Bible Study Guides – “They Shall Perish But Thou Remainest”

July 24, 1999 – July 30, 1999

MEMORY VERSE: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.” Revelation 4:11.

STUDY HELP: Testimonies, vol. 3, 138–140.


“The infidel supposition, that the events of the first week required seven vast, indefinite periods for their accomplishment, strikes directly at the foundation of the Sabbath of the Fourth Commandment. It makes indefinite and obscure that which God has made very plain. It is the worst kind of infidelity; for with many who profess to believe the record of creation, it is infidelity in disguise. It charges God with commanding men to observe the week of seven literal days in commemoration of seven indefinite periods, which is unlike His dealings with mortals, and is an impeachment of His wisdom.” Signs of the Times, March 20, 1879.

“The Earth Shall Wax Old Like a Garment”

  1. How are we shown that the world is not now as it was created to be? Romans 8:22.

NOTE: “As the ‘whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together’
(Romans 8:26, 22), the heart of the infinite Father is pained in sympathy. Our world is a vast lazar house, a scene of misery that we dare not allow even our thoughts to dwell upon. Did we realize it as it is, the burden would be too terrible. Yet God feels it all. In order to destroy sin and its results He gave His best Beloved, and He has put it in our power, through co-operation with Him, to bring this scene of misery to an end. ‘This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.’ Matthew 24:14.” Education, 263–264.

  1. What promise do we have that God will make all things new? Isaiah 65:17.

NOTE: The literal meaning for “come into mind,” found in the margins of some Bibles, is “come upon the heart.”( See Prophets and Kings, 731, 732.)

“Scoffers Walking After Their Own Lusts”

  1. What warning did Peter give of skepticism regarding the creation and flood? 2 Peter 3:3–6.

NOTE: “Geologists claim to find evidence from the earth itself that it is very much older than the Mosaic record teaches. Bones of men and animals, as well as instruments of warfare, petrified trees, etc., much larger than any that now exist, or that have existed for thousands of years, have been discovered, and from this it is inferred that the earth was populated long before the time brought to view in the record of creation, and by a race of beings vastly superior in size to any men now living. Such reasoning has led many professed Bible believers to adopt the position that the days of creation were vast, indefinite periods.

“But apart from Bible history, geology can prove nothing. Those who reason so confidently upon its discoveries have no adequate conception of the size of men, animals, and trees before the flood, or of the great changes which then took place. Relics found in the earth do give evidence of conditions differing in many respects from the present; but the time when these conditions existed can be learned only from the Inspired Record. In the history of the flood, inspiration has explained that which geology alone could never fathom. In the days of Noah, men, animals, and trees, many times larger than now exist, were buried, and thus preserved as an evidence to later generations that the antediluvians perished by a flood. God designed that the discovery of these things should establish faith in inspired history; but men, with their vain reasoning, fall into the same error as did the people before the flood, the things which God gave them as a benefit, they turn into a curse by making a wrong use of them.” Christian Education, 191, 192.

  1. What should the evidence of creation lead men to see and understand clearly? Romans 1:20–21.

NOTE: “Cold, philosophical speculations and scientific research in which God is not acknowledged are a positive injury. And the evil is aggravated when, as is often the case, books placed in the hands of the young, accepted as authority and depended upon in their education, are from authors avowedly infidel. Through all the thoughts presented by these men, their poisonous sentiments are interwoven. The study of such books is like handling black coals; a student cannot be undefiled in mind who thinks along the line of skepticism. The authors of these books, which have sown the seeds of doubt and infidelity broadcast over the world, have been under the training of the great enemy of God and man, the acknowledged head of principalities and powers, the ruler of the darkness of this world. The word that God has spoken concerning them is, ‘They…became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools; because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful.’ Romans 1:21, 22. They rejected divine truth in its simplicity and purity for the wisdom of this world. Whenever books by these infidel authors are given the precedence, and the word of God is made secondary, there will be sent out of the schools a class of students no better fitted for the service of God than they were before they received their education.” Counsels to Teachers, Parents and Students, 423–424.

  1. What counsel is especially applicable to those ordained to preach the Word? 1 Timothy 6:20–21.

NOTE: “It is because of a neglect of prayer and of searching the Bible that the multitudes accept men-made theories, vain philosophies, or the flashing speculations of the human mind. God never designed that the soul should be nourished with the traditions and speculations of human invention. The imagination must plume for a higher flight than human ability can originate; for the mind must ascend to the Source of all wisdom. Souls all about us are starving for the bread of life, famishing for the living water, clear as crystal, that flows from the throne of God and of the Lamb. But the bread of life is denied these poor souls, and even from the pulpits discourses on science and vain philosophy are substituted for the word of God. It is the word of God that is as pure provender, thoroughly winnowed from all the chaff of human uncertainties and suppositions.” Signs of the Times, July 31, 1893.

  1. How does the Bible record the early history of mankind? Genesis 5:1–32; 11:10–32.

NOTE: “Without Bible history, geology can prove nothing. Relics found in the earth do give evidence of a state of things differing in many respects from the present. But the time of their existence can be learned only from the inspired record. It may be innocent to conjecture beyond this, if our suppositions do not contradict the facts found in the sacred Scriptures. But when men leave the word of God, and seek to account for His creative works upon natural principles, they are upon a boundless ocean of uncertainty. Just how God accomplished the work of creation in six literal days, He has never revealed to mortals. His creative works are as incomprehensible as His existence.” Signs of the Times, March 20, 1879.

“Giants in the Earth in Those Days”

  1. What evidence do we have that the early inhabitants of the world were intelligent and accomplished? Genesis 4:2, 17, 21–22.

NOTE: See Patriarchs and Prophets, 82–83.

  1. What are we told about the physical size of the men before the flood? Genesis 6:4, first part.

NOTE: “As Adam came forth from the hand of his Creator, he was of noble height, and of beautiful symmetry. He was more than twice as tall as men now living upon earth, and was well proportioned. His features were perfect and beautiful. His complexion was neither white, nor sallow, but ruddy, glowing with the rich tint of health. Eve was not quite as tall as Adam. Her head reached a little above his shoulders. She, too, was noble, perfect in symmetry, and very beautiful.” Last Day Events, 291–292.

  1. What are we told about the life span of early men? Genesis 5:5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 27, 31.

NOTE: “The book of Genesis gives quite a definite account of social and individual life, and yet we have no record of an infant’s being born blind, deaf, crippled, deformed, or imbecile. There is not an instance upon record of a natural death in infancy, childhood, or early manhood. There is no account of men and women dying of disease. Obituary notices in the book of Genesis run thus: ‘And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.’ ‘And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died.’ Concerning others, the record states: He lived to a good old age; and he died. It was so rare for a son to die before the father that such an occurrence was considered worthy of record: ‘And Haran died before his father Terah.’ Haran was a father of children before his death.

“God endowed man with so great vital force that he has withstood the accumulation of disease brought upon the race in consequence of perverted habits, and has continued for six thousand years. This fact of itself is enough to evidence to us the strength and electrical energy that God gave to man at his creation.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 138.

  1. What evidence is there that God had faithful witnesses before the Flood? Hebrews 11:4–7, 2 Peter 2:5, Jude 14–15.

NOTE: See Patriarchs and Prophets, 85, 86.

“Enoch instructed his family in regard to the flood. Methuselah, the son of Enoch, listened to the preaching of his grandson Noah, who faithfully warned the inhabitants of the old world that a flood of waters was coming upon the earth. Methuselah and his sons and his grandsons lived in the time of the building of the ark. They, with some others, received instruction from Noah, and assisted him in his work.” Signs of the Times, February 20, 1879.

“The Whole Creation Groaneth”

  1. Why is sickness so prevalent today that few people now die of old age? Deuteronomy 28:58–61.

NOTE: See Testimonies, vol. 3, 491.

  1. What promise are we given that, though the creation is wearing out, God does not change? Hebrews 1:10–12. Compare Isaiah 51:6–8.

NOTE: “The whole of the fifty-first chapter of Isaiah is worthy of close, earnest study, and we would do well to commit it to memory. It has a special application to those who are living in the last days.” Review and Herald, December 1, 1896.

Bible Study Guides – “In six days the Lord made heaven and earth”

July 17, 1999 – July 23, 1999

MEMORY VERSE: “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:11.

STUDY HELP: Ibid., pages 128–134, Patriarchs and Prophets, 111–116.


“The Bible recognizes no long ages in which the earth was slowly evolved from chaos….The statement is made at the close of the first week’s record, ‘These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created.’ Genesis 2:4. But this does not convey the idea that the days of creation were other than literal days. Each day was called a generation, because that in it God generated, or produced, some new portion of His work.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 112.

“On the Seventh Day God Ended His Work”

  1. How is each day of the creation week described in Genesis? Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31.

NOTE: “Millions of years, it is claimed, were required for the evolution of the earth from chaos; and in order to accommodate the Bible to this supposed revelation of science, the days of creation are assumed to have been vast, indefinite periods, covering thousands or even millions of years.

“Such a conclusion is wholly uncalled for. The Bible record is in harmony with itself and with the teaching of nature. Of the first day employed in the work of creation is given the record, “The evening and the morning were the first day.” Genesis 1:5. And the same in substance is said of each of the first six days of creation week. Each of these periods Inspiration declares to have been a day consisting of evening and morning, like every other day since that time.” Education, 128–129.

  1. What perpetual reminder did God give mankind of His creation in six days? Exodus 31:16–17.

NOTE: See Desire of Ages, 281.

