Bible Study Guides – “Go Ye Therefore and Teach”

July 23-29, 2000

MEMORY VERSE: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” 2 Timothy 4:2.

STUDY HELP: Christian Service, 113–131.

INTRODUCTION: “The people of God are to come close to Christ in self-denial and sacrifice, their one aim being to give the message of mercy to all the world. Some will work in one way and some in another, as the Lord shall call and lead them. But they are all to strive together, seeking to make the work a perfect whole. With pen and voice they are to labor for Him. The printed word of truth is to be translated into different languages and carried to the ends of the earth. My heart is often burdened because so many who might work are doing nothing. They are the sport of Satan’s temptations. Every church member who has a knowledge of the truth is expected to work while the day lasts; for the night cometh, wherein no man can work. Erelong we shall understand what that night means.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 26.

“That by My Voice I Might Teach Others”

1 How is the work of teaching to be carried out? Isaiah 28:9, 10.

NOTE: “Those who are learning should be patiently instructed, precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little and there a little. Every effort should be made, by precept and example, to teach them right methods.” Christian Leadership, 57. See also Evangelism, 152.

2 What special work of teaching are parents called upon to perform? Deuteronomy 6:4–7; 11:9.

NOTE: “Parents should in a special sense regard themselves as agents of God to instruct their children, as did Abraham, to keep the way of the Lord. They need to search the Scriptures diligently, to know what is the way of the Lord, that they may teach it to their household. Micah says, ‘What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?’ Micah 6:8. In order to be teachers, parents must be learners, gathering light constantly from the oracles of God and by precept and example bringing this precious light into the education of their children.” The Adventist Home, 184.

“As Ye Go, Preach”

3 How did Jesus describe the work committed to Him? Luke 4:16–21.

NOTE: See Christ’s Object Lessons, 127.

4 How did Paul describe the work of preaching and its divinely appointed purpose? 1 Corinthians 1:17–21.

NOTE: “This is God’s devised plan; and through successive generations, through centuries of heathenism, this plan has been carried forward, not as an experiment, but as an approved way for the spreading of the gospel. Through this method from the beginning, conviction came upon man, and the world was enlightened concerning the gospel of God.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 360.

“Let the men who are engaged in the solemn work of bearing the last message to the world, heed the exhortation of Paul, “Preach the Word,” not the…productions of human speculations. Listen to the words of inspiration addressed to Timothy: “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they [the people] heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.’” Bible Echo, June 15, 1893. See also Testimonies, vol. 5, 300.

“We Persuade Men”

5 What example are we given of Paul’s method of giving Bible studies? Acts 28:23.

NOTE: “Of all the gifts that God has bestowed upon men, none is more precious than the gift of speech. If sanctified by the Holy Spirit, it is a power for good. It is with the tongue that we convince and persuade; with it we offer prayer and praise to God, and with it we convey rich thoughts of the Redeemer’s love.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 337.

“We are living in the closing scenes of this earth’s history. Prophecy is fast fulfilling. The hours of probation are fast passing. We have no time—not a moment—to lose. Let us not be found sleeping on guard.…Let us persuade men and women everywhere to repent and flee from the wrath to come. Let us arouse them to immediate preparation, for we little know what is before us. Let ministers and lay members go forth into the ripening fields to tell the unconcerned and indifferent to seek the Lord while He may be found. The workers will find their harvest wherever they proclaim the forgotten truths of the Bible. They will find those who will accept the truth and will devote their lives to winning souls to Christ.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 252.

6 In all our efforts to persuade people of the truth, what must we remember? John 16:8.

NOTE: “God requires that His agents may put forth practical, personal efforts in doing whatever He calls upon them to do, so that the truth may be set before human minds, and the Holy Spirit have an opportunity to convict and convert the soul. No man can do this part of the work.” Home Missionary, December 1, 1894.

“Present the truth as it is in Jesus. There must be no combative or controversial spirit in the advocacy of the truth. Those who study the manner of Christ’s teaching and educate themselves to follow His way, will attract and hold large numbers, as Christ held the people in His day. The Saviour is our example in all things. His love abiding in the heart will be expressed in words that will benefit the hearers, and win souls to Him. When the truth in its practical character is urged upon the people because you love them, souls will be convicted, for the Holy Spirit will convict of the truth.” General Conference Bulletin, February 25, 1895.

“Exhort With All Longsuffering and Doctrine”

7 What counsel did Paul give Timothy to help him in his ministry? 2 Timothy 4:2.

NOTE: “If ministers who preach the gospel would do their duty, and would also be ensamples to the flock of God, their voices would be lifted up like a trumpet to show the people their transgressions and the house of Israel their sins. Ministers who exhort sinners to be converted should distinctly define what sin is and what conversion from sin is. Sin is the transgression of the law. The convicted sinner must exercise repentance toward God for the transgression of His law, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Confrontation, 75.

“He is to ‘preach the word,’ not the opinions and traditions of men, not pleasing fables or sensational stories, to move the fancy and excite the emotions. He is not to exalt himself, but as in the presence of God he is to stand before a dying world and preach the word. There is to be no levity, no trifling, no fanciful interpretation; the minister must speak in sincerity and deep earnestness, as a voice from God expounding the Sacred Scriptures. He is to bring to his hearers those things which most concern their present and eternal good. My ministering brethren, as you stand before the people, speak of those things that are essential, those things that will instruct. Teach the great practical truths that must be brought into the life. Teach the saving power of Jesus, ‘in whom we have redemption,…even the forgiveness of sins.’ Strive to make your hearers comprehend the power of truth.” Gospel Workers, 147.

8 How is the faithful witness for God to combat false teaching? Titus 1:9.

NOTE: See Evangelism, 136.

“Let Us Go Again”

9 How did Paul express his continued care for those whom he had brought to Christ? Acts 15:36.

NOTE: See Evangelism, 340.

10 What example are we given of Paul and Barnabas confirming and strengthening those brought to the truth? Acts 14:21, 22.

NOTE: “Jesus, our great High Priest, is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and He works to bind up those who are wounded and bruised by the enemy. He does not leave the tempted soul to the mercy of the destroyer. The children of God are to work in Christ’s lines. They are to seek the wandering, straying sheep of His pasture. Those who claim to love God are to form a guard around perishing souls to save them from ruin. Instead of saying, ‘Let the erring go, we will not try to help them,’ we are to strengthen the hands which hang down, and confirm the feeble knees. We shall never form characters after the divine similitude if we cherish the meager, stunted piety that looks out only for our individual selves, and does not lead us to do earnest, positive work for the salvation of others. We are
to let our light shine in such a way as to guide souls into the haven
of safety, that they may find refuge in Christ.” Signs of the Times, August 20, 1896. See also Acts of the Apostles, 185.

“I Will be With Thy Mouth”

11 What encouraging promise did the Lord give to Moses? Exodus 4:12–15.

NOTE: See Acts of the Apostles, 599.

12 What was the effect of this promise on the ministry of the apostles? Acts 4:33.

NOTE: See Christ’s Object Lessons, 121 and Acts of the Apostles, 48, 49.

Bible Study Guides – “How Shall They Hear Without a Preacher?”

July 16-22, 2000

MEMORY VERSE: “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” Romans 10:14.

STUDY HELP: Christ’s Object Lessons, 56–61.

INTRODUCTION: “The greatest work, the noblest effort, in which men can engage, is to point sinners to the Lamb of God….God says to them, ‘Go, teach and preach Christ. Instruct and educate all who know not of His grace, His goodness, and His mercy. Teach the people…. ’Workers for Christ are never to think, much less to speak, of failure in their work. The Lord Jesus is our efficiency in all things; His Spirit is to be our inspiration; and as we place ourselves in His hands, to be channels of light, our means of doing good will never be exhausted. We may draw upon His fullness, and receive of that grace which has no limit.” Gospel Workers, 19.

“The Foolishness of Preaching”

1 What means has God chosen to bring the news of salvation to the world? 1 Corinthians 1:21.

NOTE: “We are never to forget that Christ teaches through His servants. There may be conversions without the instrumentality of a sermon. Where persons are so situated that they are deprived of every means of grace, they are wrought upon by the Spirit of God and convinced of the truth through reading the Word; but God’s appointed means of saving souls is through ‘the foolishness of preaching.’ Though human, and compassed with the frailties of humanity, men are God’s messengers; and the dear Saviour is grieved when so little is effected by their labors. Every minister who goes out into the great harvest field should magnify his office. He should not only seek to bring men to the knowledge of the truth, but he should labor, as did Paul, ‘warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom,’ that he may ‘present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.’” Testimonies, vol. 5, 300.

2 With what thought-provoking questions did Paul seek to rouse the church to its responsibilities? Romans 10:14.

NOTE: “While the angels hold the four winds, we are to work with all our capabilities. We must bear our message without any delay. We must give evidence to the heavenly universe, and to men in this degenerate age, that our religion is a faith and a power of which Christ is the Author and His word the divine oracle. Human souls are hanging in the balance. They will either be subjects for he kingdom of God or slaves to the despotism of Satan. All are to have the privilege of laying hold of the hope set before them in the gospel, and how can they hear without a preacher? The human family is in need of a moral renovation, a preparation of character, that they may stand in God’s presence. There are souls ready to perish because of the theoretical errors which are prevailing, and which are calculated to counterwork the gospel message. Who will now fully consecrate themselves to become laborers together with God?” Testimonies, vol. 6, 21.

3 What is one part that must be played by those who cannot preach? Romans 10:15, first part.

NOTE: See Acts of the Apostles, 338.

“Whom Shall I Send?”

4 What question comes from the throne of God to every believer? Isaiah 6:8.

NOTE: “Sabbath after Sabbath many of you hear the voice of the living preacher, but how many feel the need of bringing the truth into your practical life? How many realize that light is given you that you may reflect it upon others? There is great need that the people should be educated that they may do the part of the work that has been appointed unto them to do; but the education of church members has been neglected. If the minister would instruct his people, he might have an army to help him in diffusing the light when a crisis comes in the work. Each member of the church should do the work for which he is best adapted, and the work could be so arranged that everything would move off harmoniously, and the prosperity of a working church would be manifested in the vital interest which would spring up among those who put their energies into the cause of Christ.” Pastoral Ministry, 154.

5 What precious promises come to those who feel they cannot speak for God? Jeremiah 1:6–9.

NOTE: “The same God who gave His messages to Moses and Jeremiah will give His word to His witnesses in this generation. ‘For it is not ye that speak,’ Christ declares, ‘but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.’ This word of the Lord has been verified in all ages, and it will be verified to the close of time in all who hold the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end. The most powerful testimony will be given in defense of the faith once delivered to the saints. The Holy Spirit is close beside those who are called to witness for truth and righteousness.” Review and Herald, May 24, 1898.

