by their charms, they did not resist temptations. They were invited to idolatrous feasts, and their indulgence in wine further beclouded their dazed minds. The power of self-control, their allegiance to God’s law, was not preserved. Their senses were so beclouded with wine, and their unholy passions had such full sway, overpowering every barrier, that they invited temptation even to the attending of these idolatrous feasts. Those who had never flinched in battle, who were brave men, did not barricade their souls to resist temptation to indulge their basest passions. … They first defiled their conscience by lewdness, and then departed from God still farther by idolatry, thus showing contempt for the God of Israel.

“Near the close of this earth’s history Satan will work with all his powers in the same manner and with the same temptations wherewith he tempted ancient Israel just before their entering the land of promise. He will lay snares for those who claim to keep the commandments of God, and who are almost on the borders of the heavenly Canaan. He will use his powers to their utmost in order to entrap souls, and to take God’s professed people upon their weakest points. …

“It is now the duty of God’s commandment-keeping people to watch and pray, to search the Scriptures diligently, to hide the word of God in the heart, lest they sin against Him in idolatrous thoughts and debasing practices, and thus the church of God become demoralized.” Conflict and Courage, 115.

“The sinner views the spirituality of the law of God and its eternal obligations. He sees the love of God in providing a substitute and surety for guilty man, and that substitute is One equal with God. This display of grace in the gift of salvation to the world fills the sinner with amazement. This love of God to man breaks every barrier down. He comes to the cross, which has been placed midway between divinity and humanity, and repents of his sins of transgression, because Christ has been drawing him to Himself. He does not expect the law to cleanse him from sin, for there is no pardoning quality in the law to save the transgressors of the law. He looks to the atoning Sacrifice as his only hope, through repentance toward God—because the laws of His government have been broken—and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ as the One who can save and cleanse the sinner from every transgression.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 194.

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

Bible Study Guides – Obedience and Sanctification

August 16, 2009 – August 22, 2009

Key Text

“Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I [am] the Lord that sanctify them.” Ezekiel 20:12.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 5, 629–635; Ibid., vol. 6, 349–353.


“The Sabbath given to the world as the sign of God as the Creator is also the sign of Him as the Sanctifier. The power that created all things is the power that re-creates the soul in His own likeness.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 350.

1 What basic truths must we understand for our soul’s salvation? Ezekiel 18:4, 20–24.

Note: “There is no such thing in the Word of God as unconditional election—once in grace, always in grace. …

“There is truth to be received if souls are saved. The keeping of the commandments of God is life eternal to the receiver. But the Scriptures make it plain that those who once knew the way of life and rejoiced in the truth are in danger of falling through apostasy, and being lost. Therefore there is need of a decided, daily conversion to God.

“All who seek to sustain the doctrine of election, once in grace, always in grace, do this against a plain, ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ ” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1114, 1115.

2 What should we realize when tempted to question God’s fairness in dealing with our individual cases? Ezekiel 18:25.

Note: “The attitude which many assume in expressing doubts and unbelief as to whether the Lord will save them is a reflection upon the character of God. Those who complain of His severity are virtually saying: ‘The way of the Lord is not equal.’ But He distinctly throws back the imputation upon the sinner: ‘Are not your ways unequal?’ Can I pardon your transgressions when you do not repent and turn from your sins?’ … The Lord will receive the sinner when he repents and forsakes his sins so that God can work with his efforts in seeking perfection of character.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 631, 632.

3 What warning invites sinners to turn to God without delay? Ezekiel 18:26–30.

Note: “Let none venture into sin as he [Solomon] did, in the hope that they too may recover themselves. Sin can be indulged only at the peril of infinite loss. …

“But none who have fallen need give themselves up to despair. … There is still hope for them if they repent, forsake sin, and turn to God.” The Review and Herald, February 22, 1906.

“Satan is ready to steal away the blessed assurances of God. He desires to take every glimmer of hope and every ray of light from the soul; but you must not permit him to do this.” Steps to Christ, 53.

4 What is needed in preparing for Heaven? Ezekiel 18:31, 32.

Note: “Regeneration is the only path by which we can reach the holy city. It is narrow and the gate by which we enter is strait, but along it we are to lead men and women and children, teaching them that in order to be saved, they must have a new heart and a new spirit. The old hereditary traits of character are to be overcome. The natural desires of the soul must be changed. All deception, all falsifying, all evil-speaking must be put away. The new life, which makes men and women Christlike, is to be lived. We are, as it were, to swim against the current of evil.” This Day With God, 108.

5 For what purpose did God remind the Israelites of their sojourn in Egypt? Ezekiel 20:7–11.

Note: “Pharaoh boasted that he would like to see their [the Israelites’] God deliver them from his hands. These words destroyed the hopes of many of the children of Israel. It appeared to them very much as the king and his counselors had said. They knew that they were treated as slaves, and that they must endure just that degree of oppression their taskmasters and rulers might put upon them. Their male children had been hunted and slain. Their own lives were a burden, and they were believing in, and worshiping, the God of Heaven.

“Then they contrasted their condition with that of the Egyptians. They did not believe at all in a living God who had power to save or to destroy. Some of them worshiped idols, images of wood and stone, while others chose to worship the sun, moon, and stars; yet they were prospered and wealthy. And some of the Hebrews thought that if God was above all gods He would not thus leave them as slaves to an idolatrous nation.

“The faithful servants of God understood that it was because of their unfaithfulness to God as a people, and their disposition to intermarry with other nations, and thus being led into idolatry, that the Lord suffered them to go into Egypt. And they firmly declared to their brethren that God would soon bring them up from Egypt and break their oppressive yoke.” The Story of Redemption, 114, 115.

6 How serious of an offense is it to reject God’s law and His holy Sabbath? Ezekiel 20:13, 14, 23, 24.

Note: “Those who trample upon God’s authority, and show open contempt to the law given in such grandeur at Sinai, virtually despise the Lawgiver, the great Jehovah. …

“By transgressing the law which God had given in such majesty, and amid glory which was unapproachable, the people showed open contempt of the great Lawgiver, and death was the penalty.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1162.

7 What sign did God give to His people to set them apart as His own peculiar treasure? Ezekiel 20:12.

Note: “The Sabbath is a sign of the relationship existing between God and His people, a sign that they are His obedient subjects, that they keep holy His law. The observance of the Sabbath is the means ordained by God of preserving a knowledge of Himself and of distinguishing between His loyal subjects and the transgressors of His law. This is the faith once delivered to the saints, who stand in moral power before the world, firmly maintaining this faith.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 198.

“To those who keep holy the Sabbath day it is the sign of sanctification. True sanctification is harmony with God, oneness with Him in character. It is received through obedience to those principles that are the transcript of His character. And the Sabbath is the sign of obedience. He who from the heart obeys the fourth commandment will obey the whole law. He is sanctified through obedience.” Ibid., vol. 6, 350.