“I Form the Light, and Create Darkness”

  1. What did God make on the first day? Genesis 1:1–5, 2 Corinthians 4:6, Isaiah 60:1.

NOTE: “When God had made our world, and darkness was upon the face of the deep, He said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. And God saw the light that it was good. Shall we close our houses, and exclude from them the light which God has pronounced good? Many deprive themselves of light and air, because they fear their picture frames or expensive furniture will be tarnished, and their lovely carpets faded. We may arrange our houses tastefully, and yet with simplicity, and have no fears of welcoming in the purifying air and glad sunshine. We had better dispense with costly furniture and expensive carpets, rather than with the sunlight, and the invigorating air of heaven.” Health Reformer, April 1, 1871.

  1. What was God’s work on the second day? Genesis 1:6–8.

NOTE: “Let us talk of the love of God that has been manifested to us, that is seen in nature, in the firmament of the heavens, in all the wise arrangements of Providence. Let us search out the rays of sunshine that have brightened our pathway, and linger over their memory with grateful hearts. Let us dwell upon the matchless love of Christ; for in Him we have a constant theme of rejoicing. In Him is no darkness. He is the Light of life, the chief among ten thousand, and the One altogether lovely.” Health Reformer, October 1, 1877.

“The high and lofty One who inhabiteth eternity claims and deserves our highest thoughts and holiest affections. God is the source of all power. From His infinite love flow blessings to every creature formed in His image. Our heavenly Father has hung out glories in the firmament of the heavens, that men may have an expression of His love in the revealing of His wondrous works. God would not have us indifferent to the symbols of the glories of His infinite power in the heavens. David delighted to dwell upon these glories. He composed psalms which the Hebrew singers chanted to the praise of God. ‘The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork.’” Signs of the Times, December 12, 1878.

“I the Lord Do All These Things”

  1. What was created on the third day? Genesis 1:9–13.

NOTE: “As the earth came forth from the hand of its Maker, it was exceedingly beautiful. Its surface was diversified with mountains, hills, and plains, interspersed with noble rivers and lovely lakes; but the hills and mountains were not abrupt and rugged, abounding in terrific steeps and frightful chasms, as they now do; the sharp, ragged edges of earth’s rocky framework were buried beneath the fruitful soil, which everywhere produced a luxuriant growth of verdure. There were no loathsome swamps or barren deserts. Graceful shrubs and delicate flowers greeted the eye at every turn. The heights were crowned with trees more majestic than any that now exist. The air, untainted by foul miasma, was clear and healthful. The entire landscape outvied in beauty the decorated grounds of the proudest palace. The angelic host viewed the scene with delight, and rejoiced at the wonderful works of God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 44.

  1. What did God create on the fourth day and for what purpose? Genesis 1:14-19. Compare Luke 21:25.

NOTE: “I see nothing wherein man should be praised or glorified. I see no reason why the opinions of worldly-wise men and so-called great men should be trusted in and exalted. How can those who are destitute of divine enlightenment have correct ideas of God’s plans and ways? They either deny Him altogether and ignore His existence, or they circumscribe His power by their own finite conceptions. Let us choose to be taught by Him who created the heavens and the earth, by Him who set the stars in their order in the firmament and appointed the sun and the moon to do their work.” The Ministry of Healing, 449.

“God Saw That It Was Good”

  1. What did God bring forth on the fifth day of creation? Genesis 1:20–23.

NOTE: “While on earth, the Redeemer of the world sought to make His lessons of instruction plain and simple, that all might comprehend them; and can we be surprised that He should choose the open air as His sanctuary, that He should desire to be surrounded by the works of His creation? True, He taught in the synagogues, but the largest part of His work was done, the greatest number of His lessons were given, in the open air. He had special reasons for resorting to the groves and the seaside. He could there have a commanding view of the landscape, and make use of objects and scenes with which those in humble life were familiar. The things which His own hand had made He took as His lesson book. He saw in them more than finite minds could comprehend. The birds, caroling forth their songs without a care, the flowers of the valley glowing in their beauty, the lily that reposed in its purity on the bosom of the lake, the lofty trees, the cultivated land, the waving grain, the barren soil, the tree that bore no fruit, the everlasting hills, the bubbling stream, the setting sun, tinting and gilding the heavens, all these He employed to impress His hearers with divine truth. He connected the work of God’s finger in the heavens and upon the earth with the word of life. From these He drew His lessons of spiritual instruction.” The Youth’s Instructor, March 24, 1898.

  1. What was the first work of the sixth day? Genesis 1:24–25, 30.

NOTE: See Desire of Ages, 281, 282.

“Let Us Make Man in Our Image”

  1. What was the crowning work of God’s creation? Genesis 1:26–29; 2:7.

NOTE: “In the creation of man was manifest the agency of a personal God. When God had made man in His image, the human form was perfect in all its arrangements, but it was without life. Then a personal, self-existing God breathed into that form the breath of life, and man became a living, intelligent being. All parts of the human organism were set in action. The heart, the arteries, the veins, the tongue, the hands, the feet, the senses, the faculties of the mind, all began their work, and all were placed under law. Man became a living soul. Through Christ the Word, a personal God created man and endowed him with intelligence and power.” The Ministry of Healing, 415.

  1. How is the creation of women described? Genesis 2:18–25.

NOTE: “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. ‘Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one.’ God celebrated the first marriage. Patriarchs and Prophets, 46.

“Thus the Heavens and the Earth Were Finished”

  1. How long did it take God to create the heavens and the earth? Exodus 20:11.

NOTE: “Infidel geologists claim that the world is very much older than the Bible record makes it. They reject the testimony of God’s word because of those things which are to them evidences from the earth itself that it has existed tens of thousands of years. And many who profess to believe the Bible are at a loss to account for wonderful things which are found in the earth, with the view that creation week was only seven literal days, and that the world is now only about six thousand years old. These, to free themselves from difficulties thrown in their way by infidel geologists, adopt the view that the six days of creation were six vast, indefinite periods, and the day of God’s rest was another indefinite period; making senseless the fourth commandment of God’s holy law. Some eagerly receive this position, for it destroys the force of the fourth commandment, and they feel a freedom from its claims upon them.” Signs of the Times, March 20, 1879.

  1. What evidence do we have that God continues to sustain His creation? Nehemiah 9:6.

NOTE: “Rightly understood, both the revelations of science and the experiences of life are in harmony with the testimony of Scripture to the constant working of God in nature.” Education, 130.

Bible Study Guides – “Cunningly Devised Fables?”

July 10, 1999 – July 16, 1999

MEMORY VERSE: “For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water.” 2 Peter 3:5.

STUDY HELP: Testimonies, vol. 8, 255–264.


“All who possess reasoning powers can know for themselves what is truth. Those who pray and search for light, will receive light. The reason why so many are groping their way in the fog of error is, that they take the assertions of men, instead of searching the word of God for themselves. ‘To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.’ Worldlings and superficial Christians will accept nothing which interferes with their selfish love of pleasure; hence they are willingly ignorant of the truth which would save their souls. Satan works with all his deceptive art to present pleasing fables before the people, and he takes thousands in his snare.” Signs of the Times, June 21, 1883.

Who Has Taught the Lord?

  1. What challenge does the Lord give to those who doubt His existence? Isaiah 40:12–14.

NOTE: “Men of the greatest intellect cannot understand the mysteries of Jehovah as revealed in nature. Divine inspiration asks many questions which the most profound scholar cannot answer. These questions were not asked that we might answer them, but to call our attention to the deep mysteries of God and to teach us that our wisdom is limited; that in the surroundings of our daily life there are many things beyond the comprehension of finite minds; that the judgment and purposes of God are past finding out. His wisdom is unsearchable.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 261.

  1. How does the Lord identify Himself? Isaiah 42:5, Exodus 20:11.

NOTE: See Great Controversy, 53, 54.

  1. How is God contrasted with the other “gods” that men worship and with the wisdom of men? Jeremiah 10:10–15.

NOTE: See Great Controversy, 436.

“By the Word of the Lord”

  1. How were the heavens made? Psalm 33:6, Hebrews 11:3.

NOTE: “The theory that God did not create matter when He brought the world into existence is without foundation. In the formation of our world, God was not indebted to pre-existing matter. On the contrary, all things, material or spiritual, stood up before the Lord Jehovah at His voice and were created for His own purpose. The heavens and all the host of them, the earth and all things therein, are not only the work of His hand; they came into existence by the breath of His mouth.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 258.

  1. What is the source of our knowledge about God and His creation? Genesis 1:1–31, Romans 1:20.

NOTE: “The Author of nature is the Author of the Bible. Creation and Christianity have one God. God is revealed in nature, and God is revealed in His Word. In clear rays the light shines from the sacred page, showing us the living God, as represented in the laws of His government, in the creation of the world, in the heavens that He has garnished. His power is to be recognized as the only means of redeeming the world from the degrading superstitions that are so dishonoring to God and man.” Counsels to Teachers, Parents and Students, 395.

  1. How reliable a source of knowledge are the Scriptures? 2 Timothy 3:16.

NOTE: “The word of God is like a treasure house, containing everything that is essential to perfect the man of God. We do not appreciate the Bible as we should. We do not have a proper estimate of the richness of its stores, nor do we realize the great necessity of searching the Scriptures for ourselves. Men neglect the study of the word of God in order to pursue some worldly interest, or to engage in the pleasures of the time. Some trivial affair is made an excuse for ignorance of the Scriptures given by inspiration of God. But anything of an earthly character might better be put off, than this all-important study, that is to make us wise unto eternal life.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 123.

“The Days of Old”

  1. What counsel is given to those who seek wisdom concerning God’s works? Deuteronomy 32:7, Psalm 77:5, Psalm 143:5.

NOTE: “Those who doubt the reliability of the records of the Old and New Testaments, will be led to go a step farther, and doubt the existence of God; and then; having let go their anchor, they are left to beat about upon the rocks of infidelity. Moses wrote under the guidance of the Spirit of God, and a correct theory of geology will never claim discoveries that cannot be reconciled with his statements. The idea that many stumble over, that God did not create matter when He brought the world into existence, limits the power of the Holy One of Israel.” Signs of the Times, March 13, 1884.