“Look on the Fields”

6 Where is the Christian to witness for Christ? Matthew 13:38, first part, Mark 16:15.

NOTE: “If you cannot cross the ocean and the heathen lands explore, you can find the heathen nearer; you can help them at your door.” Old Hymn.

“Let ministers and lay members go forth into the ripening fields. They will find their harvest wherever they proclaim the forgotten truths of the Bible. They will find those who will accept the truth, and who will devote their lives to winning souls to Christ. It is not the Lord’s purpose that ministers should be left to do the greatest part of the work of sowing the seeds of truth. Men who are not called to the ministry are to be encouraged to labor for the Master according to their several ability. Hundreds of men and women now idle could do acceptable service. By carrying the truth into the homes of their friends and neighbors, they could do a great work for the Master.” Christian Service, 67.

7 By what illustration did Jesus explain the variety of responses to the message of salvation? Matthew 13:3–23.

NOTE: See Christ’s Object Lessons, 57.

“Some Fell by the Wayside”

8 What example do we have of seed that fell by the wayside? Acts 17:32.

NOTE: See Christ’s Object Lessons, 44.

9 What example is given of seed that fell upon stony ground? 2 Timothy 4:10, first part. (Compare Philemon, verse 24; Colossians 4:14.)

NOTE: See Christ’s Object Lessons, 46, 47.

10 What example is recorded of seed falling among thorns? Acts 5:1–10.

NOTE: See Christ’s Object Lessons, 52.

“He that Heareth the Word, and Understandeth It”

11 What work must be done by the faithful witness for Christ? Matthew 28:19, 20.

NOTE: “House-to-house laborers are needed. The Lord calls for decided efforts to be put forth in places where the people know nothing of Bible truth. Singing and prayer and Bible readings are needed in the homes of the people. Now, just now, is the time to obey the commission, ‘Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.’ Matthew 28:20. Those who do this work must have a ready knowledge of the Scriptures. ‘It is written’ is to be their weapon of defense. God has given us light on His word, that we may give this light to our fellow men. The truth spoken by Christ will reach hearts. A ‘Thus saith the Lord’ will fall upon the ear with power, and fruit will appear wherever honest service is done.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers and Students, 540.

12 What warning did Christ give about unfaithful witnesses? Matthew 23:1–3.

NOTE: “Christ calls them to unite with Him in His work for the saving of the world, but they content themselves with saying, ‘I go, sir.’ They do not co-operate with those who are doing God’s service. They are idlers. Like the unfaithful son, they make false promises to God. In taking upon themselves the solemn covenant of the church, they have pledged to receive and obey the Word of God, to give themselves to God’s service; but they do not do this. In profession they claim to be sons of God, but in life and character they deny the relationship. They do not surrender the will to God. They are living a lie. In the command, ‘Go work today in my vineyard,’ the test of sincerity is brought to every soul. Will there be deeds as well as words? Will the one called put to use all the knowledge he has, working faithfully, disinterestedly, for the Owner of the vineyard?” Review and Herald, June 23, 1910. See also Christ’s Object Lessons, 279.

Bible Study Guides – “We Are His Witnesses of These Things”

July 9-15, 2000

MEMORY VERSE: “For thou shalt be His witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.” Acts 22:15.

STUDY HELP: Christian Service, 15–24.

INTRODUCTION: “The Master has given to every man his work. He has given to every man according to his ability, and his trust is in proportion to his capacity. God requires every one to be a worker in His vineyard. You are to take up the work that has been placed in your charge, and to do it faithfully. ‘Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.’” Review and Herald, May 1, 1888.

“How Shall They Hear?”

1 What did the Master say to those who did not answer the call to work in His vineyard? Matthew 20:6.

NOTE: See Acts of the Apostles, 110.

2 What has Christ provided to enable each Christian to do His appointed work? Romans 12:4–8.

NOTE: See Acts of the Apostles, 274.

“Unlearned and Ignorant Men”

3 What was the world’s estimate of Peter and John as they witnessed for the Master? Acts 4:13, first part.

NOTE: “There are many who will spend and be spent to win souls to Christ. In obedience to the great commission, they will go forth to work for the Master. Under the ministration of angels ordinary men will be moved by the Spirit of God to warn people in the highways and byways. Humble men, who do not trust in their gifts, but who work in simplicity, trusting always in God, will share in the joy of the Saviour as their persevering prayers bring souls to the cross.” This Day With God, 227.

4 What sort of person does God most commonly call to His service? 1 Corinthians 1:26, 27.

NOTE: “Jesus chose unlearned fishermen because they had not been schooled in the traditions and erroneous customs of their time. They were men of native ability, and they were humble and teachable,—men whom He could educate for His work. In the common walks of life there is many a man patiently treading the round of daily toil, unconscious that he possesses powers which, if called into action, would raise him to an equality with the world’s most honored men. The touch of a skillful hand is needed to arouse those dormant faculties. It was such men that Jesus called to be His co-laborers; and He gave them the advantage of association with Himself. Never had the world’s great men such a teacher. When the disciples came forth from the Saviour’s training, they were no longer ignorant and uncultured. They had become like Him in mind and character, and men took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus.” Conflict and Courage, 282.

“I Will Pour Out My Spirit”

5 On what different kinds of people will God pour out His Spirit? Acts 2:17, 18.

NOTE: “Time is short, and there is much to be done. Let all who can, old and young, men, women and children, take up this work. As they go forth, the Lord will open the way before them. The words that they speak will be as seeds sown in good ground. Many souls will be saved as a result of their willing service.” Indiana Reporter, September 2, 1903.

“Christ declared, ‘If I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto Me.’ He is doing this work, but He calls upon old and young, men, women, and youth, to co-operate with Him. While Christ draws, those who have tasted of the word of life must draw with Christ. Human instrumentalities must co-operate with the divine intelligences.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 4, 11.

6 What qualifications are needed to be a witness for God? Romans 12:1–3.

NOTE: “God’s cause at this time is in special need of men and women who possess Christlike qualifications for service, executive ability, and a large capacity for work, who have kind, warm, sympathetic hearts, sound common sense, and unbiased judgment; who will carefully weigh matters before they approve or condemn, and who can fearlessly say No, or Yea and Amen; who, because they are sanctified by the Spirit of God, practice the words ‘All ye are brethren,’ striving constantly to uplift and restore fallen humanity.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 2, 88.

“A Love of the Truth”

7 What knowledge is essential for freedom from sin? John 8:32.

NOTE: See Prophets and Kings, 716.

8 What is even more essential than knowledge of the truth? 2 Thessalonians 2:10, 11.

NOTE: “The five foolish virgins had lamps (this means a knowledge of Scripture truth), but they had not the grace of Christ. Day by day they went through a round of ceremonies and external duties, but their service was lifeless, devoid of the righteousness of Christ. The Sun of Righteousness did not shine in their hearts and minds, and they had not the love of the truth which conforms to the life and character, the image and superscription, of Christ. The oil of grace was not mingled with their endeavors. Their religion was a dry husk without the true kernel. They held fast to forms of doctrines, but they were deceived in their Christian life, full of self-righteousness, and failing to learn lessons in the school of Christ, which, if practised, would have made them wise unto salvation.” Review and Herald, March 27, 1894.

“Adorn the Doctrine of God Our Saviour in All Things”

9 How should the things a Christian believes affect his life? Titus 2:10, last part.

NOTE: “The Lord knows the thoughts and purposes of man, and how easily He can melt us! How His Spirit, like a fire, can subdue the flinty heart! How He can fill the soul with love and tenderness! How He can give us the graces of His Holy Spirit, and fit us to go in and out, in laboring for souls! The power of overcoming grace should be felt throughout the church today; and it may be felt, if we take heed to the counsels of Christ to His followers. As we learn to adorn the doctrine of Christ our Saviour we shall surely see the salvation of God.” Counsels on Stewardship, 189.

“Those who make any pretensions to godliness should adorn the doctrine they profess and not give occasion for the truth to be reviled through their inconsiderate course of action. ‘Owe no man anything,’ says the apostle. You ought now, my brother, to take hold earnestly to correct your habits of indolence, redeeming the time. Let the world see that the truth has wrought a reformation in your life.” Testimonies vol. 5, 181.

10 As their enemies observed Peter and John, what did they realize about them? Acts 4:13, last part.

NOTE: See Acts of the Apostles, 45.

“Be Not Afraid of Their Faces”

11 What counsel was Jeremiah given when God chose Him to witness for Him? Jeremiah 1:8, 9.

NOTE: “The same God who gave His messages to Moses and Jeremiah will give His word to His witnesses in this generation. ‘For it is not ye that speak,’ Christ declares, ‘but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.’” Review and Herald, May 24, 1898. See also Acts of the Apostles, 600.

12 What reaction to our witness may we also expect? Ezekiel 33:31, 32.

NOTE: “They see the preciousness of the love of Christ. They see the beauty of His character, the possibilities of a life given to His service. But in contrast they see the life of those who profess to revere God’s precepts. Of how many are the words true that were spoken to the prophet Ezekiel…. It is one thing to treat the Bible as a book of good moral instruction, to be heeded so far as is consistent with the spirit of the times and our position in the world; it is another thing to regard it as it really is—the word of the living God, the word that is our life, the word that is to mould our actions, our words, and our thoughts. To hold God’s word as anything less than this is to reject it.” Education, 259, 260.

Bible Study Guides – “Ye Shall Receive Power”

July 2-8, 2000 

MEMORY VERSE: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me.” Acts 1:8.

STUDY HELP: Christian Service, 250, 256.

INTRODUCTION: “The goodly fabric of character wrought out through divine power will receive light and glory from heaven, and will stand before the world as a witness pointing to the throne of the living God. Then the work will move forward with solidity and redoubled strength.” God’s Amazing Grace, 128.

“With One Accord”

1 How did the disciples prepare to receive the promised power of the Holy Spirit? Acts 1:14.

NOTE: “It was by the confession and forsaking of sin, by earnest prayer and consecration of themselves to God, that the early disciples prepared for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. The same work, only in greater degree, must be done now. Then the human agent had only to ask for the blessing, and wait for the Lord to perfect the work concerning him. It is God who began the work, and He will finish His work, making man complete in Jesus Christ.” Testimonies to Ministers, 507.

2 What was the result of this preparation of the disciples’ hearts? Acts 2:1.

NOTE: “Under the Spirit’s teaching they received the final qualification, and went forth to their lifework. No longer were they ignorant and uncultured. No longer were they a collection of independent units or discordant, conflicting elements. No longer were their hopes set on worldly greatness. They were of ‘one accord,’ ‘of one heart and of one soul.’ Acts 2:46; 4:32. Christ filled their thoughts; the advancement of His kingdom was their aim. In mind and character they had become like their Master, and men ‘took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.’ Acts 4:13.” Acts of the Apostles, 45.

