Bible Study Guides – Preparing for Jesus Coming

July 21- July 27, 2002

MEMORY VERSE: “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.” 11 Peter 3:11.

STUDY HELPS: The Great Controversy, 670–673; The Desire of Ages, 628–633.

INTRODUCTION: “The prophecies which the great I AM has given in His Word, uniting link after link in the chain of events, from eternity in the past to eternity in the future, tell us where we are today in the procession of the ages, and what may be expected in the time to come. All that prophecy has foretold as coming to pass, until the present time, has been traced on the pages of history, and we may be assured that all which is yet to come will be fulfilled in its order.” Evangelism, 193, 194.

1 What warning of the time of the end did God give in the sixth seal? Revelation 6:12, first part.

NOTE: “These signs were witnessed before the opening of the nineteenth century. In fulfillment of this prophecy there occurred, in the year 1755, the most terrible earthquake that has ever been recorded. Though commonly known as the earthquake of Lisbon, it extended to the greater part of Europe, Africa, and America. It was felt in Greenland, in the West Indies, in the island of Madeira, in Norway and Sweden, Great Britain and Ireland. It pervaded an extent of not less than four million square miles. In Africa the shock was almost as severe as in Europe. A great part of Algiers was destroyed; and a short distance from Morocco, a village containing eight or ten thousand inhabitants was swallowed up. A vast wave swept over the coast of Spain and Africa engulfing cities and causing great destruction.” The Great Controversy, 304.

2 What reaction is happening to men as they see the signs being fulfilled? Luke 21:25, 26.

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

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

3 What unexpected occurrence will surprise the nations? 1 Thessalonians 5:3.

NOTE: “The advent of Christ will surprise the false teachers. They are saying, ‘Peace and safety.’ Like the priests and teachers before the fall of Jerusalem, they look for the church to enjoy earthly prosperity and glory. The signs of the times they interpret as foreshadowing this. But what saith the Word of Inspiration? ‘Sudden destruction cometh upon them.’

“Men are putting afar off the coming of the Lord. They laugh at warnings. The proud boast is made, ‘All things continue as they were from the beginning.’ ‘Tomorrow shall be as this day and much more abundant.’ 2 Peter 3:4; Isaiah 56:12. We will go deeper into pleasure loving. But Christ says, ‘Behold, I come as a thief.’ Revelation 16:15. At the very time when the world is asking in scorn, ‘Where is the promise of his coming?’ the signs are fulfilling. While they cry, ‘Peace and safety,’ sudden destruction is coming. When the scorner, the rejecter of truth, has become presumptuous; when the routine of work in the various money-making lines is carried on without regard to principle; when the student is eagerly seeking knowledge of everything but his Bible, Christ comes as a thief.” The Faith I Live By, 342.

4 What events precede the outpouring of God’s wrath? Revelation 11:18.

NOTE: “I saw that the anger of the nations, the wrath of God, and the time to judge the dead were separate and distinct, one following the other, also that Michael had not stood up, and that the time of trouble, such as never was, had not yet commenced. The nations are now getting angry, but when our High Priest has finished His work in the sanctuary, He will stand up, put on the garments of vengeance, and then the seven last plagues will be poured out.” Maranatha, 258.

5 How does the Apostle James describe the condition between the poor and the rich? James 5:1–6.

NOTE: “Love of money and love of display have made this world as a den of thieves and robbers. The Scriptures picture the greed and oppression that will prevail just before Christ’s second coming. [James 5:1, 3–6 quoted.]

“Even among those who profess to be walking in the fear of the Lord, there are some who are acting over again the course pursued by the nobles of Israel. Because it is in their power to do so, they exact more than is just, and thus become oppressors. And because avarice and treachery are seen in the lives of those who have named the name of Christ, because the church retains on her books the names of those who have gained their possessions by injustice, the religion of Christ is held in contempt. Extravagance, overreaching, extortion, are corrupting the faith of many and destroying their spirituality. The church is in a great degree responsible for the sins of her members. She gives countenance to evil if she fails to lift her voice against it.” Prophets and Kings, 651.

6 What should be our attitude before Christ’s return? Isaiah 51:6. Compare Psalm 102:25, 26.

NOTE: “We need to look heavenward in faith. We are not to be discouraged because of apparent failure, nor should we be disheartened by delay. We should work cheerfully, hopefully, gratefully, believing that the earth holds in her bosom rich treasures for the faithful worker to garner, stores richer than gold or silver. The mountains and hills are changing; the earth is waxing old like a garment; but the blessing of God, which spreads for His people a table in the wilderness, will never cease.” The Ministry of Healing, 200.

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

7 What was Jesus concerned that he may not be able to find when He returns? Luke 18:8, last part.

NOTE: “As the time of their probation was closing, the antediluvians gave themselves up to exciting amusements and festivities. Those who possessed influence and power were bent on keeping the minds of the people engrossed with mirth and pleasure, lest any should be impressed by the last solemn warning. Do we not see the same repeated in our day? While God’s servants are giving the message that the end of all things is at hand, the world is absorbed in amusements and pleasure seeking. There is a constant round of excitement that causes indifference to God and prevents the people from being impressed by the truths which alone can save them from the coming destruction.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 103.

8 What will the people be saying just before the second coming of Christ? 2 Peter 3:3, 4.

NOTE: “Of the vast population of the earth before the Flood, only eight souls believed and obeyed God’s word through Noah. For a hundred and twenty years the preacher of righteousness warned the world of the coming destruction, but his message was rejected and despised. So it will be now. Before the Lawgiver shall come to punish the disobedient, transgressors are warned to repent, and return to their allegiance; but with the majority these warnings will be in vain. . . . [2 Peter 3:3, 4 quoted.] Do we not hear these very words repeated, not merely by the openly ungodly, but by many who occupy the pulpits of our land? ‘There is no cause for alarm,’ they cry. ‘Before Christ shall come, all the world is to be converted, and righteousness is to reign for a thousand years. Peace, peace! all things continue as they were from the beginning. Let none be disturbed by the exciting message of these alarmists.’ But this doctrine of the millennium does not harmonize with the teachings of Christ and His apostles. Jesus asked the significant question, ‘When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?’ Luke 18:8. And, as we have seen, He declares that the state of the world will be as in the days of Noah. Paul warns us that we may look for wickedness to increase as the end draws near: ‘The Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.’ 1 Timothy 4:1. The apostle says that ‘in the last days perilous times shall come.’ 2 Timothy 3:1. And he gives a startling list of sins that will be found among those who have a form of godliness.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 102.

9 What did Paul predict would happen before the end of time? 2 Timothy 4:3, 4.

NOTE: “The apostle was undoubtedly thinking of the great apostasy that was soon to develop in the church, and which would continue to imperil it until the second advent of Christ.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 348. (On 2 Timothy 4:3.)

“The ministers of Christ today are in the same danger. Satan is constantly at work to divert the mind into wrong channels, so that the truth may lose its force upon the heart.” Gospel Workers, 312.

10 Is there any way to tell when the end is near? Matthew 24:6, 33.

NOTE: “These lessons are for our benefit. We need to stay our faith upon God, for there is just before us a time that will try men’s souls. Christ, upon the Mount of Olives, rehearsed the fearful judgments that were to precede His second coming: ‘Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars.’ ‘Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.’ While these prophecies received a partial fulfillment at the destruction of Jerusalem, they have a more direct application to the last days.

“We are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Prophecy is fast fulfilling. The Lord is at the door. There is soon to open before us a period of overwhelming interest to all living. The controversies of the past are to be revived; new controversies will arise. The scenes to be enacted in our world are not yet even dreamed of. Satan is at work through human agencies. Those who are making an effort to change the Constitution and secure a law enforcing Sunday observance little realize what will be the result. A crisis is just upon us.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 753.

11 As we see prophecy being fulfilled, how should we conduct ourselves? Jude 21.

NOTE: “Many . . . professed Christians dress, talk, and act like the world, and the only thing by which they may be known is their profession. Though they profess to be looking for Christ, their conversation is not in heaven, but on worldly things.” Early Writings, 108.

12 What will happen to those who are preparing for Jesus’ soon coming? 1 John 3:1–3.

NOTE: “Such transformation of character as is seen in the life of John is ever the result of communion with Christ. There may be marked defects in the character of an individual, yet when he becomes a true disciple of Christ, the power of divine grace transforms and sanctifies him. Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, he is changed from glory to glory, until he is like Him whom he adores.

“John was a teacher of holiness, and in his letters to the church he laid down unerring rules for the conduct of Christians. ‘Every man that hath this hope in him,’ he wrote, ‘purifieth himself, even as He is pure.’ ‘He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.’ 1 John 3:3; 2:6. He taught that the Christian must be pure in heart and life. Never should he be satisfied with an empty profession. As God is holy in His sphere, so fallen man, through faith in Christ, is to be holy in his sphere.” The Acts of the Apostles, 559.

By Ruth Grosboll

Bible Study Guides – Signs in the Heavens

July 14- July 20, 2002

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

STUDY HELPS: The Great Controversy, 299–316.

INTRODUCTION: The wonderful things to take place in our world—the greatest events of all ages—are incomprehensible to worldly minds; they cannot be explained by human sciences. The powers of heaven shall be shaken. Christ is coming in power and great glory, but His coming is not such a mystery as the things to take place before that event. Man must be a partaker of the divine nature in order to stand in this evil time, when the mysteries of satanic agencies are at work. Only by the divine power united with the human can souls endure through these times of trial. Says Christ, ‘Without me ye can do nothing.’ Then there must be far less of self and more of Jesus.” The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, vol. 1, 332.

1 How did God answer Joshua’s request? Joshua 10:12–14.

NOTE: “The lengthening of the day not only provided additional time for the total destruction of the enemies of Israel but was a signal demonstration of the power of Israel’s God. It showed that the very gods whom the heathen worshiped were powerless before the true God. They worshiped the Canaanite god Baal and the goddess Ashtoreth. Both the sun and the moon whom they worshiped were shown to be subservient to Joshua’s command, under the direction of Israel’s God, Jehovah.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 226. (On Joshua 10:12.)