  1. What question did God put to Job? Job 38:1–11.

NOTE: “There are men who think they have made wonderful discoveries in science. They quote the opinions of learned men as though they considered them infallible, and teach the deductions of science as truths that cannot be controverted. And the word of God, which is given as a lamp to the feet of the world-weary traveler, is judged by this standard, and pronounced wanting. The scientific research in which these men have indulged has proved a snare to them. It has clouded their minds, and they have drifted into skepticism. They have a consciousness of power; and instead of looking to the Source of all wisdom, they triumph in the smattering of knowledge they may have gained. They have exalted their human wisdom in opposition to the wisdom of the great and mighty God, and have dared to enter into controversy with Him. The word of inspiration pronounces these men ‘fools’. God has permitted a flood of light to be poured upon the world in discoveries in science and art; but when professedly scientific men lecture and write upon these subjects from a merely human stand-point, they will assuredly come to wrong conclusions. The greatest minds, if not guided by the word of God in their research, become bewildered . . . The Creator and His works are beyond their comprehension; and because they cannot explain these by natural laws, Bible history is considered unreliable.” Ibid.

“The Wisdom of the World”

  1. How does God propose to deal with the wisdom of this world? 1 Corinthians 1:19–20.

NOTE: “Let believers in the truth for this time, turn away from authors that teach infidelity. Let not the works of skeptics appear on your library shelves, where your children can have access to them. Let those who have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, no longer deem it an essential feature of a good education to have a knowledge of the writings of those who deny the existence of God, and pour contempt upon His holy Word.” Review and Herald, November 10, 1891.

  1. To whom should the searcher for wisdom first seek? Amos 5:8.

NOTE: “The Creator has given abundant evidence that His power is unlimited, that He can establish kingdoms, and overturn kingdoms. He upholds the world by the word of His power. He made the night, marshalling the shining stars in the firmament. He calls them all by name. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork, showing man that this little world is but a jot in God’s creation. Should every member of the human family refuse to acknowledge Him, saying, There is no God, He would not want for subjects to proclaim His power.” The Youth’s Instructor, April 4, 1905.

“Worship Him That Made Heaven and Earth”

  1. Since no man was present to witness God’s act of creation, how can we know how creation took place? Hebrews 11:3.

NOTE: “No amount of reasoning or explanation can tell the whys and wherefores of the creation of the world. It is to be understood by faith in the great creative power. By faith we must believe in the mighty creative power of God through Jesus Christ. ‘Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear’ (‘are now present to the eye’). This is a matter that can be stated, but mere reasoning will never convince one of the truth of the statement. Reasoning we must have. It is one of the masterly talents entrusted to the human agent, and is of great advantage at every step we advance from earth to heaven.” Southern Watchman, April 24, 1902.

  1. Who is the final generation of mankind called upon to worship? Revelation 14:7.

NOTE: “God’s Holy Word, which has been handed down to us at such a cost of suffering and blood, is but little valued. The Bible is within the reach of all, but there are few who really accept it as the guide of life. Infidelity prevails to an alarming extent, not in the world merely, but in the church. Many have come to deny doctrines which are the very pillars of the Christian faith. The great facts of creation as presented by the inspired writers, the fall of man, the atonement, and the perpetuity of the law of God, are practically rejected by a large share of the professedly Christian world. Thousands who pride themselves upon their wisdom and independence regard it an evidence of weakness to place implicit confidence in the Bible, and a proof of superior talent and learning to cavil at the Scriptures, and to spiritualize and explain away their most important truths. Many ministers are teaching their people, and many professors and teachers are instructing their students, that the law of God has been changed or abrogated; and they ridicule those who are so simple-minded as to acknowledge all its claims.” Signs of the Times, July 4, 1899.

Bible Study Guides – Creation of the World

July 3, 1999 – July 9, 1999

MEMORY VERSE: “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” Romans 1:20.

STUDY HELP: Christ’s Object Lessons, 17–26, 124–134.


“ ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.’ [Proverbs 9:10.] The great work of life is character-building; and a knowledge of God is the foundation of all true education. To impart this knowledge, and to mould the character in harmony with it, should be the object of the teacher’s work. The law of God is a reflection of His character. Hence the psalmist says, ‘All Thy commandments are righteousness;’[Psalm 119:172.] and ‘through thy precepts I get understanding.’[Psalm 119:104.] God has revealed Himself to us in His word and in the works of creation. Through the volume of inspiration and the book of nature, we are to obtain a knowledge of God.” Christian Education, 64.

“The Heavens Declare the Glory of God”

  1. How did David declare the silent witness of the heavens? Psalm 19:1–6.

NOTE: ‘God calls upon teachers to behold the heavens and to study His works in nature. ‘The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.’ Psalm 19:1-3. Shall we not strive to understand the wonderful works of God? We should do well to read often the nineteenth psalm, that we may understand how the Lord binds up His law with His created works.” Counsels to Teachers, Parents and Students, 453.

  1. What counsel does the prophet Isaiah give to those who do not have a correct understanding of God? Isaiah 40:26.

NOTE: “God calls upon men to see Him in the wonders of the heavens. ‘Lift up your eyes on high,’ He says, ‘and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number:He calleth them all by names by the greatness of His might,’ Isaiah 40:26. God would have us study the works of infinity, and from this study learn to love and reverence and obey Him. The heavens and the earth with their treasures are to teach the lessons of God’s love and care and power.” Counsels to Teachers, Parents and Students, 456, 457.

“What is Man, That Thou Art Mindful of Him?”

  1. What specific lesson did David learn from contemplating the heavens? Psalm 8:3–6.

NOTE: “We are not to simply look upon the heavens. We are to consider the works of God. We are to study the works of infinity. And then what? To love and reverence and obey Him. The heavens and the earth with their treasures are to teach the lessons of God’s love and power. God calls upon His creatures to turn their attention from the confusion and perplexity around them, and admire His handiwork. The heavenly bodies are worthy of contemplation. God has made them for the benefit of man, and as we study His works, angels of God will be by our side to enlighten our minds, and guard them from satanic deception. As you look at the wonderful things God’s hands have made, let your proud heart feel its dependence and inferiority. As you consider these things, you will have a view of God’s condescension. We are to contemplate the wonderful works of God, and repeat the lessons learned from them to our children, that we may lead them to see His skill, His power, His grandeur, in His created works. All true religion is found in His Word and in nature.” Minnesota Worker, March 14, 1900.

  1. What does creation teach us of the true role of mankind? Hebrews 2:6–7, Genesis 1:26.

NOTE: “We have here revealed to us the truth concerning the origin of man. These words prove how false is the invention of Satan, which has been reiterated by man, that the human race has been developed, stage by stage, from the lowest order of animals. This is one of the deceptions by which Satan seeks to lower in the eyes of man God’s great work of creation.” Youth’s Instructor, August 10, 1899.

“Consider the Lilies”

  1. What lessons did Jesus teach from the things of nature? Matthew 6:25–34.

NOTE: “Let these words impress your heart: ‘Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?’ The better life is here referred to. By the body is meant the inward adorning, which makes sinful mortals, possessing the meekness and righteousness of Christ, valuable in His sight, as was Enoch, and entitles them to receive the finishing touch of immortality. Our Saviour refers us to the fowls of the air, which sow not, neither reap, nor gather into barns, yet their heavenly Father feedeth them. Then He says:‘Are ye not much better than they? . . . And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.’ These lilies, in their simplicity and innocence, meet the mind of God better than Solomon in his costly decorations yet destitute of the heavenly adorning. ‘Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?’ Can you not trust in your heavenly Father? Can you not rest upon His gracious promise? ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ Precious promise! Can we not rely upon it? Can we not have implicit trust, knowing that He is faithful who hath promised? I entreat you to let your trembling faith again grasp the promises of God. Bear your whole weight upon them with unwavering faith; for they will not, they cannot, fail.” Testimonies, vol.2, 496.

  1. What valuable lesson can be learned by those who voyage on the sea? Psalm 107:23–31.

NOTE: “As we passed through the Golden Gate into the broad ocean, it was very rough. The wind was against us, and the steamer pitched fearfully, while the ocean was lashed into fury by the wind. I watched the clouded sky, the rushing waves leaping mountain high, and the spray reflecting the colors of the rainbow. The sight was fearfully grand, and I was filled with awe while contemplating the mysteries of the deep. It is terrible in its wrath. There is a fearful beauty in the lifting up of its proud waves with roaring, and then falling back in mournful sobs. I could see the exhibition of God’s power in the movements of the restless waters, groaning beneath the action of the merciless winds, which tossed the waves up on high as if in convulsions of agony.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 287.

“Go to the Ant”

  1. What valuable lessons can be learned from observing God’s creatures? Proverbs 6:6–9, 30:24–28.

NOTE: “We are not merely to tell the child about these creatures of God. The animals themselves are to be his teachers. The ants teach lessons of patient industry, of perseverance in surmounting obstacles, of providence for the future. And the birds are teachers of the sweet lesson of trust. Our heavenly Father provides for them; but they must gather the food, they must build their nests and rear their young. Every moment they are exposed to enemies that seek to destroy them. Yet how cheerily they go about their work! How full of joy are their little songs!

“How beautiful the psalmist’s description of God’s care for the creatures of the woods: ‘The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies.’ Psalm 104:18. He sends the springs to run among the hills, where the birds have their habitation, and ‘sing among the branches.’ Psalm 104:12. All the creatures of the woods and hills are a part of His great household. He opens His hand, and satisfies ‘the desire of every living thing.’ Psalm 145:16.” Education, 117–118.