“That They May See Your Good Works”

3 What added power to the witness of the disciples? Acts 4:13.

NOTE: After the Saviour’s ascension, the sense of the divine presence, full of love and light, was still with them. It was a personal presence. Jesus, the Savior, who had walked and talked and prayed with them, Who had spoken hope and comfort to their hearts, had, while the message of peace was upon His lips, been taken from them into heaven. As the chariot of angels received Him, His words had come to them, ‘Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end.’ Matthew 28:20. He had ascended to heaven in the form of humanity. They know that He was before the throne of God, their Friend and Saviour still; that His sympathies were unchanged; that He would forever be identified with suffering humanity. They knew that He was presenting before God the merit of His blood, showing His wounded hands and feet as a remembrance of the price He had paid for His redeemed ones; and this thought strengthened them to endure reproach for His sake.” Acts of the Apostles, 65.

4 What will be the effect of the witness of those in whose hearts Christ dwells? Matthew 5:16.

NOTE: “Great is the work and mission of women, especially those who are wives and mothers. They can be a blessing to all around them. They can have a powerful influence for good if they will let their light so shine that others may be led to glorify our heavenly Father. Women may have a transforming influence if they will only consent to yield their way and their will to God, and let Him control their mind, affections, and being. They can have an influence which will tend to refine and elevate those with whom they associate. But this class are generally unconscious of the power they possess. They exert an unconscious influence which seems to work out naturally from a sanctified life, a renewed heart. It is the fruit that grows naturally upon the good tree of divine planting. Self is forgotten, merged in the life of Christ. To be rich in good works is as natural as their breath. They live to do others good and yet are ready to say: We are unprofitable servants.” Testimonies vol. 2, 465.

“The Righteousness of God Which is by Faith”

5 What is God’s desire for the way we live our lives? Psalm 15:1, 2.

NOTE: “We must present the principles of truth, and let them work upon the hearts of the people. We may pick the leaves from a tree as often as we please, but this will not cause the tree to die; the next season the leaves will come out again as thick as before. But strike the axe at the root of the tree, and not only will the leaves fall off of themselves, but the tree will die. Those who accept the truth, in the love of it, will die to the world, and will become meek and lowly in heart like their divine Lord. Just as soon as the heart is right, the dress, the conversation, the life, will be in harmony with the Word of God.” My Life Today, 265.

6 By what principle may people lead righteous lives? Romans 1:17.

NOTE: “Righteousness is right-doing.” My Life Today, 272. “What is faith? It is simply taking God at His word; it is believing that God will do just as He has promised.” Signs of the Times, September 9, 1889.

7 Of what can the follower of God be completely confident? 1 Kings 8:56.

NOTE: See Christ’s Object Lessons, 161.

8 In what promise of complete salvation may we put our faith? Philippians 1:6.

NOTE: “He who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. The honor of God, the honor of Jesus Christ, is involved in the perfection of your character. Your work is to co-operate with Christ, that you may be complete in Him. In being united to Him by faith, believing and receiving Him, you become a part of Himself. Your character is His glory revealed in you. And when you shall appear in His presence, you will find the benediction awaiting you, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things: I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.’” Southern Watchman, October 25, 1898.

“Ask Ye of the Lord Rain”

9 What promise is given to those who follow on to know the Lord? Hosea 6:3.

NOTE: “The latter rain, falling near the close of the season, ripens the grain and prepares it for the sickle. The Lord employs these operations of nature to represent the work of the Holy Spirit. As the dew and the rain are given first to cause the seed to germinate, and then to ripen the harvest, so the Holy Spirit is given to carry forward, from one stage to another, the process of spiritual growth. The ripening of the grain represents the completion of the work of God’s grace in the soul. By the power of the Holy Spirit the moral image of God is to be perfected in the character. We are to be wholly transformed into the likeness of Christ. The latter rain, ripening earth’s harvest, represents the spiritual grace that prepares the church for the coming of the Son of man.” Testimonies to Ministers, 506.

10 What command and what promise are given to God’s people? Zechariah 10:1.

NOTE: “Do not rest satisfied that in the ordinary course of the season, rain will fall. Ask for it. The growth and perfection of the seed rests not with the husbandman. God alone can ripen the harvest. But man’s co-operation is required. God’s work for us demands the action of our mind, the exercise of our faith. We must seek His favors with the whole heart if the showers of grace are to come to us. We should improve every opportunity of placing ourselves in the channel of blessing. Christ has said, ‘Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst.’ The convocations of the church, as in camp meetings, the assemblies of the home church, and all occasions where there is personal labor for souls, are God’s appointed opportunities for giving the early and the latter rain.” Testimonies to Ministers, 508.

“He that Watereth Shall be Watered also Himself”

11 What blessing will come to the one who shares God’s blessings with others? Proverbs 11:25.

NOTE: If you will go to work as Christ designs that His disciples shall, and wil souls for Him, you will feel the need of a deeper experience and a greater knowledge in divine things, and will hunger and thirst after righteousness. You will plead with God, and your faith will be strengthened, and your soul will drink deeper drafts at the well of salvation. Encountering opposition and trials will drive you to the Bible and prayer. You will grow in grace and the knowledge of Christ, and will develop a rich experience.” Steps to Christ, 80.

12 What will be the effect on the character of the one who witnesses for Christ? 2 Corinthians 9:10.

NOTE: “The spirit of unselfish labor for others gives depth, stability, and Christ-like loveliness to the character, and brings peace and happiness to its possessor. The aspirations are elevated. There is no room for sloth or selfishness. Those who thus exercise the Christian graces will grow and will become strong to work for God. They will have clear spiritual perceptions, a steady, growing faith, and an increased power in prayer.” Steps to Christ, 80.

Bible Study Guides – “Ye Shall Be Witnesses Unto Me”

June 25- July 1, 2000

General Introduction

The Saviour’s life on earth was not a life of ease and devotion to Himself, but He toiled with persistent, earnest, untiring effort for the salvation of lost mankind. From the manger to Calvary He followed the path of self-denial, and sought not to be released from arduous tasks, painful travels, and exhausting care and labor. He said, ‘The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.’ Matthew 20:28. This was the one great object of His life. Everything else was secondary and subservient. It was His meat and drink to do the will of God and to finish His work. Self and self-interest had no part in His labor.

“So those who are the partakers of the grace of Christ will be ready to make any sacrifice, that others for whom He died may share the heavenly gift. They will do all they can to make the world better for their stay in it. This spirit is the sure outgrowth of a soul truly converted. No sooner does one come to Christ, than there is born in his heart a desire to make known to others what a precious friend he has found in Jesus; the saving and sanctifying truth cannot be shut up in his heart. If we are clothed with the righteousness of Christ, and are filled with the joy of His indwelling Spirit, we shall not be able to hold our peace. If we have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, we shall have something to tell. Like Philip when he found the Saviour, we shall invite others into His presence. We shall seek to present to them the attractions of Christ and the unseen realities of the world to come. There will be an intensity of desire to follow in
the path that Jesus trod. There will be an earnest longing that those around us may behold ‘the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin
of the world.’ John 1:29.

“And the effort to bless others will react in blessings upon ourselves. This was the purpose of God in giving us a part to act in the plan of redemption. He has granted men the privilege of becoming partakers of the divine nature and, in their turn, of diffusing blessings to their fellow men. This is the highest honor, the greatest joy that it is possible for God to bestow upon men. Those who thus become participants in labors of love are brought nearest to their Creator.

“God might have committed the message of the gospel, and all the work of loving ministry, to the heavenly angels. He might have employed other means for accomplishing His purpose. But in His infinite love He chose to make us co-workers with Himself, with Christ and the angels, that we might share the blessing, the joy, the spiritual uplifting, which results from this unselfish ministry.”

—Steps to Christ, 78, 79.

MEMORY VERSE: “And we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey Him.” Acts 5:32.

STUDY HELP: Christian Service, 7–13.

INTRODUCTION: “It was the Saviour’s purpose that after He ascended to heaven to become man’s intercessor, His followers should carry on the work that He had begun. Shall the human agent show no special interest in giving the light of the gospel message to those who sit in darkness? There are some who are willing to go to the ends of the earth in order to carry the light of truth to men, but God demands that every soul who knows the truth shall seek to win others to the love of the truth. If we are not willing to make special sacrifices in order to save souls that are ready to perish, how can we be counted worthy to enter into the city of God?” Testimonies, vol. 9, 103.

“Go Ye Therefore”

1 How did Jesus express the commission to witness? Acts 1:8, last part.

NOTE: “His word is ‘Go, … teach all nations;’ and to the command is added the promise, ‘Lo, I am with you alway.’ The Lord requires of us nothing that He does not give us power to perform. The disciples obeyed the command to bear witness for Christ, and of their experience we read: ‘They went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.’ Of you as well as of the disciples these words may be spoken.” Signs of the Times, March 26, 1902.

2 What promise accompanies the commission to witness for the Lord? Acts 1:8, first part.

NOTE: See Acts of the Apostles, 54, 55.

“Into All the World”

3 Where is the Christian to witness for the Lord? Acts 1:8, Mark 16:15, Mark 5:19.

NOTE: “Every church member should feel it his special duty of labor for those living in his neighborhood. Study how you can best help those who take no interest in religious things. As you visit your friends and neighbors, show an interest in their spiritual as well as in their temporal welfare. Present Christ as a sin-pardoning Saviour. Invite your neighbors to your home, and read with them from the precious Bible and from books that explain its truths. This, united with simple songs and fervent prayers, will touch their hearts. Let church members educate themselves to do this work.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 276.

4 What examples are we given of Christians witnessing for the Lord? Acts 18:24–26; Acts 8:26–38.

NOTE: “The truth should be presented with divine tact, gentleness, and tenderness. It should come from a heart that has been softened and made sympathetic.…Let our words be gentle as we seek to win souls. God will be wisdom to him who seeks for wisdom from a divine source. We are to seek opportunities on every hand, we are to watch unto prayer, and be ready always to give a reason for the hope that is in us, with meekness and fear. Lest we shall impress unfavorably one soul for whom Christ died we should keep our hearts uplifted to God, so that when the opportunity presents itself, we may have the right words to speak at the right time. If you thus undertake work for God, the Spirit of God will be your helper. The Holy Spirit will apply the word spoken in love for the soul. The truth will have quickening power when spoken under the influence of the grace of Christ. God’s plan is first to get at the heart. Speak the truth, and let Him carry forward the reformatory power and principle. Make no reference to what opponents say, but let the truth alone be advanced. The truth can cut to the quick. Plainly unfold the Word in all its impressiveness.” Lift Him Up, 211.

“And Preach the Gospel”

5 What is to be the heart of the Christian’s message? Mark 16:15. Compare Revelation 14:6 and Matthew 24:14.

NOTE: “This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family. All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the Third Angel’s Message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure.” Evangelism, 190, 191.