8 What did the Jews reveal by polluting the Lord’s Sabbath? Ezekiel 20:15, 16.

Note: “The Lord designed that by a faithful observance of the Sabbath command, Israel should continually be reminded of their accountability to Him as their Creator and their Redeemer.” Prophets and Kings, 182.

“So long as the fact that He [God] is our Creator continues to be a reason why we should worship Him, so long the Sabbath will continue as its sign and memorial. Had the Sabbath been universally kept, man’s thoughts and affections would have been led to the Creator as the object of reverence and worship, and there would never have been an idolater, an atheist, or an infidel.” The Great Controversy, 438.

9 What was and still is well understood by God’s faithful remnant in connection with the Sabbath? Ezekiel 20:19, 20.

Note: “Though sin has entered the world to mar His perfect work, God still gives to us the Sabbath as a witness that One omnipotent, infinite in goodness and mercy, created all things. Our heavenly Father desires through the observance of the Sabbath to preserve among men a knowledge of Himself. He desires that the Sabbath shall direct our minds to Him as the true and living God, and that through knowing Him we may have life and peace.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 349.

“The Sabbath was not for Israel merely, but for the world. It had been made known to man in Eden, and, like the other precepts of the Decalogue, it is of imperishable obligation. Of that law of which the fourth commandment forms a part, Christ declares, ‘Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in nowise pass from the law.’ [Matthew 5:18.] So long as the heavens and the earth endure, the Sabbath will continue as a sign of the Creator’s power. And when Eden shall bloom on earth again, God’s holy rest day will be honored by all beneath the sun.” The Desire of Ages, 283.

10 What promise was very precious to the faithful remnant in the days of Ezekiel? Ezekiel 20:36–42. What do we read about the remnant of Israel in these last days? Isaiah 10:20–22.

Note: “From ‘every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people’ there will be some who will gladly respond to the message, ‘Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.’ They will turn from every idol that binds them to earth, and will ‘worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.’ They will free themselves from every entanglement and will stand before the world as monuments of God’s mercy. Obedient to the divine requirements, they will be recognized by angels and by men as those that have kept ‘the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.’ Revelation 14:6, 7, 12.” Prophets and Kings, 299, 300.

Additional Reading

“The law of God is the one great standard that will measure every man’s character in the day of God. The prayer of Christ was, ‘Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.’ Therefore the sanctification of the Spirit of God upon the heart, leads men to walk in the way of God’s commandments. The very test that God brought upon Adam in Eden, will be brought upon every member of the human family. Obedience to God was required of Adam, and we stand in the same position that he did to have a second trial, to see whether we will listen to the voice of Satan and disobey God, or to the Word of God and obey.” The Review and Herald, June 10, 1890.

“The Bible is the standard by which to test the claims of all who profess sanctification. Jesus prayed that His disciples might be sanctified through the truth, and He says, ‘Thy word is truth;’ [John 17:17] while the psalmist declares, ‘Thy law is the truth.’ [Psalms 119:142.] All whom God is leading will manifest a high regard for the Scriptures in which His voice is heard. The Bible will be to them ‘profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.’ [II Timothy 3:16, 17.] ‘Ye shall know them by their fruits.’ [Matthew 7:16.] We need no other evidence in order to judge of men’s sanctification; if they are fearful lest they shall not obey the whole will of God, if they are listening diligently to His voice, trusting in His wisdom, and making His Word the man of their counsel, then, while they make no boasts of superior goodness, we may be sure that they are seeking to attain to perfection of Christian character. But if the claimants of holiness even intimate that they are no longer required to search the Scriptures, we need not hesitate to pronounce their sanctification spurious. They are leaning to their own understanding, instead of conforming to the will of God.” The Faith and Works, 51.

“The truth as it is in Jesus is obedience to every precept of Jehovah. It is heart work. Bible sanctification is not the spurious sanctification of today, which will not search the Scriptures, but trusts to good feelings and impulses rather than to the seeking for truth as for hidden treasure. Bible sanctification is to know the requirements of God and to obey them. There is a pure and holy heaven in store for those who keep God’s commandments. It is worth lifelong, persevering, untiring effort. Satan is on your right hand and on your left; he is before and behind; he has a dish of fables cooked up for every soul who is not cherishing the truth as it is in Jesus. The destroyer is upon you to palsy your every effort. But there is a crown of life to be won, a life that measures with the life of God.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1147.

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

Bible Study Guides – Doom or Redemption: A Choice

August 9, 2009 – August 15, 2009

Key Text

“And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee [when thou wast] in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee [when thou wast] in thy blood, Live.” Ezekiel 16:6.

Study Help: Prophets and Kings, 450, 451; Steps to Christ, 23–36.


“God’s mercy to those who sincerely repent and come to Him through Christ, knows no limit. He will pardon the most guilty, and purify the most polluted.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 7, 341.

1 Through what allegory did God depict the birth of the Jewish nation and His compassion on their pitiful state? Ezekiel 16:1–7.

2 What description portrays God’s covenant with His people? Ezekiel 16:8 (cf. Ruth 3:9); II Corinthians 11:2.

Note: “Christ left His heavenly home, and came to this world, to show that only by being connected with divinity can man keep the law of God. In itself humanity is tainted and corrupted; but Christ brought moral power to man, and those who live in communion with him overcome as he overcame. We are not left in this world as orphans; Christ has united fallen man to the infinite God. He has opened a way for our prayers to ascend to God, and the fragrance of his righteousness ascends with the prayer of every repentant sinner.” The Signs of the Times, December 10, 1896.

“In the Bible the sacred and enduring character of the relation that exists between Christ and His church is represented by the union of marriage. The Lord has joined His people to Himself by a solemn covenant, He promising to be their God, and they pledging themselves to be His and His alone.” The Great Controversy, 381.

3 Why did God become disappointed at the behavior of His people on many occasions? Ezekiel 16:13–15, 30, 32.

Note: “The unfaithfulness of the church to Christ in permitting her confidence and affection to be turned from Him, and allowing the love of worldly things to occupy the soul, is likened to the violation of the marriage vow.” The Great Controversy, 381.

4 How does Inspiration denounce the moral fall of the popular churches today? Revelation 17:1–5; 18:1–4.

Note: “It was by departure from the Lord, and alliance with the heathen, that the Jewish church became a harlot; and Rome, corrupting herself in like manner by seeking the support of worldly powers, receives a like condemnation. …

“The people of God are called upon to come out of Babylon. According to this scripture, many of God’s people must still be in Babylon. And in what religious bodies are the greater part of the followers of Christ now to be found? Without doubt, in the various churches professing the Protestant faith. At the time of their rise these churches took a noble stand for God and the truth, and His blessing was with them. Even the unbelieving world was constrained to acknowledge the beneficent results that followed an acceptance of the principles of the gospel. … But they fell by the same desire which was the curse and ruin of Israel—the desire of imitating the practices and courting the friendship of the ungodly.” The Great Controversy, 382, 383.