  1. What will the diligent student of nature learn from his studies? Job 12:7–9.

NOTE: “In its human wisdom the world can not know God. Its wise men gather an imperfect knowledge of God from His created works, and then in their foolishness they exalt nature and the laws of nature above nature’s God. Those who have not a knowledge of God through an acceptance of the revelation He has made of Himself in Christ, will obtain only an imperfect knowledge of Him in nature; and this knowledge, so far from giving elevated conceptions of God, and bringing the whole being into conformity to His will, will make men idolaters. Professing themselves to be wise, they will become fools.” Review and Herald, November 8, 1898.

“Scoffers Walking After Their Own Lusts”

  1. Against what human attitude did Peter warn? 2 Peter 3:3–6.

NOTE: “The men of Noah’s time, in their philosophy and worldly wisdom, thought God could not destroy the world with a flood, for the waters of the ocean could not be sufficient for this. But God made the philosophy and science of men foolishness when the time had fully come to execute His word. The inspired pen describes the earth as standing out of the water and in the water. God had His weapons concealed in the bowels of the earth to compass her destruction. And when the great men and the wise men had reasoned before the world of the impossibility of its destruction by water, and the fears of the people were quieted, and all regarded Noah’s prophecy as the veriest delusion, and looked upon Noah as a crazy fanatic, God’s time had come. He hid Noah and his family in the ark, and the rain began to descend, slowly at first; the jeers and scoffings did not cease for a time, but soon the waters from heaven united with the waters of the great deep; the waters under the earth burst through the earth’s surface, and the windows of heaven were opened, and man with all his philosophy and so-called science, finds that he had not been able in his worldly wisdom to comprehend God… The same reasoning will be heard to-day from worldly-wise men.” Signs of the Times, January 3, 1878.

“The wisdom of men may or may not be valuable, as experience shall prove, but the wisdom of God is indispensable, and yet many who profess to be wise are willingly ignorant of the things that pertain to eternal life. Miss what you may in the line of human attainments, but this you must have, faith in the pardon brought to you at infinite cost, or all of wisdom attained in earth, will perish with you.” Review and Herald, November 24, 1891.

  1. How does Paul show that those who do not recognize the Creator in His works are without excuse? Romans 1:20.

NOTE: “Man will be left without excuse. God has given sufficient evidence upon which to base faith, if he wishes to believe. In the last days, the earth will be almost destitute of true faith. Upon the merest pretence, the word of God will be considered unreliable, while human reasoning will be received, though it be in opposition to plain Scripture facts. Men will endeavor to explain from natural causes the work of creation. But just how God wrought in the work of creation He has never revealed to men. Human science cannot search out the secrets of the God of Heaven.” Signs of the Times, March 20, 1879.

“Ready to Give an Answer”

  1. How is the follower of Christ to be prepared to give account of his beliefs? 1 Peter 3:15.

NOTE: “The fear here spoken of does not mean distrust or indecision, but with due caution, guarding every point, lest an unwise word be spoken, or excitement of feeling get the advantage, and thus leave unfavorable impressions upon minds, and balance them in the wrong direction. Godly fear, humility, and meekness are greatly needed by all in order to correctly represent the truth of God.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 258, 259.

“Many who profess to believe the truth for these last days will be found wanting. They have neglected the weightier matters. Their conversion is superficial, not deep, earnest, and thorough. They do not know why they believe the truth, only because others have believed it, and they take it for granted that it is the truth. They can give no intelligent reason why they believe.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 634.

  1. What counsel are we given about getting involved in discussions about false teachings and beliefs? 1 Timothy 6:20–21.

NOTE: “The days are fast approaching when there will be great perplexity and confusion. Satan, clothed in angel robes, will deceive, if possible, the very elect. There will be gods many and lords many. Every wind of doctrine will be blowing. Those who have rendered supreme homage to ‘science falsely so called’ will not be the leaders then. Those who have trusted to intellect, genius, or talent will not then stand at the head of rank and file. They did not keep pace with the light. Those who have proved themselves unfaithful will not then be entrusted with the flock. In the last solemn work few great men will be engaged. They are self-sufficient, independent of God, and He cannot use them. The Lord has faithful servants, who in the shaking, testing time will be disclosed to view. There are precious ones now hidden who have not bowed the knee to Baal. They have not had the light which has been shining in a concentrated blaze upon you. But it may be under a rough and uninviting exterior the pure brightness of a genuine Christian character will be revealed. In the daytime we look toward heaven but do not see the stars. They are there, fixed in the firmament, but the eye cannot distinguish them. In the night we behold their genuine luster.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 80, 81.

Bible Study Guides – “God Who Created All Things By Jesus Christ”

June 26, 1999 – July 2, 1999

MEMORY VERSE: “Thus saith God the LORD, He that created the heavens, and stretched them out; He that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; He that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles.” Isaiah 42:5–6.

STUDY HELP: Testimonies, vol. 8, 258–264.


“The Bible is the most comprehensive and the most instructive history which men possess. It came fresh from the fountain of eternal truth, and a divine hand has preserved its purity through all the ages. Its bright rays shine into the far distant past, where human research seeks vainly to penetrate. In God’s word alone we find an authentic account of creation. Here we behold the power that laid the foundation of the earth and that stretched out the heavens.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 25.

“All Things Were Made by Him”

  1. Who is revealed by the Bible to be the Creator of all things? John 1:1–3, Colossians 1:14–17.

NOTE: “All eyes should turn to our Redeemer, all characters should become like His. He is the model to copy, if we would have well-balanced minds and symmetrical characters. His life was as the garden of the Lord, in which grew every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. While embracing in His soul every lovely trait of character, His sensibility, courtesy, and love brought Him into close sympathy with humanity. He was the Creator of all things, sustaining worlds by His infinite power. Angels were ready to do Him homage and to obey His will. Yet He could listen to the prattle of the infant and accept its lisping praise. He took little children in His arms and pressed them to His great heart of love. They felt perfectly at home in His presence and reluctant to leave His arms. He did not look upon the disappointments and woes of the race as a mere trifle, but His heart was ever touched by the sufferings of those He came to save.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 421.

  1. How should the fact that Christ is our Creator affect our relationship to Him? Isaiah 42:5–6.

NOTE: “We are accepted in the Beloved. Christ has pledged Himself to keep us. Then commit the keeping of your souls to Him, as unto a faithful Creator. Repeat the words aloud, ‘I will commit the keeping of my soul to Him.’” General Conference Bulletin, April 4, 1901.

“The Lord Thy God is One Lord”

  1. How definitely does the Bible state that there is only one God? Deuteronomy 6:4, Exodus 20:1–3, Malachi 2:10 first part, Mark 12:29, 32.

NOTE: “It is our privilege to know God experimentally, and in true knowledge of God is life eternal. The only begotten Son of God was God’s gift to the world, in whose character was revealed the character of Him who gave the law to men and angels. He came to proclaim the fact, ‘The Lord our God is one Lord,’ and Him only shalt thou serve.” Review and Herald, March 9, 1897.

  1. How did Jesus re-emphasize the unity that exists between the Father and the Son? John 10:30–33.

NOTE: “From all eternity Christ was united with the Father, and when He took upon Himself human nature, He was still one with God.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 228.

“Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense. He was with God from all eternity, God over all, blessed for evermore.” Review and Herald, April 5, 1906.

“The Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost”

  1. How does the Bible emphasize both the unity and the distinct-ness of the Godhead? Matthew 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:14, 1 Peter 1:2.

NOTE: “Let us remember that the coming of the Lord is nearer than when we first believed. What a wonderful thought it is that the great controversy is nearing its end. In the great closing work we shall meet with perplexities that we know not how to deal with, but let us not forget that the three great Powers of heaven are working, that a Divine Hand is on the wheel, and that God will bring His purposes to pass. He will gather from the world a people who will serve Him in righteousness.” Manuscript Releases vol. 21, 152.

“The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the three holy dignitaries of heaven, have declared that they will strengthen men to overcome the powers of darkness. All the facilities of heaven are pledged to those who by their baptismal vows have entered into a covenant with God.” (MS 92, 1901).

  1. How does the Bible reveal the involvement of the Three Great Powers of Heaven in the work of creation? Genesis 1:26, Hebrews 1:1–2, Genesis 1:2.

NOTE: “During a portion of the day, all should have an opportunity to be out of doors. How can children receive a more correct knowledge of God, and their minds be better impressed, than in spending a portion of their time out of doors, not in play, but in company with their parents? Let their young minds be associated with God in the beautiful scenery of nature, let their attention be called to the tokens of His love to man in His created works, and they will be attracted and interested. They will not be in danger of associating the character of God with everything that is stern and severe; but as they view the beautiful things which He has created for the happiness of man, they will be led to regard Him as a tender, loving Father.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 583.

  1. How are we shown that the Three Great Powers of Heaven contribute to our salvation? John 3:16, Romans 5:8, Romans 8:26, 34.

NOTE: “Keep yourselves where the three great Powers of heaven, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, can be your efficiency. These powers work with the one who gives himself unreservedly to God. The strength of heaven is at the command of God’s believing ones. The man who makes God his trust is barricaded by an impregnable wall.” In Heavenly Places, 176.