6 What is the Gospel? Romans 1:16.

NOTE: “The gospel is called the power of God unto salvation because God alone can make the truth a power which sanctifies the soul.” Manuscript Releases, 56, 1899. See also Selected Messages, Book 2, 106.

“The Hour of His Judgment is Come”

7 In what special context is the Gospel to be preached today? Revelation 14:6, 7.

NOTE: See The Great Controversy, 355, 356.

8 What is the message of the judgment in practical terms? Amos 4:12.

NOTE: “Suppose that today Christ should appear in the clouds of heaven, who…would be ready to meet Him? Suppose we should be translated into the kingdom of heaven just as we are. Would we be prepared to unite with the saints of God, to live in harmony with the royal family, the children of the heavenly King? What preparation have you made for the judgment? Have you made your peace with God? Are you laboring together with God? Are you seeking to help those around you, those in your home, those in your neighborhood, those with whom you come in contact that are not keeping the commandments of God?… Are we getting ready to meet the King?” Maranatha, 98.

9 What is the preparation needed in the time of God’s judgment? Isaiah 58:5–14.

NOTE: “Through defects in the character, Satan works
to gain control of the whole mind, and he knows that if these
defects are cherished, he will succeed. Therefore he is constantly seeking to deceive the followers of Christ with his fatal sophistry that it is impossible for them to overcome. But Jesus pleads in their behalf His wounded hands, His bruised body; and He declares to all who would follow Him: ‘My grace is sufficient for thee.’ 2 Corinthians 12:9. Let none, then, regard their defects as incurable. God will give faith and grace to overcome them. We are now living in the great Day of Atonement.…All who would have their names retained in the Book of Life should now, in the few remaining days of their probation, afflict their souls before God by sorrow for sin and true repentance. There must be deep, faithful searching of heart.’” God’s Amazing Grace, 69.

“Babylon is Fallen”

10 What further message must be given to the world? Revelation 14:8.

NOTE: See The Great Controversy, 382, 383.

11 When this message is repeated, what addition is made to it? Revelation 18:1–5.

NOTE: “God has many thousands who have not bowed the knee to Baal. There are God-fearing men and women in the fallen churches. If this were not so, we would not be given the message to bear: ‘Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen….Come out of her, My people.’ Revelation 18:2–4. Many of the honest in heart are gasping for a breath of life from heaven. They will recognize the gospel when it is brought to them in the beauty and simplicity with which it is presented in God’s Word.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 110, 111.

“If Any Man Worship the Beast and His Image”

12 What solemn message must the faithful witness for Christ give before Jesus comes? Revelation 14:9–12.

NOTE: “No one has yet received the mark of the beast. The testing time has not yet come. There are true Christians in every church, not excepting the Roman Catholic communion. None are condemned until they have had the light and have seen the obligation of the fourth commandment. But when the decree shall go forth enforcing the counterfeit sabbath, and the loud cry of the Third Angel shall warn men against the worship of the beast and his image, the line will be clearly drawn between the false and the true. Then those who still continue in transgression will receive the mark of the beast.” Evangelism, 234, 235.

13 What choice is to be placed before the world by God’s faithful witnesses? Compare Revelation 13:13–17 with Revelation 14:9–11.

NOTE: “This symbol [the beast], as most Protestants have believed, represents the Papacy….The ‘image to the beast’ represents that form of apostate Protestantism which will be developed when the Protestant churches shall seek the aid of the civil power for the enforcement of their dogmas….As the sign of the authority of the Catholic Church, papist writers cite ‘the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday.’ …What then is the change of the Sabbath, but the sign, or mark, of the authority of the Roman Church—”the mark of the beast”? Sunday-keeping is not yet the mark of the beast, and will not be until the decree goes forth causing men to worship this idol sabbath. And it is not until the issue is…plainly set before the people, and they are brought to choose between the commandments of God and the commandments of men, that those who continue in transgression will receive ‘the mark of the beast.’ ” The Faith I Live By, 286.

Food for Life – Temperance or Intemperance?

What is so rare as a day in June? – Lowell

“’Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong;…that saith, I will build me a wide house and large chambers, and cutteth him out windows; and it is ceiled with cedar, and painted with vermilion. Shalt thou reign, because thou closest thyself in cedar?…Thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness, and for to shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence, to do it.’” Jeremiah 22:13-17.

“This scripture pictures the work of those who manufacture and who sell intoxicating liquor. Their business means robbery. For the money they receive, no equivalent is returned. Every dollar they add to their gains has brought a curse to the spender.

“With a liberal hand, God has bestowed His blessings upon men. If His gifts were wisely used, how little the world would know of poverty and distress! It is the wickedness of men that turns His blessings into a curse. It is through the greed of gain and the lust of appetite that the grains and fruits given for our sustenance are converted into poisons that bring misery and ruin.

“Every year millions upon millions of gallons of intoxicating liquors are consumed. Millions upon millions of dollars are spent in buying wretchedness, poverty, disease, degradation, lust, crime, and death. For the sake of gain, the liquor seller deals out to his victims that which corrupts and destroys mind and body. He entails on the drunkard’s family poverty and wretchedness.…

“Houses of prostitution, dens of vice, criminal courts, prisons, almshouses, insane asylums, hospitals, all are, to a great degree, filled as a result of the liquor-seller’s work. Like the mystic Babylon of the Apocalypse, he is dealing in ‘slaves, and souls of men.’ Behind the liquor seller stands the mighty destroyer of souls, and every art which earth or hell can devise is employed to draw human beings under his power. In the city and the country, on the railway trains, on the great steamers, in places of business, in the halls of pleasure, in the medical dispensary, even in the church, on the sacred Communion table, his traps are set. Nothing is left undone to create and to foster the desire for intoxicants. On almost every corner stands the public house, with its brilliant lights, its welcome and good cheer, inviting the working man, the wealthy idler, and the unsuspecting youth.…

“To create the liquor appetite in little children, alcohol is introduced into confectionery. Such confectionery is sold in the shops. And by the gift of these candies the liquor seller entices children into his resorts.…

“More terrible still, the curse is striking the very heart of the home. More and more, women are forming the liquor habit. In many a household, little children, even in the innocence and helplessness of babyhood, are in daily peril through the neglect, the abuse, the vileness of drunken mothers. Sons and daughters are growing up under the shadow of this terrible evil. What outlook for their future but that they will sink even lower than their parents?”

Ministry of Healing, 337-339.

Tofutti Cream

Place in blender:

1 cup water

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ cup cashews

½-¾ cup dates

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/3 cup pineapple juice

12 oz. soft tofu

When thoroughly blended, add 1 heaping cup of your choice of fruit such as blueberries, peaches, strawberries, apricots, boysenberries, persimmon, raspberries, blackberries, or mangoes.

Blend again and pour into ice cube trays and freeze. When frozen, put through a juicer or blender and serve at once.

Children’s Story – When A Buffalo Attended Bible Class

Hello, Children! Summer is too severe in India, especially in a remote, tribal, upland area as ours!

We have a lot of monkeys, mosquitoes, a thousand varieties of flies, snakes, and birds in our forest. Most of our villagers have herds of buffalo and goats. Indian buffalo are very black and huge! They have a long fixed face and two strong horns. The tribals make beautiful ornaments, combs, and decorations with these horns.

Every morning these buffalo go into the forest for grazing, and come back in the evening. Many times the tribal children sit on the backs of the buffalo and drive them into the streams of water to give them a good wash. They sing a thousand songs as they bathe together in the stream with the buffalo.

As it is summer, we have a Vacation Bible School, and many of the children from the neighboring villages attend our Bible school. They are all excited to attend and learn about the Bible as it is explained by using the flannelgraph. They learn nice songs; memory verses, and color Bible pictures. We have fixed time periods for each of these activities. It is really a very exciting experience when time passes like a flying horse!

On one such day, when every one of us was very busy in our own way during the Bible class, we had a strange guest! None of us had noticed it until it straight away walked into the center of our little room. It opened its mouth and started to brawl! Oh! It made all of us jump to our feet and we all broke into peels of laughter! The buffalo looked at all of us with its serene eyes, lifted his tail up and ran away before we could drive him out.

This incident delighted all of us for awhile. Especially, I felt really good to share the simple joy of my gleaming little ones. I said, “Well children, Jesus too is very happy now because a buffalo has attended our Bible class. It has come all the way here to sing a song in his own native tongue, and when the job was over it walked out. How much more should we praise Him, sing unto Him, thank Him, and always be ready to share the news of what a wonderful Saviour we have! When a buffalo, who does not have a hat or a pair of slippers could attend a Bible class in this hot summer—how about you?”

Needless to say, I had full attendance during the whole week!

The Divine Science

We are obviously standing at the threshold of the time of trouble, and we have been warned that the final movements will be rapid ones. Modern communication skills make it easy for us to understand how issues can quickly become known throughout the whole world. We can expect the closing events to happen in rapid succession. How then shall we maintain our faith and move through those awful events without fear or failure? A healthy prayer program would be a must. Of what would a healthy prayer program consist? I do not pretend to know all that there is to know about prayer, but let me share with you some things that I have seen.

The story begins when I was pastoring the Seventh-day Adventist church in Hilo, Hawaii. I was responsible, of course, for the Sabbath morning sermons and for the Wednesday night prayer meeting studies. As I was preparing material for these appointments, I came across some Spirit of Prophecy statements that rather surprised me. “There is a divine science in prayer.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 142.

The Prayer of Faith

This caused me to wonder. There is in science a principle that whoever conducts the same procedures in the same way will get the same results. Could this in any way be true of prayer? It seemed like an unusual combination of the terms, science and prayer. But I found them again in Education, 257 and Gospel Workers, 38: “In the prayer of faith there is a divine science.” “…watch unto prayer. This is the science of your labor.”

This encouraged me to make a study of the subject. As time permitted, I did more research on the subject of prayer. Then another incident further intrigued me. I had conducted some evangelistic meetings in our school auditorium and had baptized a nice group of people. Then one day I decided to remove some things from the shelf in the back of the church pulpit, and I found there, to my surprise, a heart shaped valentine box. I opened it, and found some names on prayer lists. As I looked at those names, I realized that most of the people whom I had just baptized were on those lists. This further stimulated my interest in the subject of prayer.

Secret Communion Sustains the Soul

Eventually, the brethren transferred me to the Central Church in Honolulu. By this time I thought I had enough material together on the subject of prayer for a series of studies, so I announced a series on The Science of Prayer. In these studies we gave careful attention to what appeared to be principles of the science. Among the important ones was the principle of Privacy. Notice the emphasis in this statement: “Family prayer, public prayer, have their place; but it is secret communion with God that sustains the soul life.Education, 258.