5 What practice had crept into Israel, provoking God’s wrath? Ezekiel 16:20, 21. How had He warned against this evil? Leviticus 18:21; 20:2, 3.

Note: “While the Israelites were in Egyptian bondage, they were surrounded by idolatry. The Egyptians had received traditions in regard to sacrificing. They did not acknowledge the existence of the God of heaven. They sacrificed to their idol gods. With great pomp and ceremony they performed their idol worship. They erected altars to the honor of their gods, and they required even their own children to pass through the fire. After they had erected their altars, they required their children to leap over the altars through the fire. If they could do this without their being burned, the idol priests and people received it as an evidence that their god accepted their offerings, and favored especially the person who passed through the fiery ordeal. He was loaded with benefits, and was ever afterward greatly esteemed by all the people. He was never allowed to be punished, however aggravating might be his crimes. If another person who leaped through the fire was so unfortunate as to be burned, then his fate was fixed; for they thought that their gods were angry, and would be appeased with nothing short of the unhappy victim’s life, and he was offered up as a sacrifice upon their idol altars.

“Even some of the children of Israel had so far degraded themselves as to practice these abominations, and God caused the fire to kindle upon their children, whom they made to pass through the fire. They did not go to all the lengths of the heathen nations; but God deprived them of their children by causing the fire to consume them in the act of passing through it.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1119.

6 In what ways may we be in danger of practicing similar abominations today? James 4:4; I John 2:15–17.

Note: “Fathers and mothers who should understand the responsibility which rests upon them relax their discipline to meet the inclinations of their growing sons and daughters. The will of the child is the law recognized. Mothers who have been firm, consistent, and unbending in their adherence to principle, maintaining simplicity and fidelity, become indulgent as their children merge into manhood and womanhood. In their love of display they give their children to Satan with their own hands, like the apostate Jews making them pass through the fire to Molech.” Child Guidance, 277.

“Children are not to be trained to be the devotees of society. They are not to be sacrificed to Molech, but they are to become members of the Lord’s family. Parents are to be filled with the compassion of Christ, that they may work for the salvation of the souls that are placed under their influence. They are not to have their minds all engrossed in the fashions and practices of the world. They are not to educate their children to attend parties and concerts and dances, to have and attend feasts, because after this manner the Gentiles walk.” Ibid., 181.

7 How can we protect our children from the evils of Sodom? Ezekiel 16:49, 50. Why should we remember God’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrha? Jude 5–7.

Note: “Active hands and minds do not find time to heed every temptation which the enemy suggests, but idle hands and brains are all ready for Satan to control. The mind, when not properly occupied, dwells upon improper things. Parents should teach their children that idleness is sin.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 395.

“The reason the youth have so little strength of brain and muscle is because they do so little in the line of useful labor.” Ibid., vol. 4, 96.

“The misuse or nonuse of the physical powers is largely responsible for the tide of corruption that is overspreading the world. ‘Pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness,’ [Ezekiel 16:49] are as deadly foes to human progress in this generation as when they led to the destruction of Sodom.” Education, 209.

8 What was God constrained to declare about the rebellious nation that had betrayed His every sacred trust? Ezekiel 17:11–20.

Note: “The day of doom for the kingdom of Judah was fast approaching. No longer could the Lord set before them the hope of averting the severest of His judgments.” Prophets and Kings, 450.

9 How did God reveal His mercy toward those who would humble their souls in true contrition? Ezekiel 17:22–24.

Note: “It was still the Lord’s purpose, as it had been from the beginning, that His people should be a praise in the earth, to the glory of His name. During the long years of their exile He had given them many opportunities to return to their allegiance to Him. Some had chosen to listen and to learn; some had found salvation in the midst of affliction. Many of these were to be numbered among the remnant that should return. They were likened by Inspiration to ‘the highest branch of the high cedar,’ which was to be planted ‘upon an high mountain and eminent: in the mountain of the height of Israel.’ Ezekiel 17:22, 23.” Prophets and Kings, 599.

10 What future plan did God have for the faithful remnant? Ezekiel 16:60–63; Jeremiah 31:33; Galatians 3:29.

Note: “All who became the subjects of Christ’s kingdom, he said, would give evidence of faith and repentance. Kindness, honesty, and fidelity would be seen in their lives. They would minister to the needy, and bring their offerings to God. They would shield the defenseless, and give an example of virtue and compassion. So the followers of Christ will give evidence of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. In the daily life, justice, mercy, and the love of God will be seen.” The Desire of Ages, 107.

Additional Reading

“Every soul has a heaven to win, and a hell to shun. And the angelic agencies are all ready to come to the help of the tried and tempted soul. He, the Son of the infinite God, endured the test and trial in our behalf. The cross of Calvary stands vividly before every soul. When the cases of all are judged, and they [the lost] are delivered to suffer for their contempt for God and their disregard of His honor in their disobedience, not one will have an excuse, not one will need to have perished. It was left to their own choice who should be their prince, Christ or Satan. All the help Christ received, every man may receive in the great trial. The cross stands as a pledge that not one need be lost, that abundant help is provided for every soul. We can conquer the satanic agencies, or we can join ourselves with the powers that seek to counterwork the work of God in our world. …

“We have an Advocate pleading in our behalf. The Holy Ghost is continually engaged in beholding our course of action. We need now keen perception, that by our own practical godliness the truth may be made to appear truth as it is in Jesus. The angelic agencies are messengers from heaven, actually ascending and descending, keeping earth in constant connection with the heaven above. These angel messengers are observing all our course of action. They are ready to help all in their weakness, guarding all from moral and physical danger according to the providence of God. And whenever souls yield to the softening, subduing influence of the Spirit of God under these angel ministrations, there is joy in heaven; the Lord Himself rejoices with singing.

“Men take altogether too much glory to themselves. It is the work of heavenly agencies cooperating with human agencies according to God’s plan that brings the result in the conversion and sanctification of the human character. We cannot see and could not endure the glory of angelic ministrations if their glory was not veiled in condescension to the weakness of our human nature. The blaze of the heavenly glory, as seen in the angels of light, would extinguish earthly mortals. Angels are working upon human minds just as these minds are given to their charge; they bring precious remembrances fresh before the mind as they did to the women about the sepulcher.

“A created instrumentality is used in heaven’s organized plan for the renewing of our nature, working in the children of disobedience obedience unto God. The guardianship of the heavenly host is granted to all who will work in God’s ways and follow His plans. We may in earnest, contrite prayer call the heavenly helpers to our side. Invisible armies of light and power will work with the humble, meek, and lowly one.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 96, 97.

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

Bible Study Guides – Warnings Paralleled Today

August 2, 2009 – August 8, 2009

Key Text

“Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, [were] in it [the land], [as] I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall [but] deliver their own souls by their righteousness.” Ezekiel 14:20.

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 622, 623; The Ministry of Healing, 452–457.