“Alpha and Omega”

  1. Does the Bible show that Christ not only created the world but continues to sustain it? Hebrews 1:3.

NOTE: “As regards this world, God’s work of creation is completed. For ‘the works were finished from the foundation of the world.’[Hebrews 4:3.] But His energy is still exerted in upholding the objects of His creation. It is not because the mechanism that has once been set in motion continues to act by its own inherent energy, that the pulse beats, and breath follows breath; but every breath, every pulsation of the heart is an evidence of the all-pervading care of Him in whom ‘we live, and move, and have our being.’[Acts 17:28.] It is not because of inherent power that year by year the earth produces her bounties, and continues her motion around the sun. The hand of God guides the planets, and keeps them in position in their orderly march through the heavens. He ‘bringeth out their host by number; He calleth them all by names by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power; not one faileth.’ [Isaiah 40:26.] It is through His power that vegetation flourishes, that the leaves appear, and the flowers bloom. He ‘maketh grass to grow upon the mountains,’ and by Him the valleys are made fruitful. All the beasts of the field seek their meat from God, [Psalm 147:8; 104:20, 21.] and every living creature, from the smallest insect up to man, is daily dependent upon His providential care. In the beautiful words of the psalmist, ‘These wait all upon Thee. . . . That Thou givest them they gather; Thou openest Thine hand, they are filled with good.’ [Psalm 104:27, 28.] His word controls the elements; He covers the heavens with clouds, and prepares rain for the earth. ‘He giveth snow like wool; He scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes.’ ‘When He uttereth His voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; He maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of His treasures.’ [Psalm 147:16; Jeremiah 10:13.]” Christian Education, 196.

  1. How does Paul further express the thought that everything owes its continued existence to Christ? Colossians 1:17.

NOTE: “To the death of Christ we owe even this earthly life. The bread we eat is the purchase of His broken body. The water we drink is bought by His spilled blood. Never one, saint or sinner, eats his daily food, but he is nourished by
the body and the blood of Christ. The cross of Calvary is stamped on every loaf. It is reflected in every water spring. All this Christ has taught in appointing the emblems of His great sacrifice. The light shining from that Communion service in the upper chamber makes sacred the provisions for our daily life. The family board becomes as the table of the Lord, and every meal a sacrament.” Desire of Ages, 660.

  1. How are we shown that God will one day perform another work of creation? Isaiah 65:17, 66:22–23.

NOTE: “There, immortal minds will contemplate with never-failing delight the wonders of creative power, the mysteries of redeeming love. There will be no cruel, deceiving foe to tempt to forgetfulness of God. Every faculty will be developed, every capacity increased. The acquirement of knowledge will not weary the mind or exhaust the energies. There the grandest enterprises may be carried forward, the loftiest aspirations reached, the highest ambitions realized; and still there will arise new heights to surmount, new wonders to admire, new truths to comprehend, fresh objects to call forth the powers of mind and soul and body.” Great Controversy, 676.

“By the Same Word”

  1. How does Peter link the creative power of God’s Word with the end of the world? 2 Peter 3:5–7.

NOTE: “In Noah’s day philosophers declared that it was impossible for the world to be destroyed by water; so now there are men of science who endeavour to show that the world cannot be destroyed by fire, that this would be inconsistent with the laws of nature. But the God of nature, the Maker and Controller of her laws, can use the works of His hands to serve His own purpose.

“When great and wise men had proved to their satisfaction that it was impossible for the world to be destroyed by water, when the fears of the people were quieted, when all regarded Noah’s prophecy as a delusion, and looked upon him as a fanatic, then it was that God’s time had come. ‘The fountains of the great deep’ were ‘broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened,’ and the scoffers were overwhelmed in the waters of the Flood. With all their boasted philosophy, men found too late that their wisdom was foolishness, that the Lawgiver is greater than the laws of nature, and that Omnipotence is at no loss for means to accomplish His purposes. ‘As it was in the days of Noah,’ ‘even thus shall it be in the days when the Son of man is revealed.’ Luke 17:26, 30.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 103.

  1. How did Paul show that in the last days even Christians will abandon the teachings of God’s Word? 2 Timothy 4:4–5.

NOTE: “But God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible, and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrines and the basis of all reforms. The opinions of learned men, the deductions of science, the creeds or decisions of ecclesiastical councils, as numerous and discordant as are the churches which they represent, the voice of the majority, not one nor all of these should be regarded as evidence for or against any point of religious faith. Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain ‘Thus saith the Lord’ in its support.’” Great Controversy, 595.

“Every warning for this time must be faithfully delivered; but ‘the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient; in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves.’ We must cherish carefully the words of our God lest we be contaminated by the deceptive workings of those who have left the faith. We are to resist their spirit and influence with the same weapon our Master used when assailed by the prince of darkness, ‘It is written.’ We should learn to use the word of God skilfully. The exhortation is, ‘Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.’ There must be diligent work and earnest prayer and faith to meet the winding error of false teachers and seducers; for ‘in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.’ These words portray the character of the men the servants of God will have to meet. ‘False accusers,’ ‘despisers of those that are good,’ will attack those who are faithful to their God in this degenerate age. But the ambassador of Heaven must manifest the spirit that was displayed in the Master. In humility and love he must labour for the salvation of men.” Review and Herald, January 10, 1888.

Recipe – Mulberry Pie and Cobbler

Place in a large saucepan:

1 20 oz can crushed pineapple

2 lbs. fresh purple mulberries

½ t. salt

1 cup date sugar

1 T. lemon juice

2 T. agar powder (or cornstarch)

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Place in an unbaked pie shell with a full or lattice top and bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until golden brown. May also be used as filling for a cobbler.

Food for Life – Disease in Animals

“And what is so rare as a day in June?

Then, if ever, come perfect days;

Then Heaven tries earth if it be in tune,

And over it softly her warm ear lays.”


During this month we will see summer emerge from the chill of winter and the snowy landscape. How wonderful it will be when we get to Heaven, and there will be eternal summer there, and we will forever be with our Lord and Maker. No more seasons to worry about, no more problems of any kind, no more suffering and no more tears! Oh, my friend, do be there and enjoy for eternity the wonders that God has prepared for those who love and obey Him.

And now back to God’s word where once again we can read what His will is for us, and how we can perfectly obey Him in our daily living.

“Flesh was never the best food; but its use is now doubly objectionable, since disease in animals is so rapidly increasing. Those who use flesh foods little know what they are eating. Often if they could see the animals when living and know the quality of the meat they eat, they would turn from it with loathing. People are continually eating flesh that is filled with tuberculosis and cancerous germs. Tuberculosis, cancer, and other fatal diseases are thus communicated.

“The tissues of the swine swarm with parasites. Of the swine God said, ‘It is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcass.’ Deuteronomy 14:8. This command was given because swine’s flesh is unfit for food. Swine are scavengers, and this is the only use they were intended to serve. Never, under any circumstances, was their flesh to be eaten by human beings. It is impossible for the flesh of any living creature to be wholesome when filth is its natural element and when it feeds upon every detestable thing.

“Often animals are taken to market and sold for food when they are so diseased that their owners fear to keep them longer. And some of the processes of fattening them for market produce disease. Shut away from the light and pure air, breathing the atmosphere of filthy stables, perhaps fattening on decaying food, the entire body soon becomes contaminated with foul matter.

“Animals are often transported long distances and subjected to great suffering in reaching a market. Taken from the green pastures, and traveling for weary miles over the hot, dusty roads, or crowded into filthy cars, feverish and exhausted, often for many hours deprived of food and water, the poor creatures are driven to their death, that human beings may feast on the carcasses.

“In many places fish become so contaminated by the filth on which they feed as to be a cause of disease. This is especially the case where the fish come in contact with the sewage of large cities. The fish that are fed on the contents of the drains may pass into distant waters and may be caught where the water is pure and fresh. Thus when used as food they bring disease and death on those who do not suspect the danger.

“The effects of a flesh diet may not be immediately realized; but this is no evidence that it is not harmful. Few can be made to believe that it is the meat they have eaten which has poisoned their blood and caused their suffering. Many die of diseases wholly due to meat eating, while the real cause is not suspected by themselves or by others.” The Ministry of Healing, 313–315.

Children’s Story – Laddie, The Leader

Among my neighbors, at a lake resort last summer, was a bright little boy called Laddie. He was a dear little fellow, but, like all three-year olds, and some sixteen and thirty and fifty year olds, he once in a while became tired and impatient. We dined at the same small hotel table. One day we were all a trifle late in taking our places, and were not waited upon promptly. When we ordered fruit ice at the close of the meal, the waitress was long in bringing it. Laddie was much concerned. He remembered one other day, when the ice was all gone before the late-comers were served. He was quite sure it would be so this time. He was afraid that if it did come, it would all be melted. In fact, he was very unhappy about it.

I looked sober, and said, in an anxious voice, “I wonder if I shall have any ice today! I do like it so much, and I don’t see why it is not brought.”

Instantly, Laddie’s face brightened, and his voice rang out cheerily. “Don’t you be afraid! I’m pretty sure there is some left. She’ll bring you some pretty soon. I think you’ll have a good, big dish full.” And during the long waiting he reassured me every minute or two with some such remark. When at last it came, he was radiant. “What did I tell you?” he asked. “You see it wasn’t very long, after all!”

Another time, when we were returning from a late walk, Laddie was very tired, and there was nobody in the party strong and sure-footed enough to carry him over the woodland path. It was a weary, weary tramp for him until he was sent ahead to be our guide. Then the tired little form straightened, and the dragging feet were lifted clearer; while his musical voice range out, in caution, “You must not turn down there, or you will get lost. You must just follow me.”

Now why do you suppose I have remembered these little incidents so clearly, and put them on paper for you? Because they show so plainly that when we are thinking of others, our own worries and troubles are lightened, and disappear altogether. And also because, although we may stumble and falter and walk carelessly when we think we are showing another the way, and that he is looking to us for guidance, we do our best, and do it easily, too. It is with us as it was with Laddie—the hard time seems short; and we can say, as he did, “You see, it wasn’t so very long after all!”

Written by Clara Dillingham Pierson. Taken from The Youth’s Instructor, June 28, 1900.

The Three Mother Churches

In this article, we are going to study the three mother churches. If you are a member of a Christian church, one of these three mother churches is, no doubt, your spiritual mother. By the end of this study, you should be able to identify whose child you are.