So we did not spend much time on the family and public prayers, because they are so limited in subject matter and in time, except to note that if all of them that were performed in a week were added together, the total would probably be less than an hour. We focused our attention on private prayer, and we found many interesting things. There is, for example, a recommendation about the best time of day for private prayers: “At an early hour of the evening, when we can pray unhurriedly and understandingly, we should present our supplications and raise our voices in happy, grateful praise.” The Review and Herald, November 29, 1887.. “Let the youth follow His example in finding at dawn and at twilight a quiet season for communion with their Father in heaven.” Education, 259.

This was accompanied by a suggestion regarding the time spent in prayer: “Many, even in their seasons of devotion, fail of receiving the blessing of real communion with God. They are in too great haste. With hurried steps they press through the circle of Christ’s loving presence, pausing perhaps a moment in the sacred precincts, but not waiting for counsel. They have no time to remain with the divine Teacher. With their burdens they return to their work.Education, 260.

Where Two or Three are Gathered

Then we come to the principle of Unity, and something happened that rather unnerved me. It was prayer meeting time on Wednesday evening, and the people in the meeting room had been singing. I was just opening the door to go in and lead the study when a member, whose name was Buddy Kelly, came up to me and said, “Elder Larson, would you please ask the people to pray that my wife will come back to church?”

“What is her problem?” I asked.

“I do not know, she will not tell me,” he said. “But she has not been in church for three years.”

I said that I would do it, and wrote her name on the bottom of my note page so that I would not forget it. I presented the study for the evening, on the principle of unity in prayer, based on the promise of Christ that when two or three are agreed as to what they should ask, it will be granted (Matthew 18:19-20). When I came to the end of the study, I noticed the name of Sister Kelly at the bottom of my notes and remembered my promise. I asked how many of the group knew her, and they all raised their hands. I asked how many of them would be willing to pray that she would come back to church. They all raised their hands again. Then it happened. Something slipped out of my mouth that I had not planned to say. It shocked some of the people, and it shocked me too. I said, “We have read the Lord’s promise and we have agreed to pray that Sister Kelly will come back to church. If she never comes back, we will know that this promise is false, will we not?

Oh, Oh, Oh! Why did I say that? I do not know why I said it. It was not planned or premeditated. I had never said anything like that before. I am sure that if I had taken thought, I would not have said it at all. I had two tense and anxious days, Thursday and Friday, worrying about it. But my concerns were not necessary. On Sabbath morning the Lord had Sister Kelly in church. I apologized to the Lord, and I have never done such a thing again. But I sometimes wonder just how the Lord looked at it. Some day, by His grace, I may be able to ask Him.

Impressed by the Lord

Now that I have introduced you to Brother Kelly, I will step out of the time line of my story and tell you another experience involving him. He had remembered the thought about counseling with the Lord (see above) and a suggestion of mine that the Lord speaks to us at times, but we do not listen. On a certain Sunday, Brother Kelly, his wife, and his wife’s sister went shopping together in the Kelly’s car. When they had finished their shopping, they drove first to the sister’s home. She got out of the car and started up the walk to her house, and Brother Kelly started to pull away from the curb. Suddenly a thought struck him so forcibly that he stopped the car. What was the thought? Give her Bible studies. With his foot on the brake, he turned his head and looked at her going up her steps. “What a crazy idea,” he thought. “She does not want Bible studies.” But all the rest of the day he worried about it. He worried about it at work all day Monday and all day Tuesday. Finally he decided that he had to know the truth of the matter. Tuesday night he said to his wife, “Get cleaned up, honey. We’re going out.”

“Where are we going?”

“We are going to your sister’s house.”

“What for?”

“We are going to give her a Bible study.”

“Are you crazy?”

“I do not know. We will find out if I am crazy when we get there.”

So they went to the sister’s house and knocked on the door. She opened the door, put her head out, and said in surprise, ‘Well, Hello! What are you doing here?” Brother Kelly took a deep breath, then said firmly, “We came to give you a Bible study.” For a long moment she just stared at them, while her face turned deathly pale. Finally she spoke. “Well, come in then.”

They had a pleasant Bible study, and set up appointments for more. Things were progressing nicely, when I had to leave Honolulu for several weeks to fill an appointment on another island. When I returned, Brother Kelly came to see me. “Elder Larson,” he said, “do you remember about my wife’s sister?”

“Yes, I remember. How are the studies going?”

“The studies went fine, but right now she is in the hospital, dying of cancer.”

“Well, now we know why you got that signal from the Lord to give her Bible studies, do we not?”

“We sure do. I am so glad that I obeyed.”

The Five Major Elements of Prayer

Now let us return to the prayer meeting story. As we continued our studies, we found information about the content of prevailing prayer. There seemed to be five major elements: Thanksgiving, Repentance, Consecration, Temporal needs, and Intercessory prayer for others. The first three are quite specific.

1 Thanksgiving

“If the loving-kindness of God called forth more thanksgiving and praise, we would have far more power in prayer. We would abound more and more in the love of God and have more bestowed to praise Him for. You, who complain that God does not hear your prayers, change your present order and mingle praise with your petitions. When you consider His goodness and mercies you will find that He will consider your wants.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 317.

“He desires us to serve Him in newness of life, with gladness every day…To praise God in fullness and sincerity of heart is as much a duty as is prayer.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 299.

2 Repentance

“This daily review of our acts, to see whether conscience approves or condemns, is necessary for all who wish to reach perfection of Christian character.” Gospel Workers, 275.

3 Consecration

“Morning by morning, as the heralds of the gospel kneel before the Lord and renew their vows of consecration to Him, He will grant them the presence of His Spirit, with its reviving, sanctifying power.” Acts of the Apostles, 56.

These three principles, taken together, present us with some regular morning exercises in prayer. First we think carefully about all of the specific and individual blessings granted to us in the past twenty-four hours, and thank the Lord for each of them. This is very beneficial. We will soon realize that the Lord is doing more for us every day than we were aware. We will be reminded of the old song, “Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”

Then we repeat the memory exercise to see whether we may have disappointed the Lord in any way during the last twenty-four hours. This gives the Holy Spirit an opportunity to impress our minds and teach us lessons that we need to learn.

Third, we renew our vows of consecration, which involves the exercise of the will in deciding and reaffirming decisions. The use of this marvelous “kingly power” is a rewarding study in itself, which we do not have space enough for here. Suffice it to say that there is real benefit in renewing and restating our vows of consecration.

4 Our Temporal Needs

“Keep your wants, your joys, your sorrows, your cares, and your fears before God. You cannot burden Him; you cannot weary Him. He who numbers the hairs of your head is not indifferent to the wants of His children.…Nothing that in any way concerns our peace is too small for Him to notice.” Steps to Christ, 100.

It often happens that this is the major portion of our prayers, but it need not be. The real emphasis in our prayers would ideally be the next section.

5 Intercessory Prayers for Others

In this area, our attention was attracted to the following question: “Why do not two or three meet together and plead with God for the salvation of some special one, and then for still another?” Testimonies, vol. 7, 21.

Prayer for a Witch Doctor

This challenge appealed to us, so we decided to try it. We moved from the prayer meeting room to the main church auditorium so that we could spend part of the service in small groups with room enough to be separated from one another. The members of each group consulted together and agreed on a particular person for whom they would be praying. On the first Wednesday evening, three of the men came to me and asked me to join their group. I asked them for whom we would be praying. They answered, “We are going to pray for Joseph Poomaihealani. His brother, Ernest, is one of our members.” That seemed to make sense, so I joined their group. But it was more than a month before I learned who Joseph really was. Those men had me praying for a kahuna, a Hawaiian witch doctor!

He was a man who had a special chair in his front room. If you sat in that chair without his permission, the chair would turn over and deposit you on the floor. He had a shelf on which he would place a glass of whiskey and watch it disappear as the spirits drank it. He believes, to this day, that he has seen the devil face to face. One night he attended a meeting that I was conducting in Honolulu. I happened to make the statement that some people do not believe there is a devil. As he left the auditorium, he said to me, “Mr. Larson, I will tell you what you can do. If they do not believe there is any devil, just send them to my house. I will show them.”

I was dismayed. There were times when I felt like suggesting that we pray for someone else, but it seemed as if that would show a lack of faith, so I did not do it.

When Women Pray

Meanwhile, other things were happening. There were several ladies in the church whose husbands were not members, so it was difficult for them to attend prayer meetings. But they heard about what we were doing and wanted to get in on it. They talked it over and decided that they would have a set time each day when they would pray for their husbands, thus meeting at the throne of grace. And one by one their husbands started coming to church.

Mr. Kiehm came first, and was soon baptized. Then George Hirashima started coming and attending the Pastor’s Sabbath School Class, where we studied doctrines. One Sabbath morning, as I was walking up the stairs to the church door, I met him coming down. “Good morning, George,” I said. He did not return my greeting, but said, “Say, are you ready to baptize me today?” I said, “George, are you serious?” He answered, “I’m serious. I want to be baptized. But do not tell my wife. I want to surprise her.” So, at the end of the sermon I simply walked into the baptistry and performed the ceremony for him. Sister Hirashima almost fell off her seat. After him came three more husbands, Brother Kim, Brother Ho, and Brother Kahula for baptism.

The First Sabbath-keeping, Spiritualist, Pentecostal Church

Now, let us return to our kahuna, Joseph Poomaihealani. He began to make some changes. He visited some meetings that I was conducting and decided that the Sabbath was right. He visited some Pentecostal meetings and felt that he understood very well what he saw happening there. He decided to start a church of his own. Across the island from Honolulu there was a village named Waimanalo where there was no church of any kind. He bought some land there and built a church. Its design, in all details, was in line with directions that he received from the “spirits.” There he established himself in what I suppose was the first Sabbath-keeping, spiritualist, Pentecostal church on earth.

Meanwhile, the brethren had transferred me from Honolulu Central Church to become a full-time conference evangelist. As such, I traveled from island to island conducting evangelistic meetings. After about a year they asked me to conduct a series of meetings in Waimanalo. Joseph and his wife had become acquainted with Dr. Robert Chung and his wife, Mae, who invited them to my meetings. To make a long story short, they attended the meetings, joined our church and donated their church to the conference. It is still active today. You can see it in Waimanalo.

So there is indeed a divine science in prayer that we need to study.

“In the prayer of faith there is a divine science; it is a science that everyone who would make his lifework a success must understand.” Education, 257.

Freedom of Choice

We must keep in mind, however, that there is another principle involved in intercessory prayer, and that is the principle of freedom. God will never force anyone to submit to His will. If we keep this in mind, we will be protected against extreme views and fanaticism. Lucifer, after the fall, rebelled against a perfect God in a perfect heaven.

