Bible Study Guides – Looking for Christ

July 22, 2007 – July 28, 2007

Key Text

“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 Help: Testimonies, vol. 5, 98−105.


“Did those who profess to be looking for Christ but realize how near is the end of all work for the salvation of souls, they would sacrifice their possessions as freely as did the members of the early church. ‘The multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul; neither said any of them that aught of the things which he possessed was his own. . . . As many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles’ feet.’ [Acts 4:32, 34, 35.] Those who had money or possessions freely sacrificed them to the existing emergency. The believers had one common interest—the success of the mission intrusted [sic] to them. Their love for Christ was far greater than their love for money. They acted out their faith, and by their works testified that they accounted the souls of men of more worth than any earthly treasure. Have we not even greater reason to sacrifice than they had? Have we not far less time than they in which to accomplish our work?” Review and Herald, December 6, 1887.

1 When did Peter say the restoration of all things would take place? Acts 3:20, 21. Who does he say has spoken of this time? Verse 21, last part.

note: “When the Saviour was about to be separated from His disciples, He comforted them in their sorrow with the assurance that He would come again: ‘Let not your heart be troubled. . . . In My Father’s house are many mansions. . . . I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself.’ John 14:1−3. ‘The Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him.’ ‘Then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: and before Him shall be gathered all nations.’ Matthew 25:31, 32.

“The angels who lingered upon Olivet after Christ’s ascension repeated to the disciples the promise of His return: ‘This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.’ Acts 1:11. And the apostle Paul, speaking by the Spirit of Inspiration, testified: ‘The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God.’ 1 Thessalonians 4:16. Says the prophet of Patmos: ‘Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him.’ Revelation 1:7. [Emphasis in original.]

“About His coming cluster the glories of that ‘restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.’ Acts 3:21. Then the long-continued rule of evil shall be broken.” The Great Controversy, 301.

2 What promise was made to Abraham? Genesis 17:7, 8. Who are heirs of this promise made to Abraham? Hebrews 11:9.

note: “There was given to Abraham the promise, especially dear to the people of that age, of a numerous posterity and of national greatness: ‘I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.’ [Genesis 12:2.] And to this was added the assurance, precious above every other to the inheritor of faith, that of his line the Redeemer of the world should come: ‘In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.’ [Verse 3.]” Patriarchs and Prophets, 125.

3 Did Isaac and Jacob receive the promise while they were living? Hebrews 11:9−13. For what did they look? Verses 10, 16.

note: “It is recorded of the holy men of old that God was not ashamed to be called their God. The reason assigned is that instead of coveting earthly possessions or seeking happiness in worldly plans or aspirations they placed their all upon the altar of God and made disposition of it to build up His kingdom. They lived only for God’s glory and declared plainly that they were strangers and pilgrims on earth, seeking a better country, that is, an heavenly. Their conduct proclaimed their faith. God could entrust to them His truth and could leave the world to receive from them a knowledge of His will.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 188.

4 To what time did Job look for final deliverance? Job 19:25−27.

note: “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 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 Great Controversy, 299.

5 What was revealed to Balaam when he was seeking to prophesy against Israel? Numbers 24:17, 19.

note: “All the world should wonder at the marvelous work of God in behalf of His people—that a man [Balaam] determined to pursue a sinful course should be so controlled by divine power as to utter, instead of imprecations, the richest and most precious promises, in the language of sublime and impassioned poetry. . . .

“Balaam uttered a most beautiful and sublime prophecy of the world’s Redeemer and the final destruction of the enemies of God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 449, 451.

6 What does the Psalmist say about the coming of the Lord? Psalm 50:3−6; 97:3−6; 37:10, 11, 29.

note: “Mercy and truth are promised to the humble and penitent, but judgments are prepared for the sinful and rebellious. ‘Justice and judgment are the habitation of Thy throne.’ [Psalm 89:14.] A wicked and adulterous people will not escape the wrath of God and the punishment they have justly earned. Man has fallen; and it will be the work of a lifetime, be it longer or shorter, to recover from that fall, and regain, through Christ, the image of the divine, which he lost by sin and continued transgression. God requires a thorough transformation of soul, body, and spirit in order to regain the estate lost through Adam. The Lord mercifully sends rays of light to show man his true condition. If he will not walk in the light he manifests a pleasure in darkness. He will not come to the light lest his deeds shall be reproved.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 448, 449.

“The psalmist had in mind the . . . final restoration of man’s original inheritance when he declared, ‘The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein forever.’ Psalm 37:29.

“This hope of redemption through the advent of the Son of God as Saviour and King, has never become extinct in the hearts of men.” Prophets and Kings, 682.

7 What warning is given by Zephaniah? Zephaniah 2:3. Why were they commanded to seek the Lord? Verses 1, 2.

note: “We are near the close of time. I [Ellen White] have been shown that the retributive judgments of God are already in the land. The Lord has given us warning of the events about to take place. Light is shining from His word; yet darkness covers the earth, and gross darkness the people. ‘When they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them; . . . and they shall not escape.’ [1 Thessalonians 5:3.]

“It is our duty to inquire the cause of this terrible darkness, that we may shun the course by which men have brought upon themselves so great delusion. God has given the world an opportunity to learn and to obey His will. He has given them, in His word, the light of truth; He has sent them warning, counsel, and admonition; but few will obey His voice. Like the Jewish nation, the majority, even of professed Christians, pride themselves on their superior advantages, but make no returns to God for these great blessings. In infinite mercy a last warning message has been sent to the world, announcing that Christ is at the door and calling attention to God’s broken law. But as the antediluvians rejected with scorn the warning of Noah, so will the pleasure lovers of today reject the message of God’s faithful servants. The world pursues its unvarying round, absorbed as ever in its business and its pleasures, while the wrath of God is about to be visited on the transgressors of His law.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 99, 100.

8 What did Jesus say His people should do after they saw certain signs in the heavens? Luke 21:28.

note: “The attention of the people should be called to the momentous event which is so near at hand. The signs of the times should be kept fresh before their minds. The prophetic visions of Daniel and John foretell a period of moral darkness and declension; but at the time of the end, the time in which we are now living, the vision was to speak and not lie. When the signs predicted begin to come to pass, the waiting, watching ones are bidden to look up and lift up their heads and rejoice because their redemption draweth nigh.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 9, 10.

9 What does Paul say of the coming of the Lord? Hebrews 9:28.

note: “The very best preparation we can have for his second coming, is to rest with firm faith, with trust and unshaken confidence, in the great salvation brought to us at his first advent. We must believe that Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many. Is he your personal Saviour? Are you, because the love of Jesus is abiding in your heart, saved from making mistakes and errors? Is the love of Christ a living, active agent in your soul, correcting, reforming, refining you, and purifying you from your wrong practices? There is need of cultivating every grace that Jesus, through his suffering and death, has brought within your reach. You are to manifest the grace that has been so richly provided for you, in the small as well as in the large concerns of life.” The Youth’s Instructor, September 7, 1893.