“No one will be borne upward without stern, persevering effort in his own behalf. All must engage in this warfare for themselves; no one else can fight our battles.” The Ministry of Healing, 453.

1 How did the Lord describe the condition of His professed people in Ezekiel’s day? Ezekiel 12:1, 2. How has this problem continued even to our time? Matthew 13:14, 15; John 3:19, 20.

Note: “It is a fearful thing to have great light and blessing, to have many opportunities and privileges, and yet make no saving use of them. Those who do not make a saving use of their opportunities, will be condemned by the privileges God has granted to them; but those who walk in the light will have increased light.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 259.

2 What was God’s plan for His people entrusted with heaven-sent light? Isaiah 43:10. What similar exhortation echoes down to us today? Matthew 5:16; Ephesians 5:8.

Note: “Had Israel been true to her trust, all the nations of earth would have shared in her blessings. But the hearts of those to whom had been entrusted a knowledge of saving truth, were untouched by the needs of those around them. As God’s purpose was lost sight of, the heathen came to be looked upon as beyond the pale of His mercy. The light of truth was withheld, and darkness prevailed. The nations were overspread with a veil of ignorance; the love of God was little known; error and superstition flourished.” Prophets and Kings, 371.

3 Describe the warning that Ezekiel was to give to the people of Judah. Ezekiel 12:21–28. What mistake did the king of Judah make in the crisis hour? Ezekiel 17:15.

Note: “Judah’s king rebelled against the prophets, against his benefactor, and against his God. In the vanity of his own wisdom he turned for help to the ancient enemy of Israel’s prosperity, ‘sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and much people.’ [Ezekiel 17:15.]” Prophets and Kings, 451.

4 How is the dangerous tendency of evil men gaining ground among the professed people of God today? Matthew 24:48–51.

Note: “The evil servant says in his heart, ‘My lord delayeth his coming.’ [Matthew 24:48.] He does not say that Christ will not come. He does not scoff at the idea of His second coming. But in his heart and by his actions and words he declares that the Lord’s coming is delayed. He banishes from the minds of others the conviction that the Lord is coming quickly. His influence leads men to presumptuous, careless delay. They are confirmed in their worldliness and stupor. Earthly passions, corrupt thoughts, take possession of the mind. The evil servant eats and drinks with the drunken, unites with the world in pleasure seeking. He smites his fellow servants, accusing and condemning those who are faithful to their Master. He mingles with the world. Like grows with like in transgression. It is a fearful assimilation. With the world he is taken in the snare.” The Desire of Ages, 635.

5 How were the lying prophets reproved? Ezekiel 13:1–3, 6. What reproof applies to the popular ministry today? Isaiah 50:11.

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.

6 What accusation rested upon the false prophets in the time of Ezekiel? Ezekiel 13:4. How applicable is this to our day?

Note: “Some who occupy the position of watchmen to warn the people of danger have given up their watch and recline at ease. They are unfaithful sentinels. They remain inactive, while their wily foe enters the fort and works successfully by their side to tear down what God has commanded to be built up. They see that Satan is deceiving the inexperienced and unsuspecting; yet they take it all quietly, as though they had no special interest, as though these things did not concern them. They apprehend no special danger; they see no cause to raise an alarm.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 440.

7 How did God denounce the actions of those who were leading His people? Ezekiel 13:10–16.

Note: “There will be men and women who despise reproof and whose feelings will ever rise up against it. It is not pleasant to be told of our wrongs. In almost every case where reproof is necessary, there will be some who entirely overlook the fact that the Spirit of the Lord has been grieved and His cause reproached. These will pity those who deserved reproof, because personal feelings have been hurt. All this unsanctified sympathy places the sympathizers where they are sharers in the guilt of the one reproved. In nine cases out of ten if the one reproved had been left under a sense of his wrongs, he might have been helped to see them and thereby have been reformed. But meddlesome, unsanctified sympathizers place altogether a wrong construction upon the motives of the reprover and the nature of the reproof given, and by sympathizing with the one reproved lead him to feel that he has been really abused; and his feelings rise up in rebellion against the one who has only done his duty. Those who faithfully discharge their unpleasant duties under a sense of their accountability to God will receive His blessing.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 359.

8 What did God propose to do to the false prophetesses who went about deceiving the people? Ezekiel 13:18–23. What will happen to the ministers who have used falsehoods to deceive the people?

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

9 What appeal and warning from the Lord did Ezekiel direct to the people? Ezekiel 14:2–8.

Note: “Many who call themselves Christians are mere human moralists. They have refused the gift which alone could enable them to honor Christ by representing Him to the world. The work of the Holy Spirit is to them a strange work. They are not doers of the word. The heavenly principles that distinguish those who are one with Christ from those who are one with the world have become almost indistinguishable. The professed followers of Christ are no longer a separate and peculiar people. The line of demarcation is indistinct. The people are subordinating themselves to the world, to its practices, its customs, its selfishness. The church has gone over to the world in transgression of the law, when the world should have come over to the church in obedience to the law. Daily the church is being converted to the world.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 315, 316.

10 What principle requires our immediate attention? Ezekiel 14:14–20.

Note: “The ‘time of trouble, such as never was,’ [Daniel 12:1] is soon to open upon us; and we shall need an experience which we do not now possess and which many are too indolent to obtain. It is often the case that trouble is greater in anticipation than in reality; but this is not true of the crisis before us. The most vivid presentation cannot reach the magnitude of the ordeal. In that time of trial, every soul must stand for himself before God.” The Great Controversy, 622.

“ ‘Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.’ Revelation 22:17. But character is not transferable. No man can believe for another. No man can receive the Spirit for another. No man can impart to another the character which is the fruit of the Spirit’s working. ‘Though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it [the land], as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.’ Ezekiel 14:20.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 412.

Additional Reading

“The vows of David recorded in Psalm 101 should be the vows of all upon whom rest the responsibilities of guarding the influences of the home. David declared: ‘I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. … I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes.’ (Psalms 101:2, 3.)

“The enemy of souls will invent many things to lead the minds of our youth from firm faith in God to the idolatrous practices of the world. Let the cautions given to ancient Israel be carefully studied. Satan’s efforts to spoil the thoughts and confuse the judgment are unceasing, and we must be on our guard. We must be careful to maintain our allegiance to God as His peculiar people. …

“We should endeavor to keep out of our homes every influence that is not productive of good. In this matter some parents have much to learn. To those who feel free to read story magazines and novels, I say: You are sowing seed, the harvest of which you will not care to gather. There is no spiritual strength to be gained from such reading. Rather it destroys the love for the pure truth of the Word. Through the agency of novels and story magazines Satan is working to fill with unreal and trivial thoughts the minds that should be diligently studying the Word of God. Thus he is robbing thousands upon thousands of the time and energy and self-discipline demanded by the stern problems of life.