2 How did God use the sun to answer Hezekiah? 2 Kings 20:8–11.

NOTE: “Only by the direct interposition of God could the shadow on the sundial be made to turn back ten degrees; and this was to be the sign to Hezekiah that the Lord had heard his prayer.” Prophets and Kings, 342.

3 What happened to the sun at the crucifixion of Christ? Matthew 27:45.

NOTE: “When His mission began, the heavens were opened, and the glory of God encircled the Son of God; but when it ended, He hung upon Calvary’s cross, and even the sun which He had created, refused to shine upon the scene of His agony. Darkness, denser than that of midnight, enshrouded the Son of God.” Youth’s Instructor, June 23, 1892.

4 How did the disciples approach Jesus about the signs of the end of the world? Matthew 24:3.

NOTE: “Jesus did not answer His disciples by taking up separately the destruction of Jerusalem and the great day of His coming. He mingled the description of these two events. Had He opened to His disciples future events as He beheld them, they would have been unable to endure the sight. In mercy to them He blended the description of the two great crises, leaving the disciples to study out the meaning for themselves. When He referred to the destruction of Jerusalem, His prophetic words reached beyond that event to the final conflagration in that day when the Lord shall rise out of His place to punish the world for their iniquity, when the earth shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain. This entire discourse was given, not for the disciples only, but for those who should live in the last scenes of this earth’s history.” The Desire of Ages, 628.

5 What did Jesus say would happen in the heavens as signs of His coming? Luke 21:25, 26.

NOTE: “The future was mercifully veiled from the disciples. Had they at that time fully comprehend the two awful facts—the Redeemer’s sufferings and death, and the destruction of their city and temple—they would have been overwhelmed with horror. Christ presented before them an outline of the prominent events to take place before the close of time. His words were not then fully understood; but their meaning was to be unfolded as His people should need the instruction therein given. The prophecy which He uttered was twofold in its meaning; while foreshadowing the destruction of Jerusalem, it prefigured also the terrors of the last great day.” The Great Controversy, 25.

6 What did Jesus say would happen to the sun? Matthew 24:29, first part.

NOTE: “The Saviour gives signs of His coming, and more than this, He fixes the time when the first of these signs shall appear: [Matthew24:29–31 quoted].

“At the close of the great papal persecution, Christ declared, the sun should be darkened . . . .” The Desire of Ages, 631, 632.

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

7 What did Jesus prophesy about the moon as a sign of his second coming? Mark 13:24.

NOTE: “The description of this event, as given by eyewitnesses, is but an echo of the words of the Lord, recorded by the prophet Joel, twenty-five hundred years previous to their fulfilment: ‘The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.’

“Christ had bidden His people watch for the signs of His advent, and rejoice as they should behold the tokens of their coming King.” Maranatha, 150.

8 What additional celestial phenomenon did Jesus say would occur? Luke 21:25, first part; Matthew 24:29.

NOTE: “This prophecy [of Matthew 24:29] received a striking and impressive fulfillment in the great meteoric shower of November 13, 1833. That was the most extensive and wonderful display of falling stars which has ever been recorded; ‘the whole firmament, over all the United States, being then, for hours, in fiery commotion! No celestial phenomenon has ever occurred in this country, since its first settlement, which was viewed with such intense admiration by one class in the community, or with so much dread and alarm by another.’ . . . R. M. Devens, American Progress; or, The Great Events of the Greatest Century, ch. 28, pars. 1-5.” The Great Controversy, 333.

9 What was the first warning Christ gave when asked about the signs of the end? Matthew 24:4, 5; Luke 21:8.

NOTE: “Satan is a cunning foe. And it is not difficult for the evil angels to represent both saints and sinners who have died, and make these representations visible to human eyes. These manifestations will be more frequent, and developments of a more startling character will appear as we near the close of time. We need not be astonished at anything in the line of deceptions to allure the unwary and deceive, if possible, the very elect. Spiritualists quote, ‘Prove all things.’ But God has, for the benefit of His people who live amid the perils of the last days, proved this class, and given the result of His proving.” Review and Herald, April 1, 1875.

“Rebellion and apostasy are in the very air we breathe. We shall be affected by it unless we by faith hang our helpless souls upon Christ. If men are so easily misled, how will they stand when Satan shall personate Christ, and work miracles? Who will be unmoved by his misrepresentations, professing to be Christ when it is only Satan assuming the person of Christ, and apparently working the works of Christ? What will hold God’s people from giving their allegiance to false christs? ‘Go ye not . . . after them’ (Luke 21:8).

“The doctrines must be plainly understood. The men accepted to teach the truth must be anchored; then their vessel will hold against storm and tempest, because the anchor holds them firmly. The deceptions will increase.— Letter 1, 1897.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 58.

10 What is one of the signs that the false prophets will perform? Matthew 24:24; Revelation 13:13.

NOTE: “I saw that soon it would be considered blasphemy to speak against the rapping, and that it would spread more and more, that Satan’s power would increase, and some of his devoted followers would have power to work miracles, and even to bring down fire from heaven in the sight of men. I was shown that by the rapping and mesmerism, these modern magicians would yet account for all the miracles wrought by our Lord Jesus Christ, and that many would believe that all the mighty works of the Son of God when on earth were accomplished by this same power.” Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White, 168, 169.

11 What aspects of Christ’s second coming will Satan be unable to counterfeit? Matthew 24:27; Revelation 1:7.

NOTE: “Satan is not permitted to counterfeit the manner of Christ’s advent. The Saviour has warned His people against deception upon this point, and has clearly foretold the manner of His second coming. [Matthew 24:24, 26, 27 quoted.] . . . This coming there is no possibility of counterfeiting. It will be universally known—witnessed by the whole world.” The Great Controversy, 625.

12 How are Christians to prepare as the signs are being fulfilled? 2 Timothy 2:15.

NOTE: “There is great need for studying the Word of God. From one end of the world to the other the message of Christ’s righteousness is to be sounded by human lips, to prepare the way of the Lord. The youth, the aged, and the middle-aged are to act a personal part in preparing their own souls for the great event that is soon to take place, even the second coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven, and in so doing they will reflect light upon many other souls.” Review and Herald, July 22, 1909.

13 What words of caution did Christ give to those living just before His second coming? Luke 21:34.

NOTE: “Only those who have been diligent students of the Scriptures and who have received the love of the truth will be shielded from the powerful delusion that takes the world captive. By the Bible testimony these will detect the deceiver in his disguise. To all the testing time will come. By the sifting of temptation the genuine Christian will be revealed. Are the people of God now so firmly established upon His word that they would not yield to the evidence of their senses? Would they, in such a crisis, cling to the Bible and the Bible only? Satan will, if possible, prevent them from obtaining a preparation to stand in that day. He will so arrange affairs as to hedge up their way, entangle them with earthly treasures, cause them to carry a heavy, wearisome burden, that their hearts may be overcharged with the cares of this life and the day of trial may come upon them as a thief.” The Great Controversy, 625, 626.

14 What did Jesus say our responsibility is if we are to be ready when He comes? Matthew 24:42. Compare Mark 13:35, 36.

NOTE: “Because we do not know the exact hour of Christ’s coming, we are commanded to watch. ‘Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when he cometh shall find watching.’ Those who watch for the Lord’s return do not wait in idle expectancy. They purify their hearts by obedience to the truth. With vigilant watching they unite earnest working. Because they know that the Lord is at the door, their zeal is quickened to cooperate with divine intelligences in working for the salvation of souls. These are the faithful and wise servants, who give to the Lord’s household their portion of meat in due season. They are declaring the truth that is now specially applicable. As Enoch, Abraham, and Moses each declared the truth for his time, so will Christ’s servants now give the special warning for their generation.” Review and Herald, November 13, 1913.

By Ruth Grosboll

Bible Study Guides – Kingdom of God

July 7 – July 13, 2002

By Ruth Grosboll

MEMORY VERSE: “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

Study Helps: The Desire of Ages, 627–636.

INTRODUCTION: “One of the most solemn and yet most glorious truths revealed in the Bible is that of Christ’s second coming, to complete the great work of redemption. . . . The doctrine of the Second Advent is the very keynote of the Sacred Scriptures. . . .

“The coming of the Lord has been in all ages the hope of His true followers.

“The patriarch Job in the night of his affliction exclaimed with unshaken trust: ‘I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: . . . in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another.’ Job 19:25–27.” The Faith I Live By, 348.

1 How did God pronounce the earth to be at the end of creation? Genesis 1:31.

NOTE: “How beautiful the earth was when it came from the Creator’s hand! God presented before the universe a world in which even His all-seeing eye could find no spot or stain. Each part of the creation occupied the part assigned to it, and answered the purpose for which it was created. Peace and holy joy filled the earth. There was no confusion, no clashing. There was no disease to afflict man or beast, and the vegetable kingdom was without taint or corruption. God looked upon the work of His hands, wrought out by Christ, and pronounced it ‘very good.’” The Faith I Live By, 37.

2 With the disobedience of Adam and Eve, what curses came upon the earth? Genesis 3:16–19, 23.

NOTE: “God cursed the ground because of their sin in eating of the tree of knowledge, and declared, ‘In sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.’ He had apportioned them the good, but withheld the evil. Now He declares that they shall eat of it, that is, they should be acquainted with evil all the days of their life.

“The race from that time forward was to be afflicted by Satan’s temptations. A life of perpetual toil and anxiety was appointed unto Adam, instead of the happy, cheerful labor he had hitherto enjoyed. They should be subject to disappointment, grief, and pain, and finally come to dissolution. They were made of the dust of the earth, and unto dust should they return.” The Story of Redemption, 40.

“And through man’s disobedience a change was wrought in nature itself. Marred by the curse of sin, nature can bear but an imperfect testimony regarding the Creator. It cannot reveal His character in its perfection.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 256.

“The curse, which has rested heavily upon the earth, and has been felt by the whole race of mankind, has also been felt by the animals. The beasts have degenerated in size, and length of years. They have been made to suffer more than they otherwise would, by the wrong habits of man.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 418.