10 What admonition did Jesus leave for His people? Mark 13:35−37.

note: “Jesus has left us this warning: ‘Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the Master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping.’ [Mark 13:35, 36.] The church of God is required to fulfill her night watch, however perilous, whether long or short. Sorrow is no excuse for her to be less watchful. Tribulation should not lead to carelessness, but to double vigilance. Christ has directed the church by His own example to the Source of their strength in times of need, distress, and peril. The attitude of watching is to designate the church as God’s people indeed. By this sign the waiting ones are distinguished from the world and show that they are pilgrims and strangers upon the earth.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 205.

11 What effect should this theme have on all believers? 1 Thessalonians 4:18.

note: “We know that as trials press closer and closer, the hope grows stronger. The beams of the Sun of Righteousness shall shine into your heart with their healing power. Look beyond the clouds to the brightness, even the light of the Sun of Righteousness. Thank God that in the tempest of trial the anchor holds. We have an ever-living, ever-prevailing Intercessor, who is pleading our individual cases before the Father. The joys of an eternal reward have been purchased at an infinite cost.

“May the Lord comfort and strengthen and bless you is my [Ellen White] daily prayer. Oh, when we see the King in His beauty, what a day of gladness that will be. We will rest in the rich promises of God. He will never fail us, but be to us a present help in every time of need.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 249, 250.

12 How can we comfort one another? Hebrews 10:25.

note: “If there is ever one time above another when men need to preserve their connection with God, it is when they are called to bear special responsibility. It is not safe for us, when going into battle, to cast away our weapons. It is then that we need to be equipped with the whole armor of God. Every piece is essential.

“Never entertain the thought that you can be Christians and yet withdraw within yourselves. Each one is a part of the great web of humanity, and the nature and quality of your experience will be largely determined by the experiences of those with whom you associate. Jesus says: ‘Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst.’ Matthew 18:20. Then let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhort one another; and so much the more, as we see the day approaching.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 190.

Bible Study Guides – The Work of Redemption, Part 111

July 15, 2007 – July 21, 2007

Key Text

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” Romans 8:16.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 5, 215, 216; My Life Today, 354.


“As your soul yearns after God, you will find more and still more of the unsearchable riches of His grace. As you contemplate these riches you will come into possession of them and will reveal the merits of the Saviour’s sacrifice, the protection of His righteousness, the fullness of His wisdom, and His power to present you before the Father ‘without spot, and blameless.’ 11 Peter 3:14.” The Acts of the Apostles, 567.

1 Of what does the Spirit bear witness? Romans 8:16.

note: “If the Spirit beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God, what is the result? The believing soul comes into perfect submission to the will of God. The Majesty of heaven condescends to a holy, familiar intercourse with him who seeks God with the whole heart, and the child of God, through the abundant manifestation of His grace, is softened into a childlike dependence. You must commit your soul and body unto God with perfect trust in His power and willingness to bless you, helpless and unworthy as you are.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 14, 276.

2 If we are children, what rights have we? With whom are we joint heirs? Romans 8:17.

note: “Through faith in Christ we become members of the royal family, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. In Christ we are one. As we come in sight of Calvary, and view the royal Sufferer who in man’s nature bore the curse of the law in his behalf, all national distinctions, all sectarian differences are obliterated; all honor of rank, all pride of caste is lost.

“The light shining from the throne of God upon the cross of Calvary forever puts an end to man-made separations between class and race. Men of every class become members of one family, children of the heavenly King, not through earthly power, but through the love of God who gave Jesus to a life of poverty, affliction, and humiliation, to a death of shame and agony, that He might bring many sons and daughters unto glory.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 258.

3 With whom are we connected, if we are heirs? Galatians 3:7, 9, 29. Of what was Abraham the heir? Romans 4:13.

note: “Though the people of Israel . . . had failed of the high destiny to which God had called them, in their unbelief had failed to become the light of the world, though they had despised God’s mercy and forfeited their blessings as His chosen people—yet God had not cast off the seed of Abraham; the glorious purposes which He had undertaken to accomplish through Israel were to be fulfilled. All who through Christ should become the children of faith were to be counted as Abraham’s seed; they were inheritors of the covenant promises; like Abraham, they were called to guard and to make known to the world the law of God and the gospel of His Son.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 476.

4 To what time are the saints sealed? Ephesians 1:13, 14.

note: “God’s original purpose in the creation of the earth is fulfilled as it is made the eternal abode of the redeemed. ‘The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.’ [Psalm 37:29.] The time has come to which holy men have looked with longing since the flaming sword barred the first pair from Eden—the time for ‘the redemption of the purchased possession.’ [Ephesians 1:14.] The earth originally given to man as his kingdom, betrayed by him into the hands of Satan, and so long held by the mighty foe, has been brought back by the great plan of redemption. . . .

“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.

5 To whom is the first dominion promised to be restored? Micah 4:8. What is meant by the “tower of the flock”? Psalm 61:1−3; Proverbs 18:10.

note: “He [God] is the strength of His people today. We are not to trust in princes, or to set men in the place of God. We are to remember that human beings are fallible and erring, and that He who has all power is our strong tower of defense. In every emergency we are to feel that the battle is His. His resources are limitless, and apparent impossibilities will make the victory all the greater.” Prophets and Kings, 202.

“God is our tower of strength.” Steps to Christ, 98.

6 To whom is the kingdom to be given? Daniel 7:27.

note: “God calls for separation from the world. Will you obey? Will you come out from among them, and remain separate and distinct from them? . . . You cannot mingle with worldlings, and partake of their spirit, and follow their example, and be at the same time a child of God. The Creator of the universe addresses you as an affectionate Father. If you separate from the world in your affections, and remain free from its contamination, escaping the corruption that is in the world through lust, God will be your Father, He will adopt you into His family, and you will be His heir. In place of the world, He will give you, for a life of obedience, the kingdom under the whole heavens. He will give you an eternal weight of glory and a life that is as enduring as eternity.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 44.

7 How will the first dominion be restored to its original beauty? 11 Peter 3:10, 12, 13.

note: “The earth originally given to man as his kingdom, betrayed by him into the hands of Satan, and so long held by the mighty foe, has been brought back by the great plan of redemption. All that was lost by sin has been restored. . . . God’s original purpose in the creation of the earth is fulfilled as it is made the eternal abode of the redeemed.” The Great Controversy, 674.

8 With what important event is the renovation of the earth connected? 11 Peter 3:7.

note: “While Satan was rallying his army, the saints were in the city, beholding the beauty and glory of the Paradise of God. . . . We gathered about Jesus, and just as He closed the gates of the city, the curse was pronounced upon the wicked. The gates were shut. Then the saints used their wings and mounted to the top of the wall of the city. Jesus was also with them; His crown looked brilliant and glorious. It was a crown within a crown, seven in number. The crowns of the saints were of the most pure gold, decked with stars. Their faces shone with glory, for they were in the express image of Jesus. . . .