But our immediate concern is how we may come through the time of trouble victoriously. The situation calls for a trust in God that nothing can disturb, and a healthy, vigorous prayer program. We are hearing much these days about assurance. I find that my assurance relates more directly to my prayer program than to any doctrine that I hold. Let us take heed to these words of caution:

“Neglect the exercise of prayer, or engage in prayer spasmodically, now and then, as seems convenient, and you lose your hold on God.” Gospel Workers, 255.

Let us remember the encouraging words of the apostle James: “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16.

Go, Set a Watchman

As spring weather approaches, we are excited to know that God has a wonderful plan for all who commit themselves to His service. Need we remind you that we are living in a day in which the messages of the prophets must be understood and proclaimed?

All that the Prophets Have Spoken

We know that Jesus lived and preached, constantly under the knowledge that He was fulfilling the words of the prophets. “Then He took unto Him the twelve, and said unto them, ‘Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished.’” Luke 18:31. Remember, Jesus upbraided the two disciples on the road to Emmaus for not believing what the prophets spoke. “Then He said unto them, ‘O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.” Luke 24:25. The Apostle Paul clearly states that the prophets speak to these last days. “Yea and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.’” Acts 3:24.

John the Baptist also understood and preached the message of the prophets. He needed no new revelation, no new doctrine, and no novel truth. He preached from Isaiah! “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, ‘Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is He that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight!’” Matthew 3:1-3.

We do not need some new, novel thing for which itching ears now seek. We need to hear what the prophets spoke about this, our day. They were accurate regarding Christ in every detail. They must also be right about their warnings and admonitions to us!

All through the New Testament you see events unfolding in order that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled. “When the evening was come, they brought unto Him many that were possessed with devils; and He cast out the spirits with His word, and healed all that were sick: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, ‘Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses.’” Matthew 8:16, 17. “But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew Himself from thence: and great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all; and charged them that they should not make Him known: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet…” Matthew 12:15-17.

A Devastating Vision

Isaiah the prophet saw the glory of Jesus centuries ago; and he preached Christ in his own day. Isaiah not only saw the future Lord and Saviour; he also had a hard, devastating vision of the very days in which we live. His vision in Isaiah 21 must be understood, heeded, and proclaimed! It is a message for this time!

Isaiah begins in 21:2: “A grievous [harsh] vision is declared unto me;” The prophet does not give us the details of this horrifying vision; but his insight into the future was so devastating, it violently agitated him. Isaiah revealed the vision’s impact on him: “Therefore are my loins filled with pain: pangs have taken hold upon me, as the pangs of a woman that travaileth: I was bowed down at the hearing of it; I was dismayed at the seeing of it. My heart panted, fearfulness affrighted me: the night of my pleasure hath turned into fear unto me.” Isaiah 21:3–4.

What caused such convulsions in Isaiah’s body? Why did his heart beat wildly? Why such anguish of soul? He saw a storm roaring in from the desert. It was a massive enemy army; riders, horsemen in pairs, trains of donkeys, and camels. The prophet sees the coming downfall of the Babylonian system. He hears in his spiritual ear, he sees in his spiritual eye the downfall of all that is of this world. He sees the end of pride, ambition, wickedness, and corruption. “Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods He hath broken unto the ground.” Isaiah 21:9.

Isaiah saw the coming judgment and destruction, and he cried out,”Pay close attention, very close attention.” Isaiah 21:8. “and he harkened diligently with much heed:” He calls out, “Rise up–oil the shields.” “Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink: arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield.” Isaiah 21:5. But no one is listening! Instead, Isaiah 21:5 says, “They set the table, they spread out the cloth, they eat, and drink…”

Get Ready—Destruction Cometh!

Indescribable judgments are at the door; massive armies are marching outside of the gate; the day of reckoning has come! The prophet is shouting, “Pay attention! Get ready! Oil the shields! Put on the whole armor!” But they ignore the warnings of the prophet! They go about their ways, eating, drinking, making merry, spreading out a feast table of prosperity, success, and entertainment. They are deaf! They do not want to hear about the mounting gloom outside the gate! They have their own “Happy Days” prophets sitting at the head of their tables. While they sit with them on ivory couches, they prophesy smooth things. “…this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: which say to the seers, ‘See not,’ and to the prophets, ‘Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits.’” Isaiah 30:9, 10.

What a vivid vision Isaiah had of our present day. Here are alarmed watchmen blowing a trumpet, begging the unconcerned to wake up, to prepare for a day of disaster! But the crowds spread their tables and sit down to feast, dance, and play! It is not just that they ignore him (the prophet), they shout to him, ‘Enough of your doom and gloom! You’ve been on the wall too long! Why don’t you ever give us a good word? Why so rough, so harsh, so negative?”

I ask you, if the watchman keeps quiet, if he gets weary of warning, if he does relent and ease up, will that change anything? Will that stop the destruction? No! Whether or not the people will listen, God is setting His watchmen in place! “For thus hath the Lord said unto me, ‘Go, set a watchman let him declare what he seeth.’” Isaiah 21:6. God has set up faithful watchmen in these troubled times. They see the gathering storm of divine judgment and they are appointed to warn the people.

We know that the Old Testament prophets and shepherds were set as watchmen. Some were called seers because they walked with God so closely they could see what others could not. They could see the approaching enemy; they could see into the future, their warnings came from the very heart of God. God said to Ezekiel, “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at My mouth, and give them warning from Me.’” Ezekiel 3:17.

The Watchmen on the Walls

God spoke through Isaiah, “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day or night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, and give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” Isaiah 62:6, 7.

This should greatly encourage the holy remnant! It should bring hope to all of God’s people who sigh and cry over the abominations in the house of the Lord! Those who claim to be purest and persecuted for righteousness sake when all the time they are covering up their sin. Those who are going around as talebearers should take heed before it is too late. God has set up holy watchmen who will never shut up! Night and day, they will blow the trumpet and warn the people until God’s house is cleansed and awakened!

Some are saying, “This message of impending judgment by self-styled prophets will pass away. These ridiculous warnings, these awesome thunderings, these harsh visions will die out.” Not a chance! God has posted His watchmen! God has instructed them to “Keep not silent!” I will continue to preach, “Repent” from your sin and then receive God’s forgiveness and then be restored to God’s true remnant church. These sin lovers will continue to call God’s servants, self-appointed and misinformed. They can call me any name they choose. However, I will not be hindered in my mission. I have been set in place by divine authority!

The New Testament is a call to every servant of God to watch. “Verily I say unto you, ‘This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away; but My words shall not pass away. And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life, [worldliness] and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.’”

Paul warns the present day ministry, “Watch ye! Stand fast in the faith, act like men, be strong!” 1 Corinthians 16:13. For three years Paul stood watch over the Corinthian church. “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn everyone night and day with tears.” Acts 20: 28–32.

Watch! Warn! Cry Night and Day!

To the overseers, to bishops, to pastors, he says the same thing! “Watch! Warn! Everyone, night and day with tears!” Paul said of the true ministers, “They watch for your soul.” That is the test of a true watchman! Does he watch out for his own interests, his own dreams, and his own ambitions? Or does he watch for souls? If Paul had to preach to the ministers of today, he would deliver the same message he gave to young Timothy. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry…” 2 Timothy 4:3–6.

Isaiah’s vision focused on a cry coming to his ears “out of the land of the lawless.” “The oracle [or burden, or cry] concerning Edom…one keeps calling to me from Seir.” Isaiah 21:11. Genesis 36:8 says that Edom is Esau. God said, “And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains [territory] and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.” Malachi 1:3. Malachi gives us God’s view of what Edom and Esau represents: “Men shall call them the territory of the lawless, and the people with whom Jehovah hath indignation against until times eternal.” Malachi 1:4 Rotterman’s Original Hebrew.

What is this cry coming out of the territory of the lawless? It is the very same cry arising out of religious America! We have become the land of the lawless. We are those who have rejected the Lord and against whom God is indignant! Here is the cry from the land of the lawless: “Watchman, how far gone is the night? (NAS) The King James version reads, “Watchman, what is the night?” But the Hebrew text is actually, “How far gone is the night?” Isaiah 21:11.

There was no cry, “What must we do to be redeemed? How can we repent and turn to God? How can we prepare to meet the enemy?” The only question being asked by these deluded, unrepentant children of God was, “How much longer until the good times return? How soon will a new day dawn, so we can return to our feasting and drinking?”

A New Day Dawning

Mark my words, the day has already come. Multitudes of prosperity lovers led by their success preachers share one great concern, to bring in a bright, new day of endless prosperity and bliss. When the darkness of recession and depression begins to fall all around, they cry out, ‘How long will it last? How soon until we are back in the sunlight of good times? How deep, how long will be the darkness? They prophesy great things and prosperous times just ahead. The Scripture that says, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand” means something very different to them. They see that as a promise that God is going to set up His earthly kingdom soon! No imminent return of Christ. No going up to meet the Lord in the air! They have become so earthbound, they cannot see giving it up even to meet Him in glory!

This is the cry of the New Age people! New Age Christians! Or professing Seventh-day Adventists who are hiding in sin. It is the cry of the spreading gospel of the Kingdom Preachers: “A new day is dawning! A day of earthly peace and prosperity!” they boast. “God is going to give us the wealth of the world; we will become kings—take dominion over all government, all science, all law and legislation.” They are no longer for Mark 13:26, which says, “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.”

They evidently do not believe the words of Jesus when He warned, “On this earth you will suffer and be persecuted.” They reject Christ’s warning that the church will be “hated and scorned” among men. “And ye shall be hated of all men for My name’s sake.” Luke 21:17. Christ is no longer expected to return. “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” 1 Thessalonians 5:2. They do not believe Paul’s warning in
1 Thessalonians 5:3, “For when they shall say, ‘Peace and safety;’ then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” Nevertheless, Jesus bluntly said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” His reign is in the hearts of men.

Return and Repent

Hear the answer of the watchmen. “The watchman said, ‘The morning cometh and also the night, if ye will inquire, inquire ye: Return—Come.” Isaiah 21:12. He is saying, “For those who return and repent, there is a new day coming—but for those who are living in the land of the lawless, bound by the spirit of Esau, with its lust and evil, there is nothing but night!”

Isaiah went on to describe what that meant for the backslidden and unconcerned. “For it is a day of trouble [confusion] and the treading down, and of perplexity by the Lord God of hosts in the valley of vision, breaking down the walls, and of crying to the mountains.” Isaiah 22:5. Those who live for self, who lust for success, power, and earthly dominion, will awaken to a day of perplexity and unprecedented trouble.

I have received many newsletters from one Seventh-day Adventist physician who talks about all of the mission work he supposedly supports. The fact is, he uses these works to generate support to pay for his own overseas trips, and now to support his adulterous relationship. Yet he portrays himself as a humble purist who is persecuted by all of the other self-supporting workers because of his strong stands. Friends, he is only standing on sinking sand. He is not fooling anyone but himself, for God knows it all.