“Although the earth was blighted with the curse, nature was still to be man’s lesson book. It could not now represent goodness only; for evil was everywhere present, marring earth and sea and air with its defiling touch. Where once was written only the character of God, the knowledge of good, was now written also the character of Satan, the knowledge of evil. From nature, which now revealed the knowledge of good and evil, man was continually to receive warning as to the results of sin.” Education, 26.

3 What does God plan to do with this sin-cursed earth? 2 Peter 3:12, 13.

NOTE: “The fire that consumes the wicked purifies the earth. Every trace of the curse is swept away.” The Great Controversy, 674.

“God created the earth to be the abode of holy, happy beings. That purpose will be fulfilled when, renewed by the power of God and freed from sin and sorrow, it shall become the eternal home of the redeemed.” The Adventist Home, 540.

4 When did God first inform man of history’s coming climax? Genesis 3:15.

NOTE: “The first intimation of such a hope [the coming of a Deliverer] was given to Adam and Eve in the sentence pronounced upon the serpent in Eden when the Lord declared to Satan in their hearing, [Genesis 3:15 quoted].

“As the guilty pair listened to these words, they were inspired with hope; for in the prophecy concerning the breaking of Satan’s power they discerned a promise of deliverance from the ruin wrought through transgression.” Prophets and Kings, 681, 682.

5 What did Enoch know about future events? Jude 14.

NOTE: “The Lord opened more fully to Enoch the plan of salvation, and by the Spirit of prophecy carried him down through the generations which should live after the Flood, and showed him the great events connected with the second coming of Christ and the end of the world. (Jude 14.)” The Story of Redemption, 58.

6 How did God show Nebuchadnezzar the final outcome of this earth? Daniel 2:31–35.

NOTE: “‘This is the dream,’ confidently declared Daniel; and the king, listening with closest attention to every particular, knew it was the very dream over which he had been so troubled. Thus his mind was prepared to receive with favor the interpretation. The King of kings was about to communicate great truth to the Babylonian monarch. God would reveal that He has power over the kingdoms of the world, power to enthrone and to dethrone kings. Nebuchadnezzar’s mind was to be awakened, if possible, to a sense of his responsibility to Heaven. The events of the future, reaching down to the end of time, were to be opened before him.” Prophets and Kings, 497.

7 What did the stone in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream represent? Daniel 2:44, 45.

NOTE: “The interpretation offered by Daniel is of itself sufficient to identify the symbol.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 776. (On Daniel 4:45.)

8 What was the end of earth’s history as revealed to Daniel? Daniel 7:17, 18, 27.

NOTE: “The great plan of redemption results in fully bringing back the world into God’s favor. All that was lost by sin is restored. Not only man but the earth is redeemed, to be the eternal abode of the obedient. For six thousand years Satan has struggled to maintain possession of the earth. Now God’s original purpose in its creation is accomplished. [Daniel 7:18 quoted.]” Patriarchs and Prophets, 342.

“The church of Christ is to be clean, pure, and sanctified unto God. Its members stand before the world as representatives of the heavenly government. They are embarked, so long as time shall last, upon an enterprise of mercy.

“It is God’s desire that all who profess to believe in the truth of His word shall make it known. Their persevering fidelity will be richly rewarded. [Daniel 7:27 quoted.]” Sons and Daughters of God, 265.

9 What is prophesied to happen before the saints inherit the kingdom of God? Matthew 24:4–14.

NOTE: “That time is at hand. Today the signs of the times declare that we are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Everything in our world is in agitation. Before our eyes is fulfilling the Saviour’s prophecy of the events to precede His coming. [Matthew 24:6, 7 quoted.]

NOTE: “The present is a time of overwhelming interest to all living. Rulers and statesmen, men who occupy positions of trust and authority, thinking men and women of all classes, have their attention fixed upon the events taking place about us. They are watching the strained, restless relations that exist among the nations. They observe the intensity that is taking possession of every earthly element, and they recognize that something great and decisive is about to take place—that the world is on the verge of a stupendous crisis.” Education, 179.

10 What declaration is made in the last book of the Bible? Revelation 10:5–7.

NOTE: “In a view given June 27, 1850, my [Ellen White’s] accompanying angel said, ‘Time is almost finished. Do you reflect the lovely image of Jesus as you should?’ Then I was pointed to the earth and saw that there would have to be a getting ready among those who have of late embraced the third angel’s message. Said the angel, ‘Get ready, get ready, get ready. Ye will have to die a greater death to the world than ye have ever yet died.’ I saw that there was a great work to do for them and but little time in which to do it.” Early Writings, 64.

11 Among the last words of the Bible, what promise is given? Revelation 22:6, 7, 20.

NOTE: “God stands back of every promise He has made. . . . The rainbow about the throne is an assurance that God is true; that in Him is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. . . . The honour of His throne is staked for the fulfilment of His word to us.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 23.

“The angels of God in their messages to men represent time as very short. Thus it has always been presented to me [Ellen White]. It is true that time has continued longer than we expected in the early days of this message. Our Saviour did not appear as soon as we hoped. But has the word of the Lord failed? Never! It should be remembered that the promises and threatenings of God are alike conditional.

“God had committed to His people a work to be accomplished on earth. The third angel’s message was to be given, the minds of believers were to be directed to the heavenly sanctuary, where Christ had entered to make atonement for His people. The Sabbath reform was to be carried forward. The breach in the law of God must be made up. The message must be proclaimed with a loud voice, that all the inhabitants of earth might receive the warning. The people of God must purify their souls through obedience to the truth, and be prepared to stand without fault before Him at His coming.

“Had Adventists, . . . held fast their faith, and followed on unitedly in the opening providence of God, receiving the message of the third angel and in the power of the Holy Spirit proclaiming it to the world, they would have seen the salvation of God, the Lord would have wrought mightily with their efforts, the work would have been completed, and Christ would have come ere this to receive His people to their reward.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 67, 68.

12 How does Daniel describe conditions just before Christ’s second coming? Daniel 12:1.

NOTE: “The world has rejected His mercy, despised His love, and trampled upon His law. The wicked have passed the boundary of their probation; the Spirit of God, persistently resisted, has been at last withdrawn. Unsheltered by divine grace, they have no protection from the wicked one. Satan will then plunge the inhabitants of the earth into one great, final trouble. As the angels of God cease to hold in check the fierce winds of human passion, all the elements of strife will be let loose. The whole world will be involved in ruin more terrible than that which came upon Jerusalem of old.” The Great Controversy, 614.

13 What happens to all the faithful who have died? 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

NOTE: “We are looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ. We may not be living when Christ shall come in power and great glory, for all are subject to death at any time, but if we are righteous, in harmony with the law of God, we shall respond to the voice that will call the people of God from their graves, and shall come forth to receive immortality. It is only the blessed and holy who will be ready for the first resurrection; for when Christ comes, he will not change the character. The change that will take place will be that change spoken of by Paul when he says: ‘We shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.’ The word of God declares that we must be found blameless, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. Now we are to learn obedience, submission to the divine will, that God may work in us to will and to do of his good-pleasure, and that we may work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. But our own efforts are of no avail to atone for sin or to renew the heart. Only the blood of Christ can atone for us; his grace alone can create in us a clean heart, and enable us to obey God’s law. In him is our only hope.” Signs of the Times, February 9, 1891.

14 What condition will exist on the earth when the controversy is over? Revelation 21:4, 5.

NOTE: “In the Bible the inheritance of the saved is called a country. There the heavenly Shepherd leads His flock to fountains of living waters. The tree of life yields its fruit every month, and the leaves of the tree are for the service of the nations. There are ever-flowing streams, clear as crystal, and beside them waving trees cast their shadows upon the paths prepared for the ransomed of the Lord. There the widespreading plains swell into hills of beauty, and the mountains of God rear their lofty summits. On those peaceful plains, beside those living streams, God’s people, so long pilgrims and wanderers, shall find a home.” The Faith I Live By, 368.

15 What invitation is extended to all? Revelation 22:17.

NOTE: “The cry of Christ to the thirsty soul is still going forth. . . . The fountain is open for all. The weary and exhausted ones are offered the refreshing draught of eternal life. Jesus is still crying, . . . ‘Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.’ . . . John 4:14.” The Desire of Ages, 454.

Bible Study Guides – The Nations are in God’s Hands

June 30 – July 6 ,2002

By Ruth Grosboll

MEMORY VERSE: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” 2 Peter 1:19.

STUDY HELPS: The Great Controversy, 603–612.

INTRODUCTION: “All heaven is interested in the work that is going on in this world. A people is to be prepared for the great day of God, which is right upon us; and we cannot afford to let Satan cast his shadow across our pathway, and intercept our view of Jesus and his infinite love. We should draw from Christ the very help we need. And when do we need his help?—It is in times of trial, in times when temptation comes in like flood, when Satan would cast his dark shadow before our souls, that we may not be able to distinguish the sacred from the common. It is then that we need to flee to the Source of our strength.” Review and Herald, January 28, 1890.

1 What comparison is the power of God to the power of the mighty nations of the earth? Isaiah 40:15–17.

NOTE: “In the days of Isaiah, Assyria was the greatest nation of the earth, feared by all others. But the Lord would have His people know that this greatest nation was as nothing before Him. When men fear God they need have no fear of the so-called great powers of the earth. Regardless of the plans and purposes of men, God brings His own will to pass.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 247. (On Isaiah 40:15.)

“With unerring accuracy the Infinite One still keeps account with the nations. While His mercy is tendered, with calls to repentance, this account remains open; but when the figures reach a certain amount which God has fixed, the ministry of His wrath begins. The account is closed. Divine patience ceases. Mercy no longer pleads in their behalf.” Prophets and Kings, 364.

2 What does God declare about Himself? Isaiah 46:9, 10.

NOTE: “I Am means an eternal presence; the past, present, and future are alike to God. He sees the most remote events of past history, and the far distant future with as clear a vision as we do those things that are transpiring daily. We know not what is before us, and if we did, it would not contribute to our eternal welfare. God gives us an opportunity to exercise faith and trust in the great I Am (MS 5a, 1895).” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1099.