“Then the wicked saw what they had lost; and fire was breathed from God upon them and consumed them. This was the execution of the judgment. The wicked then received according as the saints, in unison with Jesus, had meted out to them during the one thousand years. The same fire from God that consumed the wicked purified the whole earth. The broken, ragged mountains melted with fervent heat, the atmosphere also, and all the stubble was consumed.” Early Writings, 53, 54. [Emphasis in original.]

9 With what is the day of judgment connected? 11 Timothy 4:1.

note: “The judgment scene will take place in the presence of all the worlds; for in this judgment the government of God will be vindicated, and His law will stand forth as ‘holy, and just, and good.’ [Romans 7:12.] . . .

“No human language can portray the scenes of the second coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven. He is to come with His own glory, and with the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. . . .

“The very One who died for man is to judge him in the last day: for the Father ‘hath committed all judgment unto the Son: . . . and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.’ [John 5:22, 27.] What a day that will be, when those who rejected Christ will look upon Him whom their sins have pierced.

“At His second coming, conviction will be brought to every heart. Those who have turned from Him to the trivial things of this earth, seeking selfish interests and worldly honor, will in the day of His coming acknowledge their mistake.” Maranatha, 292.

10 When the dominion is restored, what will be its condition? 11 Peter 3:13; Isaiah 11:5−9; 35:3−10; 55:12, 13.

note: “Human language is inadequate to describe the reward of the righteous. It will be known only to those who behold it. No finite mind can comprehend the glory of the Paradise of God.

“In the Bible the inheritance of the saved is called ‘a country.’ Hebrews 11:14−16. 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 wide-spreading 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. . . .

“Pain cannot exist in the atmosphere of heaven. There will be no more tears, no funeral trains, no badges of mourning.” The Great Controversy, 675, 676.

“I [Ellen White] saw another field full of all kinds of flowers, and as I plucked them I cried out, They will never fade. Next I saw a field of tall grass most glorious to behold; it was living green, and had a reflection of silver and gold, as it waved to the glory of King Jesus. Then we entered a field full of all kinds of beasts—the lion, the lamb, the leopard and the wolf, all together in perfect union. We passed through the midst of them, and they followed on peaceably after.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, 53.

11 What should those who are heirs with Christ be doing? 11 Peter 3:12, first part.

note: “Many who profess to be looking for the speedy coming of Christ, are becoming conformed to this world, and seek more earnestly for the applause of those around them, than the approbation of God. . . .

“Many of these 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. . . .

“Let us strive to be Christians (Christ-like) in every sense of the word, and let our dress, conversation and actions preach that Christ is formed within, the hope of glory, and that we are looking for that blessed hope and glorious appearing of Jesus.” Sons and Daughters of God, 352.

“It is the privilege of every Christian not only to look for but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, (2 Peter 3:12, margin). Were all who profess His name bearing fruit to His glory, how quickly the whole world would be sown with the seed of the gospel. Quickly the last great harvest would be ripened, and Christ would come to gather the precious grain.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 69.

12 What effect will this have on their lives? 11 Peter 3:11, 14.

note: “[11 Peter 3:14, 18 quoted.] Sanctification is not the work of a moment, an hour, or a day. It is a continual growth in grace. We know not one day how strong will be our conflict the next. Satan lives, and is active, and every day we need to cry earnestly to God for help and strength to resist him. As long as Satan reigns we shall have self to subdue, besetments to overcome, and there is no stopping place, there is no point to which we can come and say we have fully attained. . . .

“The Christian life is constantly an onward march. Jesus sits as a refiner and purifier of His people; and when His image is perfectly reflected in them, they are perfect and holy, and prepared for translation. A great work is required of the Christian. We are exhorted to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Here we see where the great labor rests. There is a constant work for the Christian. Every branch in the parent vine must derive life and strength from that vine, in order to yield fruit.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 340.

Bible Study Guides – The Work of Redemption, Part II

July 8, 2007 – July 14, 2007

Key Text

“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life.” John 6:63.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 23−26.


“The central theme of the Bible, the theme about which every other in the whole book clusters, is the redemption plan, the restoration in the human soul of the image of God. From the first intimation of hope in the sentence pronounced in Eden to that last glorious promise of the Revelation, ‘They shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads’ (Revelation 22:4), the burden of every book and every passage of the Bible is the unfolding of this wondrous theme,—man’s uplifting,—the power of God, ‘which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 1 Corinthians 15:57.

“He who grasps this thought has before him an infinite field for study. He has the key that will unlock to him the whole treasure house of God’s word.

“The science of redemption is the science of all sciences; the science that is the study of the angels and of all the intelligences of the unfallen worlds; the science that engages the attention of our Lord and Saviour; the science that enters into the purpose brooded in the mind of the Infinite—‘kept in silence through times eternal’ (Romans 16:25, R.V.); the science that will be the study of God’s redeemed throughout endless ages. This is the highest study in which it is possible for man to engage. As no other study can, it will quicken the mind and uplift the soul.” Education, 125, 126.

1 To whom does the Lord give His Spirit as a pledge? Galatians 4:6.

note: “What a privilege is ours, to be called the sons and daughters of God, to be the objects of God’s special love! In the prayer of Christ the relation of the believer to Christ is plainly revealed as one most tender and abiding. Christ loves the heavenly beings that surround his throne, but what shall account for the great love wherewith he hath loved us, who have accepted him as our personal Saviour? The rainbow encircling his throne is a pledge of his covenant of love. All heavenly gifts come to us through the work redemption has wrought, and the graces of his Spirit, the pledge of his word, are but the streams of life that flow from the fountain of his love.” The Youth’s Instructor, December 8, 1892.

2 To what time will the sons of God look with interest? 1 John 3:2.

note: “Through faith the children of God obtain a knowledge of Christ and cherish the hope of His appearing to judge the world in righteousness, until it becomes a glorious expectation; for they shall then see Him as He is, and be made like Him, and ever be with the Lord. . . . When Christ shall come, it will be to be admired of all those that believe, and the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” Faith and Works, 115.

3 What is said of the life of God’s people? Colossians 3:3.

note: “A healthy man, who is able to attend to the vocations of life and who goes forth day after day to his labor with buoyant spirits and with a healthy current of blood flowing through his veins, does not call the attention of every one he meets to his soundness of body. Health and vigor are the natural conditions of his life, and therefore he is scarcely conscious that he is in the enjoyment of so rich a boon.

“Thus it is with the truly righteous man. He is unconscious of his goodness and piety. Religious principle has become the spring of his life and conduct, and it is just as natural for him to bear the fruits of the Spirit as for the fig tree to bear figs or for the rosebush to yield roses. His nature is so thoroughly imbued with love for God and his fellow men that he works the works of Christ with a willing heart.