Babylon—The Mother of Harlots

Revelation 17 tells about the first mother church we will study. Notice the characteristics of this mother church. “Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, ‘Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written: Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and the abominations of theearth.” Revelation 17:1–5.

In Bible prophecy, a woman represents a church. (See Jeremiah 6:2; Isaiah 51:15; 2 Corinthians 11:2.) There are whole books of the Bible, such as the Song of Solomon, that are written with this symbolism. In the book of Hosea, and in Ezekiel 23, an unfaithful church is represented as a harlot.

What is spiritual harlotry or adultery? Let me give an example to help us understand. When you get married, a part of your marriage vow is not only that you will cling to your husband or wife, but also that you will forsake all others. What if you do not forsake all others? Then, you commit adultery. It is this simple; if you have only one husband, then it is holy. But, if you have two or three husbands or two or three wives, then it is not holy any more. It is wicked!

When you become part of the church, part of God’s family, you claim to be joined to one husband—Christ. (See 2 Corinthians 11:2.) If you are “espoused to one husband,” and then you take your affection and you pour it out on people, places or things of this world, what have you done? We can read about it in Ezekiel 23:35, 38. “Therefore thus says the Lord God. ‘Because you have forgotten Me and cast Me behind your back, therefore you shall bear the penalty of your lewdness and your harlotry.’ The Lord also said to me, ‘Son of man, will you judge Oholah and Oholibah? Then declare to them their abominations. For they have committed adultery, and blood is on their hands. They have committed adultery with their idols, and even sacrificed their sons whom they bore to Me, passing them through the fire to devour them. Moreover they have done this to Me: They have defiled My sanctuary on the same day and profaned My Sabbaths.’”

When you become part of God’s family, you have one Husband and you are to be faithful to Him. You are to obey Him and keep His commandments. But if you disobey His commandments, then you have forsaken Him for others.

Consider again the woman, which we see in Revelation 17. She is a harlot church, or a church that teaches people to break God’s commandments. (In fact, they break God’s commandments as a part of their religion.) We read in Revelation 18:2, that this same apostate power has “become the prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!” The devil is there, and through that system he teaches men to break the commandments. And if you stay there, if you are a part of Babylon, you will sin just by being part of the system. Revelation 18:4 says, “ ‘Come out of her, My people, lest you share in her sins and lest you receive of her plagues.’” If you stay in Babylon, you are going to share in her sins and then you are also going to partake of her plagues.

A Worldwide Persecuting power

This system of Babylon, described in Revelation, is a worldwide phenomenon. It is not something that just takes place off in an obscure corner of the world. We read in Revelation 18:3, “for all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.” All the nations of the world are involved.

“The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of the bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery, all nations were deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth.” Revelation 18:23, 24.

I remember about thirty years ago, when I first read this and tried to understand what verse 24 meant when it said that Babylon was guilty for the blood of all the saints. However, as I studied, I found that this was not the first time God has made this pronouncement. Jesus told the Jewish leaders: “Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Barechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.” Matthew 23:34, 35.

Here Jesus told the Jews that they would have to give an account for all the righteous blood that is shed upon the earth. How can that be explained? Because they rejected the Messiah. Do you realize that if the Jews had accepted Jesus, all of world history would have been different? (For an interesting study, take these verses in Matthew 23 and read what Ellen White says about them. It is very ominous for Seventh-day Adventists. What happened to the Jews could happen to Adventism if the devil’s plan is followed.)

Just as the Jews will be held accountable for the blood of all the righteous in their day, so God will judge Babylon as guilty for all of the blood of the saints. A careful look at history, behind the scenes, shows the truth of this statement. Very few people really know very much about the true facts of history. But, someday, the curtain will be removed, and it all will be distinctly seen as God has clearly recorded it for every eye to behold when the harlot is judged.

Another proof that Babylon is a worldwide power, is the fact that the Bible says, in Revelation 13:8, that every single person in the world, whose name is not written in the Book of Life, will worship this power for a short time. However, eventually, they will all unite to destroy her when they find out the truth that they are lost. Because God does not desire any to be lost, His message to each person is “Come out.” Those who do not answer this call will meet the same fate as the devil and all of his angels. And so God, in His mercy, wants you to be saved and says, “Come out!”

Have you ever tried to think through what this means when God says, “Come out”? Does coming out of Babylon involve mostly where your body is? Or is it more involved with where your mind is? Does it involve more what church book your name is written on? Or does it involve more where your heart is? Coming out of Babylon is much more involved than some people think. It is much more than just what church book your name is on and where your body is. It has to do with where your mind and your heart are dwelling.

When God called Lot and his family to come out of Sodom, Lot’s wife got her body out but she never got her heart out. Have you ever asked yourself the question, Am I totally out of Babylon? Or am I like Lot’s wife? My body is out of Babylon, but my heart is still there.

From Milk to Solid Food

What we have just studied is an elementary principle of the Bible. But we cannot always feed on the milk if we are going to grow up fully into Christ, and so I want to study, in the rest of this article, some deeper Bible principles which are necessary in order for us to understand the last two mother churches.

We have looked, so far, at the first mother church, Babylon, or the harlot church. The other two mother churches we find described in Paul’s letter to the Galatians. In Galatians 1:1, Paul makes it very clear that he is addressing his letter to the churches in Galatia. As Paul wrote this letter, he was in great agony of heart, because the churches were in a state of apostasy as the result of false teachers who had come in among them. Where did these false teachers came from? Did they come from Babylon, the center of the devil’s operation? No. They came from Jerusalem—the General Conference, or the world headquarters for the apostolic church.

In Galatians 4:8–16, Paul describes the apostasy these false teachers from Jerusalem had led the Galatians into. “But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days and months and seasons and years. [Some people try to use verse 10 against Seventh-day Adventists, but we do not qualify. We do not observe days, we only observe the seventh day Sabbath. Nor do we observe months or seasons or years in Historic Adventism.] I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain. Brethren, I urge you to become like me, for I became like you. You have not injured me at all. You know that because of physical infirmity I preached the gospel to you at the first. And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject, but you received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. What then was the blessing you enjoyed? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me. Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?”

The very ones who Paul describes as leading the Galatians back to the “beggarly elements,” were teachers that came from the world headquarters of the apostolic church. The situation was so serious that Ellen White says the apostle Paul had to stand alone in opposition to the twelve disciples of Jesus—the twelve that were with Jesus when He walked among men. Paul even had to openly rebuke Peter because he was Judaizing. (See Galatians 2:11–14; The Acts of the Apostles, 199, 120.)

Can you imagine what a difficult situation it must have been for the Galatians, when leaders from Jerusalem, with the support of the disciples, began teaching that they had to keep the ceremonial law. Many must have thought, “These men must be right because they come from the disciples, the very men who walked and talked with Jesus. The apostle Paul, he must be speaking a dangerous doctrine!”

The situation was still more complicated because Paul was not dealing with the Jews here, he was dealing with Christians from the church at Jerusalem who were still keeping the ceremonial law, even though it had met its complete fulfillment in the death and resurrection of Christ. Paul continued: “They zealously court you, but for no good; yes, they want to exclude you, that you may be zealous for them. But it is good to be zealous in a good thing always, and not only when I am present with you. My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you. I would like to be present with you now and to change my tone; for I have doubts about you.” Galatians 4:17–20.

The Bondwomen and the Free

Now, notice his arguments starting in Verse 21: “Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar—for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.” Galatians 4:21–25.

So Hagar, it clearly says, is a mother, for she is still in bondage with her children. So, who then does Paul use to represent the third mother church? “But the Jerusalem above is free. Which is the mother of us all. For it is written: Rejoice, O barren, you who do not bear! Break forth and shout, you who are not in labor! For the desolate has many more children than she who has a husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. But, as he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless, what does the Scripture say, Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free. Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love. And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased.” Galatians 4:26–31; 5:1–6, 11.

“As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast of your flesh. But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.” Galatians 6:12–15.

Let us consider what Paul was facing. Here were these false teachers coming from Jerusalem. But they were not Jews, they were Christians who were speaking the sentiments of the disciples, and they were teaching that the ceremonial law still had to be kept. Why did they believe it still needed to be kept? Ellen White is very specific that they kept the ceremonial law, not so much because they believed in it any more, but because they wanted to avoid persecution. (Have you ever heard anyone say, “It is not time yet to distribute The Great Controversy”? That reflects the same kind of thinking as these early Christians had.)

Children in Bondage

Paul repeats over and over again that Hagar, this mother church, is in bondage with all of her children. What does he mean that they are in bondage? They are in bondage to sin. That is the main difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. In the Old Covenant, a person had to come every year to the Most Holy Place for the Day of Atonement. Why did they have to come every year? Because they had not quit sinning. If you quit sinning, Paul says in Hebrews 10, then you would not have to come anymore.

In the New Covenant there is no Day of Atonement year after year after year. There is just one Day of Atonement period at the end of the world. Why, because a way has been opened that men do not need to keep sinning and confessing and sinning and confessing.

Did you notice that the people who are in Hagar’s church, who have the Old Covenant experience, want to avoid persecution so they are keeping the ceremonial law. But who are they actually persecuting in the process? Notice it says in Galatians 4:29, “He who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the spirit. Even so it is now.” Who were they persecuting? They were persecuting the true church. They professed to be the true church, but Hagar was their mother. They were still in the Old Covenant experience and they still had a yoke of bondage.