3 How extensive is God’s knowledge? Daniel 2:22.

NOTE: “But when the heart yields to the influence of the Spirit of God, the conscience will be quickened, and the sinner will discern something of the depth and sacredness of God’s holy law, the foundation of His government in heaven and on earth. The ‘Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,’ illumines the secret chambers of the soul, and the hidden things of darkness are made manifest. John 1:9. Conviction takes hold upon the mind and heart. The sinner has a sense of the righteousness of Jehovah and feels the terror of appearing, in his own guilt and uncleanness, before the Searcher of hearts. He sees the love of God, the beauty of holiness, the joy of purity; he longs to be cleansed and to be restored to communion with Heaven.” Steps to Christ, 24.

4 How much control does God have over the kingdoms of this world? Daniel 4:17.

NOTE: “In the annals of human history the growth of nations, the rise and fall of empires, appear as dependent on the will and prowess of man. The shaping of events seems, to a great degree, to be determined by his power, ambition, or caprice. But in the word of God the curtain is drawn aside, and we behold, behind, above, and through all the play and counterplay of human interests and power and passions, the agencies of the all-merciful One, silently, patiently working out the counsels of His own will.” Education, 173.

5 What did Divine wisdom do as a result of sin? Genesis 6:5–7.

NOTE: “The world was in its infancy; yet iniquity had become so deep and widespread that God could no longer bear with it; and He said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created, from the face of the earth.’ He declared that His Spirit should not always strive with the guilty race. If they did not cease to pollute with their sins the world and its rich treasures, He would blot them from His creation and would destroy the things with which He had delighted to bless them; He would sweep away the beasts of the field, and the vegetation which furnished such an abundant supply of food, and would transform the fair earth into one vast scene of desolation and ruin.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 92.

6 What is God’s assurance to mankind? Amos 3:7.

NOTE: “While ‘the secret things belong unto the Lord our God,’ ‘those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever.’ . . . Deuteronomy 29:29. God has given these things to us, and His blessing will attend the reverent, prayerful study of the prophetic scriptures.” The Desire of Ages, 234.

7 What warnings did God give to the antediluvians? Genesis 6:3, 13.

NOTE: “Amid the prevailing corruption, Methuselah, Noah, and many others, labored to keep alive the knowledge of the true God, and to stay the tide of moral evil. A hundred and twenty years before the Flood, the Lord by a holy angel declared to Noah His purpose, and directed him to build an ark. While building the ark he was to preach that God would bring a flood of water upon the earth to destroy the wicked. Those who would believe the message, and would prepare for that event by repentance and reformation, should find pardon and be saved. Enoch had repeated to his children what God had shown him in regard to the Flood, and Methuselah and his sons, who lived to hear the preaching of Noah, assisted in building the ark. . . .

“Many at first appeared to receive the warning; yet they did not turn to God with true repentance. They were unwilling to renounce their sins. During the time that elapsed before the coming of the Flood, their faith was tested, and they failed to endure the trial. Overcome by the prevailing unbelief, they finally joined their former associates in rejecting the solemn message. Some were deeply convicted, and would have heeded the words of warning; but there were so many to jest and ridicule, that they partook of the same spirit, resisted the invitations of mercy, and were soon among the boldest and most defiant scoffers; for none are so reckless and go to such lengths in sin as do those who have once had light, but have resisted the convicting Spirit of God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 92, 95.

8 What two ancient cities received Divine retribution for their wickedness? Genesis 19:24, 25.

NOTE: “Sin has prevailed since the fall. While a few have remained faithful to God, the great majority have corrupted their ways before Him. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was on account of their great wickedness. They gave loose rein to their intemperate appetites, then to their corrupt passions, until they were so debased, and their sins were so abominable, that their cup of iniquity was full, and they were consumed with fire from heaven.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 60.

9 How did God warn Sodom and Gomorrah before He destroyed them? Genesis 19:1, 12–17.

NOTE: “The Lord’s anger was finally kindled against the wicked inhabitants of the city. The angels of God visited Sodom to bring forth Lot, that he should not perish in the overthrow of the city. They bade him bring his family, his wife, and the sons and daughters who had married in wicked Sodom, and they told him to flee from the place; ‘for,’ said the angels, ‘we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord; and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it.’” Review and Herald, November 14, 1882.

10 How suddenly was the kingdom of Babylon destroyed? Daniel 5:30, 31.

NOTE: “As men multiplied upon the earth after the flood, they again forgot God, and corrupted their ways before him. Intemperance in every form increased, until almost the whole world was given up to its sway. Entire cities have been swept from the face of the earth because of the debasing crimes and revolting iniquity that made them a blot upon the fair field of God’s created works. The gratification of unnatural appetite led to the sins that caused the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. God ascribes the fall of Babylon to her gluttony and drunkenness. Indulgence of appetite and passion was the foundation of all their sins.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 43.

11 What prediction had the Lord given to Daniel about Babylon’s future? Daniel 2:38, 39.

NOTE: “Exalted to the pinnacle of worldly honor, and acknowledged even by Inspiration as ‘a king of kings’ (Ezekiel 26:7), Nebuchadnezzar nevertheless at times had ascribed to the favor of Jehovah the glory of his kingdom and the splendor of his reign. Such had been the case after his dream of the great image. His mind had been profoundly influenced by this vision and by the thought that the Babylonian Empire, universal though it was, was finally to fall, and other kingdoms were to bear sway, until at last all earthly powers were to be superseded by a kingdom set up by the God of heaven, which kingdom was never to be destroyed.” Prophets and Kings, 514.

12 What was the warning God sent to the people of Nineveh? Jonah 3:1–4.

NOTE: “When Jonah proclaimed in the streets of Nineveh that within forty days the city would be overthrown, the Lord accepted the humiliation of the Ninevites and extended their period of probation; yet the message of Jonah was sent of God, and Nineveh was tested according to His will. Adventists believed that in like manner God had led them to give the warning of the judgment. ‘It has,’ they declared, ‘tested the hearts of all who heard it, and awakened a love for the Lord’s appearing; or it has called forth a hatred, more or less perceivable, but known to God, of His coming. It has drawn a line, . . . so that those who will examine their own hearts, may know on which side of it they would have been found, had the Lord then come—whether they would have exclaimed, “Lo! this is our God, we have waited for Him, and He will save us;” or whether they would have called to the rocks and mountains to fall on them to hide them from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. God thus, as we believe, has tested His people, has tried their faith, has proved them, and seen whether they would shrink, in the hour of trial, from the position in which He might see fit to place them; and whether they would relinquish this world and rely with implicit confidence in the word of God.’—The Advent Herald and Signs of the Times Reporter, vol. 8, No. 14 (November 13, 1844).” The Great Controversy, 406.

13 What did the Lord prophesy against Tyre and why? Ezekiel 26:1–5.

NOTE: “Tyre was a powerful commercial city composed of Old Tyre, situated on the mainland, and New Tyre, built on a rocky island some 140 acres in area about a half mile from shore. . . .

“When Alexander besieged New Tyre, he built a causeway from the mainland to the island and used the stones and rubble from Old Tyre as material for it. . . .

“The site of ancient Tyre is still used by fishermen for drying their nets.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 667, 668. (On Ezekiel 26:2, 4, 5.)

“There was a shut door in Noah’s time. There was a shut door to the unbelievers in the destruction of Sodom, but an open door to Lot. There was a shut door to the inhabitants of Tyrus, a shut door to the inhabitants of Jerusalem . . . who disbelieved, but an open door to the humble, the believing, those who obeyed God. Thus it will be at the end of time.—Manuscript 17, August 14, 1885, ‘Shipboard Meditations.’” This Day With God, 235.

14 What is prophesied for our world today? 2 Peter 3:10.

NOTE: “Fire comes down from God out of heaven. The earth is broken up. The weapons concealed in its depths are drawn forth. Devouring flames burst forth from every yawning chasm. The very rocks are on fire. The day has come that shall burn as an oven. The elements melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein are burned up. Malachi 4:1; 11 Peter 3:10. The earth’s surface seems one molten mass— a vast, seething lake of fire. It is the time of the judgment and perdition of ungodly men—‘the day of the Lord’s vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion.’ Isaiah 34:8.” The Great Controversy, 672, 673.

15 What warnings are we given? Revelation 14:6, 7.

NOTE: “John in the Revelation foretells the proclamation of the gospel message just before Christ’s second coming. . . . [Revelation 14:6, 7 quoted.]

“In the prophecy this warning of the judgment, with its connected messages, is followed by the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven. The proclamation of the judgment is an announcement of Christ’s second coming as at hand. And this proclamation is called the everlasting gospel. Thus the preaching of Christ’s second coming, the announcement of its nearness, is shown to be an essential part of the gospel message.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 227, 228.

“It is God’s purpose that the truth for this time shall be made known to every kindred and nation and tongue and people. In the world today men and women are absorbed in the search for worldly gain and worldly pleasure. There are thousands upon thousands who give no time or thought to the salvation of the soul. The time has come when the message of Christ’s soon coming is to sound throughout the world.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 24.

Food For Life – Curry Stew & Golden Waffles

Golden Waffles

Submitted by Janet Headrick

2 cups water, soy milk or nut milk

2 cups rolled oats

2 Tablespoons whole wheat flour

2 Tablespoons sesame seeds

Blend well in blender then bake in waffle iron 8–10 minutes. Add water to thin the batter as it sets. Good made ahead and frozen in baggies. Warm in toaster or microwave straight from the freezer.

Malaysian Curry Stew

Submitted by Martin Bernar

1 small onion

¼ cup curry powder

1 can coconut milk

Vegetables of your choice, diced, such as:

3–4 celery stalks, 2 potatoes, 1–2 tomatoes, 1 bell pepper, okra, etc.

2 Tablespoons McKay’s Chicken Seasoning or 1 Tablespoon salt

Honey to taste. If your curry is too spicy hot, add more honey.