“All who come within the sphere of his influence perceive the beauty and fragrance of his Christian life, while he himself is unconscious of it, for it is in harmony with his habits and inclinations. He prays for divine light, and loves to walk in that light. It is his meat and drink to do the will of his heavenly Father. His life is hid with Christ in God; yet he does not boast of this, nor seem conscious of it. God smiles upon the humble and lowly ones who follow closely in the footsteps of the Master. Angels are attracted to them, and love to linger about their path. They may be passed by as unworthy of notice by those who claim exalted attainments and who delight in making prominent their good works, but heavenly angels bend lovingly over them and are as a wall of fire round about them.” The Sanctified Life, 12, 13.

4 In Christ, what do the righteous have? 1 John 5:11, 12.

note: “As children of the first Adam, we partake of the dying nature of Adam. But through the imparted life of Christ, man has been given opportunity to win back again the lost gift of life, and to stand in his original position before God, a partaker of the divine nature.” The Signs of the Times, June 17, 1897.

5 How do we have Christ? Ephesians 3:17, first part. How does faith come? Romans 10:17. Then how do we know that we have the pledge or earnest of the Spirit? See Galatians 5:22, 23; Romans 8:16.

note: “If studied and obeyed, the word of God works in the heart, subduing every unholy attribute. The Holy Spirit comes to convict of sin, and the faith that springs up in the heart works by love to Christ, conforming us in body, soul, and spirit to His own image. Then God can use us to do His will. The power given us works from within outwardly, leading us to communicate to others the truth that has been communicated to us.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 100.

6 What is said of the words of Christ? John 6:63.

note: “We must be constantly meditating upon the word, eating it, digesting it, and by practice, assimilating it, so that it is taken into the life current. He who feeds on Christ daily will by his example teach others to think less of that which they eat, and to feel much greater anxiety for the food they give to the soul.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 89, 90.

“The creative energy that called the worlds into existence is in the word of God. This word imparts power; it begets life. Every command is a promise; accepted by the will, received into the soul, it brings with it the life of the Infinite One. It transforms the nature and re-creates the soul in the image of God.” Education, 126.

7 What power has the Spirit that is given to the believers? Romans 8:11.

note: “God is clothed with power; he is able to take those who are dead in trespasses and sins, and by the operation of the Spirit which raised Jesus from the dead, transform the human character, bringing back to the soul the lost image of God. Those who believe in Jesus Christ are changed from being rebels against the law of God into obedient servants and subjects of his kingdom. They are born again, regenerated, sanctified through the truth.” The Youth’s Instructor, February 7, 1895.

8 What is it that brings forth the dead? John 5:28, 29.

note: “The voice that cried from the cross, ‘It is finished,’ [John 19:30] was heard among the dead. It pierced the walls of sepulchers, and summoned the sleepers to arise. Thus will it be when the voice of Christ shall be heard from heaven. That voice will penetrate the graves and unbar the tombs, and the dead in Christ shall arise. At the Saviour’s resurrection a few graves were opened, but at His second coming all the precious dead shall hear His voice, and shall come forth to glorious, immortal life. The same power that raised Christ from the dead will raise His church, and glorify it with Him, above all principalities, above all powers, above every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in the world to come.” The Desire of Ages, 787.

9 To what time do those who have the earnest look? Romans 8:23. (Compare 11 Corinthians 5:4, 5.)

note: “We owe everything to grace, sovereign grace. Grace ordained our redemption, our regeneration, and our adoption to heirship with Jesus Christ. Let this grace be revealed to others.

“The Saviour takes those whom he finds will be molded, and uses them for his own name’s glory. He uses material that others would pass by, and works in all who will give themselves to him. He delights to take apparently hopeless material, those whom Satan has debased, and through whom he has worked, and make them the subjects of his grace. He rejoices to deliver them from suffering, and from the wrath that is to fall upon the disobedient. He makes his children his agents in the accomplishment of this work, and in its success, even in this life, they find a precious reward.

“But what is this compared with the joy that will be theirs in the great day of final revealing?” Review and Herald, January 5, 1905.

10 When will the body be redeemed? 1 Corinthians 15:22, 23, 51−53. At that time, what change will the body undergo? Philippians 3:20, 21.

note: “We have a living, risen Saviour. He burst the fetters of the tomb after He had lain there three days, and in triumph He proclaimed over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.’ [John 11:25.] And He is coming. Are we getting ready for Him? Are we ready so that if we shall fall asleep, we can do so with hope in Jesus Christ? Are you laboring for the salvation of your brothers and sisters? The Life-giver is soon to come. The Life-giver is coming to break the fetters of the tomb. He is to bring forth the captives and proclaim, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.’ There stands the risen host. The last thought was of death and its pangs. The last thoughts they had were of the grave and the tomb, but now they proclaim, ‘O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?’ [1 Corinthians 15:55.] The pangs of death were the last things they felt. ‘O death, where is thy sting?’ The last thing they acknowledged was the pangs of death. When they awake the pain is all gone. . . .

“Here they stand, and the finishing touch of immortality is put upon them, and they go up to meet their Lord in the air.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1093.

11 At that time, what change will the body undergo? Philippians 3:20, 21.

note: “Christ came to restore that which had been lost. He will change our vile bodies and fashion them like unto His glorious body. The mortal, corruptible form, devoid of comeliness, once polluted with sin, becomes perfect, beautiful, and immortal. All blemishes and deformities are left in the grave. Restored to the tree of life in the long-lost Eden, the redeemed will ‘grow up’ (Malachi 4:2) to the full stature of the race in its primeval glory. The last lingering traces of the curse of sin will be removed, and Christ’s faithful ones will appear in ‘the beauty of the Lord our God,’ [Psalm 90:17] in mind and soul and body reflecting the perfect image of their Lord. Oh, wonderful redemption! long talked of, long hoped for, contemplated with eager anticipation, but never fully understood.

“The living righteous are changed ‘in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.’ [1 Corinthians 15:52.] At the voice of God they were glorified; now they are made immortal and with the risen saints are caught up to meet their Lord in the air. Angels ‘gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.’ [Matthew 24:31.] Little children are borne by holy angels to their mothers’ arms. Friends long separated by death are united, nevermore to part, and with songs of gladness ascend together to the City of God.” The Great Controversy, 645.

12 What Bible subject, then, ought to be of great interest to every child of faith? John 14:3. What will the Scriptures on this subject be to the believer? John 6:54; 10:28. What, then, should we do? John 5:39.

note: “In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived. ‘He that hath the Son hath life.’ 1 John 5:12. The divinity of Christ is the believer’s assurance of eternal life. ‘He that believeth in Me,’ said Jesus, ‘though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this?’ [John 11:25, 26.] Christ here looks forward to the time of His second coming. Then the righteous dead shall be raised incorruptible, and the living righteous shall be translated to heaven without seeing death.” The Desire of Ages, 530.

Bible Study Guides – The Work of Redemption, Part I

July 1, 2007 – July 7, 2007

Key Text

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 19−22.