What is the yoke of bondage? The yoke of bondage is the law that you cannot keep. Theologians have tried to explain it by saying that the Jews made so many regulations that the people could not keep the law. (And that is true.) Other theologians have looked at the yoke of bondage and have said, “Well, the yoke of bondage is this ceremonial law.” However, when you look at the bottom line, all the evidence points to one thing: The yoke of bondage is a law that you cannot keep. But when you come to Jesus, friend, you are set free and then you can keep this law—the Ten Commandments. You are free. You have been made free and you do not have to be entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

There is another identifying mark that differentiates between the two mother churches. One is born according to the flesh and the other is born according to the promise or according to the Spirit. All throughout Paul’s writings these two antithesis are presented. For example, Galatians 5:16–18. “I say then: Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”

The Children of Promise

We have now looked at Hagar, the second mother church, let us now turn our attention to the third mother church represented by Sarah and by the New Jerusalem. Here are the identifying marks. (You can find all of these right in the book of Galatians.)

This church is born free. The first time we are born, we are all born in sin, and thus sons of the devil. 1 John 3:8. However, Jesus told Nicodemus, If you want to go to the kingdom of heaven, you must be born again. And when you are born again, you are born free, your are born in the Spirit, not according to the flesh. This church is born free, that is, they are born again.

The headquarters of this church is in heaven, it is not in this world. It is not in Jerusalem, not in Takoma Park, not in Hagarstown. It is in heaven. That is what Paul says in Galatians 4:26: “But the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.”

The children of the promise do not have an Old Covenant experience, they have a New Covenant experience. In the Old Covenant the conscience is never purged from sins, so you must keep coming back to the Sanctuary every year and have another Day of Atonement, but in the New Covenant you overcome sin and receive the victory over it.

In heaven, Jesus will not be serving as a Mediator or as your High Priest through all of eternity. No, that will all be over because all who go there will have overcome sin and will have no need of a Mediator anymore. In fact, God’s children, that live in this world during the time of trouble, are not going to have a Mediator. They will not need one because they will have overcome all sin. (See The Great Controversy, 425.)

These are the children of the promise, and their future is wonderful. But what will happen to Hagar’s spiritual children? They will be cast out and will not inherit the New Covenant promises. (See Galatians 4:30.) This is very serious. If Hagar is your mother, you are not going to heaven unless you receive the adoption of sons. You would be just as lost as if you were in Babylon.

Stand Up!

What was Paul’s instruction to the Galatian churches who were being brought into bondage? “Stand up in the freedom in which Christ has made you free.” And who were these people? They were just little independent churches scattered all over Asia and Europe. And they must have thought, “But we are just tiny groups and we do not have all the experience that the leaders back in Jerusalem have.” But Paul said, “Stand up! You are free and you must not allow these false teachers to lead you back into bondage again.”

I want to tell you, people have lost freedom in Adventism today. When I was a boy in Adventism, anyone was encouraged to go anywhere they could and start up a church. Now they want to close all the little churches down. They are afraid of anyone starting a church, because they are afraid it might not be under their control. What has happened to people’s thinking? Do you recognize that when people start to talk like that and think like that, they are not part of the church whose headquarters is in the New Jerusalem? Through Christ all are free, and all have been given the commission to take the gospel to every nation, kindred, tribe and people.

The apostle Paul knew that. He said, “We have hope of righteousness.” We expectantly wait for it. What is this righteousness? It is not a righteousness which you work out through certain religious rituals or political games. It is righteousness by faith—a faith that works through love. That is what counts in the sight of God.

What counts in your church, friend? Is it the equivalent of circumcision, religious rituals and political games, or is it faith that works by love? If your mother is the New Jerusalem, it is faith that works by love.

And what will we do if we are filled with this faith that works by love? Paul says, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh…But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the [condemnation] of the law.” Galatians 5:16, 18. If you are walking in the Spirit, overcoming the lusts of the flesh, you will also be bearing the fruits of the Spirit which Paul describes in Galatians 5:22, 23. You will become a new creation.

Who is the Israel of God? The Israel of God is not the children of Hagar who are in bondage to sin. I am not out to judge who is a member of what church but the fruit indicates that the great majority of Seventh-day Adventists, today, are children of Hagar, not Sarah. They are professors of Christianity, but everything in their system is down here in this world. They are in bondage. They have an Old Covenant experience. And not only that, they are persecuting the people who are seeking the New Covenant experience. They disfellowship them and get them out of their way. By the way, if you are persecuting people that do not think like you do on theology, that is absolute proof that your mother is Hagar. Anytime any person or any group of people decides they can disfellowship someone for non-Biblical reasons or stone them or take them to court or put them in jail or beat them up (all of those things have happened), that group of people does not belong to the New Jerusalem church. Hagar is their mother.

But the people, whose mother is the New Jerusalem, are born free. Their headquarters is not down here in this world. They have leaders and are organized, but their headquarters is not really down here. Their headquarters is in heaven. They are children of the promise. They stand in freedom and they hope for righteousness from the Holy Spirit that the Lord will give to them. They live by faith that works through love.

Who is your mother? Is she over in Babylon? Or does she dwell in earthly Jerusalem? Or have you been born free? Are you walking according to the Spirit? Are you a child of the promise? Are you receiving a righteousness that is not woven in any earthly loom? Are you operating on the principle of faith that works by love? Are you manifesting the fruits of the Spirit? Are you a new creation? I invite you to ask the Lord to work out this miracle in your life.

The Divine Plan

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.” Psalms 19:1–3.

Have you ever wondered why there are so many things in God’s creation that seem to be so similar? Take the similarity in construction of the solar system and of the atom. True, there are certain differences, but there are many basic principles that remain the same. Why?

Of course we know that it was the same Creator that created both the solar system and the atom. But couldn’t He have figured out different principles for different systems? Of course He could have.

But, besides all having the same Creator, we have a perfect Creator. And He created all things perfect. For many things there is only one perfect way of doing things. Thus, the perfect way of holding the solar system together is the same perfect way of holding the atom together.

Thus it is in our social nature. There are certain principles which God says were the very best for fulfilling social needs and thus He established the same principles in Heaven and on earth. The center of social life is the home and family.

“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.” Adventist Home, 26.

The principles of the home are divine principles. They are principles that are found in heaven. When these principles are followed the home becomes a sanctified home.

“So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” Genesis 1:27.

Man is created in God’s image—not so much physically (for “He is a Spirit.” John 4:24), but mentally, socially and spiritually. In this article we are dealing with primarily the social and we are going to seek to find the ideal for our social nature by looking at the pattern and copying it.

It is important that we copy the pattern exactly, in every detail—just as Moses was admonished to do with the sanctuary. “Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, ‘See,’ saith He,‘that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.’ ” Hebrews 8:5. If we will spend the time in communion with God and in studying the pattern (the heavenly family), our homes will become sanctified—or, a sanctuary.

To be sanctified means to be set apart for holy use. When a home is sanctified, it becomes a sanctuary for God to dwell in. Thus we find that many of heaven’s principles for our homes are demonstrated even in the earthly sanctuary that Moses pitched. When we start realizing these principles of our homes being copied after the pattern of heavenly things, the whole Bible takes on meaning for home and family improvement. “God would have our families symbols of the family in heaven.” Adventist Home, 17.

Now we will look at some of the heavenly principles that our homes are to be patterned after.

The #1 Principle: LOVE—of course

This must be the basis for anything that is copied after heavenly things for “God is love.” 1 John 4:8. But the point is, what is true love? Is it a feeling, sentimentalism, a physical act? What is love? And how is it displayed?

True love is a principle—a sanctified principle. (A sanctified principle is one which has been set apart or established by God.)

“True love is a high and holy principle, altogether different in character from that love which is awakened by impulse, and which suddenly dies when severely tested.” Adventist Home, 50.

“Sanctified principle should be the basis of every action [in the marriage relation].” Ibid., 122.

Love is a heaven established principle. This love principle is the good, old, heaven established principle of give and take! Not the give and take that we find in the world, but the give and take that is based on oneness with others—to give to others as though you were giving to yourself and to receive from others as though receiving from yourself (to appreciate the gift as though it had been you that had made the sacrifice.) The world’s counterfeit to this is a give and take that is based on selfishness.

“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12.

God demonstrates His love by giving and we demonstrate our love to Him by taking (or, in others words, by accepting His gifts and obeying His instructions.)

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” John 3:16.

“If ye love Me, keep [accept] My commandments.” John 14:15.

The worldly, selfish way of giving commands is usually to bring glory and happiness to the commander. But Christ gave commands, instruction and Him-self, to bring happiness to the receiver.

“These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” John 15:11.

Another way of saying “giving and taking” is to say “leading and submitting.” Leadership and submission is a universal and divinely established (sanctified) plan. It is a law of all social relationships in the whole universe. It is also a law of Satan, but his is based on force and selfishness rather than on voluntary compliance and on love for the other person.

Circles of Love

As with the solar system and the atom, so the same circle of love that is manifested by guidance and submission between God and parents, is the same circle of love God intended should exist between parents and children. In fact, so similar is the relationship that God is called “our Father” and Christ, like a mother, brought us all into the world by His creative power.

“That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:45.

“As one whom his mother com-forteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.” Isaiah 66:13.

God’s relationship to us is like the ideal parent-child relationship. Therefore, to truly understand how to correctly raise a child, where would we turn to for our understanding?

“Parents are entitled to a degree of love and respect which is due to no other person. God Himself, who has placed upon them a responsibility for the souls committed to their charge, has ordained that during the earlier years of life parents shall stand in the place of God to their children. And he who rejects the rightful authority of his parents is rejecting the authority of God.” Adventist Home, 293.

Where the problem comes in is that sin has messed up the “circle of love” pattern. Parents have never learned to submit themselves but expect their children to submit. (They expect of their children that which they are not willing to do themselves.) And because they themselves have never experienced the loving guidance of God, they do not know how to exercise loving guidance over their children. So the children are placed at a double disadvantage—they neither witness the example of their parents submitting to God nor do they experience the loving guidance which would cause them to want to submit, which God alone can teach to the parents. You can learn all the theory you want, but if you do not have a “circle of love” relationship with God—you know nothing about raising children correctly.