Sauté onion in a small amount of oil in a 5–6 quart pot. Add ¼ cup curry powder and mix well. Fill the pot up to two-thirds full with water and bring to a boil. When water is boiling, add vegetables in order of their cooking time, i.e., potatoes first, celery, etc. However, add tomatoes with the potatoes as they give flavor to the stew. When you add the last vegetables, also add the rest of the ingredients: the coconut milk, chicken seasoning, and honey. You may add more curry powder depending on your taste. Cook until vegetables are done.

You can make curry sauce (as served in Thai restaurants) using this stew.

Mix ¼ cup of cornstarch with ½ cup of water, pour into the stew and cook for 2 minutes.

The stew will thicken, and you have sauce that can be served over rice.

Restoring the Temple – Diet and Health

Only one lease of life is granted us; and the inquiry with everyone should be, “How can I invest my powers so that they may yield the greatest profit? How can I do most for the glory of God and the benefit of my fellow men?” For life is valuable only as it is used for the attainment of these ends.

Self-Development a Duty

Our first duty toward God and our fellow beings is that of self-development. Every faculty with which the Creator has endowed us should be cultivated to the highest degree of perfection, that we may be able to do the greatest amount of good of which we are capable. Hence that time is spent to good account which is used in the establishment and preservation of physical and mental health. We cannot afford to dwarf or cripple any function of body or mind. As surely as we do this we must suffer the consequences.

Every man has the opportunity, to a great extent, of making himself whatever he chooses to be. The blessings of this life, and also of the immortal state, are within his reach. He may build up a character of solid worth, gaining new strength at every step. He may advance daily in knowledge and wisdom, conscious of new delights as he progresses, adding virtue to virtue, grace to grace. His faculties will improve by use; the more wisdom he gains, the greater will be his capacity for acquiring. His intelligence, knowledge, and virtue will thus develop into greater strength and more perfect symmetry.

On the other hand, he may allow his powers to rust out for want of use, or to be perverted through evil habits, lack of self-control or moral and religious stamina. His course then tends downward; he is disobedient to the law of God and to the laws of health. Appetite conquers him; inclination carries him away. It is easier for him to allow the powers of evil, which are always active, to drag him backward, than to struggle against them, and go forward. Dissipation, disease, and death follow. This is the history of many lives that might have been useful in the cause of God and humanity.

Temptation Through Appetite

One of the strongest temptations that man has to meet is upon the point of appetite. In the beginning the Lord made man upright. He was created with a perfectly balanced mind, the size and strength of all his organs being fully and harmoniously developed. But through the seductions of the wily foe the prohibition of God was disregarded, and the laws of nature wrought out their full penalty. . . .

Thus we often find it, even in the religious world. God’s expressed commands are transgressed; and “because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” Ecclesiastes 8:11. In the face of the most positive commands of God, men and women will follow their own inclinations, and then dare to pray over the matter, to prevail upon God to allow them to go contrary to His expressed will. . . .

Intemperance and Crime

Crime and disease have increased with every succeeding generation. Intemperance in eating and drinking, and the indulgence of the baser passions, have benumbed the nobler faculties of man. Reason, instead of being the ruler, has come to be the slave of appetite to an alarming extent. An increasing desire for rich food has been indulged, until it has become the fashion to crowd all the delicacies possible into the stomach. Especially at parties of pleasure is the appetite indulged with but little restraint. Rich dinners and late suppers are served, consisting of highly seasoned meats, with rich sauces, cakes, pies, ices, tea, coffee, etc. No wonder that with such a diet people have sallow complexions and suffer untold agonies from dyspepsia [indigestion]. Against every transgression of the laws of life, nature will utter her protest. She bears abuse as long as she can; but finally the retribution comes, and it falls upon the mental as well as the physical powers. Nor does it end with the transgressor; the effects of his indulgence are seen in his offspring, and thus the evil is passed down from generation to generation. . . .

Wrong Eating Destroys Health

A wrong course of eating or drinking destroys health, and with it the sweetness of life. . . . Thousands, by indulging a perverted appetite, have brought on fever or some other acute disease, which has resulted in death. That was enjoyment purchased at an immense cost. . . .

Too Frequent Eating a Cause of Dyspepsia

Many indulge in the pernicious habit of eating just before retiring. They may have taken their regular meals, yet because they feel a sense of faintness they think they must have a lunch. By indulging this wrong practice it becomes a habit, and they feel as though they could not sleep without food. In many cases this faintness comes because the digestive organs have been too severely taxed through the day in disposing of the great quantity of food forced upon them. These organs need a period of entire rest from labor, to recover their exhausted energies. . . . When we lie down at night, the stomach should have its work all done, that it, as well as other portions of the body, may enjoy rest. But if more food is forced upon it, the digestive organs are put in motion again, to perform the same round of labor through the sleeping hours. The sleep of such is often disturbed with unpleasant dreams, and in the morning they awake unrefreshed. When this practice is followed, the digestive organs lose their natural vigor, and the person finds himself a miserable dyspeptic. And not only does the transgression of nature’s laws affect the individual unfavorably, but others suffer more or less with him. Let anyone take a course that irritates him in any way, and see how quickly he manifests impatience. He cannot, without special grace, speak or act calmly. He casts a shadow wherever he goes. How can anyone say, then, “It is nobody’s business what I eat or drink”? —Counsels on Health, 107–119.

Children’s Story – Baby Duck

Margaret was sure she had noticed something as she walked through her parent’s garden—it was something unusual, and she was sure she had not seen it there before. She called her son Neil, and together they looked under the bushes and around the plants. Yes, there it was—a baby duckling! It was a fluffy, black duckling, which looked very lost. There were no ponds or lakes nearby, not even a river, so where had it come from?

Margaret asked all the neighbors, but no one had lost a little duckling. So the family adopted it and took it to the bottom of the garden where they made a safe, fenced-in cage for it so that the cats, foxes and other animals could not get at it. Inside they put a bowl of water, big enough so the baby duck could paddle in safety, and another, smaller bowl of water where they could put the duckling’s food. They had noticed it did not like to eat its food from a dry bowl. They watched to see which food it liked the best, and everyone in the family loved spending time feeding “Duck,” as they named it.

Every night Duck was carefully put into the garden shed where the family had made a nest of straw and where it could move around and be safe from owls and other night creatures. Truly no duck was ever cared for more than Duck.

One day when Granddad was digging the garden he thought Duck might like to wander in the garden—maybe Duck would like to eat the garden insects. So it proved, for Duck would follow Granddad around, as he worked in the garden, and Duck just loved the worms and other things that Granddad dug up.

Granddad grew quite fond of Duck, and the two of them would often be seen at the bottom of the garden—Duck eagerly waiting for a tasty treat, or waddling behind Granddad as he walked down the rows. Grand-dad even talked to Duck! Always, though, Duck would be put in the garden shed at night, where it was safe.

As Duck grew, it lost its fluffiness, its feathers grew, and it learned that it had wings! It would flap them sometimes, and as more feathers grew it would flap its wings more often. Then came the day that Duck actually flew—only a few feet at first, but then more and more. Finally, one day Duck flapped its wings and flew right over the fence and hedge and out of sight. The family members were heartbroken. They left the cage door open and the shed door, too. Maybe Duck would fly back, but it never did. The family was very sad, because they had tried hard to make Duck’s life a very happy one. They had catered to its every need.

This story reminds me of Jesus and of what He does for us. Each day He shows us how much He loves us by sending our guardian angels to protect us, by giving us our mommies and daddies to love us and to care for us. He gives us wonderful food to eat and the beauties of nature to enjoy. He has made mansions in heaven for us where there will be no more sadness, no more illness, and we will be with Him forevermore. Are we happy with His gifts, or are we tempted, by all the earthly pleasures with which Satan tries to tempt us, to wander away from Him? Let us strive to be like Jesus and to help finish the work He has asked us to do, so we may soon go to live with Him in heaven.

Inspiration – Father’s Position and Responsibilities

True Definition of Husband

The home is an institution of God. God designed that the family circle, father, mother, and children, should exist in this world as a firm.

The work of making home happy does not rest upon the mother alone. Fathers have an important part to act. The husband is the house-band of the home treasures, binding by his strong, earnest, devoted affection the members of the household, mother and children, together in the strongest bonds of union.

His name, “house-band,” is the true definition of husband. . . . I saw that but few fathers realize their responsibility.

The Head of the Family Firm

The husband and father is the head of the household. The wife looks to him for love and sympathy and for aid in the training of the children; and this is right. The children are his as well as hers, and he is equally interested in their welfare. The children look to the father for support and guidance; he needs to have a right conception of life and of the influences and associations that should surround his family; above all, he should be controlled by the love and fear of God and by the teaching of His word, that he may guide the feet of his children in the right way. . . .

The father should do his part toward making home happy. Whatever his cares and business perplexities, they should not be permitted to overshadow his family; he should enter his home with smiles and pleasant words.

The Lawmaker and Priest

All members of the family center in the father. He is the lawmaker, illustrating in his own manly bearing the sterner virtues: energy, integrity, honesty, patience, courage, diligence, and practical usefulness. The father is in one sense the priest of the household, laying upon the altar of God the morning and evening sacrifice. The wife and children should be encouraged to unite in this offering and also to engage in the song of praise. Morning and evening the father, as priest of the household, should confess to God the sins committed by himself and his children through the day. Those sins which have come to his knowledge and also those which are secret, of which God’s eye alone has taken cognizance, should be confessed. This rule of action, zealously carried out by the father when he is present or by the mother when he is absent, will result in blessings to the family.

The father represents the divine Lawgiver in his family. He is a laborer together with God, carrying out the gracious designs of God and establishing in his children upright principles, enabling them to form pure and virtuous characters, because he has preoccupied the soul with that which will enable his children to render obedience not only to their earthly parent but also to their heavenly Father.

The father must not betray his sacred trust. He must not, on any point, yield up his parental authority.

To Walk With God

The father . . . will bind his children to the throne of God by living faith. Distrusting his own strength, he hangs his helpless soul on Jesus and takes hold of the strength of the Most High. Brethren, pray at home, in your family, night and morning; pray earnestly in your closet; and while engaged in your daily labor, lift up the soul to God in prayer. It was thus that Enoch walked with God. The silent, fervent prayer of the soul will rise like holy incense to the throne of grace and will be as acceptable to God as if offered in the sanctuary. To all who thus seek Him, Christ becomes a present help in time of need. They will be strong in the day of trial.