“There are but few who have an appreciation of the grievous character of sin, and who comprehend the greatness of the ruin that has resulted from the transgression of God’s law. By examining the wonderful plan of redemption to restore the sinner to the moral image of God, we see that the only means for man’s deliverance was wrought out by the self-sacrifice, and the unparalleled condescension and love of the Son of God. He alone had the strength to fight the battles with the great adversary of God and man, and, as our substitute and surety, he has given power to those who lay hold of him by faith, to become victors in his name, and through his merits.” Review and Herald, August 21, 1888.

1 In whom do we have redemption? What is the signification of the term? Romans 3:24.

note: “The great work of redemption could be carried out only by the Redeemer taking the place of fallen Adam. With the sins of the world laid upon Him, He would go over the ground where Adam stumbled. He would bear a test infinitely more severe than that which Adam failed to endure. He would overcome on man’s account, and conquer the tempter, that, through His obedience, His purity of character and steadfast integrity, His righteousness might be imputed to man, that, through His name, man might overcome the foe on his own account.” Confrontation, 17, 18.

“In freeing our souls from the bondage of sin, God has wrought for us a deliverance greater than that of the Hebrews at the Red Sea.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 289. [Emphasis added.]

“The deliverance of Israel from Egypt was an object lesson of redemption.” The Desire of Ages, 77. [Emphasis added.]

2 What did man lose by the fall of Adam and Eve? Romans 5:12; Genesis 2:17.

note: “Sorrow filled heaven, as it was realized that man was lost, and that world which God had created was to be filled with mortals doomed to misery, sickness, and death. . . . The whole family of Adam must die.” Early Writings, 149.

“Immortality, promised to man on condition of obedience, had been forfeited by transgression. Adam could not transmit to his posterity that which he did not possess; and there could have been no hope for the fallen race had not God, by the sacrifice of His Son, brought immortality within their reach. . . . Every man may come into possession of this priceless blessing if he will comply with the conditions.” The Great Controversy, 533.

3 When man was created, what was given to him? Genesis 1:26. To whom did he surrender this dominion? Luke 4:5, 6. Then, what needs to be done that man may be brought back to God’s original plan?

note: “After the earth with its teeming animal and vegetable life had been called into existence, man, the crowning work of the Creator, and the one for whom the beautiful earth had been fitted up, was brought upon the stage of action. To him was given dominion over all that his eye could behold.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 44.

“He [Satan] asked the Saviour to bow to his authority, promising that if He would do so, the kingdoms of the world would be His. He pointed Christ to his success in the world, enumerating the principalities and powers that were subject to him. He declared that what the law of Jehovah could not do, he had done.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1083.

“When Satan declared to Christ, The kingdom and glory of the world are delivered unto me, and to whomsoever I will I give it, he stated what was true only in part, and he declared it to serve his own purpose of deception. Satan’s dominion was that wrested from Adam, but Adam was the vicegerent of the Creator. His was not an independent rule. The earth is God’s, and He has committed all things to His Son. Adam was to reign subject to Christ. When Adam betrayed his sovereignty into Satan’s hands, Christ still remained the rightful King.” The Desire of Ages, 129.

4 What is Christ made to believers? 1 Corinthians 1:30.

note: “We have not looked away from ourselves, believing that Jesus is a living Saviour. We must not think that our own grace and merits will save us; the grace of Christ is our only hope of salvation. . . . When we trust God fully, when we rely upon the merits of Jesus as a sin-pardoning Saviour, we shall receive all the help that we can desire.

“We look to self, as though we had power to save ourselves; but Jesus died for us because we are helpless to do this. In Him is our hope, our justification, our righteousness.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 351.

5 What does Jesus say of His own existence? Revelation 22:13. Of what significance has the expression “alpha and omega”?

note: “All the great truths of the Scriptures center in Christ; rightly understood, all lead to Him. Let Christ be presented as the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end, of the great plan of redemption.” Evangelism, 485.

“When the students of prophecy shall set hearts to know the truths of Revelation, they will realize what an importance is attached to this search. Christ Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the Genesis of the Old Testament, and the Revelation of the New. Both meet together in Christ. Adam and God are reconciled by the obedience of the second Adam, who accomplished the work of overcoming the temptations of Satan and redeeming Adam’s disgraceful failure and fall.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1092, 1093.

6 What is the first step in the work of redemption? Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:12−14.

note: “[Ephesians 1:7 quoted.] Yes, only believe that God is your helper. He wants to restore His moral image in man. As you draw near to Him with confession and repentance, He will draw near to you with mercy and forgiveness.” Steps to Christ, 55.

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

“The conditions of obtaining mercy of God are simple and just and reasonable. The Lord does not require us to do some grievous thing in order that we may have the forgiveness of sin. We need not make long and wearisome pilgrimages or perform painful penances, to commend our souls to the God of heaven or to expiate our transgression; but he that confesseth and forsaketh his sin shall have mercy. This is a precious promise, given to fallen man to encourage him to trust in the God of love and to seek for eternal life in His kingdom.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 635.

7 Through whom does the forgiveness of sins come? Matthew 1:21; Acts 13:38.

note: “God waits to bestow the blessing of forgiveness of sins, of pardon for iniquity, of the gift of righteousness upon all who will believe in His love, and accept of His salvation. Christ is ready to say to the repenting sinner, ‘. . . Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee. . . .’ Zechariah 3:4−7. Christ is the connecting link between God and man. The blood of Jesus Christ is the eloquent plea that speaks in behalf of sinners.” Our High Calling, 38.

8 When sins are pardoned, how does it affect the sinner’s past life? 1 John 1:9. How does the Lord look upon the forgiven one? Romans 4:7, 8.

note: “God requires that we confess our sins, and humble our hearts before Him; but at the same time we should have confidence in Him as a tender Father, who will not forsake those who put their trust in Him. Many of us walk by sight, and not by faith. We believe the things that are seen, but do not appreciate the precious promises given us in God’s Word; and yet we cannot dishonor God more decidedly than by showing that we distrust what He says, and question whether the Lord is in earnest with us or is deceiving us.

“God does not give us up because of our sins. We may make mistakes, and grieve His Spirit; but when we repent, and come to Him with contrite hearts, He will not turn us away. There are hindrances to be removed. Wrong feelings have been cherished, and there have been pride, self-sufficiency, impatience, and murmurings. All these separate us from God. Sins must be confessed; there must be a deeper work of grace in the heart.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 350, 351.

9 What does forgiveness or justification bring? Romans 5:1.

note: “Pardon and justification are one and the same thing. Through faith, the believer passes from the position of a rebel, a child of sin and Satan, to the position of a loyal subject of Christ Jesus, not because of an inherent goodness, but because Christ receives him as His child by adoption. The sinner receives the forgiveness of his sins, because these sins are borne by his Substitute and Surety. . . . Thus man, pardoned, and clothed with the beautiful garments of Christ’s righteousness, stands faultless before God. . . .