“Let the youth be taught to give close study to the Word of God. Received into the soul, it will prove a mighty barricade against temptations. ‘Thy word,’ the psalmist declares, ‘have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.’ ‘By the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.’ (Psalms 119:11; 17:4.)

“If the counsels of the Word of God are faithfully followed, the saving grace of Christ will be brought to our youth; for the children who are trained to love and obey God, and who yield themselves to the molding power of His Word, are the objects of God’s special care and blessing.” In Heavenly Places, 215.

“When God sends to men warnings so important that they are represented as proclaimed by holy angels flying in the midst of heaven, He requires every person endowed with reasoning powers to heed the message. The fearful judgments denounced against the worship of the beast and his image (Revelation 14:9–11), should lead all to a diligent study of the prophecies to learn what the mark of the beast is, and how they are to avoid receiving it. But the masses of the people turn away their ears from hearing the truth and are turned unto fables. The apostle Paul declared, looking down to the last days: ‘The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine.’ II Timothy 4:3. That time has fully come. The multitudes do not want Bible truth, because it interferes with the desires of the sinful, world-loving heart; and Satan supplies the deceptions which they love.” The Great Controversy, 594, 595.

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

Bible Study Guides – Glorious Hope for the Remnant

July 26, 2009 – August 1, 2009

Key Text

“I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 11:19.

Study Help: Early Writings, 250–253; This Day With God, 80.


“When the Spirit of God takes possession of the heart, it transforms the life. Sinful thoughts are put away, evil deeds are renounced; love, humility, and peace, take the place of anger, envy, and strife.” The Desire of Ages, 173.

1 What is the symbolic meaning of the “throne” and the “hand” in the vision of Ezekiel? Ezekiel 10:1, 8.

Note: “The wheels were so complicated in arrangement that at first sight they appeared to be in confusion; but they moved in perfect harmony. Heavenly beings, sustained and guided by the hand beneath the wings of the cherubim, were impelling these wheels; above them, upon the sapphire throne, was the Eternal One; and round about the throne a rainbow, the emblem of divine mercy.

“As the wheellike complications were under the guidance of the hand beneath the wings of the cherubim, so the complicated play of human events is under divine control. Amidst the strife and tumult of nations, He that sitteth above the cherubim still guides the affairs of the earth.” Education, 178.

2 What do the “wheels” represent? Ezekiel 10:9–11.

Note: “To the prophet, the wheel within a wheel, the appearance of living creatures connected with them, all seemed intricate and unexplainable. But the hand of infinite wisdom is seen among the wheels, and perfect order is the result of its work. Every wheel, directed by the hand of God, works in perfect harmony with every other wheel.

“By the influence of the Spirit, the most discordant may be brought into harmony. Unselfishness is to bind God’s people together with firm, tender bonds. There is a vast power in the church when the energies of the members are under the control of the Spirit, gathering good from every source, educating, training, and disciplining self. Thus is presented to God a powerful organization, through which He can work for the conversion of sinners. Thus heaven and earth are connected, and all the divine agencies cooperate with human instrumentalities.” My Life Today, 39.

3 In the cooperation between divine and human agencies, what symbolism may be deducted from the “four faces?” Ezekiel 10:14, 15; Revelation 4:7.


Man—(wisdom): Colossians 1:9.

Lion—(courage): Proverbs 28:1.

Ox/Cherub—(strength): Proverbs 14:4.

Eagle—(swiftness): Deuteronomy 28:49.

4 What is the meaning of the “eyes” needed in every department and in every instrumentality in the work of God? Ezekiel 10:12; Ephesians 1:18.

Note: “May the Lord bless His people with spiritual eyesight, to see that the children of God and the world can never be in copartnership.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 276.

“We need spiritual eyesight, that we may see the designs of the enemy, and as faithful watchmen proclaim the danger. We need power from above, that we may understand, as far as the human mind can, the great themes of Christianity and their far-reaching principles.” Gospel Workers, 289.

5 What lessons should we learn from the work of the angels that Ezekiel saw in vision? Ezekiel 10:16, 17; Hebrews 1:14.

Note: “Angels work harmoniously. Perfect order characterizes all their movements. The more closely we imitate the harmony and order of the angelic host, the more successful will be the efforts of these heavenly agents in our behalf. If we see no necessity for harmonious action, and are disorderly, undisciplined, and disorganized in our course of action, angels, who are thoroughly organized and move in perfect order, cannot work for us successfully. They turn away in grief, for they are not authorized to bless confusion, distraction, and disorganization. All who desire the co-operation of the heavenly messengers must work in unison with them. Those who have the unction from on high will in all their efforts encourage order, discipline, and union of action, and then the angels of God can co-operate with them.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 649.

6 How did God reveal His care for the repentant, scattered remnant? Ezekiel 11:13–18. What is our responsibility toward the true followers of God in Babylon? John 10:16.

Note: “Brethren who wish to change their location, who have the glory of God in view, and feel that individual responsibility rests upon them to do others good, to benefit and save souls for whom Christ withheld not His precious life, should move into towns and villages where there is little or no light and where they can be of real service and bless others with their labor and experience. Missionaries are wanted to go into towns and villages, and raise the standard of truth, that God may have His witnesses scattered all over the land, that the light of truth may penetrate where it has not yet reached, and the standard of truth be raised where it is not yet known.” Evangelism, 52.

“We have but a little space of time left in which to work for God. Nothing should be too dear to sacrifice for the salvation of the scattered and torn flock of Jesus.” Early Writings, 47.

7 What assurance did God extend to His striving remnant? Ezekiel 11:19, 20. What is the present-day application of this assurance?

Note: “Be not discouraged because your heart seems hard. Every obstacle, every internal foe, only increases your need of Christ. He came to take away the heart of stone, and give you a heart of flesh. Look to Him for special grace to overcome your peculiar faults. When assailed by temptation, steadfastly resist the evil promptings; say to your soul, ‘How can I dishonor my Redeemer? I have given myself to Christ; I cannot do the works of Satan.’ Cry to the dear Saviour for help to sacrifice every idol, and to put away every darling sin. Let the eye of faith see Jesus standing before the Father’s throne, presenting His wounded hands as He pleads for you. Believe that strength comes to you through your precious Saviour.” Messages to Young People, 112.

8 In seeking reformation, what should we learn about God’s glory as revealed to Moses? Exodus 33:17, 18; 34:6, 7.

Note: “[The Lord] permitted all his goodness to pass before Moses; he proclaimed his character to him as a God full of mercy, long-suffering, and gracious—forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin. Moses was to represent this character to the people of Israel, and we are to do the same. We are to go forth to proclaim the goodness of God, and to make plain his real character before the people. We are to reflect his glory. Have we done this in the past? Have we revealed the character of our Lord by precept and example? Have we not joined in the work of the enemy of souls, and misrepresented our Heavenly Father? Have we not been passing judgment on our brethren, criticising [sic] their words and actions? Then the love of God has not been enthroned in our souls. Let us make a decided change. Let us declare the character of God to the people as Moses did to Israel, both in spirit and life. We are to catch the light of his countenance, full of compassion and love, and reflect it to perishing souls.” The Review and Herald, February 26, 1889.