Maturity of Experience Called For

A father must not be as a child, moved merely by impulse. He is bound to his family by sacred, holy ties.

What his influence will be in the home will be determined by his knowledge of the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. “When I was a child,” Paul says, “I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” The father is to stand at the head of his family, not as an overgrown, undisciplined boy, but as a man with manly character and with his passions controlled. He is to obtain an education in correct morals. His conduct in his home life is to be directed and restrained by the pure principles of the word of God. Then he will grow up to the full stature of a man in Christ Jesus.

Submit the Will to God

To the man who is a husband and a father, I would say, Be sure that a pure, holy atmosphere surrounds your soul. . . . You are to learn daily of Christ. Never, never are you to show a tyrannical spirit in the home. The man who does this is working in partnership with satanic agencies. Bring your will into submission to the will of God. Do all in your power to make the life of your wife pleasant and happy. Take the word of God as the man of your counsel. In the home live out the teachings of the word. Then you will live them out in the church and will take them with you to your place of business. The principles of heaven will ennoble all your transactions. Angels of God will cooperate with you, helping you to reveal Christ to the world.

A Fitting Prayer for a Quick-tempered Husband

Do not allow the vexations of your business to bring darkness into your home life. If, when little things occur that are not exactly as you think they should be, you fail to reveal patience, long forbearance, kindness, and love, you show that you have not chosen as a companion Him who so loved you that He gave His life for you, that you might be one with Him.

In the daily life you will meet with sudden surprises, disappointments, and temptations. What saith the word? “Resist the devil,” by firm reliance upon God, “and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.” “Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.” [James 4:7; Isaiah 27:5.] Look unto Jesus at all times and in all places, offering a silent prayer from a sincere heart that you may know how to do His will. Then when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard for you against the enemy. When you are almost ready to yield, to lose patience and self-control, to be hard and denunciatory, to find fault and accuse—this is the time for you to send to heaven the prayer, “Help me, O God, to resist temptation, to put all bitterness and wrath and evilspeaking out of my heart. Give me Thy meekness, Thy lowliness, Thy long-suffering, and Thy love. Leave me not to dishonor my Redeemer, to misinterpret the words and motives of my wife, my children, and my brethren and sisters in the faith. Help me that I may be kind, pitiful, tenderhearted, forgiving. Help me to be a real house-band in my home and to represent the character of Christ to others.”

Exercise Authority With Humility

It is no evidence of manliness in the husband for him to dwell constantly upon his position as head of the family. It does not increase respect for him to hear him quoting Scripture to sustain his claims to authority. It will not make him more manly to require his wife, the mother of his children, to act upon his plans as if they were infallible. The Lord has constituted the husband the head of the wife to be her protector; he is the house-band of the family, binding the members together, even as Christ is the head of the church and the Saviour of the mystical body. Let every husband who claims to love God carefully study the requirements of God in his position. Christ’s authority is exercised in wisdom, in all kindness and gentleness; so let the husband exercise his power and imitate the great Head of the church.

The Adventist Home, 211–215.

The Consecrated Way, Part IV

We have been making our way through the passage of Scripture found in 2 Peter 1—Peter’s ladder. Centuries before, Jacob, when fleeing from Esau, laid his head on a rock, weary from the flight. There, in visions of the night, God gave Jacob a dream of a ladder that extended from the earth to heaven. The ladder was meaningful to Jacob. It assured him that God was with him; it encouraged him that there is indeed a ladder extending from earth to heaven. Peter picks up where this dream left off by presenting the idea that Jesus is coming again and that we need to get ready for that wonderful and great event by climbing the ladder. Sister White makes it very clear that each rung of that ladder is important to us in reaching the kingdom of heaven.

“The apostle Peter presents before us the ladder of progress that we must climb round by round in order to meet the approval of God. [2 Peter 1:5–7 quoted.] Those who would make men of honor, men of trust, men of fidelity, must begin to be faithful in the smallest matters, and they must begin at home. Everyone who would be perfect must mount this ladder of progress. Many have neglected to put their feet upon the first rounds of the ladder. They want to mount to the topmost rounds without the trouble of climbing, but the only sure way is to take the painstaking way of going up by gradual advance, round after round.” Signs of the Times, May 25, 1891.

“According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience ….”
2 Peter 1:3–6.

The Climb Gets Harder

When we arrive at patience, we find that we are half way up the ladder in the goal that leads to Christian perfection of character. The climb does not seem to be getting any easier. As a matter of fact, it is getting somewhat more difficult. There are some folks who are afraid of heights. They do not like to climb very far for fear of falling.

The rung of this ladder, called patience, is one that speaks to every one of us—so elusive and yet so desirable. Webster defines patience: “The state, quality, power or fact of being patient.” It does not say a whole lot to us, does it? What is patience? Further research results in three meanings that come to bear on our climb:

  1. bearing pains or trials calmly without complaint,
  2. manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain, and
  3. being steadfast, despite opposition, difficulty or adversity.

I would like to suggest that each one of these meanings has an application to the Christian today, as he is looking for the soon return of the Lord Jesus in the clouds of glory. Revelation 14:12 serves as a hallmark for Seventh-day Adventists. After having outlined the events that will surround the last generation just before Jesus comes, the proclamation of the Three Angels’ Messages, John wrote, under inspiration, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”

Beautiful Harmony

It is marvelous to see the harmony of the words of inspiration. Peter must have known that patience was a necessary part of character development for the last generation. He gave direction through the Spirit of God that patience was a part of that development. Then, through the same Spirit while John sees the culmination of all the events of earth’s history, he writes, “Here is the patience of the saints.”

Someone once said that, “Patience is the guardian of faith, the preserver of peace, the cherished of love, the teacher of humility. Patience governs the flesh, strengthens the spirit, sweetens the temper, stifles anger, extinguishes envy, and subdues pride. Patience bridles the tongue, restrains the hand, tramples on temptations, endures persecutions, and consummates martyrdom. Patience produces unity in the church, loyalty in the state, harmony in families and societies. She comforts the poor and moderates the rich. She makes us humble in prosperity, cheerful in adversity, and is unmoved by reproach. She teaches us to forgive those who have injured us and to be first in asking forgiveness of those whom we have injured. She delights the faithful and invites the unbelieving. She adorns the woman and approves the man. Patience is beautiful in either sex and every age.” The Royal Path of Life, © 1997 Bud and Debbie Neptune, R. R. 1 Box 131a, Dawn MO 64638 <> (cited March 26, 2002).

It is a little better than Webster’s definition, is it not? This is what Peter is telling us that we need to add to temperance. I believe there is significance to the order in which these Christian graces were given. Add to temperance, patience. Did you know that we cannot have patience without temperance? What affects the body affects the mind.

Continuing the Climb

What we fail to provide for physically we cannot expect to reap spiritually. On the other hand, it is also apparent that we can climb on to the rung of temperance and not climb any higher. We might be exercising all sorts of temperance in our lives; we may be eating all the right kinds of foods; we may have never violated any of the rules of health; we may be exercising, getting proper sleep; our temperance may be impeccable, yet we may lose eternal life, because we have not climbed any higher in the development of our Christian character.

This is what happened to the Pharisees. They were perfectionists in all their physical aspects—those things that could be seen, felt, and heard—but they were lost because they did not develop spiritually. They did not climb, as they should have. We have many Christians today who are classed in the same group as were the Pharisees. They are doing everything right as far as temperance and health reform is concerned, but they have not continued to climb higher.

Peter says that God’s plan for us is to climb that ladder, round by round, ultimately stepping off into the Promised Land. I hope that you have not stopped in your climb.

Bearing Pains or Trials

Have you added to your temperance, patience—the ability to bear pains or trials calmly without complaint? If things do not go just the way you want them to go, do you lose your patience? It is quite a trial. When you are crossed, do you fly off the handle? Do you lose control of yourself and perhaps rant or rave just a little bit? What would a non-Christian think if he were to come upon you then? What is the angel writing down? Sometimes our lack of patience causes us to say things that will condemn us in the judgment, because every word is recorded.

Have you been able to manifest forbearance under provocation or strain? I remember a neighbor of ours who, when I was just a boy, had an old Packard car. The old Packard engines were straight eights, and they had a long hood on them. It was in the wintertime, and he had run the battery down trying to get the car started, so he tried starting the engine by using a crank. He cranked and cranked, but it still did not start. So, in his lack of patience, he pulled the crank out of its place and began to beat it across the hood, the fenders, and the headlights. When that did not produce the amount of satisfaction he wanted, he shattered the windshield with the crank. But that did not start the car either.

He was not a Christian, but surprisingly there are Christians who display similar behavior. Patience. Oh, golden patience. Have you been able to be steadfast despite opposition, difficulty or adversity? If you have not developed patience, what do you suppose it is going to be like when you find yourself in the throes of the events that are going to transpire just before Jesus comes?

Steadfast Despite Adversity?

I do not know whether you sense it or not, but it seems to me, at least in these last few years, that the intensity of everything is growing. How are we going to fare? Are we going to be steadfast despite opposition and difficulty or adversity? As we have heard, we have not yet seen anything compared to what is coming. Do you have the patience of the saints that will see you through those times?

The apostle Peter is not the only one who understands the need for patience as a Christian virtue. Paul, writing to the Romans, tells them something similar. “Let love be without dissimulation [hypocrisy]. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.” Romans 12:9–12.

As a matter of fact, Paul mentions patience in his writings more than all the other Bible writers put together. “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” Hebrews 10:36, 37.

Paul tells us here that the kingdom of God comes with patience. We cannot rush ahead of God; we need to have patience. We might consider ourselves ready, but while He is working for the salvation of others, we need to have patience. If we are not ready to meet the Lord with peace in our hearts, we need to commit ourselves to Christ today.

Not the Only One

You are not the only one with whom Jesus is working. You are not the only one with whom the Holy Spirit is striving to bring to a knowledge of salvation. While we may be ready, there are others who are not, and it calls upon us for patience to wait for God’s timing.