“Justification is the opposite of condemnation. God’s boundless mercy is exercised toward those who are wholly undeserving. He forgives transgressions and sins for the sake of Jesus, who has become the propitiation for our sins. Through faith in Christ, the guilty transgressor is brought into favor with God and into the strong hope of life eternal.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1070, 1071.

10 Why do we have peace? Romans 8:1; John 14:24.

note: “The religion of Christ means more than the forgiveness of sin; it means taking away our sins, and filling the vacuum with the graces of the Holy Spirit. It means divine illumination, rejoicing in God. It means a heart emptied of self, and blessed with the abiding presence of Christ. When Christ reigns in the soul, there is purity, freedom from sin. The glory, the fullness, the completeness of the gospel plan is fulfilled in the life. The acceptance of the Saviour brings a glow of perfect peace, perfect love, perfect assurance. The beauty and fragrance of the character of Christ revealed in the life testifies that God has indeed sent His Son into the world to be its Saviour.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 419, 420.

11 What has Christ given to everyone whom He has redeemed from sin? 11 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13. Of what is this Spirit an earnest or pledge? Ephesians 1:14.

note: “In giving the Holy Spirit, it was impossible for God to give more. To this gift nothing could be added. By it all needs are supplied. The Holy Spirit is the vital presence of God, and if appreciated will call forth praise and thanksgiving, and will ever be springing up unto everlasting life.” Ye Shall Receive Power, 284.

“There is a serious, solemn work to be done at this time. In all places the standard is to be lifted. God has [Ephesians 1:9−13 quoted]. The word of truth, Bible truth, present truth, is to be presented calmly, soberly, in the demonstration of the Spirit, for the angels of God are making impressions upon minds. . . . [Verse 13, last part, quoted.]

“What is the seal of the living God, which is placed in the foreheads of His people? It is a mark which angels, but not human eyes, can read; for the destroying angel must see this mark of redemption. The intelligent mind has seen the sign of the cross of Calvary in the Lord’s adopted sons and daughters. The sin of the transgression of the law of God is taken away. They have on the wedding garment, and are obedient and faithful to all God’s commands.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 21, 51, 52.

12 To what time are believers sealed? Ephesians 4:30.

note: “Let the church arise, and repent of her back-slidings before God. Let the watchmen awake, and give the trumpet a certain sound. It is a definite warning that we have to proclaim. . . .

“The work is before us; will we engage in it? We must work fast, we must go steadily forward. We must be preparing for the great day of the Lord. We have no time to lose, no time to be engaged in selfish purposes. The world is to be warned. What are we doing as individuals to bring the light before others? God has left to every man his work; every one has a part to act, and we cannot neglect this work except at the peril of our souls.

“O my brethren, will you grieve the Holy Spirit, and cause it to depart? Will you shut out the blessed Saviour, because you are unprepared for his presence? Will you leave souls to perish without the knowledge of the truth, because you love your ease too well to bear the burden that Jesus bore for you? Let us awake out of sleep.” Review and Herald, March 22, 1887.

Recipe – Mixed Fruit Smoothie

1/2 large orange

1/2 Cup frozen strawberries

1 frozen banana

1/4 Cup frozen peaches

2 Tablespoons powdered soy milk (optional)

Place all ingredients in blender and process until smooth. Sweeten with honey, pineapple, or white grape juice as desired.

Food for Life – Caffeine Drinks

Seventy percent of the world’s coffee supply is consumed in the United States. Coffee, tea, and soda are the three greatest contributors of caffeine in the American diet. Within 30 minutes of consumption, caffeine reaches its peak levels in the blood.

Caffeine can have negative effects on our bones. The more regularly a woman drinks coffee, the more calcium is excreted in her urine. The loss adds up to about 65 mg of calcium for every six ounces of coffee or two cans of cola. Caffeine consumption is therefore a contributing factor for osteoporosis.

Caffeine also has detrimental effects on the brain. It undermines the functioning of the frontal lobe by affecting the levels of three important chemicals: acetylcholine, adenosine, and dopamine. Caffeine increases the levels of acetylcholine and dopamine and interferes with the transmission of adenosine. Adenosine slows down many aspects of brain nerve transmission. This function is weakened by caffeine, thus allowing the artificial stimulation that is known to occur with caffeinated beverages. Some psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia are due in part to elevated levels of dopamine. There also seems to be a link to decreased frontal lobe function and blood flow that is characteristic of depression.

In order to compensate for the changes that occur with chronic caffeine consumption, the brain actually alters its chemistry and structure. In so doing, the brain chemistry becomes unbalanced and is therefore dependent, or addicted to, the regular consumption of caffeine. Withdrawal symptoms often begin within 19 hours after the last consumption of caffeine and may include headaches, fatigue, sleepiness, laziness, decreased alertness, and decreased activity.

Some effects of caffeine include impaired physical and mental performance, interrupted sleep, and impacted spiritual and social dimensions of our character. It can cause toxicity and even death; it may be a co-carcinogen; it increases risk of low birth weight in infants; it elevates blood pressure and may elevate cholesterol; it can cause palpitations and other dangerous heart rhythms; it stimulates excess stomach acid and heartburn; and it may increase symptoms of PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome).

“When these tea and coffee users meet together for social entertainment, the effects of their pernicious habit are manifest. All partake freely of the favorite beverages, and as the stimulating influence is felt, their tongues are loosened, and they begin the wicked work of talking against others. Their words are not few or well chosen. The tidbits of gossip are passed around, too often the poison of scandal as well. These thoughtless gossipers forget that they have a witness. An unseen Watcher is writing their words in the books of heaven.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 36.

Restoring the Temple – Why Do We Get Sick?

Often when a person is diagnosed with a major chronic health problem, that person asks or at least wonders, “How could this happen to me? It came so suddenly.”

The fact of the matter is, it did not come suddenly. The disease process starts long before it is diagnosed. It can start as long as ten or twenty years before you know you have the disease. Usually the disease process begins when a sufficient number of factors come together to start you down the road to having a diagnosable disease.

Factors of Disease

These factors can be any number and combination of things. It could be too many refined foods, excess amounts of saturated fats and fried foods and protein, not getting enough vitamins and minerals, accumulation of toxins, not enough exercise, not enough rest, exposure to pollutants and chemicals, a weakened immune system, a high stress life, genetic predisposition to the disease, chronic bacterial or viral infection, and other factors. Not any one of these things is the reason for the sickness; it is the combined factors.

These combined factors merely set you on the road toward disease. Once you are on that road, it still does not guarantee that you will end up being diagnosed with the disease. You are kept going down the road by the initial factors being reinforced or continued, and perhaps by other factors being added. If the disease process continues uninterrupted, eventually it will come to a point where you will be officially diagnosed with a disease. However, at any point along that road you can halt the process and usually even reverse it by addressing the factors, the incorrect diet and lifestyle habits, that initiated it and/or reinforced it.