What makes this so frightening is that Isaiah is speaking of our time! Only a holy, separated remnant will comprise the Holy Zion. The city is coming down from God! While many preach about a new day of earthly might, glory and dominion—it will actually be that dreaded day of perplexity, sorrow, and cries for help!

The preachers of Paradise Restored are deluded prophets. That is easily proven by God’s Word. Here is unshakable proof that God has not sent them, but that they are deceived and speak their own imaginations.

“Then said I, ‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, the prophets say unto them, Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine; but I will give you assured [lasting] peace in this place.’ Then the Lord said unto me, ‘The prophets are prophesying lies in My name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision, and divination, and a thing of naught, and the deceit of their heart [or deception of their own minds.]’”

There are holy watchmen and there are evil watchmen. We live in a day when many watchmen who were once mightily anointed are falling asleep in sin! They are justifying their sin and they continue to live in sin because they are pleasure seekers. They are ruled by their flesh.

Searching for the Bridegroom

Let me share with you one of the saddest indictments against evil watchmen in God’s Word. “By night on my bed I sought Him whom my soul loveth: I sought Him, but I found Him not. I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek Him whom my soul loveth: I sought Him, but I found Him not. The watchmen that go about the city found me: it was but a little that I passed from them, but I found Him whom my soul loveth: I beheld Him and would not let Him go, until I had brought Him into my mother’s house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me.” Solomon 3:1–4.

Here is the bride—the church—the people of God who are truly hungering and thirsting for their Lord! They want Him! They yearn for His love and presence. It is a seeking people! They do not know how to reach Him! There is a confrontation with certain of the watchmen. If anyone should know where to find Him, the watchman should. Who could miss this Man so well described: “His head is of the most fine gold; His locks are bushy, and black as a raven. His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set. His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers; His lips are like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh. His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: His belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires. His legs as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: His countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars. His mouth is most sweet: yea, He is altogether lovely…” Solomon 5:11–16.

Of the watchman she asks, “Have you seen Him whom my soul loveth?” In other words, “Lead me to Him whom my soul longs for! You are the watchman—bring me to Him!”

How sad these words are: “It was but a little that I passed from them; but I have found Him whom my soul loveth.” The bride is confessing, “When I got away from the blind watchmen, then I found Him!”

Blind Watchmen

They could not help me, Isaiah said, “His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark: sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.” Isaiah 56:10.

Think of it! In Isaiah 21 the watchmen are awake; they are calling the people to action, speaking only the truth; faithful; watching day and night. Now in Isaiah 56 some have fallen asleep. They are lying down like a bunch of lazy dogs. They refuse to blow the trumpet! They have left off warnings! Some are asleep on the wall. They have become spiritually blind and ignorant, with no discernment left.

What happened? Isaiah said they became self-centered! Greedy! Filled with lust and sensuality! They divorce their wives and marry younger ones. They need new thrills. “Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter. ‘Come ye,’ say thus, ‘I will fetch wine and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.’” Isaiah 56:11, 12.

Isaiah lamented, “The righteous man perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart.” Instead, some became greedy, looking out for themselves—their own dreams and plans—having fallen into lust and love for pleasure. They have opted for comfort, acceptance, and respect among men. They have been corrupted by a lust for power, position, and money.

Look around you today, as many ministers fall! Look at the supposed health educators. They are living for self. They do not hold to the basic principles of marriage, accountability, honesty. The worm of self is eating like a cancer, destroying the love of many. So few now weep for the lost. Fewer yet are taking to heart the backsliding of God’s people! There is greed, self-promotion, self-seeking, and self-indulgence!

God’s Grief

What grief God must carry over the backslidden, blind watchmen! His grief goes beyond their spiritual blindness. Beyond the pride and greed. Beyond sensuality and self-centeredness. It is a two-fold grief!

First, grief because God can never delight in the fall of a single created being. He laments the loss of their love! The loss of their communion! The loss of a chosen son or daughter! The loss of one so important to His work on earth! Saul falls and the prophet Samuel weeps for him. Absolom rebels, is killed in rebellion, yet David laments, “Absolom, my son—my son!” Will not God lament over the loss of His rebellious, fallen watchmen?

Second, it is the grief of having to turn corrupted watchmen over to their sins! I call it the dread release. You will find it in Romans 1; but also throughout God’s Word. God never removes His offer of grace and mercy! His mercy is everlasting! But when men who once knew the truth, preached it, embraced it, then became bound and enslaved to creature lusts, and they refuse to let it go, refuse to walk in holiness before a holy God, then God must release them to their sins! You see this dread release in Ezekiel 20:39, “As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord God. Go ye, serve ye everyone his idols…”

God is releasing this Christian nation to her idols. He is saying, “Go to your TV idol! Go to your secret lover! Go to your pornographic cassettes! Go to your filthy magazines! Go to your hidden sin! If you will have your idols rather than walk wholly separated in holiness, then go to the object of your desires.”

Tearing Away the Veil

This is the tragic end of the greedy, blind watchmen. “I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn Himself, and was gone: my soul failed when He spake: I sought Him, but I could not find Him; I called Him, but He gave me no answer. The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.” Solomon 5:6, 7.

Can you believe it? The blind watchmen are beating up on the bride! They are wounding the bride! They are tearing off her veil, her covering of modesty. Behind it she can blush, she can close her eyes to all others so she will not behold sin.

Think on the following points:

  1. All of the rock concerts going on in God’s house.
  2. The senseless choreographed dancing.
  3. The blatant entertainment!
  4. The emphasis on materialism, success, and self-improvement.
  5. The cancerous growth of worldliness in the churches.
  6. The lack of grief over sin among believers.
  7. The acceptance of rock, punk, and disco music in God’s house.
  8. The foolishness, the lightness, the off-color joking.
  9. The drinking and fornicating.

These are the fault of the greedy, backslidden watchmen who are tearing at the bride’s veil! Once again the blind watchmen are “taking away the veil…” The blind watchmen became candidates as rulers of darkness and angels of light. They end up preaching another Jesus, another gospel! Notice these very clear warnings. “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” 2 Corinthians 11:2–4.

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according o their works. ” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15

What of the Watchmen?

I listen to the so-called doctors, health reformers, as they talk so sweetly about loving Jesus and of their desire to take Him where the world is. They sound so pious, so humble, and so sincere. They say the right words, but their hearts do not belong wholly to the Lord. God says of them, “And the Lord heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me, and the Lord said to me, I have heard the voice of the words of this people which they have spoken to you. They have done well in all that they have spoken. Oh, that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear me and keep all my Commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons, forever.” Deuteronomy 5:28, 29. NAS.

Some blind watchmen in the Northwest have introduced dancing with others’ spouses in their churches. They dance for hours with the mate of someone else, staring intently into each other’s eyes, calling the affair a spiritual connection. An intricate and evil doctrine has been concocted to support it as a so-called “new move of the Holy Spirit.” It is causing divorces, suicide among the adults, and terror among the children of those caught up in it. Many hundreds are involved, and adultery is rampant among them. The leaders of this diabolical doctrine preach so sweetly about Jesus, about the bride of Christ; and their words at times sound right. But they are the prophecies and doctrines of devils. Those involved are devil-inspired angels of light, come to deceive, if possible, even the elect. These are those referred to in the Song of Solomon who “wound the bride, smite her, and strip her veil from her! God has promised to deal with them with His holy fire of jealousy. “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.” Hebrews 10:26, 27.

Thank God, the true and faithful watchmen on the wall will never compromise! They will not stop warning the righteous about the seductions and infiltrations of the wicked one among God’s people. No sincere Christian need be in doubt about who to listen to in these days of many voices.

Tests of the True Prophetic Warnings

There are two very clear and unmistakable tests of all prophetic warnings:

1 True prophecy seeks to turn Christians away from sin. “But if they had stood in My council, then they would have announced My words to My people, and would have turned them back from their evil way and the evil of their deeds.” Jeremiah 23:22 NAS.

Heed the voice of those who seek to turn you away from wickedness. Avoid those who speak soothing words with no reference to sin. Those who are justifying their own sin. Yet, when you ask them a direct question, they talk in circles. They think they are clever, yet they are only deceived.

2 Prophetic warnings, from the beginning, spoke of judgments upon the wicked. “Yet hear now this word which I am about to speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people! The prophets who were before me and before you from ancient times prophesied against many lands and against great kingdoms, of war and of calamity and of pestilence.” Jeremiah 28:7, 8. NAS.

Those who warn of coming judgment are in good company. They speak the same word of all the prophets “from the beginning.” I declare with all assurance that the warnings now going forth from God’s holy watchmen are the greatest evidences of His love to this generation. He loves His people enough to prepare them; to give them time to repent and prepare the way of the Lord in holiness! Those who love the Lord will be thankful. Those who are at ease in Zion will be repelled and indignant. May God richly bless all of His true children.

Crossing the Line

When we were in the show business world of musicians, recording artists, theater, and modeling, we always greeted each other with a hug and two kisses—one on the left side and one on the right side. This was body to body and cheek to cheek, sometimes lips to lips with both arms around the person. This greeting would last from seconds to minutes, with no regard for marital status. That was show business—worldly, carnal, and irreligious, with no moral compass. Just whatever felt good or seemed the “in thing” to do, we did in social relations. There was a definite comradeship that was “tight or close” because our careers were similar. This is only a mild example of how loose men and women of the world conduct themselves with one another. Should these exhibitions of familiarity be the criterion for God’s people?

God Draws a Line

“There is a distinct line drawn by God Himself between the world and the church, between commandment keepers and commandment breakers. They do not blend together. They are as different as midday and midnight.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 602. Surely God has drawn a line, as it were, in the sand of morality—go this far and no further. But how far do we go? May we suggest the lines have been crossed in male and female modesty? The barriers erected by the Word of God have been broken down, hence, the low morals and the state of unholiness among God’s professed people.

“I beseech you, therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1, 2. “Barriers have been removed, safeguards broken down.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 578. What barriers have been removed? The barriers of female modesty which stand as a protection for solid Christian standards and morals.

“Immorality abounds everywhere. Licentiousness is the special sin of this age.” Counsels on Health, 673. The servant of the Lord goes on to say it would be as impossible for some minds to dwell upon holy themes as it would be to turn the course of the Niagara and send its waters pouring up the falls. Could things really be this corrupt in the church?

Unholy Exhibition of Familiarity

Have you ever been in church on Sabbath when you were told it is time to greet your neighbor? Besides being irreverent, this occasion encourages unholy exhibitions of familiarity that are condemned by the Word of God. Young and old, married or unmarried kiss and hug each other with happy music playing in the background to encourage a feeling of love and warmth. At times, perfect strangers feel at liberty to engage in these loose social exercises with the young and married in a way that is most appalling.