Patience calls for us to wait upon the Lord to do His will. Deliverance will come; Paul says it will come with patience. In the meantime, there are things in our lives on which we need to work.

Moses Makes a Mess of Things

The Bible tells of a man who thought that he knew more than he did about the situation in which he found himself, and he did not exercise patience when he should have. It did not prove to be very healthful for some people. The children of Israel went into Egypt to keep from starving to death during a famine. Joseph made provision for them under the guidance of God, but finally Joseph died, and they were still in Egypt.

“Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land. Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.” Exodus 1:8–12.

God’s plan did not provide for them to remain in bondage. So a deliverer was born—born with a destiny to free God’s children from their bondage. “And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand. And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow? And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known. Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian . . . .” Exodus 2:11–15.

Moses, because of a lack of patience, made a mess of the whole plan of God. We should each ask ourselves: Am I working in the plan of God, or am I working in a frustrating, impatient way against the plan of God? Moses had every advantage, but the thing that he lacked was patience.

There is no question in my mind that Moses knew that God had something special in mind for him to help his people. There was too much connected with his life, too many providential leadings, for him not to know. But Moses was not a man who was a patient man. According to Acts 7:22, “Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.” Interestingly, all that wisdom, all that might in words and in deeds, all that he could do was not enough to undo what he had done through lack of patience.

Angel Ministry

“The elders of Israel were taught by angels that the time for their deliverance was near, and that Moses was the man whom God would employ to accomplish this work. Angels instructed Moses also that Jehovah had chosen him to break the bondage of His people. . . . In slaying the Egyptian, Moses had fallen into the same error so often committed by his fathers, of taking into their own hands the work that God had promised to do. It was not God’s will to deliver His people by warfare, as Moses thought . . . .” Patriarchs and Prophets, 245, 247.

Are there times when you think that God has a plan of which you are to be a part, and you are determined to do it your way? Your way may have been the way you were taught and trained and the way that you have always done it, so you think that is the way it always has to be. You might be surprised. Moses was. Moses was trained; he had all the skill and wisdom of the Egyptians. He thought he would do things his way! Lo and behold, it was not God’s way at all. Why? Because God was patient; Moses was not.


“It was not God’s will to deliver His people by warfare, as Moses thought, but by His own mighty power, that the glory might be ascribed to Him alone. Yet, even this rash act was overruled by God to accomplish His purposes. Moses was not prepared for his great work. He had yet to learn the same lesson of faith that Abraham and Jacob had been taught—not to rely upon human strength or wisdom, but upon the power of God for the fulfillment of His promises. And there were other lessons that, amid the solitude of the mountains, Moses was to receive. In the school of self-denial and hardship he was to learn patience, to temper his passions.” Ibid., 247.

Moses, at 45, was a young man in his prime. He was in the first one-third of his life. It took him almost the same amount of time, another 40 years, to unlearn what he had learned in the courts of Pharaoh.

What have you learned in the first one-third of your life? Have you been adding those virtuous graces to your character, or will you need to unlearn what you learned before? Do you wonder why things are going so slow, why things are not progressing as rapidly as they should?

Sometimes it is much more difficult to use a used ball of string than a ball of string that is new, because a used ball of string can snarl easier. If you have ever tried to unsnarl a ball of string, you know what it is like. That is your life. That is what God is trying to work through now. For Moses, who had all the skills, all the background, all the wonders of education and experience, God had to take his life and unsnarl it. God said, “Now, I will give you some sheep to herd; let that unsnarl your mind.”

Learning Patience

If there is anything that can teach a person how to be patient, it is herding sheep. Reflect back upon what God did with David and Moses and other sheepherders. What a marvelous lesson in the school of self-denial and hardship—you will learn patience, control of your temper.

During the next 40 years Moses learned patience. He learned meekness, and finally, when he had gone through a transition and change, God called him back to deliver Israel. Exodus tells the story: “And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.” Exodus 4:10.

Moses did the job that the Lord had called him to do, and he was able to do the job because he had learned patience. How many of us have felt a calling to do a job for the Lord, but we find that many times we have run ahead of the Lord, that the timing just was not quite right? Do we stand back and learn the lesson that we failed to learn, to do it in God’s time? Or do we just shove ahead? This is a question we need to ask ourselves. Moses stood back and learned God’s lessons.

Is God calling you to do a great work? How is your patience with your wife? How is your patience with your husband? How is your patience with your children? Do you say mean and passionate words to them? Are you in the Lord’s will? Are you in a position that will provide avenues for the Lord to use you?

If not, the Lord may have to deal with you in a way that may not at all be pleasant. The Bible says that the Lord is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (See 2 Peter 3:9.) If you are impatient, there is no way that the Lord can take you to heaven. God forbid that we should ever reach a point, like the children of Israel of old, who, seeing they see not; hearing they hear not. (See Matthew 13:13.)

A Last Day People

The word patience is used more in the book of Revelation than in any other book of the Bible. Paul used it more, totally, but as far as books are concerned, it is used the most in the book of Revelation. The book of Revelation is the book of last things, the special book that has been given to guide God’s people through the last days.

“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12. I get the distinct impression that unless we are able to have patience—patience that is developed through association with family, church members, jobs, business associates, the trials that come day by day—we are not keeping the commandments of God nor are we able to have the faith of Jesus.

That becomes pretty serious, does it not? The question that we need to ask ourselves then, is this: Can we afford to give vent to our impatience and to forfeit our growth in this area and lose out in the end because we have not been able to climb any higher in the ladder of character development?

God has made every provision for us to go higher. We will never be able to stand before the Lord and say, “Well, you know, it was not possible, Lord, for me to obtain patience.” Jesus says, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” 2 Corinthians 12:9. “I overcame impatience,” He says, “and you can, too.”

He was tempted in all points just like we are tempted, yet without sin. (See Hebrews 4:15.) He had no advantage over us—we are starting at the same place Jesus started, but He has walked the road before us, and He says, I am by your side, My grace is sufficient, you can add to your temperance, patience.

Demon Possession and Music

And there was war in heaven: Michael and His angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Revelation 12:7–10.

The devil and his angels have been present in the earth ever since that time. Evidence of their presence and activity may be found throughout the entire history of the Bible, particularly during the time when Christ was on earth, where we find numerous accounts of Christ casting demons out of people.

Their activity has not only continued to our day but has intensified. “Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” Revelation 12:12.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8.

Which Spirit Possesses You?

The devil did not invent spirit possession. Jesus offers us oneness with Him. This is the kind of possession God has planned for fulfillment and happiness in our lives. Satan always counterfeits every good thing, and in this case, he uses the very mechanisms to take control of man that God has provided for us to have complete possession by Him.

What is involved is the influence of some supernatural being in the lives of people. In order for this to take place, some form of communication must occur in the form of the transfer of thoughts and feelings. Consider the following statement: “The brain nerves that connect with the whole system are the medium through which heaven communicates with man and affects the inmost life.” Education, 209. God created in us a mechanism whereby the Holy Spirit can communicate directly with each of us. This is a Biblical concept: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16.

Spirit Possession and the Mind

However, if one submits to the suggestions of an evil spirit, possession by that evil spirit will take place. It is reasonable to think that the mechanism, designed by God for communication with the Holy Spirit, may be taken over by evil spirits. William Sargant, a British psychiatrist, studied extensively the work of witch doctors, voodoo priests, and faith healers. He compared their methods with hypnotic trances and rock music festivals. Specifically, attention is diverted and fatigue sets in. Eager anticipation and high expectation of ecstasy also play a role. Individual will power is weakened. (See William Sargent, The Mind Possessed: a Physiology of Possession, Mysticism and Faith Healing, Harper & Row, NY, 1974.)

  1. E. Wade examines transcendental meditation, hypnosis, glossolalia, and spiritism in connection with possession. He concludes: “It is my personal conviction that the normal human brain is capable of experiencing the functional relation to the Holy Spirit by a mechanism which is misused to achieve hypnotic trance. . . . This mechanism may be surrendered to the control of an evil spirit as occurs in voodoo spirit possession; or a human hypnotist may intrude into the relationship when he casts a spell over his subject.” T. E. Wade, Spirit Possession, Gazelle Publications, Auburn, CA, 1991, 47.

Ellen White strongly opposed the use of hypnotism: “The theory of mind controlling mind was originated by Satan. . . . It opens a door through which Satan will enter to take possession both of the mind that is given up to be controlled . . . and of the mind that controls.” The Ministry of Healing, 243.

Spirit Possession and Music

Having established that spirit possession does take place, the possibility of the role of music in possession may be examined. Satan has always been highly involved with music, beginning in heaven. “Satan had led the heavenly choir.” The Story of Redemption, 25. This suggests that Satan is the most intelligent being regarding music in our world. He knows how to make the best use of it to achieve his ends. He does things with music that seem strange and even impossible.

The search for the use of music in devil possession resulted in finding two main avenues. One is the use of beats in music to call the spirits or gods. The other is the altered state of consciousness.

Music Beats

Much has been said and written by many people about the harmfulness of the beats in rock music. One of the most important reasons it is harmful is because it calls the demons. This use of music goes way back in African history. It is also found in Indian history. The author has, in her possession, tapes of songs to the oldest known, original gods of India. These come from Tamil in the southern part of India and go back to the early time of Indian history.

From these countries, and particularly from Africa, the music and religion spread in the world because of the dispersion of people in slavery. Even though slaves, people preserved their loyalty to their religion through whatever means they could. There are three main religions which are still extant which grew out of this dispersion. In Haiti, it is called Voodoo. In Cuba, it is called Santeria, and in Brazil, it is called Condomble. In each of these religions, as in African and Indian religions specific rhythms are used to call specific gods. This is the purpose of the rituals performed. Drums are played, there is dancing. A certain rhythm is played, depending on which god is desired, and that god comes and possesses individuals. The same exact rhythms are used in each of the three religions named above, in African and Indian music, in rock music and in music used in meetings of faith healers. It seems as though the god is willing to come whenever called by anyone. Does the god come to celebration churches when the god’s rhythm is played in Christian rock music, even though the people present do not realize that they are calling a god? There is quite a strong consensus that the god does come.