Natural Medicine’s Goal

From a natural medicine perspective, when the disease process started, you had fallen from optimum health. Once a person has less than optimum health, the natural medicine approach dictates that it should and needs to be addressed, even though the person has not yet been diagnosed with a disease and a medical doctor has pronounced him or her free of illness. The goal of natural medicine is to build and maintain optimum health, which automatically means disease and sickness are not present. Conventional medicine will not even recognize that a problem exists until the disease process is way down the road and clinical symptoms are being manifested that can be readily observed or tested in the lab.

Most people have at least heard of the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) set by the government, which are currently being reviewed and changed. RDAs are generally considered the guidelines for good health. However, RDAs have been set from the standpoint of preventing deficiency diseases (such as scurvy and rickets), as opposed to maintaining optimum health. Therefore, you may be getting the RDAs of the various nutrients, but not be in optimum or even good health, merely free of diagnosable disease. Many health problems with undetermined causes can be traced to vitamin and mineral insufficiencies, or not getting enough of certain nutrients to truly be healthy. Many in the natural medicine perspective believe that the nutrient requirements for optimum health are significantly higher than the RDAs. Therefore, one of the things that natural medicine considers is sub-clinical nutrient deficiencies (undiagnosable insufficiencies).


Natural medicine looks at other vital factors that conventional nutrition generally has not considered very important. These factors include antioxidants, enzymes, probiotics (providing sufficient friendly bacteria), dietary fiber, and plant pigments (carotenes, chlorophyll, flavonoids, and other vitamin-like compounds and dietary constituents).

Antioxidants are extremely important in protecting us from the damage inflicted by a certain kind of erratic oxygen molecule that we are exposed to every day. Excess calories, pollution, and chemicals increase our exposure. This dangerous kind of oxygen molecule damages cell walls, DNA, and causes fatty acids to become rancid (such as found in the brain). This damage affects the functioning of various aspects of our bodies and has been associated with aging, arteriosclerosis, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis (MS), senile dementia, and nearly every other chronic degenerative problem. Antioxidants work to neutralize this harmful substance and protect us from its cumulative effects. Antioxidants often used include vitamins A, C, E, selenium, zinc, magnesium, beta-carotene, flavonoids, and some of the B vitamins. Therefore, it is imperative to ensure that we daily take in a sufficient supply of antioxidants, and avoid unnecessary calories, pollutants, and chemicals.

Other Considerations

Natural medicine deals with other broader issues than those normally addressed from a conventional nutrition perspective. It also shows that our mental state as we eat has a significant impact on the amount of nourishment we receive from our food. Eating should be in a relaxed and peaceful setting, without hurry, tension, arguing, undue stress and excitement. We should be able to eat slowly and chew our food thoroughly, being conscious of what we are doing, including the taste of the food. Meals need to be approached with appreciation, including blessing the food in prayer, which prepares the body to receive this new nourishment. Natural medicine seeks to also promote thorough and efficient digestion, which is imperative for good health. This is accomplished through eating correctly and eating the right kinds of foods.

To answer the question, “Why do we get sick?” we must personally look at what we do and at our daily habits, and make sure that we do not allow factors to come together to push us down the road to being diagnosed with a major chronic health problem.

The natural medicine perspective can enrich anyone’s life and health. It has many benefits, and has helped many people achieve a richer quality of life with better health. See what it can do for you!

For more information on living a healthy lifestyle, please contact us at:

The Gilead Institute of America, 6000 Live Oak Parkway, Suite 114, Norcross, Georgia 30093 Phone: (770) 270-1087 Website:

Diane Herbert is a naturopath and lifestyle consultant. She received training from the NAD Lifestyle Consultant program, Thomas Edison State College, Clayton College of Natural Healing, and Bastyr University. Diane teaches health classes at the Gilead Institute located in Norcross, Georgia, gives health presentations, and contributes to the Institute’s literature and health flyer series. She may be contacted by e-mail at:

Nature Nugget – Hubble Ultra Deep Field

On a clear night, approximately 3,000 stars are visible with the naked eye, all of which are in our own galaxy. It is estimated that there are at least 100 billion individual galaxies in the Universe of which many contain hundreds of billions of stars. Each star, like our sun, is capable of having numerous planets rotating around it. Our galaxy, known as the Milky Way, is a cosmic ocean of 200 billion stars.

Astronomers are overwhelmed with the size of the Universe and the distances involved, so they have developed a special unit of measurement called the “light year” which enables them to begin to estimate distances in space. Light travels at a speed of 186,000 miles per second. At this speed, a trip to the moon would take only 1.3 seconds, and to reach the sun would take only 8 minutes. To reach the nearest star outside our solar system would take 4 years. A “light year” is the distance light travels in one year, which is 6 trillion miles.

Between September 24, 2003, and January 16, 2004, scientists picked a point in space and stared at it for a total of 11 days with the Hubble Telescope, which is in orbit 300 miles above the Earth. The region they picked to observe was a small patch of sky, one-tenth the diameter of the full moon, located in the constellation Fornax. This region was chosen because it had a low density of bright stars in the near-field. What they found and photographed is the farthest men have ever seen into the Universe, approximately 47 billion light years, and is said to be the single most important image ever taken by humanity. Using two types of cameras, they generated a composite image from 800 exposures taken over the course of 400 Hubble orbits around the Earth. This photo, known as the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, recorded 10,000 galaxies in a field of view which is smaller than the area blocked by a grain of sand held at arm’s length. This “deep core” sample of the Universe shows galaxies of various ages, shapes, and colors. Among the classic spiral and elliptical shaped galaxies are a number of odd shaped ones, including some that look like toothpicks and some that look like links on a bracelet. A few appear to be interacting.

“God calls men to look upon the heavens. See Him in the wonders of the starry heavens. [Isaiah 40:26 quoted.] We are not merely to gaze upon the heavens; we are to consider the works of God. He would have us study the works of infinity, and from this study, learn to love and reverence and obey Him. The heavens and the earth with their treasures are to teach the lessons of God’s love, care, and power. . . . The heavenly bodies are worthy of contemplation. God has made them for the benefit of man, and as we study His works, angels of God will be by our side to enlighten our minds, and guard them from satanic deception.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1145. “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him?” Psalm 8:3, 4.

David Arbour writes from his home in De Queen, Arkansas. He may be contacted by e-mail at:

Question – Grieved the Holy Spirit


I sometimes worry that I have grieved away the Holy Spirit. How can I know that I have not done this?


There are others who have this same concern. I would say first, remember that “God is love,” and He has your best interest at heart. He also is more anxious for you to be saved than you are. God sent His only begotten Son down here to earth to save you. Jesus suffered untold miseries to save you, so keep your eyes on the Lord.

Jesus said, “But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” “The Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin.” John 14:26; 16:7, 8. Read John 14 and 15; you will receive a real blessing, and you may understand more about what the Holy Spirit does.

We will never be able on this earth to exactly understand the Holy Spirit. We can only know what He does and that He is one of the members of the Godhead. “The nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery. Men cannot explain it, because the Lord has not revealed it to them. . . .