To Obey God or Man?

“When children have unbelieving parents, and their commands contradict the requirements of Christ, then, painful though it may be, they must obey God and trust the consequences with Him.” Adventist Home, 293.

“He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me.” Matthew 10:37.

“But,” someone may say, “I thought we just finished reading in Adventist Home, 293, that ‘parents shall stand in the place of God to their children.’ ” The sentences before that said “during the early years.” As soon as the child is old enough to develop a “circle of love” relationship of his own with God, then he becomes accountable to God personally.

Does this mean that the child is no longer under duty to be submissive to his parents? “‘Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.’ This is the first commandment with promise. It is binding upon childhood and youth, upon the middle-aged and the aged. There is no period in life when children are excused from honoring their parents. This solemn obligation is binding upon every son and daughter.” Adventist Home, 292.

There should be no conflict between obeying God and obeying our parents. But because of sin this is not the case. As long as we can obey God, we are to obey our parents all of our lives. But in case there is a conflict between obeying God or our parents, we must obey God.

We submit the most completely to those we love the most. (In the worldly “circle of selfishness” people submit most completely to those whom they either fear the most or think they can benefit the most from.) If we truly love God the most, we will submit to Him.

Think through these texts in relationship to this question.

“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29.

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.” Matthew 22:37, 38.

“He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” Matthew 10:37.

Thought Question:

Does “obeying God rather than man” just involve keeping the Sabbath and paying tithe or could it involve the social, physical and mental aspects of life as well as the spiritual?

Let us illustrate the principle of submitting to God or to man by a worldly example:

Suppose we have a lineman who works on an assembly line and he takes his orders from the foreman. The foreman takes his orders from the boss of the company. If a lineman does not have any relationship with the boss and only knows what the foreman tells him, then the foreman stands in the place of the boss to the lineman and the lineman is responsible for only what the foreman tells him. This is the way a child is responsible to his parents as to God until he has a relationship of his own with God.

But now, suppose the boss becomes acquainted with the lineman and gives him a direct order contrary to what the foreman has said, now who is he responsible to? The boss himself. However, because the foreman may have been in disagreement with the boss on one point does not excuse the lineman for disobeying the foreman on every other account. And also, because the foreman himself may not be in perfect compliance with the boss on every point does that change the lineman’s relationship to the foreman (except where there is a direct conflict of orders)?

Submission from Love or Fear

There are three different types of relationship to God:

  1. Nonsubmission
  2. Submission from fear
  3. Submission from love

Whichever type of relationship a parent has toward God, his child will tend to have the same relationship.

“Parents should themselves be converted and know what it is to be in submission to God’s will, as little children, bringing into captivity their thoughts to the will of Jesus Christ, before they can rightly represent the government that God designed should exist in the family.” Adventist Home, 306.

Who Loves First?

“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10.

Just as God loves us first and thereby wins our affection, just so the parent loves the child first and gains his trust, and the child in turn loves the parent and submits to his loving guidance. The parent does not bring the child home from the hospital and tell him “you submit to my control now—I’m going to show you that I am in control and you are going to obey the fifth commandment and obey me.” No! He showers him with love and soon the child is returning the parents affections and submitting to their loving guidance.

Husbands and Wives

“Now we are down to the real thing,” someone is going to say. Yet, we have been talking about the principles of husbands and wives this whole time. As we have noticed before, the same principles of relationships exist throughout the universe and apply to the husband and wife as well.

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” Galatians 5:22–26.

“So,” says the wife, “I am in the same relationship to my husband as a child.” Some of the same principles apply (as they do throughout the rest of the universe) but there are some real differences. Namely, that the wife is equal with the husband; whereas, in the relationships we have been talking about up to this point, we have had superior versus inferior beings. God is superior to the parents and the parents are superior to the child.

In this day of “equal rights,” submission is not a popular word. Liberation is the battle cry. Equality itself is an old established Bible principle.

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28.

“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.” Adventist Home, 25.

So how does equality fit in with this heaven ordained principle of guidance and submission as commanded in Ephesians 5:22–26? In the world, authority is based on superiority; but not so in heaven. Again, to understand this mystery we go to our heavenly pattern.

These are lines of authority for choices that involve more than one being. God has given freedom to all and no one is to be a robot. But for things to involve more than one being, there are the lines of authority and submission that God set up.

Another real difference between the relation of husband and wife and that of parent and child is that parents are raising the child and helping him to form right character principles. But the husband is not raising the wife; they are to become one and are equal—and both are to help each other in character development. The principle of government between the husband and wife is so they can live together unitedly, work harmoniously and so learn to fit into the government of heaven.

“Your life would be much happier if you did not feel that absolute authority is vested in you because you are a husband and father.” Adventist Home, 225.

“You have peculiar views in regard to managing your family. You exercise an independent, arbitrary power which permits no liberty of will around you. You think yourself sufficient to be head in your family and feel that your head is sufficient to move every member, as a machine is moved in the hands of the workmen. You dictate and assume authority. This displeases Heaven and grieves the pitying angels. You have conducted yourself in your family as though you alone were capable of self-government. It has offended you that your wife should venture to oppose your opinion or question your decisions.” Ibid., 226.

“You think too much of your opinion; you have taken extreme positions, and have not been willing that your wife’s judgment should have the weight it should in your family. You have not encouraged respect for your wife yourself nor educated your children to respect her judgment. You have not made her your equal, but have rather taken the reins of government and control into your own hands and held them with a firm grasp. You have not an affectionate, sympathetic disposition. These traits of character you need to cultivate if you want to be an overcomer and if you want the blessing of God in your family.” Ibid., 227.

In the Godhead, we notice that the Father and the Son counsel together and make joint decisions, but the Father is still the head. This is the kind of headship the husband is to be. “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” 1 Corinthians 11:3.

Another difference between the husband-wife relationship and that of parent-child is that the husband and wife are not to keep any secrets from each other that they might share with someone else. They are to be united and as one flesh.

“The husband and wife should be all to each other. The wife should have no secrets to keep from her husband and let others know, and the husband should have no secrets to keep from his wife to relate to others.” Adventist Home, 177.

“For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth Him all things that Himself doeth: and He will show Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.” John 5:20.

But many times there are things that are not revealed unto the children. “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” John 16:12.

Angelic Submission

The angels demonstrate this same principle of guidance and submission that is demonstrated between the Father and Son and should be demonstrated between husband and wife.

“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. . . . Subjection and thorough discipline mark the movements of the angelic host.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 649, 650.

The reason the angels work so harmoniously together, as though they were one, is because they have perfect submission. They have all learned perfect submission.

There was only one that refused to learn submission—Lucifer. But watch this—for those who say the wife is supposed to be subject unto the husband in all things even to disobeying God—what happened to the angels that remained subject unto Lucifer in his rebellion?

Submission is a principle learned by all the angels—and it must be learned by all of the family—not just the wife. Submission is a universal principle and it is just as much a principle for the husband to learn as for the wife to learn. The only difference is who they are immediately subject to. Never can perfect harmony reign in a home until every member learns the principle of submission.

Thought Question:

What if one family member has not learned submission—do the other members still have a duty to learn it?

Submission is a universal principle, and regardless of what any other member of the family may do, every member that ever makes it to heaven will have to learn the true principles of submission. Lack of submission to Christ forced the angels out of heaven and we are definitely not going to be taken there until we learn the principle.

But is submission hard? Not if the one doing the guiding has the love of Christ. Christ loved us enough to die for us—and that while we were yet sinners (before we had learned to submit). He even loves us enough to take us back and forgive us after we committed spiritual adultery against Him. Here are lessons for us all. (Note, however, that there is such a thing as an unpardonable sin.)

Learning the Principle

Guidance and submission is based on true love. It is the outworking of this heavenly principle. If we learn true love, guidance and submission will be the natural result.

“All true obedience comes from the heart. It was heart work with Christ. And if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses. The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, through communion with God, sin will become hateful to us.” The Desire of Ages, 668.

When we learn of God, the submission of self will be but the carrying out of our own impulses. For guidance and submission to work it must be based on love and the only place we can learn true love is from God.

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” 1 John 4:7, 8.

If you want more love, where is the only place you can find it? Can you find it from Hollywood, from worldly marriage counsellors, from worldly books?

And secondly, if you do not know God, can you know love? Can a Hollywood producer who does not know God or a worldly marriage counsellor who does not know God know about true love?

But more importantly, can your spouse or child know true love without knowing God? And what are you doing, therefore, to encourage them in their daily devotional life? But most importantly of all, can you know true love without knowing God through a daily relationship with Him?

This principle of true love is one which we will be learning more about throughout eternity. And as long as we are in a family on earth, we can daily learn more of the joys of this principle.

“To gain a proper understanding of the marriage relation is the work of a lifetime. Those who marry enter a school from which they are never in this life to be graduated.” Adventist Home, 105.

But this growing experience can only come through a daily relationship with God: through daily devotions. “Continual devotion establishes so close a relation between Jesus and His disciple that the Christian becomes like Him in mind and character.” The Desire of Ages, 251.

This includes prayer, Bible and Spirit of Prophecy study and meditation. If you are not having this relationship, you do not as yet know true happiness in marriage! “But,” you say, “not very many people have daily devotions that amount to anything.” That is true, and that is why, “There is not one marriage in one hundred that results happily.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 504.

But you can be the “one.” You can enjoy this happiness. You can have it if you will daily learn from the pattern.

“The sweetest type of heaven is a home where the Spirit of the Lord presides. If the will of God is fulfilled, the husband and wife will respect each other and cultivate love and confidence.” The Adventist Home, 15.