9 How is God’s glory to be revealed in our day? Isaiah 60:1, 2.

Note: “If upon your spirit the glory of the Lord is risen, if you have beheld His beauty who is ‘the chiefest among ten thousand’ and the One ‘altogether lovely,’ [Song of Solomon 5:10, 16] if your souls has become radiant in the presence of His glory, to you is this word from the Master sent. Have you stood with Christ on the mount of transfiguration? Down in the plain there are souls enslaved by Satan; they are waiting for the word of faith and prayer to set them free.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 43.

10 How does Paul describe the glory shown to John in Revelation 18:1? Colossians 1:27. How may we help in spreading this glory?

Note: “The world is a lazar house filled with victims of both physical and spiritual disease. Everywhere people are perishing for lack of a knowledge of the truths that have been committed to us. The members of the church are in need of an awakening, that they may realize their responsibility to impart these truths. Those who have been enlightened by the truth are to be light bearers to the world. To hide our light at this time is to make a terrible mistake.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 62.

Additional Reading

“Our precious Redeemer is standing before the Father as our intercessor. … Let those who would meet the divine standard search the Scriptures for themselves, that they may have a knowledge of the life of Christ and understand His mission and work. Let them behold Him as their Advocate, standing within the vail, having in His hand the golden censer from which the holy incense of the merits of His righteousness ascends to God in behalf of those who pray to Him. Could they thus behold Him they would feel an assurance that they have a powerful, influential Advocate in the heavenly courts, and that their suit is gained at the throne of God.

“What an experience may be attained at the footstool of mercy, which is the only place of sure refuge! You may discern the fact that God is back of His promises, and not dread the issue of your prayers or doubt that Jesus is standing as your surety and substitute. As you confess your sins, as you repent of your iniquity, Christ takes your guilt upon Himself and imputes to you His own righteousness and power. To those who are contrite in spirit He gives the golden oil of love and the rich treasures of His grace. It is then that you may see that the sacrifice of self to God through the merits of Christ makes you of infinite value, for clothed in the robe of Christ’s righteousness you become the sons and daughters of God. Those who … ask forgiveness in the name of Jesus will receive their request. At the very first expression of penitence Christ presents the humble suppliant’s petition before the throne as His own desire in the sinner’s behalf. He says, ‘I will pray the Father for you’ (John 16:26).

“Jesus, our precious Saviour, could not see us exposed to the fatal snares of Satan and forbear making an infinite sacrifice on our behalf. He interposes Himself between Satan and the tempted soul and says, ‘Get thee behind me, Satan.’ [Matthew 16:23.] Let me come close to this tempted soul.’ He pities and loves every humble, trembling suppliant.” That I May Know Him, 77.

“Every true turning to the Lord brings abiding joy into the life. When a sinner yields to the influence of the Holy Spirit, he sees his own guilt and defilement in contrast with the holiness of the great Searcher of hearts. He sees himself condemned as a transgressor. But he is not, because of this, to give way to despair; for his pardon has already been secured. He may rejoice in the sense of sins forgiven, in the love of a pardoning heavenly Father. It is God’s glory to encircle sinful, repentant human beings in the arms of His love, to bind up their wounds, to cleanse them from sin, and to clothe them with the garments of salvation.” Prophets and Kings, 668.

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

Recipe – Anita’s Rice

1 cup unpolished brown rice

1 cup coconut milk (fresh recommended)

2 medium diced onions

2 medium diced tomatoes

1 bulb garlic

1 ½ inch piece small ginger

1 ½ tsp. salt

Bay leaves, cardamom, optional

inch turmeric and cayenne pepper-optional

Small bunch of cilantro

Small bunch of mint

½ cup olive oil or water

Saute` onions, bay leaves and cardamom in olive oil or water on medium heat. Once pinkish in color, add a little turmeric and cayenne pepper. Also add finely ground ginger and garlic paste. Keep stirring over low heat till all the ingredients are nicely cooked. Then add tomatoes with the salt, finely chopped mint and cilantro. Transfer this mixture to rice, coconut milk, and ½ cup warm water and put into a rice cooker. Cook well and serve hot with gravy, or vegetable or pea curry.

Food – Psychological Benefits of Exercise

The time spent in physical exercise is not lost. … A proportionate exercise of all the organs and faculties of the body is essential to the best work of each. When the brain is constantly taxed while the other organs of the living machinery are inactive, there is a loss of strength, physical and mental. The physical system is robbed of its healthful tone, the mind loses its freshness and vigor, and a morbid excitability is the result.” Adventist Home, 494.

Over the years I stand amazed that science continues to find supporting evidence for the writings of E.G. White. Although the results have not been 100% consistent, many scientific studies of the effects of exercise upon the psychology of the mind document positive benefits. One such study showed improvements in fatigue, and total mood after 10 minutes of exercise, with progressive improvements in mental function over 20 minutes. A large study in Finland including over 3,000 people indicated a consistent association between enhanced psychological well-being of individuals who exercised at least two to three times a week. These people reported significantly less depression, anger, cynical distrust, and stress than those who exercised less frequently or not at all. (MEDLINE Abstracts: Psychological Benefits of Exercise from Topics in Advanced Practice Nursing e-Journal.)

Aerobic exercise has been shown to be helpful in stress reduction and maintaining a positive disposition. When you are stressed, it is important to get enough sleep. People who exercise regularly actually go to sleep faster, are more refreshed, and have sharper memories. Exercise increases the blood flow to the brain, bringing extra sugar and oxygen, which can help with concentration and stress reduction.

Aerobic exercise has also been shown to reduce anxiety and depression. It offers a distraction from worry and introspection. Burning excess fat and toning up can help boost anyone’s confidence and reduce depression.

Many of the benefits of exercise are a result of little chemicals called endorphins, which are produced by our body when we exercise. The chemicals bind to receptors in the brain and have four key effects on the body: they relieve pain, they reduce stress, they enhance the immune system, and they postpone the aging process. Endorphins are also triggered by deep-breathing, meditation, eating spicy food, and deep laughter. (Psychological Benefits of Aerobic Exercise, By Ciara Carruthers.)

Finally, “light and pleasant physical labor will occupy the time, improve the circulation, relieve and restore the brain, and prove a decided benefit to the health.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 555. So if you want good mental health, try exercise!