“To the repentant sinner, hungering and thirsting for righteousness, the Holy Spirit reveals the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. . . .

“The Spirit is given as a regenerating agency, to make effectual the salvation wrought by the death of our Redeemer. The Spirit is constantly seeking to draw the attention of men to the great offering that was made on the cross of Calvary, to unfold to the world the love of God, and to open to the convicted soul the precious things of the Scriptures.” The Acts of the Apostles, 52.

As for grieving the Holy Spirit, that is not a sudden thing; it happens over a period of time as a person repeatedly refuses to do God’s will. One example of this would be Pharaoh. The Lord pleaded with him to let the children of Israel go, but he kept refusing until he had completely disconnected himself from God. (See Exodus 7−12.)

What usually happens is that a person learns that something is right to do, such as keeping the Sabbath, but he says, “I am not going to do that.” He hears about it again and again, but he continues to refuse to obey what he knows is right. Finally the Holy Spirit gives up on that person. Then his conscience no longer bothers him about going to church on Sunday. He has no more dread of sin, because the Holy Spirit is the one that convicts us of sin.

If you are still trying to do God’s will and you are convicted when you sin that it is wrong, you have not sinned against the Holy Spirit. He is still pleading with you. He wants you to be in heaven, and if you want to go there, too, and are willing to follow His guidance, you will reach your goal and have eternal life.

If you worry that you have grieved the Holy Spirit away, you have not, or you would not worry about it; you could not care less.

The Pen of Inspiration – Home Duties of the Father

Few fathers are fitted for the responsibility of training their children. They, themselves, need strict discipline that they may learn self-control, forbearance, and sympathy. Until they possess these attributes they are not capable of properly teaching their children. What can we say to awaken the moral sensibilities of fathers, that they may understand and undertake their duty to their offspring? The subject is of intense interest and importance, having a bearing upon the future welfare of our country. We would solemnly impress upon fathers, as well as mothers, the grave responsibility they have assumed in bringing children into the world. It is a responsibility from which nothing but death can free them. True the chief care and burden rests upon the mother during the first years of her children’s lives, yet even then the father should be her stay and counsel, encouraging her to lean upon his large affections, and assisting her as much as possible.

First Interest

The father’s duty to his children should be one of his first interests. It should not be set aside for the sake of acquiring a fortune, or of gaining a high position in the world. In fact, those very conditions of affluence and honor frequently separate a man from his family, and cut off his influence from them more than anything else. If the father would have his children develop harmonious characters, and be an honor to him and a blessing to the world, he has a special work to do. God holds him responsible for that work. In the great day of reckoning it will be asked him: Where are the children that I intrusted [sic] to your care to educate for me, that their lips might speak my praise, and their lives be as a diadem of beauty in the world, and they live to honor me through all eternity?

In some children the moral powers strongly predominate. They have power of will to control their minds and actions. In others the animal passions are almost irresistible. To meet these diverse temperaments, which frequently appear in the same family, fathers, as well as mothers, need patience and wisdom from the divine Helper. There is not so much to be gained by punishing children for their transgressions, as by teaching them the folly and heinousness of their sin, understanding their secret inclinations, and laboring to bend them toward the right. . . .

Know Individual Characteristics

The father should frequently gather his children around him, and lead their minds into channels of moral and religious light. He should study their different tendencies and susceptibilities, and reach them through the plainest avenues. Some may be best influenced through veneration and the fear of God; others through the manifestation of his benevolence and wise providence, calling forth their deep gratitude; others may be more deeply impressed by opening before them the wonders and mysteries of the natural world, with all its delicate harmony and beauty, which speak to their souls of Him who is the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and all the beautiful things therein.

Children who are gifted with the talent or love of music may receive impressions that will be life-long, by the judicious use of those susceptibilities as the medium for religious instruction. They may be taught that if they are not right with God they are like a discord in the divine harmony of creation, like an instrument out of tune, giving forth discordant strains more grievous to God than harsh, inharmonious notes are to their own fine musical ear.

Many may be reached best through sacred pictures, illustrating scenes in the life and mission of Christ. By this means truths may be vividly imprinted upon their minds, never to be effaced. The Roman Catholic Church understands this fact, and appeals to the senses of the people through the charm of sculpture and paintings. While we have no sympathy for image worship, which is condemned by the law of God, we hold that it is proper to take advantage of that almost universal love of pictures in the young, to fasten in their minds valuable moral truths, to bind the gospel to their hearts by beautiful imagery illustrating the great moral principles of the Bible. Even so our Saviour illustrated his sacred lessons by the imagery found in God’s created works.

Tailored Discipline

It will not do to lay down an iron rule by which every member of the family is forced into the same discipline. It is better to exert a milder sway, and, when any special lesson is required, to reach the consciences of the youth through their individual tastes, and marked points of character. While there should be a uniformity in the family discipline, it should be varied to meet the wants of different members of the family. It should be the parents’ study not to arouse the combativeness of their children, not to excite them to anger and rebellion, but to interest them, and inspire them with a desire to attain to the highest intelligence and perfection of character. This can be done in a spirit of Christian sympathy and forbearance, the parents realizing the peculiar dangers of their children, and firmly, yet kindly, restraining their propensities to sin.

The parents, especially the father, should guard against the danger of their children learning to look upon him as a detective, peering into all their actions, watching and criticising [sic] them, ready to seize upon and punish them for every misdemeanor. The father’s conduct upon all occasions should be such that the children will understand that his efforts to correct them spring from a heart full of love for them. When this point is gained, a great victory has been accomplished. Fathers should have a sense of their children’s human want and weakness, and his sympathy and sorrow for the erring ones should be greater than any sorrow they can feel for their own misdeeds. This will be perceived by the corrected child, and will soften the most stubborn heart.


The father, as priest and house-band of the family circle, should stand to them as nearly in the place of Christ as possible—a sufferer for those who sin, one who, though guiltless, endures the pains and penalty of his children’s wrongs, and, while he inflicts punishment upon them, suffers more deeply under it than they do.

But if the father exhibits a want of self-control before his children, how can he teach them to govern their wrong propensities? If he displays anger or injustice, or evidence that he is the slave of any evil habit, he loses half his influence over them. Children have keen perceptions, and draw sharp conclusions; precept must be followed by example to have much weight with them. If the father indulges in the use of any hurtful stimulant, or falls into any other degrading habit, how can he maintain his moral dignity before the watchful eyes of his children? . . .

The father, above all others, should have a clear, active mind, quick perceptions, calm judgment, physical strength to support him in his arduous duties, and most of all the help of God to order his acts aright. He should therefore be entirely temperate, walking in the fear of God, and the admonition of his law, mindful of all the small courtesies and kindnesses of life, the support and strength of his wife, a perfect pattern for his sons to follow, a counselor and authority for his daughters. He should stand forth in the moral dignity of a man free from the slavery of evil habits and appetites, qualified for the sacred responsibilities of educating his children for the higher life.

The Health Reformer, October 1, 1877.