The story is told of a family where the husband liked very much to listen to Christian music radio stations (country gospel and contemporary Christian). His wife, however, did not appreciate this music, so she banned her husband with the music to a bedroom with a closed door. As time went on, strange things occurred in their house. There were odd noises, and things moved unexpectedly. When she learned that the beat in rock music calls the demons, she said, “That is the answer. My husband’s music is calling the spirits into our house.” So they determined to stop the music, and immediately the strange occurrences also stopped. They did not know that they were calling gods into their house.

Ritual Songs

Music is a necessary part of the rituals, a primary purpose of which is to accomplish a state of possession by one or more of the gods.

The role of the drums is to call the gods and thus bring on spirit possession, which is the ultimate purpose of most rituals. Drums are usually played in a battery of three. The largest drum is played by the master drummer and is the most important, because it is specific in spirit possession. Specific rhythms correspond to specific gods.

It is the rhythm identified with each god that is a primary instrument in summoning him and no worship of the gods is possible without the rhythms that call and speak for the god. (See Harold Courlander, A Treasury of Afro-American Folklore, Crown Publishers, Inc., NY, 1976.)

The drums have the primary religious function of calling the gods, and thus of bringing on spirit possession. (See G. Behague, “Patterns of Candomble Music Performance: an Afro-Brazilian Religious Setting,” Performance Practice Ethnomusicological Perspectives, Greenwood Press, CT, 1984, 231.)

In all of these religions we find a spirit possession which is echoed, primarily through the beat of the music, in rock music, in faith healing, and in churches of all persuasions through Christian rock music, contemporary Christian music, and country gospel. The devil has done a good job of infiltrating our culture, including our Christian culture, with spirit possession, which may be very real, even though people do not realize that it is happening to them.

Altered State of Consciousness

The other main stream technique, in which the devil uses music to bring about spirit possession, is that of the altered state of consciousness.

“Thoughts naturally flit across the mind, and considering an idea generally brings up related thoughts. Occultists teach that, by visualization and concentration, this natural flow of thoughts can be interrupted. As this occurs, subjects slip into an altered state of consciousness which we have identified as the corridor of the mind.” Wade, op. cit., 74, 75. This is called by various names such as illumination, enlightenment, trance, tuning in, and hypnotism.

Wade further states: “Any type of concentration on sensual stimulation may alter consciousness. Music with a strong rhythm, or concentration on the relaxation of different parts of the body, can induce it. The apparently innocent concentration on a mental image of Jesus standing in your favorite spot can bring the same effect.” Ibid.

Before proceeding, it is important to understand the ways in which music facilitates an altered state of consciousness. One important element of the process is called entrainment. In 1665, the Dutch scientist Huygens noticed that if two clocks were placed next to each other, they would soon begin ticking synchronously and so was discovered the Law of Entrainment. Rhythms in close proximity will entrain. Because of entrainment, music is often used beneficially to control heart rate and other rhythms in the body. Since this is true, it is also possible to use the rhythm of sound to control the rhythm of brainwaves.

Neuro-chemical cortical brain activity may be measured. A set of descriptors has been developed and identified as Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta.

Beta is predominantly present when the individual is attending to a task, particularly such a task as mathematics. This is also the state of the brain during critical thinking. When Alpha is predominant, the individual is in a relaxed state. There are some claims that hypnotism takes place in higher levels of Alpha. One description is alert relaxation. The Theta condition is extremely relaxed. Meditation conditions could take place here. Lower levels might include approaching sleep. Delta is the sleep condition. It is an extremely low level of brain activity.

Neurons are constantly firing at various rates all over the brain, but one of these levels may be predominant at any given time under given circumstances. Brain waves are vibrations measured in Hertz (Hz), or cycles per second.


Music is also vibration, which is measured in cycles per second or Hertz, which determines frequency or pitch.

Another element, which the devil employs in his arsenal, is that of difference tones. This is a phenomena commonly explained in psychology of music texts whereby a phantom tone is heard. Under certain conditions, when two tones are sounded simultaneously, a tone equal to the difference in Hz (cycles per seconds) between the two tones may be heard even though it is not being played. If tones of 100 Hz and
106 Hz were sounded, a phantom tone of 6 Hz might be heard. Or if a C and a G above it were played simultaneously, the C an octave lower might be heard.

To combine these three (entrainment, difference tones and brain-waves), consider the following: notes producing difference tones of very low or small frequency could be played and embedded just below the audible sound of the music. When the listener hears the music the embedded difference tones (although inaudible to him) will entrain with the listener’s brainwaves, thus controlling them or causing them to match the difference tones. Without realizing what is happening to him, the listener’s brain waves may be led to an Alpha, Theta, or Delta state according to the whim of the controller. Some believe that the devil has been using techniques such as these since the beginning of the world and is still using them.

It has been suggested that control by the use of musical effects was used by the Sumerians: “The Sumerians ruled that land [Babylon] from about 3500 bc to 2000 bc when hegemony [leadership] then passed to the Semitic Babylonians who took over their culture. . . . That culture included cuneiform writing, a sexagesimal system of mathematics (based on 60 instead of 10), a pantheon of deities, a considerable literature, and a fund of musical instruments important enough tobe classed among the divine principles. . . . And it is the Babylonian development of the greatest system of musical ritual in any ancient religion which makes it imperative that we not neglect possible associations between her mathematics, her music, and her religion.” Ernest McClain, The Myth of Invariance, the Origin of the Gods, Mathematics and Music From the Rg Veda to Plata, Nicholas-Hays, Inc., York Beach, MA, 1984, 130, 131.

Music and Babylon

In ancient Babylon, there is the example of instruments used to signal the people to worship the golden image. “That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up.” Daniel 3:5. It seems reasonable to think that the instruments served more of a purpose than just a signal. Mrs. White says, “The appointed day came, and at the sound of entrancing music the vast company ‘fell down and worshiped the golden image.’” Christ Triumphant, 177. Speaking further of this, she says, “Force is the last resort of every false religion. At first it tries attraction, as the king of Babylon tried the power of music and outward show.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 976.

“The ancients knew how to use music to elicit a mystical experience. . . . Everything remains on the level of the emotions and the nervous system. Even today, thanks to the media, we can witness the effect of music on the masses. Singers and musicians exercise tremendous power over crowds of adoring fans. We no longer need lyrics or a coherent message to convince others. The phenomenon has even invaded religious communities. In reaction to the cerebral frigidity of traditional services, certain denominations have fallen into the other extreme. They spoon-feed and wash down the message by the continuous purring of background music. Believers, transported by the spirit, shout and cry out in delirious enthusiasm. Such an approach considers reflection unnecessary and outdated. It only smiles at absolute judgments. This episode in the book of Daniel warns us against a strictly emotional religion. Emotions can be a part of the religious experience only when united with reflection and thought. Adoration must involve the whole being, and to neglect one aspect could lead to bowing before an idol. Likewise, in the plain of Dura, the preachers of Babel do not waste time in dry demonstrations or arguments. Music suffices to trigger adoration, and its adherents live strictly in the present. Several times the passage explicitly stresses the dimension of the present.” Jaccques B. Doukhan, Secrets of Daniel, Review and Herald Publishing, Hagerstown, MD, 2000, 48, 49.

Goddess Worship

A large part of goddess worship was the use of the hand drum to call the spirits.

Tibetan bells, or Tin-Ssha’s, have been used in Buddhist meditation practice for many centuries. The two bells, which are rung together, are slightly out of tune with each other. The difference tones between them lie somewhere between four and eight cycles per second. This is exactly in the range of the brain waves created during meditation and helps shift the brain to these frequencies. Tibetan bells are experiencing popularity in western culture at the present time. (See Don Campbell, Music Physician for Times to Come, Quest Books, Wheaton, IL, 1991, 228, 229.)

All this leads to the present. Twentieth-century people discovered an ancient usage of difference tones and entrainment and successfully used them to produce an altered state of consciousness.

A man named Monroe first discovered the use of specific frequencies to entrain the brain. He discovered that certain frequencies, which were in the same spectrum as brain waves, could produce entrainment of brain waves. These are too low for the human ear to hear, but by using higher sounds he could produce difference tones. “If the frequencies of two sound sources are applied separately, one to each ear, an Abinaural beat frequency is created. As explained above this is not an actual sound, but only a frequency difference between two actual sounds. The sound is heard within the brain itself, the binaural beat frequency is created by both brain hemispheres working simultaneously. The entrainment or frequency following response did not take place only in the area of the brain responsible for hearing, or only in the left or right hemispheres: the entire brain resonated, the waveforms of both hemispheres becoming identical in frequency, . . .” thus achieving an altered state of consciousness. Campbell, op. cit.

Subliminal Programming

There is a phenomenon in meditation techniques. The music on meditation tapes use two technologies: sound phasing and subliminal programming.

The subliminals use such messages as: I am one. I am love. I am peace. I am the source of my experience. I am existence . . . consciousness . . . ecstasy . . . peace. These are mantras that have come down through the centuries, which make up a very holistic program of non-dual, I-Consciousness.

Sound phasing is defined as “a vibrate sound, a tone that contains two tones, the top and bottom of the vibration. Phasing is the interval between the tones. The sound we call the interval is heard only in the brain. Your brain creates that sound from the two tones.” Patrick Harbula, Sounds of Transformation: A talk with Brother Charles, Meditation, 2(4), 1987, 20–29. This, of course, is difference tones.

Guarding the Mind

Tone wave generators have been built which can insert any difference tones in desired musical carriers. They are called binaural tone generators. They are available for anybody to purchase and are very easy to use. This means that this technique which can open the mind to demon possession is readily available to any that choose to use it. It is to be found in videotapes, cassette tapes, etc., which are being used.

The only protection available to counteract these wiles of Satan is found in Isaiah 26:20, which speaks about the present days: “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.”

“The darkest hour of the church’s struggle with the powers of evil is that which immediately precedes the day of her final deliverance. But none who trust in God need fear . . . .” Prophets and Kings, 725.