Children’s Story – Walk of Faith

Although it was obvious that the gathered crowd was yelling and clapping, the roar of 6 million cubic feet of water per second pouring over the precipice muted their cheering, oddly resembling a silent home video. Standing on the edge of Niagara Falls was the subject of their excitement. Charles Blondin turned his back to the water and faced the crowd, still dangerously close to the lip of the drop-off. Making eye contact with the people gathered a safe distance off, he slowly stepped backward, and with quiet amusement, saw the faces gasp in unison. The tightrope under his feet gave way slightly under the weight and he took several more quick steps back, now far out from the safe reach of solid ground. He swayed dangerously to one side, arms swinging wildly in a seeming attempt to regain his balance… but it was only for show. Charles Blondin, or better known as the Great Blondin, was rumoured to be more capable on a tightrope than most people were on flat earth. Confidently, he balanced again and walked the rope back to the cliffs, and over to the crowd. The cheering resumed, louder this time.

Raising his hand for quiet, Blondin yelled above the din of the waters. “How many of you believe that I can cross the falls while carrying someone on my back?”

After a brief instant of incredulous silence, someone began an encore of affirmation, “Blon-din, Blon-din, Blon-din!” The cheer spread through the crowd like wildfire, until every single person gathered was verbalizing their confidence in the crazy idea.

Once again motioning for silence, Blondin asked, “Which one of you would like to be that someone?” The question had the same effect as a pin on an inflated balloon. Heads shook in utter astonishment, rejecting their own professions of faith. The Great Blondin had already crossed the falls several times, and once even while blindfolded. After several minutes of staring down individuals in the crowd, a familiar face pushed through the sea of bodies, “I was first to profess confidence in the Great Blondin. Here is my show of faith.”

As the duo walked back to the edge of the falls, Blondin’s manager, Harry Colcord, wished he could pour confidence into his shaking boots. Hopping onto Blondin’s back, Colcord, braced himself for the quarter mile trip across the falls, hoping he would not share the same fate as the water tumbling 110 feet down to the rocks at the bottom. As they stepped out onto the thin thread that stretched from Canada to the United States, what little courageous blood was flowing through his veins drained from him and his face took on the pallor of crisp, white hotel sheets, but it was too late for a change of mind. His ride took one step in front of another, and yet it seemed to Colcord that they must be walking in place. What seemed a lifetime later, they reached the first guy-rope and rested in relative safety before continuing. Then, midway between the first and second safety ropes, their lifeline began to sway violently. Trying desperately to counteract the unpredictable movements of the tightrope, Charles also was battling the terrified attempts of his companion to correct their balance. Charles took off at a relative run across the swaying rope for the next guy-rope. Reaching it safely, he spoke solemnly to his frightened passenger. “If we are going to make it the rest of the way across, my friend, you will have to cease to be Harry Colcord, and become a part of me. You must do nothing apart from me. Rely on me completely or you will not make it to the other side.” Colcord did as he was instructed, trusting in the professional to do the work and get them to safety. The two men found their feet once again on solid ground and were never more grateful for the dirt beneath their feet.

While it is certainly not advisable to attempt a daring feat like this at home, there is indeed something that we ought to try at home, work, and play—the complete reliance upon the one and only Man who can help us safely to the other side. In acting on our own accord rather than trusting completely in Jesus and acting in faith with Him, we accomplish nothing but our own destruction.

Memory verse: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5, 6.

Health – C is for Champ

Vitamin C, also known by its chemical title ascorbic acid, is an essential nutrient for humans. Where most organisms can provide their own vitamin C in appropriate levels, the human body cannot synthesize this chemical on its own. Instead, we depend on our diet to provide the necessary nutrient in adequate dosages. Although ascorbic acid was not identified and isolated until 1933, its vital role in the body was recognized long prior. “Simple grains, fruits, and vegetables have all the nutrient properties necessary to make good blood.” Healthful Living, 63. This is, in large part, due to the high value of vitamin C in fresh produce.

Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin. Practically, what this means is that our body does not store this vitamin for very long and we must replace it daily through our diet and/or supplements. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin C has been under scrutiny for quite some time. Since the distance between too little and too much is too great, the FDA fell somewhere in the low-middle to compensate for the spread. To prevent scurvy (a terribly painful disease caused by the lack of vitamin C which causes bleeding both external and internal, loose teeth, sore joints, extreme fatigue, and anemia) the body needs only 10 mg daily. On the flip side, when more than 200 mg are taken at a time, the body passes any more than this out through the urine. To compensate for the spread, the RDA was set just high enough to prevent scurvy should there be a shortage of vitamin C for a couple weeks. The RDA was reevaluated in 2000 and raised from just 60 mg to 75–90 mg (depending on gender and weight). However, most believe that the recommended levels are still not high enough for optimal function. In 1996, researchers said that 200 mg per day was optimal while others still believe that this is still too low—more than twice the current recommendation. Decades of research show very clearly that vitamin C, taken in large dosages, improves many health issues including asthma, as well as if not better than prescription drugs (the difference is that vitamin C does not cause harmful side effects).

The main argument around vitamin C is the use of greater amounts since the body excretes any more than 200 mg taken in a day. A healthy person’s body contains approximately 5,000 mg of vitamin C at a fairly constant basis. When stressed by illness or injury, the level lowers and it is necessary to take in larger levels than normal. The body will only excrete excess vitamin C if the maximum level has been reached. For most people in our world today, maximum health is not a normal state and consequently, the milligrams that a person consumes will most likely boost the level to the optimal height. The beneficial results tend to be seen only at levels of more than 200 mg per day.

Listing the innumerable benefits of vitamin C to the body would take more space than allowed for our health feature, so to put it simply, there is very little that vitamin C does not do for the body. There are over 300 uses that the body finds for vitamin C, so just to list a couple of appetizers, Vitamin C is required for the production of collagen. Collagen is a strong bonding or connective tissue that keeps your skeleton together, attaches muscles to bone, keeps blood vessels strong, and holds skin and organs in place. Simply put, collagen is to the body as the egg (replacer) is to your favorite cookie recipe and what water is to concrete, holding all the components together. Because collagen is needed for healing wounds, vitamin C is an integral agent in the healing process.

Vitamin C also serves as one of your body’s top antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that slow or prevent the oxidation of other molecules. In the body, oxidation reactions can produce molecules with unpaired electrons, aka free radicals, which must be closely regulated by the body so as to prevent them from mutating cells. Vitamin C is a key component in preventing this. It also supports the body’s other antioxidants in their work. Vitamin C’s job is to capture free radicals and neutralize them before they can do damage to the body. This is actually a primary focus of a lot of the different minerals and vitamins. But vitamin C is particularly useful because it is water-soluble. This means that it can travel anywhere in the body, just like free radicals.

Without Vitamin C, other vitamins and minerals, such as iron and folic acid, would not be able to perform their work in the body. In fact, many vitamins and minerals depend on one another’s presence to get their work done, so it is important to make sure that we have the appropriate levels of vitamins and minerals in our bodies.

Vitamin C has been indicated as a beneficial agent in everything ranging from the prevention of heart disease (the National Center for Health Statistics, or NCHS, found that if adults in America added 500 mg of vitamin C to their diet each day, 100,000 deaths would be prevented each year.) to battling asthma. It is shown that children with asthma have significantly lower levels of vitamin C in their blood. Vitamin C has also been cited as being instrumental in the prevention and/or treatment of cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, kidney stones, cancer, and arthritis.