After Sabbath service some time ago, a brother we knew well decided to take the liberty to give Gwen a big Sabbath hello. With arms wide open and a pucker on his lips he launched forward toward her. She extended a firm and stiff right arm and hand. Not being able to cross that barrier, he said quickly, “Oh, its okay. My wife is right here, she does not mind.” Gwen quickly retorted, “But I mind!” She then added that she reserved her hugs and kisses for only one man—her husband! The fellow brother never tried that again!

Another time, years later, this happened with a young man who had previously worked with us in our business. He had since grown up and was a minister and pastor of several churches. He never ventured to do such years ago, but now he was a minister of the gospel and felt it was fine. He reached to hug and kiss Gwen, since he had not seen her in such a long time. She was happy to see him also, but extended her hand. Offended, he grabbed and hugged her anyway. This man is like a son to us, so we felt at liberty to tell him the truth about his actions. After cautioning him about such familiar behavior, he said he was the “kissing preacher.” This is how he kept on good terms with the women of the church—he gave them all a kiss and a hug every Sabbath. This was a handsome young man. Can you imagine what thoughts or feelings were prompted by this kind of behavior? He then admitted that his wife was very cold and unaffectionate toward him and that he made up for it with the ladies in the church. Before we left, we promised to send him texts and quotes so he would know Satan was laying a snare for him with such behavior. He really had a change of heart and spirit, and we prayed before we parted that God would give him grace to change.

The liberties taken in this age of corruption should be no criterion for Christ’s followers. These fashionable exhibitions of familiarity should not exist among Christians fitting for immortality.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 145.

Modesty and Reserve Depart

Because we have followed the world in almost every facet of our lives at a so-called respectable distance, our sense of morality is warped. For instance, at an evangelistic training program, a prohibition is stated for the wearing of jeans by men or women. That sounds good, but have you ever read what the prophetess said about pants—or more correctly the American Costume? This was modest compared to the pants worn now. “Those who feel called out to join the movement in favor of women’s rights and the so-called reform dress (American Costume) might as well sever all connection with the Third Angel’s Message.” Thy Nakedness, 123.

We are also told that the wearing of clothes that resembles that of the opposite sex would cripple our influence and destroy the influence of our message. But one statement is really poignant with meaning. “With the wearing of styles resembling men’s clothing goes a spirit of levity and boldness just in keeping with the dress.” Ibid., 133. The reason the subject of pants is brought up here is because it has an effect upon the way women and girls carry themselves. Pants are worn part of the week or in some cases, all of the week, which causes one to feel more relaxed, free and bold. As the servant of the Lord stated, “Modesty and reserve seem to depart.” Do you think women will, all of a sudden, become meek, unassuming and reserved on Sabbath because they have on their church attire? Have you noticed how many women in our day wear dresses? On Christian campuses or in Christian communities, dresses are as rare as in a common shopping mall. Through sports, worldly music and entertainment, the enemy has brought in a style of dress that is lowering the morals of the church and society in general. The standard of female and male modesty is degraded. The sexual atrocities perpetrated in the church, if done in the world, would be punished to the fullest extent of the law. These sins in the church are winked at, but God does not wink at them. The line drawn in the sand of morality is crossed again and again. Have you considered that the wearing of tight fitting sweaters, pants or skirts, low cuts, slits or sheer clothing invite unwarranted advances from both sexes?

Modesty In the Medical Field

Have we considered that careers where men or women massage, bathe, or examine the opposite sex is opening the door to those weak in moral character a tide of temptations they may not be able to resist? One Adventist massage therapist, who went to school and started her own business in a certain area, along with three other ladies who were also massage therapists, had no qualms about massaging men! After some time, she saw the handwriting on the wall and decided to stop massaging men. The other three therapists had broken families, some with children, and each had run off with their patients.

We are counseled “in our medical institutions there ought always to be women of mature age and good experience who have been trained to give treatments to the lady patients. Women should be educated and qualified just as thoroughly as possible to become practitioners in the delicate diseases which afflict women, that their secret parts should not be exposed to the notice of men…it is a most horrible practice, this revealing the secret parts of women to men or men being treated by women.” Counsels on Health, 364.

We know of at least three personal acquaintances whose families were broken or nearly broken because of the inordinate desire of the physicians to cross the line of female modesty. Many times the guilty parties are not disfellowshipped or censored, but they are transferred to a different area, are re-baptized, or the incident is covered over in secret. They usually keep their positions and supposed respect. This practice runs rampant among Christians.

To physicians, teachers, ministers, or any leader among God’s people, these words of counsel were written, “that which will bring the heaviest retribution is the practice of iniquity under the cloak of godliness.…there is more hope for the open sinner than for this class.” Ibid., 625.

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those alive from the dead and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” Romans 6:12, 13.

We have been saddened as we have watched older married men caress and cuddle young innocent girls in an inappropriate way, time and time again. We have lamented the sad state of affairs, as some Christian men must close their eyes to the immodest parade of seductive fashions exhibited in our churches on the Sabbath day. As Sabbath school teachers, “women elders”, deaconess’ and members don their cleavage-revealing tops, high-slit skirts, form-fitting and sheer attire—is this an invitation to cross the line or what? “Many men are wicked and will lust after you in spite of anything you can do to prevent it…Should you therefore help them sin? Should you put further temptation in their way? Will God excuse you if you do?” Thy Nakedness, 150.

Dress to Please God

To know how to have Christian decorum and to dress modestly is not something most Christians understand immediately. In fact, most will have to be educated as to what is true modesty according to the Bible standard. In the book Education it says no education is complete without teaching one how to dress modestly and healthfully. So why are we not teaching our members, young and old, to dress to please God and not self? Why not teach our Bible workers, ministers and wives, elders (male and female) how to dress and act with true Christian propriety? Why not teach our students in our schools how to dress properly so they will know when they have gone over the line of modesty? We can assure you, God has given specific direction in every area of our life and we will not be excused because the information is available, but “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge, because thou hast rejected knowledge I will also reject thee.” Hosea 4:6.

“As Christ’s ambassador, I entreat you who profess present truth to promptly repent any approach to impurity and forsake the society of those who breathe an impure suggestion. Loathe these defiling sins with the most intense hatred. Flee from those who would, even in conversation, let the mind run in such a channel: for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Matthew 12:34. Counsels on Health, 625, 626.

In our brothers and sisters in Christ let us not be:

  • Careless in dress—wear whatever we have
  • Selfish in dress—wear whatever we want
  • Proud in dress—wear what attracts attention to self
  • Ignorant in dress—it is not important

If we would study the Bible and the counsels given to the people of God, we would be wise unto salvation. We would not come even close to crossing that line, or barrier, that God has set up between the sexes to preserve purity and morality. “It is not good for a man to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife and let every woman have her own husband.” 1 Corinthians 7:1, 2; Testimonies, vol. 2, 578.

Breaking the Barrier of Modesty

We ask you to consider eight points that break down the barrier of modesty and encourage one to cross the line in the sand of morality, and some counsel to the sisters and brothers from the Lord. Sometimes in dealing with this subject, it seems as though there are as many opinions as there are individuals, almost like the sand on the seashore. But the only opinion that really matters is God’s opinion.

These things break down the barrier and encourage one to cross the line in the sands of morality.

1 History to be repeated:

“Near the close of this earth’s history, Satan will work with all his powers in the same manner and with the same temptations wherewith he tempted ancient Israel just before their entering the land of promise. He will lay snares for those who claim to keep the commandments of God, and who are almost on the borders of the heavenly Canaan. He will use his power to the utmost in order to entrap souls and to take God’s professed people upon their weakest point. Those who have not brought the lower passions into subjection to the higher power of their being, those who have allowed their mind to flow in a channel of carnal indulgence of the baser passions, Satan is determined to destroy with his temptations—to pollute their souls with licentiousness.” Adventist Home, 327.

2 Meat Eating

“Meat eating excites and strengthens the lower passions and has a tendency to deaden the moral powers. The less feverish the diet, the more easily can the passions be controlled.” Counsels on Health, 622.

3 Eating, Drinking and Dressing to Excess

“Christ has left us here a most important lesson…He presents the result of unrestrained indulgence of appetite. The moral powers are enfeebled so that sin does not appear sinful. Crime is lightly regarded, and passion controls the mind, until good principles and impulses are rooted out and God is blasphemed. All this is the result of eating and drinking to excess. This is the condition of things which Christ claims will exist at His Second Coming. Eating, drinking and dressing are carried to such excess that they become crimes.” Counsels on Health, 24.

4 Self Abuse

“Many adopt the secret vile practice of self abuse in their youth; consequently they and their offspring have corrupt, debased passions. This is carried over into adult life by parents who are controlled by corrupt passions and transmit this horrible legacy to children, who then are also corrupt and devoid of principle. Thousands drag out unprincipled lives… ” Ibid. 618–621.

5 Indolence and Idleness

“Indolence and idleness leads to the indulgence of corrupt and licentious habits. Idleness is a curse. Weariness which attends labor will lessen their inclinations to indulge vicious habits.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 348.

6 Novel Reading and Fiction

“Could a large share of the books published be consumed, a plague would be stayed that is doing a fearful work upon mind and heart. Love stories, frivolous and exciting tales and even that class of books called religious novels….the nature of one’s religious experience is revealed by the character of the books one chooses to read in one’s leisure moments.” Messages to Young People, 272–274.

7 Revealing Family Secrets

“Oh how many lives are made bitter by the breaking down of walls which enclose the privacy of every family and which are calculated to preserve its purity and serenity! A third person is taken into confidence of the wife and private family matters are laid open before the special friend. This is the device of Satan to estrange the hearts of the husband and the wife. Oh that this would cease! What a world of trouble would be saved.” Adventist Home, 337.

8 Modesty in Dress and Demeanor

“What crosses do God’s people bear? They mingle with the world, partake of their spirit, dress, talk, and act like them.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 28. “Chaste simplicity of dress, when united with modesty of demeanor, will go far toward surrounding a young woman with the atmosphere of sacred reserve which will be to her a shield from a thousand perils.” Education, 248.

Behavior at Social Gatherings and Amusements

“There has been a class of social gatherings in _________, parties of pleasure that have been a disgrace to our institution and to the church. They encourage pride of dress, pride of appearance, and self-gratification, hilarity and trifling. Satan is entertained as an honored guest and he takes possession of those who patronize this gathering. It prepares the participants of unholy thoughts and actions.” Adventist Home, 514.

“The exciting amusements of our time keep the minds of men and women…in a fever of excitement, which is telling upon their stock of vitality…and have a tendency to dwarf the intellect and corrupt the morals.” Adventist Home, 521.

May the Lord continue to teach us what is right and pleasing in His sight that we shall not venture to cross the lines in the sand of morality.