Until canning and refrigeration were common place vitamin C deficiency was quite rampant in many areas during the winter months particularly due to the lack of fresh produce. Now that fruits and vegetables are available year-round most people get all the vitamin C that is necessary despite the season, although the level is not nearly as high as some health professionals believe it ought to be. In some instances, however, an extra dose may be necessary. The cells of a person with diabetes do not keep vitamin C levels as well as someone who does not suffer from this ailment. Smokers also should take care to maintain a good level of vitamin C as cigarette smoke breaks down the content in the cells. They need vitamin C also to help the body repair the damage done to the body through smoking. Those combating asthma or allergies use up more vitamin C than most in order to fight the reaction. When you are sick, your immune system needs an extra boost to arm your body against the illness and return to a state of wellness. Patients who have just undergone surgery, heavy drinkers, those who take prescription or over-the-counter drugs or steroids, older adults, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and people who are under excessive mental and physical stress such as athletes also need an extra boost of C.

Just about every fresh fruit and vegetable contains some level of vitamin C. The food that has the highest level is native to the West Indies and is not seen frequently in the Americas. However, it is used most frequently in adding a boost of C to foods and drinks. Acerola, per serving, contains 1,644 mg of vitamin C, more than four times the amount of the common fruit or vegetable that are “high” in the vitamin.

Vegetables like kale, spinach, collard greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and turnips are also excellent sources of vitamin C. Surprisingly, so are bell peppers, particularly yellow which has 341 mg per serving! Any adult who consumes 5 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day easily reaches 250 mg of C in their diet. However, the quality of produce has a lot to do with how much you get. Produce that has been prepared and sits out looses its nutritional value the longer it sits. Canned fruits and vegetables have had their vitamins and minerals virtually processed out of them. Although they do still contain some levels of their original content, it is minute.

To enhance the benefits of vitamin C in your diet, there are some things that act as a catalyst or an aide. All other vitamins and minerals have some effect on the use of vitamin C, but particularly the use of the B family, calcium, flavonoids, and magnesium. Vitamin C blockers include alcohol, some antibiotics and antihistamines, estrogen, barbiturates, birth-control pills, steroids, and baking soda. Although some of these are unavoidable, being aware of this will assist in maintaining proper levels of vitamin C in your body.

Now, to address a very common problem when looking at the supplement isle of your local grocers or health food market, what should you do about supplements? There are so many options on the shelves that scream their superiority. But which one do you believe? Is there really one that is better than another? And what about the ‘organic’ claims?

Vitamins come in all sorts of forms now—from chewable tablets, capsules, lozenges, syrups, even gummy bears! Some claim to be organic, others claim the supremacy of synthesized ingredients and others boast of their rate of absorption. Here’s a quick run-down for reference. Most people will tend to take the tablets and capsules, in large part due to convenience. The capsules usually have 500 mg and are swallowed with a liquid or food. Most people find this to be the easiest and most economical. The capsules are easiest on the pocketbook.

Chewable tablets are usually about 250 mg. Children are not adept at swallowing pills, neither are some adults for that matter. These are generally a good source of vitamin C; however, there are usually artificial additives such as sweeteners and flavors to make them more palatable. Vitamin C can also come in the form of powder and added to food or beverages. A teaspoon of this form has approximately 2,000 mg.

For people who have sensitive stomachs, sodium or calcium tablets create a buffer for your stomach and prevent unrest. Timed-capsules are also available which do not reach your system until the substance is in the intestines, beyond the reach of the stomach. Vitamin C also comes in combinations with bioflavonoids or potassium. Caution is required in taking the potassium due to risk of overdoses, particularly in small children or those with heart or kidney problems.

Unfortunately there are very few government regulations where dietary supplements are concerned. Because of this, manufacturers have too much leeway to manipulate the general public. One way to ensure the quality of the product you are purchasing is to look for the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification on the label. Although this is not a guarantee, it is generally a good sign.

Understanding the body and what it requires for optimal health is a matter not just of physical health, but also mental and spiritual. The different vitamins and minerals that play a role in our overall health must be replenished such that our beings are in the best of condition for the roles that God gives us in our lives. “Between the mind and the body there is a mysterious and wonderful relation. They react upon each other. To keep the body in a healthy condition to develop its strength, that every part of the living machinery may act harmoniously, should be the first study of our life. To neglect the body is to neglect the mind.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 485.

Q&A – How to Differentiate between Satan’s False Revival and the Loud Cry?

The Loud Cry” is a statement that is mentioned a number of times in the writings of Ellen White. The Bible refers to it as “the times of refreshing” (Acts 3:19), which takes place at the same time as the “latter rain.” “It is the latter rain, the refreshing from the presence of the Lord, the loud cry of the third angel.” Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White, 177.

The purpose of the Loud Cry is to get the final message of mercy to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. It is the finishing of the work and the gathering of the remnant just before Jesus comes. There is no new doctrine, but the same message with new vigor and power—the truth about the love of God and the overcoming of all sin. It will carry with it an urgency to prepare for heaven. This message will not teach that you can continue sinning until Jesus comes and He will miraculously convert you to a sinless being. It will urge us to take hold of the power of God and overcome sin.

It is described like this: “I heard those clothed with the armor speak forth the truth with great power. It had effect. Many had been bound; some wives by their husbands, and some children by their parents. The honest who had been prevented from hearing the truth now eagerly laid hold upon it. All fear of their relatives was gone, and the truth alone was exalted to them. They had been hungering and thirsting for truth; it was dearer and more precious than life. I asked what had made this great change. An angel answered, ‘It is the latter rain, the refreshing from the presence of the Lord, the loud cry of the third angel.’ ” Early Writings, 271.

The false revival will have much power, but it will not teach the necessity of overcoming sin and it will not have the love of Jesus. It will speak lightly of the seventh day Sabbath. Miracles will be performed, however of a very different spirit.

In order for us to be able to distinguish between the false and the true we must be prepared for the deception that is coming. “None but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict. To every soul will come the searching test: Shall I obey God rather than men?” The Great Controversy, 593, 594.

“It is the duty of every one to search the Scriptures for himself. We cannot accept the assertions of men as infallible.” Historical Sketches, 197.

“As we near the end of time, falsehood will be so mingled with truth, that only those who have the guidance of the Holy Spirit will be able to distinguish truth from error. We need to make every effort to keep the way of the Lord. We must in no case turn from His guidance to put our trust in man. The Lord’s angels are appointed to keep strict watch over those who put their faith in the Lord, and these angels are to be our special help in every time of need. Every day we are to come to the Lord with full assurance of faith, and to look to Him for wisdom. … Those who are guided by the Word of the Lord will discern with certainty between falsehood and truth, between sin and righteousness.” God’s Amazing Grace, 201.

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